Jun 10, 2023

"Bloodhounds": Strong Gay Subtext among Korean Boxers

 Gay subtexts occur when two guys not specifically identified as gay through statements or displays of affection have a relationship that is exclusive (no significant interest in women), domestic (living together), emotionally intense, and permanent (they stay together at the end of the adventure).  Platonic pals could have a similar relationship, of course: that's why it's called a subtext rather than a text.  A casual glance at the Korean action-adventure series Bloodhounds revealed a lot of gay subtext potential, so here goes:

Scene 1
: Innocent-looking Geon-Wu (Woo Doh-Hwan, left) and rowdy-looking Woo-Jin (Lee Sang-Yi, below) practicing boxing in separate empty gyms. Later, on a bus, Geon-Wu intervenes when a passenger refuses to wear a mask and starts assaulting the driver. 

He goes home to find his mother begging creditors for more time to pay, and leaves to avoid embarrassing her.

Scene 2
: Some suit guys discussing how COVID is threatening their hotel business. Loan shark Kim Myeung-Gil (Park Sung-Wong) passes out his business card to everyone. 

Scene 3:
The Rookie of the Year Tournament, in a giant stadium (empty due to COVID).  Rowdy-looking Woo Jin (left), who specializes in weird noises, Maori haka-dancing, and punching himself in the groin, beats two opponents.   

Geon-woo beats his opponent, then rushes to see if he is ok (a really nice guy, apparently).  

Next the guys fight each other.  Rowdy Woo Jin loses, and is devastated.  How could this by-the-books upstart beat him?  He is dishonored forever.

Scene 4:  Geon-woo waits for Rowdy Woo Jin outside the locker room, and invites him to dinner.  "Why, to rub it in?  You won, now get lost!"  But he consents.

Dinner consists of ten minutes of flirting, being way over-impressed by each other's back stories, and figuring out ways to touch each other.   The sexual tension is intense, but the conversation is boring.  

The only statement of interest is when Woo Jin reminisces about being in the marines.  He loved "taking showers together...soaping each other up..."  Geon Woo, surprised, says "So you're...."  Woo Jin: "Of course not!  I was just messing with you."

Scene 5: 
 They walk to the bus stop very slowly, each trying to figure out how to get the other into the bedroom; instead, Woo Jin just asks for a second date.  They discuss the loan sharks who are exploiting everyone, now that COVID is making everyone lose their businesses.  Like Geon-woo's mother, who can't make the rent on her coffee shop.  

Scene 6: Mom on the phone to her creditors. Geon-woo comes in, all excited over the money he won today, and the cute guy he met, not in that order.  But Mom won't take the money to cover the rent: it would be dishonorable.  

Cut to the loan shark crew going from business to business, grinning hungrily as the owners sign the papers.

Scene 7:  Geon-woo's gym is closed due to a COVID exposure!  But his coach tells him to take a week off anyway, and rest after his big tournament.  So he calls Woo Jin.  So early in the morning? If you're too over-eager, you'll scare him off.  "I'm sleeping!"  Woo Jin tells him. "But I'm bored.  Let's hang out."  "So clingy! Ok, you can come over and sleep with me."  

On the way to Woo-Jin's house, Geon-woo stumbles upon a guy getting beat up.  He chases the assailant, who fights back with a taser.  "Who sent you?" the guy wants to know.  "No one -- I just wanted to help."  The guy lets him go.

Cut to a lady trying to pay back an old guy in a library for the loan that allowed her to get her daughter some life-saving surgery.  He refuses: pay off your urgent debts first.  Is this a comparison of "nice" loan guys with evil loan sharks?  When she leaves, he takes out his ledge and cancels the loan.

Scene 8: The assailant, who turns out to be a girl, returns to headquarters and reports that the client didn't have any money, so she took his gold watch instead.  Gasp -- she worksfor the nice library guy, her Grandpa!  "But the watch is worth 20 million won, and I only loaned him 10 million!" Grandpa exclaims, demonstrating his honesty.  

They discuss the evil loan shark gang.  Granddaughter wants to do some recon, but Grandpa thinks it's too dangerous.

Scene 9: 
The guys having breakfast, discussing boxing, and finding new ways to touch each other. They end up wrestling or hugging or something, and chase each other off-camera, where presumably they are kissing. 

Cut to the wealthy Mr. Park celebrating his birthday with dinner and a show: can Kang in-beom (Tae won-suk) smash a watermelon with his bare hands?  He can.  His gift is some golden turtles worth billions of won, and so clean that no one will know they are stolen.  

Scene 10: Kang in-beom also works for the loan sharks: he is tasked with taking fifteen goons and smashing the storefronts of business owners who aren't paying up, including Mom!  

 She calls Geon-woo for help.  He jumps out of Woo-Jin's bed, runs home, and fights the goons.  After he finishes clobbering them, head loan shark Myeung Gil shows up to explain the loan agreement and send in Kang in-beom, who bashes him repeatedly with his head, strangles him, and squeezes him into unconsciousness.  Myeung Gil then slashes his cheek while "laughing sinisterly" according to the subtitles.  The End.

Beefcake: The guys box shirtless.

Gay Subtext:  I went through a couple of episodes on fast-forward. By Episode 3, they're all living with the friendly librarian.  They always appear as a pair.  Neither ever expresses any interest in a girl.  And at the end of the adventure, they (and Mom) go home together.  

That's every characteristic of a gay subtext.  It's almost text, except there are no overtly romantic displays of affection, like holding hands, kissing, or having sex, and the lack of expressed interest in women is not unusual in Korean dramas.  

Jun 9, 2023

The Top 10 Hunks of Shazam

Captain Marvel (1941-53) was DC Comics' attempt to circumvent the obvious homoeroticism in the 1940s superhero-teen sidekick relationship by making the two the same person.  14-year old Billy Batson transforms into adult superhero Captain Marvel when he says the magical word Shazam.

Which, by the way, is an acronym for the magical beings who bestowed the power upon him: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury.

It's all very silly, and it provides a new problem: how to give Captain Marvel a girlfriend, when he's really a teenage boy with muscles?  He can't very well be dating Lois Lane.

The 2019 movie has Billy (Asher Angel) turning into an unnamed superhero (played by Zachary Levi).  But it also gives Billy a sidekick of his own, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer).

And, in the absence of a girlfriend, they have a gay-subtext romance.

Plus one of his foster-home buddies, Pedro (Jovan Armand) appears to identify as gay when they hide out in a strip club and he says "not my thing."

The result is a pleasantly non-heterosexist superhero movie, which also has a surprising number of hunkoids in the cast.

1. Adam Brody, Freddy's adult superhero alter-ego (left).

2. Zachary Levi.

3. All of the other residents of Billy's foster home morph into superheroes.  Eugene (Ian Chen) into Ross Butler

4. Pedro (Jovand Armand) into D. J. Cotrona

5. Instead of a whole fraternity of immortals from the Bible and Greek and Roman mythology, Shazam is a single person, played by Djimon Hounsou.

6. Cooper Andrews as the beefy foster father to the superheroic crew.

7 Mark Strong plays the Big Bad, Dr. Silvana, who unleashes the Seven Deadly Sins (Sloth, Lust, Envy, and so on) onto the world.  What's with all the villains with Ph.D.s?  Part of the culture of anti-intellectualism?

8. The teen idol set is already familiar with Asher Angel.

9. Evan Marsh as the main bully who is terrorizing Freddy.

10. Landon Doak as the bullying brother who terrorizes a teenage Dr. Silvana.

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia": Poop, Teeth Extraction, and Gay Denial. Sounds Fun, RIght?

I haven't reviewed an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia since 2018, when Mac came out through a pas-de-deux with a lady, and I hadn't watched the show for several years before that.  I disliked the gross-out humor, the antipathy the gang felt for each other, and especially Mac going in and out, from gay to straight to gay again.  It's now in Season 18, so I thought I would give it a try.

In case you aren't familiar with it, Always Sunny features five "pals" who run a down-and-out bar in...Philadelphia.  Most episodes involve outlandish schemes to destroy each other or other people.

1.-2. Brother and sister Dennis (Glenn Howerton, below) and Dee

3. Frank (Danny DeVito), who is either their biological or adopted father.  He got extraordinarily rich through conning people, but prefers to live in squalor with Charlie.

4. Charlie (Charlie Day, top photo), their illiterate friend.  He and Frank share a bed, and in one episode got married, I think.  Charlie also gets extremely jealous when Frank starts dating his mother: "Don't try to steal my man again."  But they behave more like heterosexual life partners than a gay couple.

5. Mac (Rob McElhenny, below), who lives with Dennis and apparently has a crush on him.

Scene 1:
Dennis and Dee take Frank out to dinner to butter him up so he'll leave them some money when he dies: "We do a pretty good job of pretending that you're not an animal." While trying to open a can of sardines with a gun, Frank accidentally shoots them both.  "Oh, don't be so dramatic.  I just nicked you."

Scene 2: Dennis and Dee burst into Paddy's Bar and complain to Mac and Charlie about being shot.  They have to take the gun away from him, or he'll accidentally kill himself before he gets senile, and they can con him into leaving them his money.  

Charlie notes that he's expecting an inheritance, too: when he turns 40, he'll inherit the jar of teeth donated by all of his dead relatives.  Mac points out that he's already well past 40. 

Scene 3: Charlie and Mac burst into their moms' house to retrieve the jar of teeth (their moms are apparently a butch-femme lesbian couple).  While she's looking, Mac asks his mom about any inheritance he has coming.  Uncle Donald has some letters that his grandpa wrote to his dad during World War II.

Charlie's Mom gave away the jar of teeth, so she tries pulling her own teeth out to replace them (gross!).   Or he could retrieve them from his sisters, the worst people on the planet.  

Scene 4: Dennis and Dee driving with Frank, who is using his gun to scratch himself. They can't just grab it, or he would shoot them.  They decide to give him "a false sense of security" by being nice to him all day.

Cut to Charlie, Mac, and the moms on their way to retrieve the letters and the teeth. Charlie's Mom is driving too slowly and crying, and Mac's Mom is smoking and burning them with her cigarette lighter.

Scene 5: Dennis and Dee start out the nice day by buying Frank hamburgers.  He shoves his gun in his mouth, thinking that it's a French fry.  They stop at the bridge so he can run around and talk to his homeless friends.  He pisses on a fire hydrant.  "Frank is literally turning into a dog," they complain.

Cut to the four at Uncle Donald's house to retrieve the letters.  After a lot of gross comments about pooping, he serves them quiche.  He explains that Grandpa wrote to Mac's father, but not to him, because he was "the funny one" and "different," which is why he never married.  "I'm sure you understand what that's like, Mac."  Mac says "No," and then "I want the letters to pass down as a legacy to my kids."

Ok, what's going on here.  Why doesn't Uncle Donald just say that he's gay?  Why does Mac deny that he's gay?  

Uncle Donald: "All I ever really wanted was a connection to my father.  Do you understand what that's like, Mac?" "No."

Uncle Donald: "We should hang out some time and toss a football around."  Mac: "I don't like football."  Charlie glares at him: "Dude, all you ever talk about his wanting to throw a football with your father.  Everything you ever wanted is here.  Why are you ignoring it?"  I guess Mac wanted a father figure? I seem to recall that his biological father has rejected him because he's gay?  Mac doesn't explain.  While Uncle Donald is suggesting alternative activities, he walks out.  Harsh, dude.

Scene 6: Dennis and Dee take Frank to the beach, where he has a lot of memories.  He tries shooting the ocean: "Polluted sack of shit!"

He catches on to why they gave him a perfect day.  "I hung on too long, didn't I?"  He gives them the gun, and asks that they do it while he's looking at the ocean.  Uh-oh, they just wanted the gun, but Frank expects them to kill him!  "We're not going to kill you," they explain.  "There are too many people around."  He takes his gun back.

Cut to the four at Charlie's sisters' house to retrieve the teeth.  They burst out, calling Charlie a "fag" and asking why he brought his "fag friend."  They won't give him the teeth, because they need them for ASMR: they get paid to dip their hands in the jar and make teeth-clinking noises.  

More poop references.  Mac's mom used the World War II letters to wipe with, so they're gone.

Scene 7: Back at the bar, Charlie is trying to extract his own teeth to make a new teeth jar.  Frank opens the door with his guy, they yell at him, so he drops it.  It goes off, ricochets around, and hits everyone in the bar.  The end.

Whoa, I don't know what I hated the most about that episode, the teeth, the poop, or Mac denying being gay.  My Grade: is there anything below F?

See also: Sunny's Mac Finds His Pride

Jun 7, 2023

"Somebody Somewhere": Actually, a Depressed Plus-Sized Woman and her Gay BFF in Small-Town Kansas

 Somebody, Somewhere, on MAX (the most recent stupid HBO Max rebranding) looks like a British dramedy about a middle-aged, plus-sized woman with a dead sister (better than a dead wife) who joins a self-help group and finds friendship and love.  Sounds awful, but it's on MAX's LGBTQ list, so I'll give it a chance.

In the first episode, her coworker Joel  invites her to a support group called "Choir Practice," where members work through their trauma by singing.  I'm going in to the second episode (of seven), "Knicknacks and Doodads."

Scene 1: Sam (Bridget Everett) wakes up at 12:30 pm and yells at her next door neighbor/love interest for running an electric saw so early in the morning.  He gazes at her like she's Aphrodite descending from Olympus on a half-shell, and apologizes.  Ulp...her underwear is showing!  This turns him on even more.  Hey, an American flag.  I thought for sure this was British, due to the absence of supermodels and shirtless studs.  

Scene 2:
The Chef.  Sam and the friends she made at Choir Practice are having brunch (way too late for that, girlfriend).  They consist of coworker Joel; Michael, an attractive black man (Jon Hudson Odom, left); and Fred, a chubby nonbinary person who presents as masculine.

Fred and Michael get up to leave, but Joel stays behind to be with Sam, which makes Michael angry.  Are they an item?  Will Limp-Wrist Joel explore his bi side and dump him for the lady that everyone in town is gaga over?

Scene 3:  They head to a store owned by Sam's sister (a living one), one of those cutesy gift shops.  Sam insults the horrible crap.  Uh-oh, Love Interest Joel is a regular.  There went your chance of getting into his scrawny jeans, girl.

Sam's sister, who looks like a smaller version of her, and her employee or girlfriend, warmly greet their regular customer,  They have set aside some cardamom for him.  Sister wants Sam to hand-write the invitations to their Crazy Dayz  promotion.  Just print them out?  

Scene 4:
  On the way out of the store, Sam runs into Rick (Danny McCarthy), who snubs her.  He must be embarrassed because she saw him at choir practice last night.  She asks Love Interest Joel if he's gay.   Wait -- is this a LGBTQ choir practice?  So, Sam is gay?  With all the guys gazing at her like she's a potroast, I didn't think so.

Sorry, these actors all appear to have the same name as 1,000 other people.  So looking for Danny McCarthy on Google Images results in this:

Scene 5: Back home, next door neighbor is still working in the yard and waiting to flirt with Sam some more.  Actually, gaze at each other with Person-of-my-dreams horniness and not say much.   "I've lived here for a year, but I'm so painfully shy, and you're so incredibly gorgeous, that I couldn't say hello."  Hey, maybe he can work through his social anxiety disorder with Choir Practice!   

They discuss plants. Sam: "I can't keep anything alive over here." Neighbor: "Like your sister?"  OMG. There went your chance of getting into Sam's pants, idiot!  But she's so horny she lets it slide.

Neighbor: "By the way, my name is Drew." Sam: "Four letters, like fuck."  Smooth, girl.  They say goodbye.

Scene 6:  A farm.  A plus-sized middle-aged guy comes in from the fields and looks for some booze to get drunk with.  His sister or wife, who looks like an older version of Sam, asks what he wants for dinner.  "Pot pies."  She heads to the kitchen, and he stares at her with undisguised hatred.  Well, sometimes after being married for so long, you drift apart.  

Scene 7: Sam's job, I assume.  A bullpen full of desks, with inspirational posters on the walls.  The sign says "No cell phones during grading."  So they're professional exam graders?   Uh-oh, Sam is using a cell phone anyway, looking at photos of a little girl and a middle-aged male-female couple.  The hot girl behind her wants to know what she's looking at.  Dead sister, at various stages in her life?  Hot Girl narcs!

Headmistress yells at Sam for not meeting her daily quota of graded essays.  Hot Girl rubs it in: "She didn't even look in her folder."  Headmistress makes Hot Girl Monica her new boss.  

Cut to Sam and Love Interest Josh in the break room, flirting and chucking cookies into the trash can.

Scene 8: Sam arrives at the farm.  Her Mom from Sceen 6 is sleeping on a recliner.  She goes through the piano bench, looking for song books for Choir Practice.  "Where's Dad?"  "Out somewhere, doing somethin'" (in other words, "How the hell should I know?  We haven't been intimate since 1993.")

Sam goes out to the cornfield to look, in case Mom murdered him.  No, he's alive, just trapped in the silo.  "The...um...wind blew the door shut, and broke the handle off, so I couldn't get out."  Right, the wind.  So the joke here is that Mom keeps trying to murder Dad?

Scene 9:  At home.  Sam, her sister, sister's employee or girlfriend, and Coop (Josh Bywater), a guy who hasn't appeared before, are writing the invitations to the Crazy Dayz promotion, and strategizing about who in the Downtown Business Association to kiss up to.  Don't you love micropolitics? 

Coop smoochifies Sam's sister, establishing that they're straight, and the other lady is an employee.

Rick, who came to Choir Practice and then snubbed Sam, comes in and calls Coop "Coach," but he's too old to be a high school or college athlete.  I guess sometimes adults play sports on teams, too. 

Later, Sam corners Rick while he's playing video games to ask clever questions that will determine if he is gay. "So, the guys in your game are cute, huh?" Smooth, girl.  When he turns around, she sees a lot of money in his back pocket -- is he stealing or embezzling?  A more pressing question.

 Sam goes into the kitchen, where her sister and her employee are drinking booze, but she doesn't interrogate them about Rick's back-pocket money, Instead, she says that she's going to Love Interest Joel's place.

Sister and Employee go wild with congratualtory oohs. ""A man and a woman in alone at night.  You'll have sex!  It's impossible not to!"  

"No, we're just friends.  I'll explain how it's possible...see, gay people exist, and..." 

"Nope, don't believe it for a moment.  Any random man and woman alone at night will have sex. And, by the way, you're over 40 and fat -- join a gym.  We're just trying to help." Mmmm-hmmmm.  "Your dead sister would have thanked us."

Scene 10: Sam at Just Friend Joel's house with some song books, so they can look for numbers for Choir Practice.  He appears to be living alone, so maybe Michael is just a friend, too.

  She criticizes his "vision board," a collage of pictures symbolizing what you want in life: a nice kitchen?  Visiting Europe?  You and your partner adopting kids?  Being close to your family?  In Kansas? Impossible!  "We're in our 40s, and it hasn't happened, so it's not going to happen, ever.."   I thought she was going to diss him for having small, realistic dreams instead of thinking big, but she's dissing him for having dreams of any sort.  Goals are stupid.  Just be miserable.

She continues to diss him for thinking that he, or anybody, can be happy in life, and then leaves.  Wait -- is this a comedy?

Scene 10:  She continues to be depressed in her very nice house, walking through the very nice town, at her admittedly horrible job, and eating alone in a restaurant because she's pushed everyone away.  Call the hot next door neighbor who looks at you like he's about to have an orgasm on the spot..  Finally she visits a new character named Kim, who is delighted to see her: "I just bought the boat I've been dreaming of."  Don't diss her for it, don't diss her for it, don't diss her...

Sam says that she doesn't like it here in Kansas: "I can't get comfortable without her."  I would ordinarily think a girlfriend, but she means her dead sister.

Kim's girlfriend comes out to complain that the internet is out, so Kim gives her some tech talk.  A lesbian couple!   Also bereaved, Kim suggests doing little things that make you happy: "Buy the boat."

Scene 11: Sam goes to bestie Joel's house to apologize for being a bitch.  She was just jealous because he knows what makes him happy, and she has no idea.  "How about singing?"  "No, I'm no good at that. I'm actually no good at anything."  So he talks her into Zumba.  The end.

Beefcake: I went through the entire cast list.  Nothing.  The top photo is a random hunk.

Gay Characters: Michael and the lesbian couple that Sam visits.

Every guy on the show acts like he's desperate to tear Sam's clothes off, so I can't tell if Joel is an actual love interest or just following the script. The episode synopses are mostly about the two breaking up, realizing that they can't live without each other, reconciling, starting a new life together, and so on, but that could be a description of a very, very, very strong platonic friendship.

Actor Jeff Hiller states that Joel is gay, and unique in several ways: he's not gorgeous, he's over 40, and  "I’ve never seen someone on TV who’s religious and happy being religious. And it’s not a joke that they’re religious. And they’re not being persecuted by the Church.” His religious side did not appear in Episode 2, unless it really was choir practice -- I thought the name was a joke.

Unpleasant Characters:  Sam is a thoroughly unpleasant person who self-sabotages everything she tries.  Why would I want to watch a tv show about her?

Update: In Episode 4, we learn that Joel is dating Michael, who keeps getting angry when Sam pushes her way into all of their time together.  Well, to be fair, he gets about 3 seconds of screen time with Joel (and no kissing), while she gets 21 minutes.  Nearly as soon as we figure out that they are dating, Michael dumps Joel, so it's all Sam all the time.  You definitely expect them to kiss

In Season 2, Episode 3, Joel finally meets a new guy, to spend 30 seconds talking to.  A kiss in Episode 5.  Their main concern, of course, is how to break the news to Deb.

Jun 4, 2023

My Boyfriend and My Satanist Ex-Boyfriend at Thanksgiving Dinner: A Kelvin/Keefe Adventure

 "Mama!" Keefe exclaimed.  "Why on Earth did you invite my ex-boyfriend to Thanksgiving Dinner, when you knew that Kelvin was coming?"

She frowned.  "Well, why not?  Daedalus came to every Thanksgiving and Christmas for five years.  And your nephew Austin's piano recitals. Jimmy called him 'Uncle Daedus.'" He's part of the family.  Just because you broke up for some crazy reason doesn't mean we have to break up with him, too."

"I found God, Mama! Isn't that what you wanted for me?"

"All I ever wanted was for you to be happy.  And you were happy with Daedalus.  A lot happier than you seem now, when every word I say makes you uncomfortable or angry, and the wonderful Reverend Gemstone treats you like his personal servant.  Now, does this casserole get onion rings on top, or not?"

The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sex scenes, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Jun 2, 2023

Fake Profile: A Richster doesn't trust his children's partners, for good reason. Did I mention that one of the children is gay?


Fake Profile,
a Colombian mystery series on Netflix, has what looks like two guys kissing on the icon, so I watched the entire first episode.  No gay guys.  It's about Camila and her Tinder hookup Fernando (Rodolfo Salas) having sex (a lot of his body, not much of hers).  She told him that she was a nurse, when she when she actually works in a Las Vegas strip club.  Eventually she comes out; he doesn't care. 

 He told her that he was a plastic surgeon with a clinic in Cartagena, Colombia.  But when she flies down for a surprise visit, she discovers that plastic surgeon Dr. Fernando is someone else!  The guy she is seeing stole his identity for his Tindr profile!   She pretend not to know, so she can find out who he really is.  

Her only clue: while they were talking on the phone, she heard someone say "Miguel," and "Riviera Esmeralda," an upscale gated community.  David, a friendly and flirtateous Uber driver, takes her there.  On a stake-out, they see Miguel arrive and greet his wife, teenage son, and little girls. Ulp: it's her Fernando!

Ok, let's see if the gay characters show up in Episode 2:

Scene 1: As Camila prepares to confront the fake Fernando, hunky property manager Cristobal appears, thinking that she and Uber Driver David are a couple waiting for a tour. David thinks she's hot, so he agrees to play along.  "We're very interested in renting a house, and this one looks perfect."

Uh-oh, there's a hunky guy, Adrian (Mauricio Henao), swimming in their pool.  "Sorry, I didn't know you were showing the house," he explains. "Our pool is being repaired." Manager Cristobal is embarrassed.  Maybe these are the gay guys?

Scene 2: Plot dump: Adrian is the son of fabulously wealthy power-broker Pedro Ferrer, who owns the Esmeralda and dozens of other properties.  His sister Angela happens to be married to...you guessed it...Miguel, the Fake Fernando!  So, if he wanted a fake profile, why didn't he just make one up?  Why steal the real Fernando's?

They meet Fake Fernando's wife, who doesn't notice that Camila is staring at her in horror, his young daughter, and...almost Fake Fernado himself!

Scene 3: "Ok, let us know  if you want to rent the house. Bye!"  Uber Driver David has had enough: hot or not, he has to get back to work.  Uh-oh, she missed her flight back to Vegas, so David drives her to a beachfront resort owned by his grandmother.  He shows Camila around and introduces her to everyone. Way to get back to work, dude.

Cut to Richster Dad golfing with Fake Fernando.  He doesn't want his daughter to become CEO when he retires, because she's a woman, so Fake Fernando is getting it.  "But what about your son Adrian?"  "Oh, he's not interested in the business. because he's...you know." Just say the word, dude.  "Ok, then, thanks."

Psych!  Fake Fernando was supposed to say "My wife would make a great CEO! I don't want your crappy job!"  Father-in-law was testing his moral character, and he failed!  (Father-in-law is also aware of Camilia, and spying on her).

Scene 4: Uber Driver David gives Camila a tour of la ciudad vieja of Cartagena. So much for going back to work.  They're dancing in the street when Camila gets a phone call from Adrian, who has just climbed out of bed after sex with Cristobal. He's inviting them to the opening of his fancy restaurant tonight.

Scene 5: Tonight. Uber Driver...um, we can probably be honest and say boyfriend by now...drinking at the bar and listening to Camila bitch.  "Not all guys are liars," he assures her, hint, hint.  "I'm not leaving Cartagena until I figure out what this guy's deal is."  He's using a fake profile because he can hardly go on Tindr as himself, married to the daughter of vindictive richster. All done.  Shall I make you a flight reservation for tomorrow?

Scene 6: The Mil Placers (Thousand Pleasures) restaurant grand opening. Manager Cristobal (Jair Romano) gives Adrian some flowers to celebrate; Sister, Fake Fernando's wife, congratulates him; Richster Dad looks uncomfortable and tries to put a downer on the evening: "A hundred restaurants open in Cartagena each year, and most of them close.  The restaurant business has very high overhead and a low profit margin..."

Fake Fernando arrives, congratulated Adrian, and snubs his boyfriend Cristobal, which upsets him.  Suddenly Angela gets a phone call: Camila is coming to the party! (She was invited, after all).

Cut to: Camila's abusive ex-boyfriend shows up at the strip club in Vegas and demands to know where she is. 

Camila arrives, and is greeted by Manager Cristobal, his boyfriend Adrian, sister Angela, Richster Dad, and....where's Fake Fernando?  "Oh, he had to leave.  Our son had an accident.  Just a bloody nose, nothing serious. We won't even call Dr. Manrique.  She's our family doctor."  Pay attention: this is important.

Cut to: Fake Fernando applying a cold compress to son Lucas's nose, while his teenage daughter complains that it's his fault: she tried to take the golf cart, he tried to prevent her, so she pushed him out.  I don't know why this is important.

Scene 7:  Uh-oh, they start interrogating Camila as if she's dating someone in the family.  "What do you do?  Where do you work?"  "Um...I'm a psychologist...I...um...counsel kids online." Richster Dad is suspicious.  She calls Uber Driver David to help her escape, but he's busy working.  

Gazing hungrily, like htey want to eat her, Angela, Cristobal, and Adrian insist that Camila and her husband rent the house, so they can all be together and their lives will be constant ecstasy forever.  These people are decidedly creepy. You just met her today, and talked for like 30 seconds.   

Cut to Fake Fernando tucking his youngest daughter in bed.  Security calls that Dr. Manrique has arrived.  "Send her in."  It's...Camila, ready for the confrontation!  

"Why did you do it?"  He explains: as a golddigger, Fake Fernando naturally had a poor self image.  Then he saw the real Fernando entertaining a bunch of bikini babes on his boat, then winning an award for his charitable work, and thought that pretending to be him woud be fun.  Also a good way to get Tinder hookups.  "But everything we had was real.  I really did fall in love with you." Mmmm-hmmm. 

The party over, his wife Angela has come home.  He intercepts her before she sees Camila.  

The teenage son Lucas (Juanse Diez) wakes up and looks out his balcony, and sees Camilia on the deck below!

Camila sneaks out and walks across the grass to where Cristobal and Adrian are discussing how hot the waiters were.  She avoids them and walks out, just as Angela is telling Fake Fernando about the new couple moving into the house next door. "The wife is very hot.  She's a psychologist."  Wait -- is Angela bi?  She really, really likes Camila.

Scene 8:  At home, Manager Cristobal complains about the way Richster Dad treated Adrian.  "And on your big night!"  They kiss, open a bottle of booze, and Cristobal gets on his knees -- no, not for that,  to ask Adrian to marry him. They smooch a few more times.  Equal opportunity show, nearly as many boy-boy as girl-boy kisses.

Scene 9:  Lucas', Fake Fernando's teenage son, confronts him about the lady sneaking across the patio. "What were you doing with her, Dad?"  "Well, we started with...."  Just kidding.  We don't hear what he said.

Scene 10: In the morning, Fake Fernando tells the security guard to delete the video of Camilia entering the property last night, or else.  He goes to work to look at blueprints and field questions from Richster Dad. Cristobal and Adrian interrupt to announce their engagement (Colombia has had same-sex marriage since 2016). Everyone congratulates them except Richster Dad.  Is he homophobic, or does he think that Cristobal is yet another gold-digger? "Can't my kids ever date someone they met at the country club?"

Later, Fake Fernando calls Camila to apologize, and ask to get together.  The noive!

Uber Driver David (Lincoln Palomeque) is happy to pretend to be Camila's husband again.  Where is she getting the money for all this?  I guess strippers get a lot of tips.

Meanwhile, Adrian and Cristobal are walking through la ciudad vieja.  Cristobal wants to go on a honeymoon right after the wedding, but Adrian wants to wait: it's not a good time, with the restaurant just opening.  "Besides, I don't want my Daddy getting mad at me."  He walks off; Cristobal glares.  "Two million gay men in Cartagena, and I have to choose a Daddy's boy."

More drama: Fake Fernando uploaded one of their intimate videos to the internet!  

Scene 11: More drama: Later, Adrian goes home, and there's a hot guy taking a shower, his butt on display.  Apparently the shower room is right off the kitchen.  Inti, the waiter from the restaurant opening!  Cristobal has been hooking up!    Jeez, the Richster kids pick some winners!  

Camila and David are moving in, with a truckload of stuff they just bought?  Angela brings Fake Fernando around to meet them.  He sees Camila and is horrified.  The end.

Beefcake:  Quite a lot, and limited lady parts.

Other Sights:  A lot of Caracas, especially the old town.

Gay Characters: Cristobal and Adrian.  They seem to have problems of their own, so they don't exist simply to propel the main plot.

Soap Opera:  I don't see a lot of big plot twists so far.  A rich guy doesn't approve of either of his kids' partners.  A jealous ex-boyfriend.  And a lady who can rent and furnish a huge house, and stay there indefinitely, on a stripper's income.  If that's all there is, this show will be something of a slog, in spite of the beefcake and gay representation.  Hopefully we'll get a murder or two, and Uber Driver David will turn out to have a motive more ulterior than just getting Camela into bed.  B 

Jun 1, 2023

10 Things I Hated About Summer (and Still Do)

Final are all submitted, graduation is over, the students and faculty have scattered.  Summertime is here.  Three months of boredom, sitting in the house all day every day except to go to the gym, nothing to do but prep for the fall and gain weight.

It was the same way when I was a kid.  My favorite season was fall, when school started, with new books and classes, and the leaves started to change, and there was a little chill in the air.  And it was marked the beginning of the great holiday season that began with Halloween, picked up momentum with my birthday and Thanksgiving, and careened into Christmas.

Winter was great, too, with bright skies and biting cold air, wrestling tournaments, sledding, and snow men. I even liked shoveling snow (my brother and I started a snow-shoveling business).

Spring was ok, but a little rainy and muddy, and no good holidays.  Valentine's Day?  St. Patrick's Day?

And summer -- don't get me started!

Here are the Top 10 Things I Hated About Summer  

1. With school out, there was nothing to do.

2. It was too hot.

3. But my parents insisted that I play outside. 

4. I could get sunburned in 10 minutes (in those days, we didn't use sunscreen).

5. There were thunderstorms almost every night, so we had to unplug the tv, thus missing our favorite programs.

6. There was nothing good on anyway, just reruns.

7. I had to go to bed when it was still daylight, and I could look out the window and see all the other kids in the neighborhood playing.

8. My parents kept holding barbecues, picnics, and other activities where you had to eat outside, off paper plates, with the bugs and the dirt, and the wind that  blew everything away.

9. We always went on a horrible week-long camping trip, with nothing to do but swim in muddy water, hunt rabbits, and walk around in the woods.  What gay kid wants to mess around with that gross stuff?

10. And I spent another week at Nazarene summer camp, sleeping in drafty cabins, with nonstop sermons (mostly about boys liking girls) and sports, and the bathroom down a mosquito-ridden path

But there were a few things that made summer bearable (almost).

See also: the Kensington Runestone.

May 30, 2023

"American Born Chinese": Two boys, no girls in the episode synopses or trailer. What could go wrong?

 American-Born Chinese: "A regular American teenager...befriends the son of a mythological god."  Wait -- two boys are friends? In 99.99% of Disney teen programs, it's a girl and her boy bff, who has a crush on her.  Two boys together, and the episode synopses don't say anything about winning the Girl of His Dreams.  Neither does the trailer on IMDB.  It sounds like a gay-subtext paradise, but I've been fooled before, so I'm a bit leery.  

 Here goes, Episode 1:

Back story:  The Bull Demon is rebelling against The Jade Emperor, ruler of the Heaveny Realm.  Aren't empires on tv usually evil, requiring freedom fighters like Luke Skywalker?  Not this time.   The only way to stop him is to acquire Jingu Bang, the legendary Iron Staff of the Monkey King, Master of the 72 Transformations.  So we'll be searching for an object of awesome power.

Cut to a black-bearded guy being chased by a shape-shifting bogey.  Rather an impressive sequence.   The bogey turns into the yellow-bearded Monkey King, and asks for his Legendary Iron Staff back.   But instead, Black-Beard jumps off a cliff into a steaming waterfall vortex. 

Scene 1:
  Tenth grade starts tomorrow, and Jin (Ben Wang) is heavily embarrassed at shopping for back-to-school clothes with his mother.  "What guy are you?" Mom asks.  "Skateboard guy, camping guy, handsome guy?"  Gay guy?  

"Ok, if you don't like this store, where does your friend Anuji shop?"  But they broke up over the summer.  A boyfriend breakup?

Jin wants a cool coat, but it's too expensive.  He tries on the cheap sweater Mom wants for him...ugh, it has "Hot Stuff!" on the back.  "Let's just go."

Scene 2:  At home. Jin's room is full of manga, and superhero figures.  Feeling guilty, he opens his backpack -- he stole the cool coat!  It still has the security tag.  He feels guilty.  His parents are arguing in the next room.  Conflict!

Scene 3:  Mom drops Jin off at Sierra Mora high school.  Lots of students chatting and texting. He greets his ex Anuji, who ignores him.  Travis invites him onto the "sick-ass" boat of his mother's boyfriend.  The JV Soccer Captain stops by to invite them to the tryouts tomorrow. No one mentions girls.  

He stops to help a boy open his locker (Jimmy Liu, maybe the guy in the top photo).  The boy gazes at him in awe as he walks away.  Man of Your Dreams, kid?

Scene 4:  Biology class.  Human evolution.  We see pictures (from Jin's notebook?) of apes evolving into a hot naked guy.  Tell me more, Jin.  The teacher makes a crass joke about his ex-wife being a monkey.  Not cool, Dude.  

Ok, time to partner up for a project.  Uh-oh, Jin picks a hot girl.  It was fun while it lasted.  Gaze, gaze, awkward flirtation, complaining about their parents controlling their lives. more intent gazes.

Before they can seal the deal, the principal calls him out: the locker boy from earlier, Wei-Chen, is new, and needs to "shadow" someone to get a feel for the school.  She chose Jin because they're both Chinese, and therefore have a lot in common.  Um...no.

Jin is not happy.  Now he won't be partnered with the hot girl he's been flirting with for the last ten minutes.   She gazes longingly at him before moving on to another guy.  

Scene 5: 
 Lunchtime.  Jin's bud Josh  wants him to join the buds "by the bricks," but Wei-Chen is yelling and waving.  "Oh...um...you're sitting with someone," he says jealously, and walks off. 

Everything that Wei-Chen says or does annoys Jin.  Despondent, he gazes at the Girl of His Dreams. Ok, that's enough.

I checked the original novel: it's about finding the Girl of Your Dreams while fighting Asian stereotypes.  

May 29, 2023

The "Gay Dads" Episode of "Danger Force"

 Danger Force, on Nickelodeon, is Henry Danger Part 2: instead of one teen apprentice, bumbling superhero Captain Man gets a whole crew.   I reviewed Episode 3, "Say My Name," which reputedly has canonical gay characters.

Scene 1: KLVY Studio. Captain Man (Cooper Barnes) is doing damage control after accidentally releasing hundreds of criminals from prison, including super-villains The Toddler, Arson Boy, Dr. Minyak, and Dr. Guilty.  Ok, those guys might be dangerous, but most incarcerated persons are being punished for minor drug possession and property crimes.  He's sent his Danger Force team out into the streets of Swellville to apprehend them.  But at that moment, the team arrives with pizza and wings!

Trying to save face, Captain Man argues that they at least caught The Toddler.  But there's a real toddler in his bag.  And they don't remember where they got him.  He's pre-verbal, so he can't tell them. This is a teencom, so I'm sure the parents realize that their kid is not in danger, just misplaced.

Introduction: There are four kids in Danger Force, two girls (one who looks more like a boy, and may be nonbinary), the "dreamy" Bose (Luca Luhan, left), and a "comic relief" Miles (Terence Little Gardenhigh), who actually seems to have a better physique. They apparently have superpowers of their own; I thought that the original Henry Danger was a non=powered teen sidekick.

Also in the cast: Captain Man's assistant Schwoz, whom I know from research to be played by trans actor Michael D. Cohen.

Scene 2: The kids practicing boxing while Captain Man snacks.  Whoa, look at those biceps! Could I just watch Cooper Barnes flexing for 23 minutes?  He's angry because they embarrassed him on tv, ao he insults their superpowers.  They do seem to be rather rudimentary.

An alarm rings -- "Stranger approaching!"  -- so the headquarters remodels into a classroom (rather a cool transformation).  It's a delivery guy named Guy (Josh George), who turns out to be Assistant Swoz, checking the security system.

When I searched for Josh George  online, all I found was this athlete, who won two bronze medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games.  Probably not the same Josh George, but he's hot.  Not having legs really increases your upper body bulk.

Next, the toddler they kidnapped runs across the stage with giant scissors, but Danger Force is more interested in the damage to their reputation caused by interfering with Captain Man's interview earlier.  They've all got humiliating nicknames, except Dreamy Bose, who is now being called Gorgeous Hair Boy.

Bose: "When are people going to stop talking about my gorgeous hair?  My eyes are down here!"  Interesting parody of the "My eyes are up here" line.

Swoz comes in and warns them to be careful: If you say a superhero's name three times, it becomes permanent!  In the 1970s, when he was just starting out, Captain Man was almost known as Angry Punch Guy.  Fifty years ago?  He looks mid-30s.  Maybe superheroes reach a certain age and stop.   He only got Captain Man by convincing the hottest DJ in town, Coyote Jack, to say his name.

Scene 3: So, a plan of action: the Androgynous Girl rushes off to the tv studio to keep the newscasters from saying their humiliating nicknames on the air.  She bursts in and unsuccessfully tries to use her superpower to stop them, but they continue.  Fortunately, this was just a rehearsal.

Meanwhile, Comic Relief and his sister rush off to find the most popular person in town, Natalie Mazda, who is popular because she sat next to Emma Watkins on an airplane.  She's holding court at the Hip Hop Puree Restaurant.   But they're not wearing their superhero costumes, so saying their names would be pointless.

Meanwhile, Captain Man and Dreamy Bose look for the toddler's mother, using a photograph that Swoz drew from her genetic map.  Hetero-horniness alert: Captain Man intended to stay at headquarters, but when he saw that the toddler's mom was hot, he changed his mind.  They stop at the Puree restaurant for pureed cheeseburger, turkey dinner, and chocolate cake, and argue like a married couple.  Captain Man gets pureed chocolate on his t-shirt, and goes to wash it off. 

Scene 4: 
  All of the unsuccesful team members gather at the Puree restaurant. They find the toddler's picture on a milk carton, so at least they can call a parent.   Wait -- he's only been missing for like an hour. There should be an Amber Alert instead.

Ulp -- the real bicep-bulging  Toddler (Ben Giroux) and his henchmen burst in!  The team tries unsuccessfully to subdue them with their superpowers, and then with their muscles, and finally with Spicy Milk (a running gag that I didn't think was important)

Yow, Captain Man exits the bathroom shirtless!  Almost as if the director knew that every gay man in the world would tune in to this episode.  The patrons all cheer for Danger Force, but he thinks that they are cheering for his biceps.  I would be.

Scene 5: Two guys enter the Puree Restaurant and grab and cuddle the real toddler, who calls them "Daddies."  Unnamed, but probably Justin and Dustan (Tommie Dickie, Brandon Claybon). Captain Man is dubious: "Who are you guys?"  Apprised that they are his Dads, he asks "Where are the Moms?  The hot one in this photo?"  They explain that she is his birth mother.  Disgusted, Captain Man says "This has all been a waste of time," and stomps out.  Presumably he's disgusted because he was hoping to meet a hot woman, but it's not really clear.  The others are perfectly nonchalant.  While saying goodbye, the toddler uses the superheroes' preferred names.   

Popular Natalie Mazda tells her social media followers that this is the best thing she's seen since Emma Watkins on the plane, getting a lot of heart and happy face emojis.  The newscasters report on the story as a "sweet moment," and use the superheroes' preferred names, so they're all set.

Epilogue: The team relishes their new names. Captain Man is desperately trying to find the hot birth mom by calling everyone in Nova Scotia named "Samantha" and asking if they are hot.  Captain Man strikes me as a jerk.  Is this intentional?

Beefcake:  Sigh.

Heterosexism: Captain Man is as annoyingly hetero-horny as the nerds in a 1980s "losing your virginity" movie.

Gay Characters: Two gay dads who appear for about a minute, and are unnamed.  One has three lines, and the other none.  But at least they get a lot of comments about how sweet their story is.

May 28, 2023

The Kelvin/Keefe Sex Scene, a Frame-by-Frame Analysis


Sorry for spending so much time on The Righteous Gemstones.  It's not even my favorite show: I don't like a lot of the gross-out humor.  But this scene is really bugging me, and I've spent an inordinate amount of time today studying it in detail, trying to understand why it is there in the first place.  I think it can tell us a lot about Hollywood's treatment of LGBT people.

In case you're new here, The Righteous Gemstones is a HBO Max sitcom about the famous, ultra-rich televangelist Eli Gemstone and his three children, who live in separate mansions on his compound and get into constant squabbles and scrapes.  But of course they love each other deep-down.  Kelvin (Adam Devine) is the youngest son, around 30 years old. a muscle enthusiast who usually works in the low-prestige teen ministry, and has to constantly prove himself.  Keefe (Tony Cavalero), a former Satanist whom he saved, is his boyfriend.  

Everyone treats them as a couple, especially in Season 2, when Keefe is definitively accepted as a member of the family; yet no one ever refers to them as "boyfriends" or "partners" (except once in Season 1, and Kelvin denies it).  They never say "I love you" except in a gesture in a song.  They are never shown sharing a bedroom, or even cuddling on a couch; their displays of affection occur in long shots, and are limited to hugging, forehead-pressing, and holding hands (once, when they are fleeing from danger).  They are never shown kissing, even in situations when romantic partners would be expected to kiss.  So are or aren't they? 

Which brings us to Season 2, Episode 6: Kelvin is standing naked in front of the mirror; distraught:  he has lost the respect of the God Squad, his cadre of muscle men; his father hates him; he is worthless, nothing, no better than a beast.  Keefe suggests that he will feel better if he gets dressed for the day.  His hands are broken, so Keefe will have to dress him.

Frames 20-28: Kelvin turns around.  Keefe kneels in front of him, and says "Now step into your Tommy Johns."  Instead, Kelvin reaches out with both hands and pulls Keefe's head forward.  

Frames 29-30: Kelvin guides Keefe's head down, and grimaces and groans as he begins oral sex.  Sometimes it's very sensitive, at first.

 Frames 31-33: A sharp breath, and then Kelvin cries out in pleasure at his...well, I'd better not say.  This is already getting too steamy for a G-rated blog.  Notice that Keefe's head is no longer visible, as he's going way down, but Kelvin is still guiding his actions. 

Frames 34-37: Fatigued and disheveled after all his effort, Keefe swallows (you heard me, he swallows) and whispers "Nice."  This is not the point at which you would usually do that, but remember, this is all simulated.

Frames 38-39: .A shot of Kelvin fatigued and dreamy, immediately after Keefe..um...swallows. His hands are no longer on Keefe's head, since the act is over.

Frames 40-42: .Kelvin relaxes and smiles.   

Frames 43-44. Keefe returns to the task of pulling up Kelvin's underwear.

  8. Cut to Keefe finishing the job of dressing Kelvin.  He gazes with a mixture of fatigue, pride, and sexual excitation and boops Kelvin on the nose.  Kelvin leans forward; expecting a kiss, Keefe puckers up.  But at the last second Kelvin turns his head to the left and walks away, leaving Keefe with a look of surprise, then resignation: "Oh, well, at least I got to have sex with him."

They could have easily staged "Helping Kelvin Get Dressed," from the waist up, having Keefe buttoning Kelvin's shirt, or have him pull up the underwear with a swift down-and-up motion, the way a nurse or straight friend would.  Instead, the director ordered (or Adam and Tony improvised) gestures and facial expressions that precisely mirror the stages of someone receiving oral sex.  Why bother?  The only conceivable reason is: they wanted viewers to conclude that the pair are indeed having sex, thus definitively answering the "are they or aren't they?" question.

Except: the whole exchange takes exactly three seconds, such a short time period that many viewers won't catch what is happening at all.  Or they 'll conclude that Kelvin is in pain from his injury (which makes no sense: his hands are injured, not his legs), or that he just enjoys putting on underwear.  

Surely such a major transformation in their relationship deserves a reasonable amount of time.  Or even if I am mistaken, and the purpose of the scene is to establish that the two have sex regularly, why go to great lengths to depict something that you have to go through frame-by-frame to see?  

See also: My Coming Out Movie;   Christmas Day in South Carolina; The Righteous Gemstones: Kelvin and Keefe Have Sex, So Why Can't They Kiss?

"Turn of the Tide": Four Buds, one Gay, Find a Cache of Cocaine. In 2001. In the Azores


Turn of the Tide is a 2023 Portuguese tv series about four friends who find a cache of cocaine, with ensuing complications.  The phrase "based on a true story" is an immediate turn-off, and I doubt that any of them are gay, but who wouldn't want to see a tv show set in the Azores?  I'm in.

Scene 1:  July 2001.  A little boy runs through a small, colorful Azorean village, to a kitchen drug lab, and finds Eduardo (Jose Condesa), a cocaine dealer in a muscle shirt;  his friend or girlfriend Silvia, who has pink hair; and Rafael, who wears a backwards baseball cap.  He yells that the priest started bleeding and collapsed during the mass.  "Fucking hell!" Eduardo exclaims.

Narrator: I could say that the story begins here, but let's go back and talk about the Azores, nine islands in the "middle of fucking nowhere," a 2 1/2 hour flight from Lisbon, with no gay bars and a conservative Catholic population that often exhibits rude and harassing behavior toward gay tourists.  Centuries of poverty, isolation, storms, volcanos, earthquakes.

Scene 2:
Ten days before: Muscle Shirt Eduardo, Baseball Cap Rafael, and their swishy blond friend Carlinhos (Andre Leitao, left) load their fishing boat and head out into a stormy sea.   Eduardo is surprised that Blond Carlinhos knows about soccer: "I thought our little lady here only knew about ice skating."  Ok, that's mildly homophobic, but at least there's a (probably) gay character.   They head back due to a storm. We don't get to see them fighting the storm?

Scene 3: Silvia dancing and displaying her boobs for five minutes.  I knew that would happen.

Scene 4:  Eduardo cooking fish for his grungy, not-all-there Dad. Then he takes Dad to the hospital for eye surgery.  He says he's going to the bathroom, but instead runs to the American embassy: his visa application has been rejected due to his lack of education. When he returns to the hospital, he discovers that they gave him the wrong time, so no surgery today.  As the great Gilda Radner said, "It's always something." 

Meanwhile pink-haired Silvia is applying for the "2001 Miss Ponta Delgada Contest."  Why is it Miss and not Senhorita?  One of the application questions is: "Who should make the first move, the man or the woman?"  How heteronormative.  Maybe there are two men or two women!  

Scene 5: 
 Back to the storm, with an Italian boat tossing in the waves. The rudder broke; they're in the middle of nowhere.  The cabin is swamped; packets of cocaine float about.  Narrator: "This is where it began, with Italian mafiosi crossing the Atlantic with a boatload of drugs."  The mafiosi are Gianluca (Filippo Fiumari, left) and Francesco (Marcantonio Del Carlo). One of the mafiosi wants to radio for help, but they can't let anyone rescue them and find the cocaine.  And if they lose the cocaine, their bosses will kill them.  Suddenly they sight land!

Eduardo's car breaks down in the storm.  And you thought you were having a bad day.

Cut to Silvia at a video store, dancing seductively with her boobs hanging out. Eduardo comes in drenched from the storm, gazes at her with Girl-of-His-Dreams horniness, and asks if any new movies are in.  That's what you're worried about? She complains about how horrible everything is, and flirts with him a bit.   

Scene 6:  Eduardo in bed in a muscle shirt.  He looks at risque photos of Silvia and imagines doing sexy stuff with her.  

Meanwhile, the swishy blond Carlitos, who went out fishing with the guys in Scene 2. presses-foreheads and hugs but doesn't kiss his older, bald, married boyfriend.  Whoa, swishy guy has a six-pack!  Boyfriend turns him around so they can have sex. 

The Italian mafiosi have reached the rocky shore and stashed their cocaine.

Scene 7:
Morning.  Eduardo asks Rafael (another fishing pal) (Rodrigo Tomas) to lend him some money so he can get his car fixed, but Raphael is poor, too.  He offers to give Eduardo a cut in his delivery of hashish to some drug dealers.  Uh-oh,  Rafael is dating Eduardo's crush Silvia.  The plot thickens.

They deliver the stuff to some guys in a garage, and discuss the new drug legalization in Portugal. That's only for possession; manufacture, trafficking, and sales are still crimes.  Uh-oh, the dealers decide that they want Eduardo's dog, too!  Rafael  pleads with them, but they are adamant.

Scene 8: Driving home, Eduardo in shock.  Can we make a list of all the bad things that have happened to this guy?  Plot dump: head drug dealer Arrutia is Silvia's sort-of Dad: '"Stop calling him my Dad!"

Cut to a little boy finding a package of cocaine on the beach.  Suddenly everyone in town is rushing to grab packages.

Meanwhile, the Italian mafiosi discover that it will take a day to repair their boat.  Then they can retrieve their cargo and make the delivery.  They discuss how horrible it is to put sweetener in coffee: "Some things are sacred. Fresh water, good wine, a...." Ugh, a gross reference to girl parts. but at least it took three scenes to identify them as heterosexual.  Usually it happens right away.  They see the townsfolk rushing past with the cocaine, and exclaim "We're fucked."

Scene 9:  The phones are ringing off the hook at the Judiciary Police Station.  A hunky cop answers one.  Cut to townsfolk sitting on packages of cocaine, using some and collapsing, thinking that it's sugar and putting it on their grapefruit, feeding it to pigs, thinking that it's flour and using it to fry fish.  A news report states that the police have already seized 326 kilos, worth 9 million Euros.  Eduardo rushes to weigh his cocaine package and exclaims "Holy shit." It's worth 22,000 Euros!

Darn, the hunky cop drops from the story, and a middle-aged lady detective is called in.

Cut to the video store, with Silvia and Rafael having oral sex while, in another room,  the swishy blond Carlitos gets high and dances.  Eduardo rushes in, gazes at Silvia jealously, and tells Carlitos that cocaine makes your dick soft.  Carlitos consoles him: "If there's anyone who understands impossible love..."  They hug.

He suggests that there's a lot more cocaine floating in the ocean, waiting for the currents to bring it ashore.  They could retrieve it and go into the drug business.  But no one is interested.

Scene 10: Eduardo in his boat, in the middle of the night, checking the currents for the cocaine packages.  He finds some washed up on shore.  

The next day, he gives some of the cocaine to Drug Dealer Arruta to get his dog back, then pays to get his car fixed and drives around for awhile, feeling his biceps. He goes home and shows his buds the 397 kilos that he salvaged, worth 23 million Euros!  

They disapprove of the plan: the police and the owners of the cocaine will be showing up soon.  But Eduardo says that they can use the cocaine to make their dreams come true: Eduardo, to cure his Dad's blindness; Rafael to play soccer; Carlinhos to get a boyfriend rather than random hookups; and Silvia, to leave town. Ok, they're in. Isn't that what they wanted in the Wizard of Oz: a brain, a heart, the noive, a home?  

Meanwhile, the Italian mafiosi, Gianluca and Francesco, have dinner and discuss how fucked they are.  Maybe they can retrieve some of the cargo?   Gianluca says "Fuck it," and calls Don Massimo.  

Uh-oh, the three leave Carlinhos and drive off by themselves.  Are we going to get a "bury your gays" moment?  No, they smash into Gianluca in a "I know what you did last summer" moment!  

They check his passport: a foreigner.  Are they going to go to the police and say "We..um..killed this tourist while high on cocaine"?   Plus he has a centipede tattoo, the same symbol that was on the cocaine packages.  "Oh, fuck!"  The end.

Beefcake: Eduardo in a muscle shirt. Carlinhos with his shirt open.

Other Sights: A lot of the Azores, but it's usually dark, stormy, and depressing.

Gay Character: Carlinhos gets third billing and appears in all 7 episodes, accepted without question by the other characters.  He apparently doesn't get a boyfriend, but just being there is enough.

My Grade: B

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