Sep 3, 2022

"Foul Play": So many gay black sports stars with tats and beards that you can't tell them apart


Foul Play,
on Amazon Prime, has one of the most grammatically tenuous blurbs I've ever read.  Matt has two clients, both dead. "We travel to the afterlife as the deceased have a conversastion with the man himself."  What man?  Do you mean God? 

"Life for them was about championships, money, and sex, but that is all no more."  You mean "over"?  

"It's time for them to confess their sins as we are treated to a recap of their final days and for one important question to be answered -- how did they die?"  Read it three or four times, and you might figure out what it means.

But the icon for the second and third episodes depicts two heavily tattooed black guys in bed.  One seems to be cozying up to the other, who is not interested.  I'll give it a try.

Scene 1:  Several bearded, tattooed black guys and one girl respond to the news that they are dead. "This is the afterlife?" "Whatever."  "Where's the door, fuck this shit!"  They are being interviewed by Jesus Christ, the Son of God himself (off camera).  

The interviews continue, as they worry about their sins in life pushing them to the Bad Place: "I wore a condom most of the time." "Mr. Good Dick, they called me.  The chili love me."   "Could we just skip the interview?  I know where I'm going."'

They all want to know: "How did I die?"

This is very low budget, talking heads in front of a window in someone's house. 


Opening Credits
: The cast names appear on a blank screen: Tripp Ali (Bowie).







Tony Deberry (Matt)









 Gary Lavard (Calvin)






Nelson J, Davis (Outsider).

Plus one guy with no beefcake photos and two girls. 

Scene 2:  A messy bedroom.  Guy's butt as he gets dressed -- either Calvin or Outsider.  Naked hunk photos on the wall -- he must be gay!  He kneels to pray: "Thanks for everything, but I'm still waiting on that Tesla."  

Cut to Matt and Bowie cuddling in another bedroom.  Bowie starts kissing Matt's neck and back.  A gay couple!  

Calvin/Outsider rushes down the stairs and bangs on their door.  Matt answers.  

Scene 3:  Wait -- now Calvin/Outsider is running through the woods, approaching a house where Matt is on the phone.  Didn't he just knock on their door, or was that someone else?  

Matt -- or is it someone else -- is asking another guy, "Don't you remember Vegas?"

Another guy on the deck of the house: "Vegas, where I wore my white gloves?"  

Matt or someone else: "I'm more worried about you being murdered in the ring than wearing white gloves."  

I'm totally lost.  I absolutely cannot tell these people apart.  Does everybody have to have muscles, tats, and beards? They appear to be dead sports figures, but who is connected to whom?  You see a lot of chests and butts, and everyone appears to be gay, but I would prefer a little character differentiation, to figure out what's going on.

My Grade: D

"The Girl in the Mirror": Amnesia, Demons, Mafiosi, and a Gay Couple in a Paranormal/Teen Angst Drama

 


The icon of the Spanish teen drama series The Girl in the Mirror shows two guys hugging.  Neither the blurb nor the episode descriptions give any hints of gay characters: a girl loses her memory in bus crash that kills most of her classmates.   A boy also survives.  Trying to unravel some mysteries involving both drug-deals and paranormal prophecies, they spend all of their time to together, and no doubt fall in love.  

So where's the guy-hugging?  I watched Episode 2, where "Tom says goodbye to a friend."  Maybe his boyfriend died in the accident?

Scene 1: We jump right into the paranormal: a voiceover tells us that this land is the hiding place of the demon Therion.  A prehistoric boy summons him by making carvings of his five animal spirits, and then eating a poisonous mushroom, so he's close to death.  Therion then decides to save him by taking over his body.   Why would you want a demon to possess you?


Scene 2:
An old guy tells a boy named Alex (Alejandro Serrano) that he has only one of the animal carvings.  He hid the others far apart, so no one could bring Therion back into the world.  A Bearded Guy, Alex's brother, comes in and notes that Grandpa is having one of his semi-lucid days.

Meanwhile, bus crash survivor Alma is getting ready to leave the hospital and go home with parents that she doesn't recognize.  She says "Adios" to an empty chair.  Getting visions of Therion?

Scene 3: On the way home, Alma gets a memory of someone named Deva telling her "I have to talk to you about what happened yesterday."  Of course, she doesn't remember what it was about.  Is this  teen angst or demonic possession?  You can't have both.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, the doctor hacks into a secret security system and looks at the cell phone records of someone named Martin.  Sinister music plays.

Scene 4: Bearded Guy is in the mountains, searching for something -- the other animal carvings?  He looks at some texts from Martin: "I wish I could stay with you...."  Ok, Martin must be the dead boyfriend.

Scene 5: Alma is surprised to find that she lives in a dark, sinister mansion in a cliffside village.  How Gothic!  

Uh-oh, she's on crutches, and her room is upstairs.  Getting up there is too much of a struggle, so Dad carries her to one of the downstairs guest rooms.  Later he tells Mom that he didn't want Alma to see her old room: because then she would find out about Lara, and she must never know. Are Mom and Dad in cahoots with Therion?


Scene 6: 
 Cute curly-haired Tomas (Alex Villazan, top photo and left) wakes up in a room full of swimming trophies. He lost a leg in the bus crash, so no more swimming, but at least the flashback shows a muscular physique and nice bulge.  He falls on the way to his wheelchair, and Dad rushes to his aid.  "I don't need help, snarl snarl!  I'm not a useless puta (asshole)."

Two detectives visit.  The autopsies revealed that most of the students in the crash had been taking drugs, and Carlos, the bus driver, had a bag of pills on him.  So maybe he was DUI, driving under the influence.

Tomas remembers what caused the accident: something jumped into the road with flashing lights and a strange buzzing sound.  The detectives imply that it was a hallucination from the drugs. Are we adding aliens to the mix?


Scene 7:
Bearded Guy, Bruno (Pol Monen), goes back to the hotel he runs.  The doctor from Scene 3 is there.  She's Martin's sister, suspecting that he's still alive, and hiding out with Bruno.  "No.  He was a nice guy, very sensitive.  I've been looking for him since the accident."  So Martin was on the bus, but his body was never found. 

Doctor Sister: "Ok, but an employee of my father is looking for Martin, too.  It's very important that he DOESN'T find him."  So Martin's dad wants him killed?  

Scene 8:  Scraggly-haired girl, shaved from recent brain surgery, tells Tomas: #1, I believe your story about the thing that jumped into the road; #2, Alma's lack of memory is not amnesia; #3, all of the survivors are in danger. 

Scene 9:  In the scary Gothic mansion, the dog begs Alma to play fetch with a ball of yarn.  It rolls out into the corridor.  Alma follows, and dog is begging someone else to play fetch.  But there's no one around!

Scene 10:  Grandpa and Alex from Scene 2 have invaded the cheese cave.  Bruno chastises them for eating cheese. He hears a strange noise from deper in the cave, "probably an animal that fell down a crevice.  We have to rescue it."   

Alex is small, so he goes in, attached to Bruno by a rope.  Instead of an animal, he finds a huge altar, human skulls, and a flickering shape -- that chases him.  Plus Martin's bracelet!  Obviously he stumbled into the cave after the accident.  

Back home, Bruno calls Doctor Sister (Diana) with the new intel.  She freaks out.  "Delete this call, and don't tell anyone else about this!"  "But we have to call the rescue squad.  He could still be in the cave." 

Bruno: "I know Martin isn't dead.  When our parents died, I knew.  I could sense it, like a vast emptiness.  I don't feel that with Martin."

Alex: "But they were our parents. You loved them, so there was a powerful psychic link.  But you didn't love Martin, right?...um....ok, that explains the guy from Australia last year...."  Big Brother just came out to you, kid.

Scene 11:  At the hospital, a girl tells Tomas that her brother, survivor Roque, is being taken off life support.  "I thought you'd want to say goodbye."  She wheels him into the hospital room.  "We know this is not easy for you," Roque's Mom tells him.  Wait -- it's harder for Tomas than for the guy's Mom.  Was he a boyfriend?  

They leave him alone to say goodbye.  He grabs Roque's hand and talks about how much he loves him, and he has to fight.  "You can't leave!"  

I expected Roque to get up, but apparently Tomas didn't get psychic powers in the accident.  Instead he goes home, looks at photos of Roque, and cries, while the family gathers for the plug-pulling.  

Scene 12:  Middle of the night.  Alma gets up and goes into the kitchen for a snack.  A thread from the ball of yarn is taunt, leading up the stairs. to what is apparently her old room, with lots of photos of her and another girl. She asks "Who are you?  Why did you bring me here?"

Meanwhile, Tomas is awakened by an "eerie whooshing sound," and gets a text from a dead girl.  Darn, I thought he was gay.  And Roque wakes up!

Beefcake: The Tomas flashback.  Also he hangs out in a muscle shirt a lot.

Heterosexism: No boy-girl romance was evident in this episode.

Gay Characters:  Obviously Bruno and Martin.  I think Tomas has a dead girlfriend.

My Grade: Trying to combine the bus crash investigation, the demon, various paranormal activities, and high school secrets that may or may not be related?  It's exhausting.  When you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing.  But at least there's a gay couple.  C+.

Sep 2, 2022

"You're Nothing Special": A Teenager with No Magic Power and her Gay BFF Look for Love in Catalonia

 


Every other drama on Netflix is about a teenager with magical powers, but the six-episode Spanish teencom You're Nothing Special features a teenager who doesn't have magical powers!  Everyone just thinks she does because her advice and confidence-building work.

I'm in!  I reviewed Episode 6, "We All Do Stupid Things," in which "Javi meets up with a mystery man."  It sounds like a gay romance, unless, of course, Javi happens to be a girl with a boy's name.

Scene 1:  Amaia, a middle-aged teenager, leaves an extremely ornate 16th century building and rides her bike through her village.  Then she sits down to breakfast -- pancakes -- while Mom disgustingly slurp-kisses her cheek for about ten minutes.  

She rides through town again, then sits down for a second breakfast with Mom Laura and preteen sister.  She suggests: "We haven't done anything for a long time except slurp-kiss each other.  Why don't we go to that overlook point."  This upsets Mom, for some reason.


Scene 2:
  More riding through town (at least we see a lot of it).  Amaia finally arrives at the school (ultra modern), where her three friends are waiting: a girl (Lucia), a sassy femme guy (Javi, right), and an Asian guy (Zhao, left). 

They order her to talk to her crush, Asier (Gabriel Guevara, top photo), because they kissed at a party, and he's posted fifty photos to social media without his girlfriend, which means he's available.  So, three romcom bffs obsessed with her love life?

In other news, femme Javi announces that he's about to get "super-laid": a guy approached him on a hookup app.  He didn't post a photo, but he sounds hot.  They scoff: "No photo?  Dude, he's a troll!"  

Suddenly the Crush Asier approaches and shy-talks to Amaia.  "I want to ask you something...um...er...can I borrow your philosophy notes?"  Darn, she thought he was going to ask her out on a date! 

 "Sure, but they're at home.  Let's meet up later and I'll get them for you."  Smart move!

Scene 3:  Outside the ornate 16th-century building (where they live!), Amaia's preteen sister announces that she was invited to a party, so the magic bracelet worked.  "So I'm going to sell it to Maria for 20 euros."  "No way!  The magic will work only for you, unless you get 25 euros for it."  Har-har, capitalism wins over mysticism

It's time for the philosophy note meetup, at the town's quaint open-air market.  Asier says "Thanks.  You're like my Grandma."  Not what a girl wants to hear, but she pushes forward: "Remember when we kissed at the party?" "Not really.  I kiss a lot of people when I'm drunk.  I apologize if it offended you."  Definitely not what a girl wants to hear.

Scene 4:  Morning.  Amaia overslept!  She rushes to school and into a lab full of microscopes.  Javi announces that his hookup app has yielded  "12 profile views, 7 messages, and 2 dick pics.  Wanna see?"  Plus a text from the annoying shy guy with no profile pic.

While the teacher drones on, oblivious, they discuss Amaia and Amier's kiss. "I was the aggressor," she exclaims.  "And I closed my eyes, like an idiot!"  I've hooked up with guys in Barcelona.  They close their eyes while they kiss.  "Yes, but he let you kiss him.  That means he's interested."  Suddenly they see Crush Amier making out with his girlfriend -- extensively -- in class -- with the teacher still oblivious!  

Amaia storms out.  Javi looks at a new butt pic on his hookup app.  This, the teacher notices!  Boy-girl smooching is fine, but looking at a boy's butt -- detention!

Scene 5:  Back home, Mom presents Amaia with a tray of disgusting looking black globs.  She tries one, and gags and spits it out.  Braver than I would be.  The globs are peace offerings, to satiate her daughters while Mom announces that she has a boyfriend.  "He's interesting and funny."  In West Hollywood, the next question would be "How big is he?"  

"By the way, we're going out tomorrow night. You can have friends over, but no parties."


Scene 6:
Amaia announces the big party at her house with no adult supervision.  Javi can't make it: he's made a hookup date with the guy who sent the butt pic.  Javi's a femme top.  They do exist.  

"But you just barely met him. He didn't even show you his face." "I didn't show my face, either, just my chest and dick."  

None of the other cast have beefcake photos available, so here's a random Spanish hunk.

Scene 7: Amaia and her female bff Lucia are off by themselves, for some reason, when they see Crush Amier's girlfriend Irene leaving the town medical center, crying.  Pregnant!   Lucia rushes over to comfort her: "The first sessions are the hardest.  I've been going for a year."  

"Well, I'm quitting!  I hated it!  Besides, no shrink can fix me -- I'm too broken."  The Girlfriend is in therapy for an unspecified but serious issue.  The subplots thicken.

Scene 8:  Amaia in bed, ruminating over the kiss.  To get her mind off it, she recites the Harry Potter books, in order.  That doesn't work, so she resolves to snare Asier, girlfriend or not.

Scene 9:  Morning.  How can Amaia get her Crush Amier to the party without his girlfriend, so she can put the moves on him?  She starts out by inviting Jokin and his smooching partner. "But can we bring our friend Asier?  We were supposed to hang tonight."  Score!    

The party starts at 10:00 pm, shortly after Mom leaves for her dinner date (they eat at ungodly late hours in Spain).

Uh-oh, bff Lucia offered Irene the use of Amaia's magical powers.  This enrages her. "Are you insane?  I can't just trot out my magic for everybody!"  "But the pre-magic interview could reveal some intel that you could use to snare Asier." "Ok, I'll do it."

Scene 10:  Amaia is setting up for the party, when Javi calls.  He's waiting for his date at a bus stop in front of a scary deserted factory.  The guy is late.  And later.  And later.  Maybe he bailed.  

Zhao arrives at the party -- the first one there!  "Oh, other people are coming.  They're just late.  No one wants to be first."  

Meanwhile, Javi is fuming at the bus stop, when a scary car pulls up.  Do not get into a car with a stranger!  But he does.  Ulp -- Javi thought age 30 was geriatric.  This guy remembers Woodstock!  He's also the father of one of Javi's friends.

But Javi can't just bolt, so the hookup commences. He stares in deer-caught-in-headlights horror as Geriatric makes small talk.  

Scene 11: Still only Amaia and Zhao at the party.  They watch a movie and get drunk, and discuss Zhao's crush on the other bff, Lucia.  Amaia offers him a love spell.  "Yeah, like that worked well for you and Amier."  

Meanwhile, Javi is staring in horror through the interminable drive to the hookup site. Geriatric notices and asks his age.  "16."  "Ulp!  Um...er...um..maybe I should just take you home." Geriatric isn't perving on teens: Javi didn't list his age on the hookup profile, either. 

Back to Zhao and Amaia: "Well, it was fun watching a movie with you, but I have to go or my parents wil kill me."  "You said you didn't have a curfew..."  "Well...um, er...bye!"  

Amaia cleans up the party stuff just in time: Mom and her boyfriend come in and start smooching and giggling.  She tries to sleep amid the loud sex noises.

Scene 12: Morning.  Stocking-clad feet try to sneak out.  It's Mom's ugly boyfriend.  Too late -- the girls see him!  He pretends that he just entered the house.  When Amaia sees who it is, she storms out.  "How could Mom be dating him?"  

She walks to school with Javi, who complains "Being gay in this town is the worst!  All the gay men are closeted or way old!"  Try a small town on the Plains with nothing but collegiate twinks. 

Scene 13: Gym class.  "So, are you going to tell Chivite that his dad is gay?"  "No.  My Mom is friends with his wife."  "Does she know that he's fucking teenagers?"  "Maybe she's ok with it."  

Scene 14: Class.  Oh, Mom's new boyfriend is Amaia's hated philosophy teacher.  He keeps her and Amier's girlfriend Irene after class to complain about their assignments: "An absolute disaster!  Can you explain why you did such a terrible job?  Maybe you should be in the remedial class."  There's a remedial philosophy class?  

They leave, complaining about what an asshole he is.  Irene hints that the townsfolk have many secrets.  "If you only knew..."   To hear the dets, Amaia offers to walk Irene home. 

On the way,  Irene asks her to use her magic to "change something about me.  Something that I am, or something that I feel."  Is she a lesbian? "I want to like Asier, but I think I'm a lesbian."  Called it!  The end.

Beefcake: None.

Other Sights: A lot of the town.

Heterosexism:  Amaia's pursuit of Amier fuels the primary plot.

Gay Characters: Javi and Irene.  As someone whose partner is 20 years younger, I was offended by the "old people are gross!" rhetoric.  And Irene seems way too homophobic for a contemporary Spanish teenager: lesbians are "broken" and require psychotherapy to be "cured"?  

Fast Forwarding:  Javi gets a boyfriend at the big St. John's Eve party in the last episode.  Actually, everyone pairs off at that party; it's nonstop falling-in-love montages.

Sep 1, 2022

Gays Next Door in 1972: The Doris Day Show

In 1972, when I was 11 years old, my friends and I liked a sitcom called The Doris Day Show, mainly because it was squeezed between the beefcake-heavy Here's Lucy and Sonny and Cher.  

It was a Mary Tyler Moore clone, a workplace comedy centered on Doris Martin (Doris Day), a hip, sophisticated journalist for Today's World magazine, living in San Francisco and dating a number of cute guys (including Patrick O'Neal and bisexual rat packer Peter Lawford, left).

And, in a television first, there was a gay couple living next door!

Lance and Lester (Alan Dewitt, Lester Fletcher) were often referred to, but appeared just once, in a meeting of tenants in the November 27, 1972 episode, "The Co-Op."  I didn't catch the flamboyant stereotypes, and no one used the word "gay" -- I wouldn't hear the word on tv until 1976 -- but I saw that two men had found a way to live together, escaping the heterosexist mandate .  Could San Francisco be a "good place"?


Doris Day got her start in the light musical comedies of the 1940s, but she made her mark as a liberated woman in a series of Camelot-era sex comedies with suggestive titles: Pillow Talk (1959), It Happened to Jane (1959), Lover Come Back (1961), That Touch of Mink (1962), The Thrill of it All (1963), Move Over Darling (1963).  Her usual costar, gay actor Rock Hudson, helped her tiptoe around the boundary between not knowing that gay people exist and knowing but not saying.




But her sitcom began as a hayseed comedy!

In its first season (1968-69), The Doris Day Show was basically Green Acres: City girl Doris, a new widow, moves to her father's ranch with her two sons, Toby (Todd Starke) and Billy (Philip Brown, below, who would go on to a successful career as a soap hunk), plus a ranch hand (James Hampton, right) and a housekeeper.  It aired on Tuesday nights, just after another relic of the 1950s, The Red Skelton Show.

Doris hated hayseed -- she didn't even know that her husband Martin Melcher had signed her up for it.

So in the second season (1969-70), she pushed for some changes: although still living on the ranch, Doris commuted into San Francisco, where she worked as a secretary for Today's World magazine.

Today's World: Modern, hip, with it.

She got two quintessentially urban coworkers, played by  McLean Stevenson and Rose Marie.

In the third season (1970-71): Doris and her sons lived in an apartment over an Italian restaurant in San Francisco (Ranch?  What ranch?), where she got a gay-vague next door neighbor (Billy DeWolf).

In the fourth season (1971-72), the transition was complete: Doris was a sophisticated career woman, Ms. instead of Mrs., who had always been single (Kids?  What kids?).

And she managed to finagle some gay neighbors out of the network, something Mary Tyler Moore was never able to do.

Aug 30, 2022

"Partner Track": A Woman Goes to Work. Some of the Guys Are Hot. The End.

 


Partner Track is the #2 tv series on Netflix this week.  It's about a high-powered Manhattan lawyer (are there lawyers in any other city?).  But I couldn't find anyting else to review for gay characters or subtexts, so here goes. Maybe there will be some grey-suit hunks in steam rooms.

Scene 1: We're in NYC!  You can tell because of the shots of Central Park and the Empire State Building.  Pink high heel shoes tell us that if you want to get ahead, you have to keep moving.  They eventually are revealed to be Ingrid, a lawyer  in a pink business outfit, standing out amid the throngs of grey-suit men.  A Korean-American Ingrid?  I take it her parents were not interested in embracing their cultural heritage? Or is Ingrid the name she adopted to get ahead, figuring something Nordic would play better? She gives some coin to a homeless guy, gets jostled by a grey-suit man, and tells us that this city is tough on a girl who wants to get ahead.

Inside the glass-and-steel building, she meets her friend, a woman in a blue business outfit.  They discuss Ingrid's obsessive drive to be made junior partner at her law firm.  It's down to her, Dan, and Todd, but they have penises, so she has to do something spectacular to tip the balance, like land a major account.  

When they arrive upstairs, Dan and Todd, and a third guy, Hunter, can't wait to start their hetero-horny hostile-workplace sexism: "she's got a wide margin on the face-body quotient.  She looks like you from the back, and Dan from the front.  Ugh!"  So the epitome of ugliness is...a man.  Got it! 


The three grey suits don't have any distinguishing characteristics: they are all fratboy-style hunks, they mention sports every 10 seconds, and they view women as beings designed to screw.  But in case you are interested, they are played by Zane Philips (top photo), Nolan Gerald Funk (left), and Will Stout (not enough room).

Everyone drools over Ultra-Richster Marty Adler, who will decide on the next junior partner.  They have to really butter him up!  

Ingrid rushes to her office, ignores a phone call from her mother, and tells her assistant to gather all the intel needed to wow Richster Marty Adler.  



She also meets her new paralegal Justin (Roby Attal, left), a white dudebro who has his feet on his desk and is busily texting and ignoring his duties.

Ingrid's friend sees him and asks "What the hell?"  The answer: HR thought that assigning her only paralegals of color might be construed as racist, so they got her a white one. I guess they couldn't find a white one who was any good.

Friend shoves his feet off the desk and yells: "Ingrid graduated #2 in her class at Harvard Law.  You will show her some respect!"  

Scene 2: Friend decides that this would be a perfect time to discuss Ingrid's love life: "What happened to the Brit you hooked up with long time ago?  You said he was like Bogart from Casablanca?"  Ingrid relives the experience, with flashbacks (no beefcake).   "It was love at first sight, but he was leaving for London the next day, so we agreed to just a hookup." 

"Well, he was just hired by this firm.  A chance for you to get laid, and take your mind off your obsession with becoming partner!"  Why do you care so much?  Are you a standard romcom friend who exists only to goad the big city girl into accepting the small-town hunk? Or, in this case, hunky Brit?

Scene 3:  Ingrid runs into Tyler (Bradley Gibson, no non-jfif photos), who is wearing a blue suit instead of a grey suit, so obviously a nice guy.  This series is as color-coordinated as an old Western.  He is bragging to someone on his cellphone that he has landed a bunch of accounts, plus he started reading Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Women's Wear Daily when he was 11.  The guy on the phone is impressed, and gives him the account. 

  I assume that he is a standard romcom gay bff, but then he asks Ingrid to "come say hi to the kids at the reception tonight."  So straight.


Scene 4: 
Not looking where she is going, Ingrid has a splat! meet-cute encounter with...you guessed it, the Brit, Jeff Murphy (Dominic Sherwood).  He stares in cliched teencom Girl-of-my-dreams lust, but unfortunately he doesn't remember Ingrid from their long-ago hookup.  He was way drunk that night.  Ingrid is way pissed.

Whoops, Brit Jeff was hired at level five, whatever that means, so he's in the running for junior partner.  Romance between competitors, a cliched...um, I mean classic romcom trope.

All of the contenders -- Dan, Todd, Brit Jeff, and Ingrid -- watch in amusement as the Richster who will decide their fate demolishes fawning acolyte Sanders: "Don't ask if you can ask a fucking question, just ask the fucking question! And don't laugh.  Laughter is a coward's expression of fear."  I'll bet Ingrid falls in love with him.  Personally, I'd like to date Sanders.

They bet on which cliched business phrase Richster will use first.

Scene 5: A meeting.  Who wants to work on getting a corporate merger contract worth $2.9 billion? Wait -- is that the law firm's fee?   Ingrid announces her qualifications, repeatedly, and is ignored.  He assigns grey suit Dan instead.  "And this deal is confidential.  Any leak, and I will fucking tear up your fucking license my fucking self."  

Out in the hallway, Dan assigns Ingrid some grunt work.  She fumes.  Is she going to start murdering these grey suits?

Scene 6: Another meeting. The big boss walks right by Ingrid to shake hands with dudebro paralegal Justin, because he has a penis.  Maybe he wants to see it?  Then he orders Ingrid to bring them some wine. She relegates the task to Justin. "Oh...you're the associate?  Sorry...you look so...young."  He means "lacking a penis."  Everybody else arrives, and Ingrid is ignored again as they delve into sports and car metaphors.

Scene 7:  Evening. Ingrid at a piano bar, with her two bffs trying to push her toward Brit Jeff.  Whoops, he's rude, starting off by criticizing her name.  "Ingrid Bergman was a famous actress who starred in Casablanca, the only movie I've ever made time to watch, so deal with it!"   She criticizes him for going into law for the money, instead of for the love of rules and regulations.


Another guy, Nick (Rob Heaps),  hits on Ingrid by talking about his thesis on the mind-body problem in philosophy.  His advisor was the famous Dr. Thomas Nagel.  She is impressed. "We're all here by an accident of string theory, a hiccup of a probability function.  The heat death of the universe, the end of all matter and energy."  Not the best pick-up line, but it works: they make a date for Friday.  

Scene 8:  Back home in her nearly bare apartment, Ingrid fields a phone message from Mom about her sister: "Where is she?  She won't answer my texts!"  So, Sis is dead?  

In the morning, Ingrid is ordering her hot paralegal Justin around, when Mom calls.  At work -- urgent! "Your sister isn't just ghosting me.  None of her friends have heard from her for three days!" So Ingrid goes to Sis's apartment building.  Nobody home.

Oh, well, back to work.  "While you were gone, Richster dropped by, but we couldn't find you, so someone who has a penis and plays basketball in the hallway  got the job."  She rushes over to Richster's office, but all he says is "Stay here all night in case I need you." You mean, in case you need coffee?  

Uh-oh, Nick the Mind-Body guy calls, cancels for Friday, and asks her out for tonight!

"Nope, can't do it."

"But you're exactly my type!"  Not a good pickup line, either.

Scene 9: Ingrid working by herself in the dark office.  Oh boy, maybe something exciting will happen.  An intruder?  Someone with intel about her sister's disappearance?  Nope, she goes home to bed.

Scene 10: Another darn meeting.  They're discussing budgetary concerns.  Andy Warhol once released a film that consisted of a man sleeping for eight hours.  Nothing else.  But that's not so weird.  I'm sitting here watching people working.

22 minutes of this snoozefest left. I'm fast-forwarding until someone is murdered, or uncovers a dark secret, or discovers that magic is real.  

Nada.  Let's look at the episode list: They have lunch.  They head upstate.  A talent show.  A retreat.  A diversity gala.  Thanksgiving.  Holiday Party.  The news about who made junior partner.  Ugh!  I go to enough meetings at work.  Why should I watch a tv show about people going to meetings at work?

Beefcake:  All of the guys are hot, but they are in grey suits all the time.

Other Sights: Inside the office all the time.

Gay Characters:  According to a review, BFF Tyler is actually gay.  Gay men on tv rarely invite people to their kids' recitals, but maybe he's fully assimilated, with a husband, dog, kids, and a house on Long Island.

Heterosexism:  In the absence of anything exciting or mildly interesting, I assume that the plot will be about Ingrid learning to stop obsessing about work and "enjoy life," which means get a boyfriend.  

Racism and Sexism:  Ubiquitous.  Ingrid just takes every microagression, as if it's 1985.  Doesn't this law firm have a HR to complain to?

My Grade:  Sorry, I'm too sleepy to grade

Aug 29, 2022

"High Heat": Do They Mean the Fire, or the Naked Men?

 


I thought that the icon of the Mexican telenovela  High Heat, originally Donde hubo fuego, "Where there was fire," depicted two men kissing.  But one of them could be a woman with a boy's haircut. BUT Episode 8 says "Sparks fly between Gerardo and Fabio"  So I'll watch it.

Scene 1: Ricardo is leaving his wife, pregnant with twins, to go to work.  She asks him not to go.  He says he'll come back in an instant if there's a problem.  Uh-oh, one or both of those unborn twins is a goner.  I'm guessing hostage crisis.  They smooch and discuss how much they love each other. Then he walks off, turns, and she blows him a kiss.  Ugh, sappy!  Maybe he's the goner.

At the fire house, Ricardo is busily show us his chest...um, I mean, putting on his uniform..when his wife calls: her water broke (she's going to give birth now).  As he is heading home, Wife sees a stranger outside!  She drops her orange juice.

Ricardo arrives.  She'll be vanished, or dead.  Nope, just scared.

Scene 2: A fire at the newspaper office.  A frightened woman tells Poncho: "The fire was started in order to silence me, because I know all about your brother's investigation of the Reynosa Butchers."   The woman with a boy's haircut recognizes her.  She explains that she was Daniel's girlfriend.  

"So, do you know who murdered him?" Poncho asks.  "Seriously, I have to get out of here.  But go check to see if Daniel's files on the Reynosa Butchers are still on my desk."

Nope, all burnt up.  Plus Poncho feels bad over not being able to save someone, so his boss consoles him: "People die all the time.  Now go home and rest for a day or so."  

Scene 3: In an apartment downtown, a young woman looks up "breast cancer" online, and then calls her mother.  Every soap has to have a terminal disease; I think it's a Writers' Guild rule.  Mom wants to know why she didn't come to visit in the hospital.  "Oh...um...I was...um...busy."  

Roommate or sister comes in and starts criticizing her for using the kitchen and using her cellphone.  She counters with "you use your telescope too much!"

Scene 4: On the poor side of town, middle aged Angel comes in and is informed by the live-in nurse that "Mr. Guillermo is worse."  Two terminal diseases?  Goody.

Guillermo, no doubt his father, is inarticulate and resistant.  Angel goes off on him: "I work all day, pay for the nurse, come home.  And if I die in a fire, who will take care of you?"

Scene 5: Naked butts of muscle guys in the firehouse locker room.  Naked studmuffin gets a text from Rosario (a girl's name): "Come see me."  

Scene 6: Poncho and Boy-Haircut lead Daniel's Girlfriend into their house. "You can stay here for awhile." 

"Daniel lived here," Poncho points out.  "Why did he never bring you over?"

"He wanted to discuss our relationship with you first."  Why, is she trans?

"Ok, so what did he tell you about his investigation of the Butcher?"

"It has something to do with your Aunt Isabel and an orphanage."  I'm lost.  I'm going to fast forward to the sparks flying.


Minute 24:
  Fabio (Nahuel Escobar, left) and Gerardo (Daniel Gama, below) are moving furniture in preparation for the opening of their new nightclub or restaurant.  Fabio gets goofy, trying to squirt Gerardo with his beer.  This leads to a "spark" moment.  The two stare, in tight closeups, for an interminable amount of time, then gradually move in for a kiss.  But before they get there, Gerardo gets a phone call from his wife!  "I'll be right there, honey!"  He leaves.







Minute 30:
Gerardo follows Fabio on social media and clicks "like" on his sexy photos.  Fabio is ecstatic: "Gerardo liked my photos!"  His female bff advises him to stop obsessing over Gerardo, but he won't listen.  The end.

Beefcake: Lots.  The fireman hunks can't see to keep their shirts on.  Or their pants.  

Heterosexism: Not a lot in the partial episode I watched.  Turns out that the first scene is a flashback about Ricardo's Dead Wife.

Gay Characters:  I imagine that Fabio and Gerardo are going to have a "come out or not?" relationship.  






Boy-Haircut:
Firefighter Olivia.  She's dating Poncho, a male stripper going undercover at the fire station to gather intel on the killer.  Sounds looney, but it's no worse than some of the plotlines on "Days of Our Lives."  

I was going to post a photo of Boy-Haircut Olivia, but I thought you'd rather see Poncho in his underwear. 

My Grade: B.

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