Sep 27, 2022

"The Lake": Gay Guy Reconnects with his Daughter on a Lake


The icon for the 2022 sitcom The Lake, on Amazon Prime, appears to show two guys about to kiss.  But I've been fooled before -- maybe they're about to fight.  The episode synopses give no hint of LGBT identities, except for a reference to "Opal's drag show."  So I'll start at the beginning: Episode 1.

Scene 1: A car parked at a redneck Gas N Go.  A teenager girl named Billie on the phone, complaining to her mom  about having to spend the summer at the lake house.  "Why can't I just come home?"  Mom explains: she and Dad are on a book tour, so she'll be staying with her birth dad, who has been in Australia since she was born, but just returned to Canada, and wants to reconnect.  So they've never even met, and they're going to spend the summer together?  What could possibly go wrong? 

Meanwhile, inside the Gas N Go, the flamboyantly feminine Justin (Jordan Gavaris)  is trying to pick out ice cream: "Rainbow pops?  Too 'on the nose.'  Chocolate?  Pandering.  Vanilla?  Triggering  Oreo?  Insulting."  

When the redneck cashier, Riley (Travis Nelson), asks if he needs help, he nervously grabs some random stuff to buy and blurts out a plot dump: he had Billie in high school, but gave her up for adoption, they're staying at the lake where his grandparents had a cottage, he's lactose intolerant and has to douche after eating ice cream, and he has has arrested development and will date "any man-child with a beard and tattoos..."  Uh-oh, Riley has both!

Humiliated, he exits to the car, where Billie is waiting.  Wait -- I thought they were headed for their first meeting.  He complains: "I just tried to seduce my prison hipster fantasy with anal douching."  Dude, too much detail for a minor!

Scene 3:  Justin dragging their luggage through the woods: "I should have gotten one of those 4x4 things, but it seemed too homophobic."  The lake house looks like it belongs in a horror movie. Scary pictures, animal heads. The lake is full of moss and gunk.  (Justin shirtless, not impressive).  They meet their next-door neighbor, an elderly bohemian named Irika.  

While they go canoeing, Justin gives Billie the gossip about all of the neighbors. Plot dump: Tilt-a-Palooza is the event of the summer.  It's a tilting contest (canoe jousting), with prizes, ringers, scheming, sabotage, and enough hurt feelings to last a lifetime.  He points out the gorgeous, elegant lake house where he spent every summer as a kid.  It belonged to his grandparents, and would have been his, except that his "evil stepsister" tricked Dad into selling it so she could pocket the money.

Scene 4:  Justin wants to know who owns the house now, so they row up and knock on the door.  No answer.  He decides to climb up the trellis and sneak in the window, like he used to.  Billie refuses: she's black,  so if she's caught breaking into a house, the homeowner or the police will kill her (I think that's just for black men).

Scene 5: 
 Justin climbs through the bathroom window, and looks around.  It hasn't changed -- not even the decor.  Grandpa's needlepoint witth a dirty limerick is still hanging on the wall.  Why didn't the new owners bring in their own stuff?

Billie sounds an alarm -- someone is coming -- so they both rush out to the dock.  Only to stare in gape-jawed love-at-first-sight  horniness at the massively tattooed middle-aged muscleman Victor (Terry Chen, top photo)and the teen dream Killian (Jared Scott, left) emerging from the lake in slow motion.  

Introductions and plot dumps all around. Billie outs Justin; Tattooed Muscleman Victor mentions a wife to deflect any flirting.  Teen Dream Kilian returns Billie's slack-jawed love-at-first-sight gaze.  They 're all getting ready for the lake barbecue tonight (it doesn't look like you were getting ready). We'll see you there.

Scene 6:  Billie criticizes Justin's wildly inappropriate break-in and threatens to tell her parents, who will bring her home.  Justin points out that this will eliminate her chance of hooking up with Teen Dream Killian  She's obviously the stable, serious,  "that' not a good idea" partner in this relationship. 

Scene 7:  The barbecue at the Boathouse -- everyone is inside, which seems weird, and there's no food, or even plates and silverware.  Everyone stares: according to Justin, his heterosexual fling, followed by giving the baby up for adoption, is still scandalous after 16 years.  But he didn't live there; he just visited during the summer.   They meet their landlords, Whoreen and Horny Henderson (so called because they cheated on Horny's wife before marrying), and reunite with old friend Wayne (John Dore) and his wife Natalie.

"OMG," Natalie exclaims.  "You are so mini now."  (Translation: in high school Justin was a bit of a chunk).  "So you've given up the wild gay lifestyle to be a parent to your kid."  Hey, that's homophobic!

Scene 8: Billie and Teen Dream Killian, the only teenagers at the barbecue, wander off to discuss the Tilting Contest: his dad has beaten "that shark" Wayne nine times in a row.  There will be lots of conniving this year.  Billie decides to enter the contest, to break up the racist, sexist patriarchy; but her opponent will be Killian!  Girls can win and still get the guy nowadays.  They head to the beach to practice, and almost kiss, before the four Mean Girls (Shark Wayne's daughters, naturally) interfere.  They practice tilting and get drunk.

Tattooed muscleman Victor tries to introduce Justin to Redneck Hunk Riley from the gas station, but they've already met: "From the gas and going down, not on you." Don't be so sure.  Also his 10-year old son, who dresses like a silent film star and goes by the name Opal, but uses he/him pronouns.  Opal is upset because they vetoed his choice for Movie Night: Carol, about a lesbian romance in the 1950s.  Now they have to watch Minions!

And Tattoed Muscleman Victor's wife: Justin's evil step-sister. Maisy-Mae.  Dad didn't sell the lake house after all; he gave it to Maisy.  That explains why the decor hasn't changed.  Wait -- is she Killian's mother?  That would make Killian and Billie cousins.  Plus she would have to be married to Victor before Justin left town, so wouldn't Justin know about him?

Scene 9: Plot dump: Justin's Dad had an affair with Maisy-Mae's mom, and married her.  So they became related.  I'm guessing that Maisy Mae was alreaedy grown up, so they rarely interacted, but Justin would still have known about Victor.  Unless she married him later? This timeline makes no sense.

Suddenly everyone notices the teenagers drinking and rushes out.  Justin covers for Billie by claiming that he is the one who was drinking.  To prove it, he chugs half a bottle of vodka.  Then he yells at his stepsister for stealing the lake house from him. "But Dad gave it to me."

He challenges her to a tilt: winner gets the lake house.  Uh-oh, her husband Victor, 9-time tilt champion, will compete in her place.

Scene 10:  The middle-of-the-night tilt. After a lot of buildup, Justin is too drunk to compete: he throws up and falls into the lake. 

Scene 11: Billie asks a hungover Justin why he returned to Canada after 16 years in Australia: "Because my ex banged half of Bondi Beach."  Justin wants to know why Billie's parents forced her to spend the summer with him: "Because they caught me sexting Jared, the 22-year old leader of my activist circle."  In the U.S. teens have been arrested for child porn for sending naked pictures of themselves. 

Stepsister sends over a box of Dad's stuff, including an addendum to the will: the lake house is actually in a trust.  If Maisy-Mae ever leaves it, it goes directly to Justin.  So we see the main plot arc of this series.

Beefcake: Justin is nondescript, and Vincent has too many tattoos.  But Killian has abs. 

Gay Characters: Justin, of course.  The episode synopses give us no indication that he gets a boyfriend, but they also give us no indication that he is gay.  Why deliberately hide something like that?  Is this 1976?

 Opal presents as feminine but uses he/him pronouns, so he may be gay, but he's too young to express any same-sex romantic interest  on tv. Heterosexual kids do it all the time, but not gay kids.

My Grade: Quirky Canadian small towns.  Reminiscent of Schitt's Creek and Corner Gas.  But way to many discussions of douching with random strangers and kids.  B

No comments:

Post a Comment

No offensive, insulting, racist, or homophobic comments are permitted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...