Oct 7, 2023

This is what gay erasure looks like


They claim that no men who like men's physiques exist in the byline of an article about how much Adam DeVine likes Zac Efron's physique.

"The Mitchells vs. the Machines": Don't Say the Word, but Katie is....


Just a few years ago, there were no openly identified gay characters in any children's or family movie or tv series, ever.  Then, gradually they began appearing, in quick, blink-and-you miss it scenes: two dads drop off their son for a sleepover, a boy has a rainbow flag on his wall. More often than not, they still refuse to Say the Word, leaving the "lies, secrets, and silence" intact.     

I heard that the 2021 movie The Mitchells vs. the Machines was different: it doesn't try to hide the fact that protagonist Katie is gay. 

Creator/director Mike Rianda noticed that he was basing Katie's character on queer people.  He knew that the studio bigwigs wouldn't allow non-heterosexual people to exist, so he made Katie gay without telling them.  Then animator Lizzie Nichols wrote them a "heartfelt" letter: "We do not want to silence ourselves for fear of a bigoted few. We have to be on the side of what is right and just."  There was some pushback and some "very nervous people," but in the end they agreed.  

So let's see how they reveal Katie's queerness to the viewers.

Prologue: Some real family photos, with the taglines "blessed" and "family first," and a voiceover: "We all want to be the perfect family." Ruh-roh, "family is everything" rhetoric usually means "only heterosexuals need apply."

Scene 1:
We start in the midst of an apocalypse, with robot monsters searching for "the last humans," and the family driving in a panic. 

Flashback to a few days before.  Katie Mitchell tells us that she has always felt like an outsider -- she never "fit in" -- (queer code 1),  so naturally she became a filmmaker (queer code 2: a rainbow button.  But you have to be looking for it to notice).  

Since Dad is played by Danny McBride, I have moved this review to Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Dicks: The Musical


Tim Baltz recommends Dicks: The Musical, starring "two of the smartest, funniest men alive," Josh Sharp and Aaron Johnson."

Here they are in their underwear.

 Since Tim Baltz is one of the smartest, funniest men alive himself, that's high praise.  I haven't actually seen it - it is not playing in any theater near me, so I'll have to wait until it drops on MAX on October 25th.

But the trailer looks queer af.  

Check out the movie posters:

The premise: alpha male entitled jerks Craig and Trevor discover that they are "identical twins."  They decide to get their estranged parents back together, so they can "be a family."  Yep, a gay version of The Parent Trap.

Problem: Dad (Nathan Lane) has come out as gay, and Mom (Megan Mullally) has had her genitals fall off.  

Megan Thee Stallion, whom I've never heard of but is apparently famous, plays the guys' boss.  There are weird, disgusting gremlins named Sewer Boys.

And Bowen Yang makes an appearance as God.

Oct 6, 2023

"Adam Devine's House Party" Episode 1.3: A bisexual foam orgy is promised

Adam Devine's House Party
(2013-2016) appeared simultaneously with Workaholics -- apparently  Comedy Central though that their viewers would watch anything with Adam Devine.  And maybe they were right.

Adam plays "himself" (with his usual goofball persona) hosting a party in a gigantic mansion.  He strikes out with girls a lot. Some of the guests play themselves, and others play fictional characters.  Comedians drop by and riff.  There are scripted plots.   You'll be reminded of the sitcom-standup mesh of The Larry Sanders Show a little bit, but it's really for fans of Adam's unique brand of self-referential comedy.   

I reviewed Episode 1.3, "Foam Party," because Adam is trying to get a foam-based orgy started, so maybe they'll be some nudity and gay subtexts. 

Scene 1: Adam charging admission.  His parties are usually free, but today he's got a foam machine, so there's going to be a redunk orgy, no one with crabs allowed. He invites the ladies to take off their panties (and dudes, if they're wearing panties).  

The full review is on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends

"The Family Law": Chinese-Australian Boy Struggles to Come Out


The Family Law, on Hulu, is a sitcom about a Chinese-Australian family in Queensland: wildly inappropriate Mom, harried Dad (Anthony Brandon Wong), jock older brother (George Zhou, left), two sisters, and focus character, "life is unfair" Ben (Trystan Go).   Sort of like Malcolm in the Middle or The Goldbergs, except that at some point Ben comes out.  

Looking through the episode synopses, I don't see any indication of romantic interest for Ben, until Season 3 Episode 1:  When their parents are gone, Melissa and Ben "scheme to get into a Year 12 (high school senior) party, where there will be booze and -- more importantly for Melissa -- boys."  Obviously Ben is not out yet.

Episode 3: "Ben struggles with a crippling addiction to watching Klaus pump iron across the street, and is riddled with anxiety over what it means."

Episode 5: "Ben battles with his feelings toward Klaus."

Season and Series Finale: "Aunt Maisy's son has come out as gay and it's the end of the world." So they wait until the very last moment for Ben to come out!  Typical!  I'll watch Episode 3 instead.  Maybe there will be beefcake.

Scene 1
: Ben peers through his telescope to watch across-the-street neighbor Klaus (Takaya Honda, left) working out.  Shirtless, extremely muscular!  In voice over, he talks about how dangerous an addiction is.  Sometimes you have to remove yourself.  He backs away.  

Scene 2: Dinner.  Sister Candy and her boyfriend Wayne (Sam Cotton, below) have an announcement.  Everyone thinks that they are engaged, but no, they're taking the family camping.  Wayne explains: "No distractions, no temptations."  Everyone hates the idea, except Ben,  who thinks this might get his mind off Klaus's muscles.

Scene 3:
Getting ready for school.  Everyone except Ben is complaining about the camping trip: "Being raped and killed by dingos."  

In the B plot, divorced Mom had a date with Pete (Jeremy Lindsay Taylor), but -- vulgarity alert -- he...um...soiled his pants.This ain't the Goldbergs!   He doesn't want a second date: "It's not the right time."  Mom is crushed.

Scene 4:  Unpacking groceries.  Mom is still crushed.  Suddenly Klaus from across the street drops by: he accidentally picked up Ben's shorts after gym class.  The embarrassed Ben rushes into his room; Klaus follows, and finds the telescope Ben uses to spy on him: "Hey, I can see right into my bedroom!" Then he lies down on Ben's bed.  Ok, now you're deliberately teasing him.  

Scene 5: The next day at school, Ben complains to his friend: "He was in my bed, touching my junk (which means something different in Australia), overstepping his bounds!"  Klaus appears: he heard that they were going camping, so he's going to lend Ben his state-of-the-art sleeping bag: "But wash it first.  It still smells like me."  Ulp!

Scene 6: Packing up the car.  It's way overcrowded.  Off to the outback!

Scene 7:
 Everyone is there, including the five Laws, Boyfriend Wayne (Sam Cotton), divorced Dad and his girlfriend, and Wayne's gung-ho parents.  They claim that the site was sacred to the Aboriginals. Then they discuss the various poisonous snakes and spiders in the area.  "But don't worry -- there are first aid kits next to the eskies (coolers)."  

They set up their tents.  Ben isn't doing it right, so Wayne's  Mom shows him how: "Man goes into woman, Bob's your uncle, and erect."  Even erecting tents becomes sexual in this show.

In the B plot, everyone wonders why Mom didn't bring Pete.  She gets angry, and finally claims that she dumped him..

Scene 8:  Night.  The couples cuddle.  Ben hangs out with his older brother.  Mom is alone and miserable.  When everyone goes to bed, divorced Dad stays behind to talk.  He thinks his new girlfriend is pregnant.

Scene 9:  Ben imagines Klaus in the tent, shirtless.  They almost kiss.  When he awakens in the morning, he discovers that he had a "wet dream" and got semen all over Klaus's sleeping bag (a parallel to what happened with Mom and Pete).  He rushes to wash it off.  Mom sees him and congratulates him for "becoming a man."  How does she know that it's semen and not urine?  Suddenly everybody is watching.  They laugh and point like junior-high bullies.   

Scene 10: Breakfast.  Ben accidentally squirts too much ketchup onto his egg sandwich, inviting the inevitable laughter.  That's just mean.  He runs into the woods.  They yell "Off to have a private moment?"  Come on, he's a teenager.  These things happen. 

Later, Boyfriend Wayne's Mom overhears them talking about Dad's girlfriend being pregnant, and thinks it's Candy, her son's girlfriend.  Misunderstanding jokes.

Scene 11: Bushwalking.  The misunderstandings are resolved: Candy isn't pregnant, and neither is Dad's girlfriend: she had a hysterectomy (she doesn't know the English word, so she describes the procedure in vulgar detail instead).  The whole group is shocked. Mom tells everyone that she didn't dump Pete, he dumped her.  The whole group is shocked again.  Later Mom bonds with Wayne's Mom over the misunderstandings.

Scene 12: Campfire, night.  Ben is still upset over what happened in Klaus's sleeping bag.  Could this mean that he is attracted to Klaus?  That he likes boys?  That he's....you know...?  Mom, misunderstanding his distress, tries to comfort him: "Klaus won't mind.  He's a teenager.  He's probably done that in his sleeping bag a hundred times."  This only increases Ben's anxiety.  We fade out to melancholy music.

Klaus working out.

Vulgarity: Lots more than I wanted to hear.

Chinese Culture: The parents and Dad's girlfriend all have accents, so they're first generation.  You would expect some cultural references.  But there aren't any.

Coming Out Anxiety: Ben seems to think of being gay as a "dangerous obsession."  I don't understand his distress.  This is around the year 2000, in gay-friendly Brisbane.  Ben's sex-positive family would certainly be fine with it.  Besides, his interest is obvious, and no one ever associates him with girls, so doubtless they know already.  

Waiting Until the Very End of the Series:  Typical.

My Grade: B-.

Oct 5, 2023

Barry Williams/Greg Brady

Of the three boys in the iconic 1970s blended-family sitcom The Brady Bunch (1969-74), Christopher Knight (Peter, middle) grew into a bodybuilder with a spectacular physique, and Mike Lookinland (Bobby, right) grew into a hunk who could fill out a pair of tight jeans.

But Barry Williams (Greg, left) was hot right then, every Friday night during the 1972-73 school year, when you were working on your algebra homework and reading Donald Duck comic books.

He had a face -- dreamy, cool, goofy, handsome all at the same time.  And a killer body. He didn't display it often, but those few episodes where Greg drops his shirt or tries surfing in Hawaii are forever etched into the brains of heterosexual girls and gay boys of the Boomer generation.

 He didn't get as many gay subtexts as his brother Peter -- in fact, every other episode seemed to be about Greg liking some girl -- but sometimes beefcake is more than enough.

Born in 1954, Barry Williams burst onto the television scene in 1968, with appearances on The FBI, Lancer, That Girl, Gomer Pyle, Mod Squad -- you name it.

For the next two decades, he would be busy with The Brady Bunch and its various sequels and spin-offs: a Saturday morning cartoon (1972-73), The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976-77), The Brady Girls Get Married (1981), A Very Brady Christmas (1988), The Bradys (1990).  But he still had time for guest shots, on Three's Company, Murder She Wrote, Highway to Heaven, and even General Hospital.  

And live theater, in Pippin (1975).

He's also done his share of stunt casting:

In 2002, he boxed with former Partridge Family kid Danny Bonaduce (Danny won).

On an episode of That 70s Show (2006), Barry and his tv brother Christopher Knight played a gay couple who move in next to the 1970s Formans.  They got a big audience reaction from their on-camera kiss.

In Bigfoot (2012) Barry and Danny played a folk singer and music promoter, respectively, who go on the offensive after Bigfoot invades a rock festival.

See also: Christopher Knight/Peter Brady; and The Brady Bunch Dad

Oct 4, 2023

"Sons of Anarchy": A trans icon, a motorcycle club, BDSM, and naked men


I've been checking out tv series featuring Gemstone alums for homophobic bias, and Walton Goggins (Baby Billy) playing a trans prostitute got a scathing review: "an offensive stereotype"; "a grossly overblown caricature"; "a throwback to the blackmail him because he's gay and it's disgusting" storylines; "Throw us under the bus for cheap laughs."  Also, "Walter Groggin" isn't even a good-looking man."  Well, that's a matter of opinion

So I fast forwarded through Episode 5.5, "Orca Shrugged," past innumerable bloody shootings, men having anal sex with naked ladies, and a single shirtless guy (I don't know who he is) to Venus Van Dam's first appearance.

The Premise: The Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club is involved in a number of illegal activities, but new boss Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnan), son of the original leaders, gets a new business scheme: blackmail.  One of his henchmen drugs the obese insurance guy Allen (Brad Grunberg) -- the Orca of the title.

 Scene 1: The guys have Allen unconscious, tied up, in a BDSM outfit.  Venus Van Dam arrives, hired to have sex with him, showing both her boobs and her cock, so they can film it and blackmail him later.  

She flirts with all of guys, but when Jax offers to help her put on her dominatrix costume, she refuses. 

 The full review, with several male butt and pixilated penis pics, is on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Oct 3, 2023

"Workaholics": Would you have sex with a lady for $100,000?


The opening sequence of Workaholics Episode 1.10 is  widely condemned as homophobic, so I'm doing a deep reading.  

The setup: While driving to work, dudebros Adam (Adam Devine), Blake (Blake Andersoon), and Ders (Anders Holm) are having a random conversation.

Ders: "For $100,000, would you [have sex with a man]?  That's a legitimate question.  A lot of hustlers (male prostitutes) are actually straight, but have sex with men as part of the job.  Their rates vary from $50 to $200. I'm not telling you how I know that.

Adam: A man's penis?  I don't know...  Why does he emphasize "man"?  Maybe he'd be fine with a trans woman who hadn't had bottom surgery? 

Blake: You get to pick the dude.

Adam: Final dick approval?   Choose any dick I want to?

Ders: Whoever's dick, except for me and Blake.  Darn, those would have been his first choice.  $100,000?

As you can see, it gets a lot more explicit, so I'll finish up at the NSFW website, Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends

Sonny with a Chance/So Random

Speaking of Southern Baptist Sissies, Matthew Scott Montgomery has played a nearly-gay character on the Disney Channel.

The teencom Sonny with a Chance (2009-2011) starred Demi Lovato as the Sonny, the "new girl" on the teen sketch comedy show So Random!  

Plotlines interspliced sketches from the show with the back-stage antics of Sonny and her costars, particularly the joined-at-the-hip Nico (Brandon Mychal Smith, right) and Grady (Doug Brochu).  The two were a barely-heterosexualized gay couple, physically intimate (whenever he gets scared, Nico jumps into Grady's arms), exclusive (except when one is asked out by another guy), and passionate.

The main antagonists were the stars of the teen soap MacKenzie Falls, especially dreamboat Chad Dylan Cooper (Sterling Knight, above left, partying at the gay club Tigerheat, and right, bonding with bff Zac Efron in 17).  Chad imagines himself a serious artist, vastly superior to the clowns of So Random!  But eventually he warms up to them, and begins dating Sonny.

When Demi Lovato left the series, it was revamped into a musical variety program, So Random! (2011-2012), with the cast playing "themselves" in comedy sketches and musical numbers.  Several new characters were added, including Shane Topp (left) and Matthew Scott Montgomery, who played the gay-coded Angus.  He has also played gay characters in Warren the Ape, Second Shot, and Feed.

Demi Lovato is a gay ally, but other cast members haven't made any pro- or anti-gay statements.  Sterling Knight, housemate of of Ryan Pinkston, is probably gay or bisexual, or at least gay-positive enough to take off his shirt at gay clubs.

Oct 1, 2023

Joe Jonas, the World's Most Famous Christian: gay subtext plus underwear and bulge pics


Joe Jonas, the son of an Assemblies of God minister, rose to fame as the lead singer of the Jonas Brothers band.  Their series of top charting albums in the 2000s led him to roles in several teencoms, like  Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, and Sonny with a Chance,  as well as many reality shows featuring his brothers: Jonas, Married to Jonas, Cup of Joe

I particularly like the Brothers' music video version of "I Wanna Be Like You," from The Jungle Book.  When it's a man talking about a man, how can it not be homoerotic:

What I desire is man's red fire
To make my dream come true
Give me the secret, mancub
Clue me what to do
Give me the power of man's red flower
So I can be like you

I wouldn't mind getting a little of that power of man's red flower myself. 

In the 2020s, he continues to perform and release new albums, alone or with his brothers.

Some Evangelicals are homophobic, but Joe is a gay ally.  He performs at Pride festivals and gay clubs, and bares (almost all) for his fans.  He doesn't even mind when fans send him penis pics, thinking that he's gay and available

The NSFW post has some underwear and bulge pics, plus a brief gay-subtext moment for Joe and Keefe during Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones.  See: Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

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