Sometimes, on my morning cycle of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, I find unexpected treasures of gay subtexts or representation. Sometimes it's a heteronormative bust.
Today I start with Netflix. Four of the six "Recent Addition" icons feature women looking beleagered and vulnerable. There's one group and one nuclear radiation symbol. What happened to the men?
I'll try House of Dark Secrets, an Argentine anthology series about the various residents of a mysterious house (full of dark secrets) from the 1920s to the 2020s. Thirteen episodes, and Argentina is one of the more gay-positive countries in Latin America; there must be some gay "secrets."
Let's look: guy with a dead wife; performing male-female couple; mom who won't let her teenage daughters date boys; kidnapped girl; two college students want a three-way with the maid; ex-wife shows up; fleeing soldiers...
Girls' pajama party; mayor's illegitimate child shows up; kidnapped girl shows up as a 70-year old; woman finds some squatters; male-female couple take refuge from a pandemic.
I fast-forward through the episodes with the soldiers, the squatters, and the college students (in case they're both boys). No luck, although there are glimpses of beefcake amid the cleavage.
Well, I'll watch Bad Exorcist, a Polish series, animated with South Park-style cutouts, about an inept exorcist named Boner (presumably "inept," not "arousal"). In Episode 6: "a ghoul makes an indecent proposal." So...he wants to have sex with Boner?
On to Hulu, where my recommendations include endless animes. I am drawn to one with the odd title The Irregular at Magic High School, because I've only heard "irregular" used as a noun with the group of street urchins that Sherlock Holmes hires. Could there be some Baker Street Irregulars studying magic?
They spend Scene 1 getting ready to matriculate, and discussing how much they love each other: "You're the most important person in the world to me. I'd do anything for you. I can't bear to be away from you, even for a minute. Your smile lights up my life" and so on ad nauseam. Way too much incest subtext!
Then Sister leaves, and Tatsuyi is stopped dead in his tracks by...The Girl of His Dreams! I'm out.
What about Sorcerous Stabber Orphen? Why the deliberate misspelling? Ophen is a "powerful sorcerer" on a quest to rescue his "sis," who was turned into a dragon.
Before I get invested, I'll check the episode guide: Orphen searches for his friend Azalia, whom he grew up with at the orphanage (that must be his "sis"); he meets "a mysterious girl," who offers to treat his wounds; he teams up with a girl named Leticia. Lots of girls around, not many boys for subtexts. But I check Wikipedia and do a keyword search anyway.
This photo appeared in the keyword search for "Sorcerous Stabber Orphen" and "gay." It doesn't appear to depict Orphen or any other character, and it's not in the same anime style. But beefcake is beefcake.
On to Amazon Prime, which is always a wasteland of dead wives and girls of dreams.
Whoops, according to the description, she's Kelsi, a trans girl, and the boy, Khal (Abubakr Ali), apparently comes from a conservative Muslim family, so their relationship is going to cause friction (there are Arabic subtitles, in case it's not banned in Saudi Arabia). In the trailer, it looks like most of the friction comes from Kelsi's queer friends, who don't think that Khal is right for her.
I probably won't watch: there are 163 beefcake photos of Abubakr online, every single one of them a .webp file, and I have other things to do today. But at least I found some LGBTQ representation in the most unlikely place.