Sep 9, 2023

12 Things to Like About Autumn

1. Everything is new.  New jobs, new classes, new students, new books, new clothes, new shows on tv, new theater and symphony seasons.  New muscular physiques and bulges to gawk at.

2. Everything is busy. The mind-numbing boredom of summer is replaced by days packed with activity.  Every moment  is vibrant and alive.

3. It gets crowded.  The mind-numbing loneliness of summer is replaced by crowds of people, returning from their conferences, vacations, visits to relatives, and various excursions, ready to hang out with you again.

4. It gets cool, so you can jog a few miles without getting soaked.

5. You can stay inside.  People stop longer pressuring you to spend every waking moment outside.  No more hot, fly-infested, uncomfortable picnics, no more sitting on lawn chairs and swatting mosquitos. It's cold out --- go ahead, stay inside and watch tv.

6. Football.  I don't like watching football, but I like watching football fans.

7. A regular gym schedule. The disruptions of summer are over, so you can get back into a regular gym schedule.  And so can dozens of other gym rats for you to sneak peaks at in the locker room.

8. The trees change.  After two decades in Los Angeles and Florida, where they didn't, it's quite a spectacle.

9. The days get shorter. The sun sets at a normal time, instead of that ungodly 8:00 or 9:00 pm.

10. The best holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Not to mention my birthday.

11. You can eat again without worry.  Have an apple cider donut or piece of pumpkin pie.  Your cute sweaters and lumberjack shirts will cover it up, anyway.

12. Snow is coming soon.

See also: 10 Things I Hated About Summer and Playing Outside.

Sep 8, 2023

Does anyone on this site want to see Danny McBride nude?


Danny McBride, the star of Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, and The Righteous Gemstones?   I find him rather unattractive, but he does have an interesting bulge in this shot.

Some of the readers of the Righteous Gemstones site have been asking about him, so I found some bulge, butt, and full body shots from his previous work (no cocks).  Here's the link to "Finally, Danny McBride Nude" on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

In case you're interested, I've also got posts devoted to nude pics of Adam Devine, Tony Cavalero, Kelton DuMont, Tim Baltz, and practically every other male cast member.

Stan Brock: Man-Mountain, Adventurer, and Philanthropist

When I was a kid, we were in church ever Sunday from 9:30 to 12:00, and again from 6:30 to 9:00, with exceptions only during our annual family vacation or when we were sick. And don't try that "stomach ache" routine, or your parents will decide to fix fried chicken while bringing you a bowl of chicken broth.

It didn't make much sense to stay home anyway, since there was nothing good on tv.  Totalitarian cartoons like Underdog and Tennessee Tuxedo.  Heretical Lutheran programs like Davy and Goliath

And that horrible nature program, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1963-1971), with grandfatherly Marlin Perkins showing us five minutes of footage of lions followed by five minutes of  "Just as lions take care of their families, you should take care of your family with life insurance. Mutual of Omaha..."

He had a couple of cute co-hosts, though: Jim Fowler, obviously his boyfriend (#9 on my list of Top 10 Nature Show Hunks), and the British-accented Stan Brock.

Neither showed substantial muscle on camera, so I was surprised to discover that Stan Brock had a superlative bodybuilder's physique (top photo)

Born in England in 1936, Brock spent his young adulthood working as a cowboy in British Guyana (he wrote about his experiences in All the Cowboys were Indians).  He got the gig on Wild Kingdom through his personal connection with Marlon Perkins, and stayed on through 1971.

During the 1970s, he tried his hand in two man-mountain movies:

Escape from Angola (1976); A zoologist and his family (Steven, Peter, and David Tors, sons of famous undersea director Ivan Tors) must flee from war-torn Angola and take off their shirts.

Galyon (1980): He's not a barbarian or a superhero, in spite of stealing the graphics from the 1979 Superman movie on the poster.  He's a man-mountain hired to rescue a couple from the South American jungle.

In 1985 and 1986, he and Peter Tors (left) starred in a fictionalized reality series, Stan Brock's Expedition: Danger.  A sort of Brazilian Tarzan, he ventured into the jungle to save people and animals from raging rivers, anacondas, poachers, and terrorists.  You can see it on youtube.

Later in the 1980s, he founded Remote Air Medical (RAM), a charitable organization that provides free medical care to people in isolated areas, originally the Brazilian jungle, but now mostly Appalachia.  He lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, and still follows a strict regiment of diet and exercise.

No wife mentioned, and a lot of time spent in the company of men.  Maybe he's gay.

See also: Mark Trail, a Substandard Tarzan.

Sep 7, 2023

"Isn't It Romantic": Trapped in a Romcom World with a Gay BFF and Multiple Hunks


Since the 1990s, when movies began including gay character who weren't villains or victims, the standard romcom model gives the focus girl a gay bff.  He doesn't actually do anything gay, like check out hot guys or look for a boyfriend; he just swishes about, offering witty or catty comments and advising the girl on whether she should choose the rich jerk or the down-home boy.

Isn't It Romantic
(2019) parodies the genre: under-appreciated, overweight architect Natalie (Rebel Wilson) thinks that she is unworthy of love.  Her assistant  claims that her best friend Josh (Adam Devine) is in love with her, but Natalie  doesn't believe her.   Wait -- Adam's Bumper was dating Rebel's Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect 1 and 2.  Way to keep it in the family, guys.  

Since there's a RG connection, I feel obligated to put some in some NSFW photos (butts, no cocks) and post the rest of this review on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Bonding.

SOTUS: Thai Pretty Boys in Love at Engineering School

Thai tv shows are coming out all over.  The latest on Netflix is SOTUS: The Series, which is based on a Thai web novel of the same name. SOTUS  really does appear in the Latin alphabet, with the subtitle พี่ว้ากตัวร้ายกับนายปีหนึ่ง, which Google translates as "The Evil Wok and Mr. Year."

The novel falls into the category of yaoi or "boy love": stories aimed at an audience of young girls about pretty, feminine teenage boys falling in love with each other, with sighs, moonlit strolls, and maybe a kiss but no sex.

It's a traditional like teen idols in the West: non-threatening "dreamy" boys with all of the mythology of "true love," but no competition from another girl.

I knew about yaoi, but I didn't know that there were popular yaoi-based tv series and movies.

On to SOTUS:

At a strange totalitarian Faculty of Engineering (university engineering school), hundreds of white-clad freshman undergo intensive hazing by evil red-robed seniors.  The head haze-master, snarling martinet Arthit (Perawat Sangpotirat), singles out fresh-faced Kongpop (Prachaya Ruangroj) for special abuse because he can't acknowledge his attraction.

These photos come from a photo shoot the two did for the gay magazine Attitude.  In the series, they don't go out on a date until the 10th episode, and don't kiss until the last episode (in the second season, they finally spend the night).

Arthit is busy subjecting Kongpop to so many hazing pranks that one wonders when either of them have time to go to class: find 10 guys to sign on to be his lovers; run 54 laps; get drunk; do squats; eat a plate of rice loaded down with hot peppers.

Meanwhile there's a basketball tournament, a capture-the-flag contest, and a Mr. Engineering School contest, and some shenanigans involving missing class notes.

Eventually Kongpop manages to turn the tables and become dominant, forcing forcing Arthit to recognize their mutual attraction and agree to a date.  Afterwards, there's no homophobia in this world (or gay culture either), so all they have to worry about are competitors trying to break them up.

Other characters include

1. Arthit's gang, Bright, Knot (left), Tutah, and Prem.

What's up with the names? "Bright" and "Knot" are English words, but not English names.  Nor are they literal translations of Thai names.

2. Kongpop's posse, Wad, Oak, and Tew (left).

More single-syllable names that are (or sound like) English words.  "Wad" is not exactly complementary.

3. May, who wants Kongpop for herself.

4. Em (left), who wants May, and mistakenly believes Kongpop to be a rival.

Apparently they've all starred in yaoi-based dramas before.

 SOTUS, by the way, is explained as the hazing credo, Seniority, Order, Tradition, Unity, Spirit, but Kongpop tells Arthit that it really refers to the Story of True Love between Us.

The romance is standard romcom, bickering couples who grudgingly admit their attraction, just with two pretty boys instead of Sam and Diane.  But there's enough Thai culture to keep you occupied between the shirtless scenes (hint: displays of casual physical affection between friends).

My grade: B-.  A- if you are into Asian twinks.

Sep 5, 2023

"Ghost Island": Submitted for Your Approval: Surly Boy, Swishy Boy, Hunkoid, Two Girls, and the Haunted Hotel Room


Someone asked me to review the third season of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark remake, entitled Ghost Island, to see if one of the kids is trans.  It's Nickelodeon, so probably not, but I have an hour to kill, and maybe some of the kids are old enough to be hunkoids.  I watched Episode 1.

First Story: The Tale of Room 13.  Isn't there supposed to be a frame story with the Midnight Society gathering?

Scene 1: In 1983, a young mother, her preteen daughter, and a baby try to check into the Veil Hotel.  The desk clerk says: "Sorry, we're all booked, except for Room 13, and we don't rent that one out."  Because it's evil and eats people.  "But you're the only hotel on the island, and it's dark and rainy.  What are we supposed to do?"  Make your reservations in advance, like everybody else in the world?  

When the desk clerk leaves, Mom sends her daughter, who has the bizarre early 20th century girls' book name Betty Anne - to steal the key to Room 13!

It's a lovely old-fashioned suite.  While Mom settles down to take a bath -- during a thunderstorm? -- Betty Anne's electronic spelling game gives her the words "Water" and "Danger."  Then she vanishes! The baby vanishes, too, and a disembodied voice tells Mom to "Run!" But it's too late: A ghostly figure jumps out of the mirror and grabs her.

Scene 2: Present day suburbia, but with lots more kids than one generally sees playing outside.  Kayla, a young-teen girl (actress Telci Huynh is 16), is twirling in her room, picking up random objects and tossing them into a suitcase. She accidentally knocks over some photos of her hugging another girl, and feels sad.  Then her swishy friend emerges from the closet wearing some of her clothes, and asks how he looks.  She rates him a 9.  Ok, there's a gay kid, or at least a "High School Musical"-style gay-vague kid.  

"Ugh, why are you bringing books to a tropical resort?" he complains. He sees the photos of Kayla and the Other Girl, and gets upset, but puts on a brave front.  I'm guessing a recently-deceased sister.

Kayla wonders if she should stay home.  Swishy friend -- Leo (Luca Padovan) -- admits that it won't be easy (to go to a resort?), but she has to try.

A car honks -- it's time to go. Switch to Kayla, Leo, Giggly Girl, Surly Boy, and their Mom frolicking on a boat, heading for the resort. This must be a flashback.  Mom is much older than the girl in the photograph, so obviously Giggly Girl is the recently-deceased one. She must have died on the island, which is why Kayla is reluctant to go back.  

Scene 3
: The arrive at the Veil Hotel from Scene 1, a rather industrial-looking two-story structure. Is this still a flashback?  Exuding enthusiasm, they talk about the unsolved disappearances at the hotel.  Mom introduces her boyfriend, Robbie (Jason Cao), which disturbs Surly Boy for some reason.  "How long has this been going on?" he demands. He must be upset because Mom is dating another guy soon after her divorce.

Mom gives them their room assignment: the four kids will share a suite, and she will be staying at Robbie's bungalow for, cuddling.  

Scene 4: 
They ask the desk clerk, Stanley, if the hotel is really haunted.  "Yes.  The hotel is filled with tortured souls like me." "Are you a ghost?"  No, working in the service sector.

He escorts them to their suite -- Room 14.  Kayla looks around. "Where's Room 13, where everyone disappears?"  "We don't have a Room 13.  Superstitious guests refuse to stay in it, so we number from 12 to 14."  

Their suite is nothing like Room 13 from 1983: open, airy, with giant windows looking out onto the beach.  Shawn Mendes stayed there!  They all squeal and hug. Leo is wearing pink nail polish, but everyone uses he/him pronouns, so I'm identifying him as a swishy gay kid, not a trans girl.  I just hope they hired an actual feminine-presenting actor not a straight guy playing up the stereotypes. 

Scene 5: While everyone is lounging around and calling their mothers, Kayla explores the suite -- and finds drops of blood on the sink!  She turns the thermostat down to 76, and a disembodied voice says "Help me! I'm cold."  So put on a ghost-sweater.  

Scene 6: At the beach, Leo and Surly Boy argue about the DC Comics Infinite Earths, while Kayla looks depressed.  She pulls out a picture of the five of them.  The Giggly Girl (don't they give any of these people names?) pops up out of nowhere and says "I miss her too."  So the flashback is over, and Mom is the dead one.  They could indicate these time jumps better.  

Her deathbed wish was to have the four friends return to the island, for some reason.

Scene 7:  Kayla reminisces that Bella was always the most fun,  Another flashback, except this girl is the same age as Kayla.  They're hiding under the covers with flashlights, discussing whether or not ghosts are real.  So Same-Age Bella is the dead one, and Mom is still alive, off "cuddling" with Robbie. Which of the earlier scenes was a flashback?  

Kayla awakens in the middle of the night (it's boys in one bed, girls in the other) and hears a disembodied "Help me!" Get your own sweater!  It's coming from next door -- Room 13!  Leo heard a baby crying from the same room.  Desk clerk Stanley doesn't believe them, of course: he demonstrates that the room next door is a linen closet!

Scene 8: 
The four friends hit the beach.  Surly Boy finally gets a name -- Ferris, (Chance Hurstfield, who played a gay kid on A Million Little Things).  He watches Robbie twirling Mom around, and wonders "what she sees in that guy!"  Um -- he's handsome and muscular?  

Leo: "Don't let it bother you.  You're handsome, too" Surly: "Do you think I have a chance with Jules?"   Wait -- that's his mother!  I guess she could be someone's older sister. Actress Sofia Reyes is 26.  

They play Never Have I Ever -- shoplifted, cut my own bangs, etc.  Surly Boy's never:  "Never have I ever been to outer space," whereupon Giggly Girl responds "No one has done that."  People have been going to outer space since 1961.  The first moon landing was in 1969.  Does this all take place in the 1950s?  

They see a hot guy walking nearby.  Leo calls "dibs" but Giggly Girl wants him, too.  They decide that Kayla, a neutral party, should go invite him over, but she's too shy, so Leo does it.  His name is Max (Connor Sherry, top photo).  

Scene 9: Night, around a campfire.  Surly Boy  asks Max to pass the marshmallows, and is surprised when he throws like a linebacker.  But he's not impressed, he's jealous: another guy who gets more action!  

Although they've been eating s'mores for a long time, Max is just getting around to asking the usual questions: "Where are you guys from?" Derby, Connecticut. He's a townie, working at the hotel for the summer.  

"Wow, that must be, like so fun!"  I guess, if you like picking up used towels and sheets.

"Why is it called Ghost Island?" "Because it's dead in the off-season.  And also because of the ghosts."  Har-har.  "Do you want to hear the story of Room 13?  Over the years, everyone who stays there vanishes without a trace."

Scene 10:  Max does the classic Are You Afraid of the Dark opening: "I submit for your approval...".  We fade out to the year 1996, Christmastime, with a teenage boy -- Porter, the front desk clerk -- twirling around the hotel lobby.  The phone rings: it's Room 13.  A voice says "I'm cold!" and then "Let me out!" Nobody is staying in Room 13, but Porter figures that a guest stumbled in by accident, and can't figure out how to unlock the door.

On the way to check it out, he runs into coworker Ricky (Jordan Lister), and asks him out on a date -- to see the new horror movie ScreamMaybe he'll get scared and throw himself into your arms. Ricky agrees. "I'll meet you in the lobby in a few minutes."

Porter goes into the room. The water is running in the bathtub, and a mysterious figure swishes by.  The door slams shut -- he's locked in, forever!

Scene 11: The gang dislikes the story.  There's no climax, no denouement, no hand-from-grave teaser! So Max adds a scene where Porter tries to use the phone, but it's dead.  The handle comes off the door.  The window won't open.  And a ghostly form appears from the mirror and grabs him. Max wouldn't know any of this, but it's necessary for good storytelling.  

Now everyone approves -- except for Surly Boy, of course.  Kayla and Leo tell him about the sounds they heard from the room next door -- is Room 13 hidden behind a linen closet?  Max avers that it is, and offers to take them there.

Scene 12: In the morning, while Giggly Girl and Leo distract Stanley the Front Desk Clerk, Max steals the key to Room 13.  

Inside, it's always 10: 13 pm, during a thunderstorm, with a children's story playing on the radio that can't be turned off.  Max starts to freak out.  They agree that it's time to go, but then the door slams shut, and won't open.  Their cell phones are dead.  The bathtub fills with water, just like in Max's story.  

As they hug and whimper, a mysterious figure pushes out of the mirror.  Max is pulled toward it -- but instead of grabbing him, it screams and lets them all go!  Whew!  I definitely thought they were goners. 

 Spoiler Alert: They rush out into the hallway.  Max breaks from the group, runs out of the hotel, and stops to sit on the curb.  There's something in his pocket: two tickets to Scream.  Suddenly he remembers that he's Porter, the bellhop who vanished in 1996!  He's dead!

This episode is 1 1/2 hours long.  I don't usually do scene-by-scenes for episodes that run as long as movies, so I'll stop here.  

Beefcake: Robbie twirling Mom/Older Sister.  There are some shirtless guys at the resort.  Surly Boy takes his shirt off in the second part.

Heterosexism: The girls are all into boys.  Surly Boy is constantly upset because other guys are hotter, and therefore more likely to get laid.

Gay Characters: Leo, obviously, and maybe Max/Porter.  It's possible to ask a friend to a movie, but on tv that's usually a trope for a romantic date.  And in the second part, we discover that Ricky was so distraught over his friend's disappearance that he became a paranormal investigator. 

Update: Max is gay.  The only romance in the main story is between Max and Leo.

My Grade: B

Sep 4, 2023

"American Princess": My New Favorite TV Show

Entitled, detached-from-reality Jewish American Princess Amanda (Georgia Flood, who looks exactly like Kristen Ritter of Don't Trust the B__ in Apartment 23) is planning a "fairy tale wedding" in the wilds of upstate New York.  Minutes before she is scheduled to walk down the aisle, she stumbles upon her fiancé, Brett (Max Ehrich), having sex with last night's hookup.  Still in her wedding dress, she rushes away.

Isn't that how Friends started?

 Amanda runs into the wilderness and stumbles upon a Renaissance Faire, one of those summertime celebrations of all things Elizabethan -- well, the fun things anyway.  There's boozing, dancing, craft booths, jousts, swordplay.  Workers and many of the guests wear Elizabethan costumes and stay strictly in character.  There are classes in how to speak, wave, bow, and pretend not to be aware of modern technology.

At first Amanda is dismissive of the daffy, reality deprived weirdos, but soon she realizes that her world is equally reality deprived.  Besides, she was an English major, and likes this Renaissance stuff.  When her mother and sister show up to take her home, she refuses.  She gets a job at the Faire, and immerses herselves in the lives and problems of other "rennies" (faire professionals).

I'm surprised that there are so many of them, considering that they work only on weekends during the summer.  It can't be a full time gig.  But:

David (Lucas Neff, left,  unrecognizable from Raising Hope) has an act involving getting splattered with mud and pretending to pee on people.  A German and art history major, he wonders if this is what he wants to do for the rest of his life.

Delilah (Mary Hollis Inboden) has an act involving doing laundry and making sexual innuendos.

Maggie (Seanna Kofoed) has been playing Queen Elizabeth for over 20 years, and is worried about aging and losing her power.

Brian (Rory O'Malley), who plays William Shakespeare, has been her gay bff for many years, but he longs to be accepted by the other performers.  After some false starts, he begins dating Juan Andres (Juan Alfonso), who runs a craft booth.

Leaf (Brock Harris, left) is a jouster, and spends his off time flirting with guests of all genders.

The female sexual empowerment stuff gets a little distasteful at times. I fast-forwarded through some discussions of vaginas.  Did you know that they come in different sizes and shapes?  I do, now.

But the colorful interactions among the characters, both in the Faire and back home on the Upper East Side, are worth sitting through some "boob and bush" discussions.

Besides, just about everyone on the show is gay, bisexual, or pansexual.  There's even a three-way relationship between Natasha (Sophie von Hasselberg), Stephen (Ross Bryant), and Phil (Edgar Blackmon).

And there's a lot of beefcake.  Most of the shirtless actors are playing scruffy, unwashed Elizabethan underlings, but there are also some buffed physiques about.

The first season is up on Vudu and Amazon Prime.  I'm watching slowly, an episode every few days.   I don't want it to end.
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