Feb 15, 2020

3000 Posts and Counting

3000 posts!  That's about 1 a day for 8 years!  I originally intended this blog to capture "gay hints," mass media texts that broke the silence about gay people when I was growing up, so my first posts were on Run Buddy Run, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, That Girl, Batman, and Star Trek.

But now I've just about every book, movie, tv show, and song from my childhood and young adulthood and middle age, so recently I've been doing movie and tv show reviews.

I don't want to go over 3000 posts, so I'm moving all of the "small town beefcake" and "public penis" posts to a new blog, Small Town Beefcake.   

When I finish, I'll start posting again.  Probably.  After 8 years, it's hard to stay away.

Why Don't I Remember "The Mothers In Law"?

Why don't I remember a single scene of The Mothers in Law?

Granted, the only cute guy in the cast, Jerry Fogel, never takes his shirt off, but no on on tv in the 1960s did.

Granted, it ired from 1967 to 1969, when I was only six to eight years old, but I remember a lot of other tv shows of the era, like The Invaders, Lost in Space, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched, Star Trek -- a dozen or more.

Granted, it aired on Sunday nights, when I was usually in church, but if I wasn't feeling well, or Mom or Dad wasn't feeling well, I stayed home.  And I remember a number of episodes of the lead-in series, The Wonderful World of Disney.

It seems to be a culture-clash comedy.  The ritzy, snooty New York WASP Eve (Eve Arden, then known primarily as the man-hungry teacher Our Miss Brooks) and aggressive, big-mouthed Italian Kaye (big-mouthed comedian Kaye Ballard) have lived next door to each other for twenty years, sniping at each other and complaining incessantly. 

Then their children, Jerry and Suzie (Jerry Fogel, Deborah Walley) marry, and the duo settle down to a Lucy-and-Ethel friendship, complete with moneymaking schemes, disguises, and talent show performances.  It's basically I Love Lucy with kids around to say "Mom, stay out of this!"

Even if Mom and Dad had watched, I wouldn't have found anything of interest in that.

I had no itdea that Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard were gay icons.

Or that in the second season,gay actor Richard Deacon took over as one of the husbands, but of course I had no idea that he was gay.

Or that the son, Jerry Fogel, was the subject of gay rumors (he was actually married to women multiple times).

Or that the  bisexual Desi Arnaz appears in several episodes as a flamboyant bullfighter who casts them in movies and such.

Or that his son, teen idol Desi Arnaz Jr., appears in one episode.

Or that most of 1960s gay Hollywood would drop in, including Paul Lynde, Alice Ghostly, and Mary Jane Croft.

Feb 13, 2020

Connor Jessup: The Gay Actor Playing the Semi-Straight Guy on "Locke and Key"

Did anybody else get a gay vibe in Episode 7 of Locke and Key?  Sam hugging Tyler, sobbing, and complaining about how much he screwed things up?  (Yeah, he killed Tyler's father and threatened him and his family).

In flashbacks, Sam never displays any interest in girls.  Instead, he is shown saying goodbye to his Dad as he leaves to "hang out" with Tyler, and then being upset when he learns that Tyler was just pretending to be interested.

Tyler has a girlfriend, sort of, but he could be into guys, too.  There are some hints.  A teacher comments on his closeness to his new friend Javi.  And the scene where he interrupted during sex by a vision of Sam and couldn't perform. 

So who are these gay-subtext actors? 

26 year old Connor Jessup (Tyler) has been acting since age 11.

And taking off his shirt on camera for almost as long.  Here he stars as a troubled teen in Blackbird (2012).

And playing gay teenagers for almost as long.  Here a hypochondriac gay teenager smooches with the class stud in Fragments (2015).

His characters also get -- or lose -- boyfriends in Closet Monster (2015) and Crazy House (2015)

Connor's most popular acting role to date is Ben Mason in Falling Skies (2011-2015), a freedom-fighter in the war against alien invaders.  Ben gets a girlfriend, unfortunately, but at least he takes his shirt off a lot

Connor also starred in two seassons of the anthology series American Crime

Season 2: Taylor Blaine, a gay high school boy who is sexually assaulted by his boyfriend.

Season 4: Coy Henson, a gay drug addict trying to get clean.

In 2019, Connor made a public announcement that he was gay.  announced that he was gay.  He knew at age 11, but he kept closeted for years, worrying that it would hurt his career. 

While auditioning for every gay role listed in The Hollywood Reporter.

Now if only we could get a flashback scene confirming that Tyler and Sam were boyfriends before things went wrong on Locke and Key.

Feb 9, 2020

"Locke and Key":: Redrum Boy, Hot Brother, and Incessant Stupidity

I was drawn to the Netflix series Locke and Key, based upon the comic book series by Joe Hill (son of horrormeister Stephen King, but he'd rather you not know that), because I heard that there were Lovecraftian elements: three kids in a mysterious old house become involved with Cthulu and the Old Ones:

Scene 1: A man receives a phone call: "Rendell Locke is dead."  In response, he plunges an old-fashioned key into his heart and explodes.  Rather an intriguing intro.

Scene 2: Mom or Older Sister Nina Locke (she looks around twelve, but the actress is nearly 40) is driving cross-country from Seattle to small-town New England to "start over".  Her three kids make contemporary references to Fortnight but have an old-fashioned camera.  What year is this?

They are:

1. Outgoing, popular Tyler (Connor Jessup), who we're expected to find mega-dreamy.
2. Sullen, introverted class brain Kinsey (Emilia Jones)
3. Adorable tyke Bode (Jackson Robert Scott), who is certainly one of the many abused boys with "the shining" who populate Stephen King's novels.

Whoa, deja vu.  I feel like I'm watching The October Faction.  Or The Umbrella Academy.  Or even the Unfortunate Events series.  Or The Chronicles of Narnia

Scene 3:  They arrive in Matheson, Massachusetts (named after horrormeister Richard Matheson, no doubt), where it is always winter but never Christmas, and they are famous.  Apparently everyone knows about their tragedy, even though it took place on the other side of the country and it was just one murder out of the 7,000 that occur in the U.S. every year.

 They stop for ice cream and get fawned over by high schooler Scott (Petrice Jones).

Scene 4: Then it's off to the absurdly huge ancestral mansion, which must have about 1000 rooms and hasn't been cleaned or renovated for about a century.  Uncle Duncan (Aaron Ashmore, top photo) is supposed to be the caretaker, but he hates it there and never sets foot inside.

Duncan is gay in the comic books, but here there's nothing except a "blink and you miss it" reference to his boyfriend back in Boston.

Scene 5: Mom stupidly leaves her adorable tyke home alone in a house full of hidden passageways and sharp things.  Exploring, Bode finds a well boarded up inside a gazebo.  A woman's voice tells him that he has the Shining...um, I mean special powers that allow him to use the keys hidden all over the house.  Each has a different magical property..

Scene 6:  Flashback to how Dad died.  They were in the midst of renovating an old house, when high schooler Sam (Thomas Mitchell Barnet) burst in with a gun and demanded to know about the keys. Dad stupidly insults him, and is shot.  Mom, too.  Sam chases Kinsey and Bode through the house, but Mom subdues him.

Scene 7:  The first key will take you through any door to anywhere else with a door (the ice cream shop, but not the Eifel Tower). 

Um...Bode, you stiffed poor Scott the Ice Cream Guy $3.00 for that tiny vanilla cone.

Scene 8:  Time for school.  Kinsey gets flirted with by Scott the Ice Cream Guy, who won't take "no" for an answer.  It's called sexual harassment, guy.  She finally agrees to hang out with his posse tonight.

Scene 9:  Meanwhile, Tyler hooks up with a couple of golden boys, Javi (Kevin Alves) and Brinker (Colton Stewart), who discuss how surviving a horrific tragedy will help him get girls.  (ugh!  Heterosexism!).  They invite Tyler to a Golden Boy party tonight.

Scene 10: Hanging with the posse involves watching horror movies.  Come on, Scott, Kinsey is suffering from post-traumatic shock after a killer chased her through the house, and you want her to watch Day of the Dead?  Idiot!

I read ahead: his next idea for a big date is to have Kinsey act in his horror movie, as the girl who gets splattered with blood when a crab monster eats her boyfriend.  Ever hear of a Disney movie and milkshakes?  Double idiot!

Scene 11:  Meanwhile Tyler is at the Golden Boy party, which consists of boys trying to get with girls.  He uses his "tragedy survivor" cred to score with an It-Girl (personally, I would have gone with "I'm extremely wealthy").  But in the bedroom he sees Sam the Killer, who tells him that Dad's death was all his fault.  So he can't perform.

Scene 12:  Adorable Tyke Bode wants to see his dead Dad, so Well Woman tells him about a key that will allow him to talk to any dead person. It actually unlocks a sinister mirror that traps Mom.

Scene 13:  Adorable Tyke returns to the Well Woman and points out her deception.  She says that she can save his mother if he gives her the Go-Anywhere Key.  So Stupid Tyke hands it over, and Well Woman vanishes.

Scene 14:  Tyler goes in to mirror-world, attached to a cord, with his eyes closed, to rescue Mom.  Their hug has to be seen to be believed.  Very Oedipal.  After all, they're about the same age (Mom actually looks a little younger.)

Upon her rescue, Mom forgets all about the mirror world. Bummer.

Scene 15: Well Woman's first stop with her Go-Anywhere Key is the mental hospital, where she visits Sam the Killer.  "I told you I'd see you again," she says.

Whoa, plot twist.

Beefcake:  Tyler takes his shirt off.  He's presented throughout the episode as the epitome of masculine beauty, so I guess that's something.

Gay characters:  Uncle Duncan.  There's a character named Lucas Caravaggio later on (played by Felix Mallard, left).  The painter Caravaggio was gay, so maybe...

Heterosexism:  Holy cow, it's a 1980s teencom at that high school.  Girls, girls, girls, girls, girls!

Stupid Puns:  The Lockes can use the keys. Come on!

My grade:  C-
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