Mar 30, 2024

Balkan Beefcake: Twelve bulging Bosnians, hung Herzegovinians, and Croatian cocksmen


Link to the Croatian cocksmen

ILGA Europe ranks all 49 European countries on LGBT equality, and the Balkan states do surprisingly well: Montenegro scores 61%, higher than the Netherlands, and Croatia  51%, higher than Switzerland. Bosnia and Herzegovina 39.5%, and Serbia 35%, score higher than Italy.   

Of course, legal equality does not necessarily translate into gay-friendliness for the traveler. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, has only one gay-specific bar.  Guys meet through private parties and the internet.

Sarajevo boxing buddies

Mostar, two hours by train south of Sarajevo, near the Adriatic Sea, is famous for its old Turkish quarter, as well as the Museum of War and Genocide Victims.  Ok...well, there are three gay-friendly bars, and lots of guys posting selfies.

Nijvice, Croatia, a resort town near the Italian border.  But you have to go through Slovenia to get there, so it takes about three hours.

More sex gods after the break

Mar 29, 2024

Gemstones Episode 3.3: Baby Billy sings forever, Kelvin can't say the word, BJ poses nude, and I'm depressed


This is the G-rated version of the review, with no nude photos or explicit sexual discussions.  

In Episode 3, we meet Uncle Baby Billy, the Montgomery Boys join the family, and the marital problems are resolved.

Title: "For Their Nakedness is Your Own Nakedness." From Leviticus 18:10, ESV: "You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter or of your daughter's daughter, for their nakedness is your own nakedness." This is a prohibition of incest, specifically having sex with your grandchild. Where, in this episode, does anyone mention incest?  A review in the AV Club intreprets it as: the vulnerability of one member of the family is everyone's responsibility. "We're all in this together."

The Greek Chorus
: The white-haired, grinning Baby Billy, dressed like a clam, sings"There will Come a Payday," while walking through the Gemstone resort, Zion's Landing.  He sings incessantly in a swimming pool area with absolutely no beefcake, while viewers grate their teeth and snarl "Get the f*k on with it."  Yes, we know he's a Greek Chorus, singing about the "payday" coming to the Gemstones.  We don't need ten minutes of it, in a show that is already squeezing in too many plotlines.

Finally, long after we put on the mute,  Baby Billy returns to his penthouse, where his very pregnant wife Tiffany and their three-year old son Lionel are watching the old game show Family Feud.  The Baby Billy/Tiffany plotline this season will be about trying to get the Gemstones to invest in a Christian-based Family Feud show, Baby Billy's Bible Bonkers.

Timeline problem: Tiffany had her first baby in the last episode of Season 2.  Now he's at least three years old.  But three years have not passed in the Gemstone universe.  


"We don't like you":  
The Montgomery Boys (Robert Oberst, top photo, Lukas Haas) in bathrobes in Eli's house, eating breakfast, discussing Peter's militia with Eli, May-May, and the siblings:

 Peter thinks that his sons and Gemstones tipped off the feds, so now he's gunning for all of them.  May-May wants the boys to come home with her, but they refuse: "We'd rather be homeless bums living under a bridge."  Or living in a mansion with a staff of 17?  

Afterwards, the siblings go down to the Aimee-Leigh memorial, discuss how much they hate their cousins, and give them the finger as they peer through an upstairs window.  Eli insists that they have a Cousin's Night and try to get along.  

The Redeemer: Amber brings a copy of her marital-problem System to BJ, who claims to be unaware of any problems between him and Judy.  Does everyone in the church know that Judy has been withholding sex? Or did Jesse tell Amber about the affair?

Meanwhile, Jesse and his youngest son Abraham head for the Gemstone garage to unwrap The Redeemer, the monster truck he used at the 2000 County Fair.  The Montgomery Boys, who happened to be passing by, are in awe, and ask if they can drive it. Nope. "We ain't cool cousins, and we never will be again."  

A Complete Lack of Knowing How to Fit into the World: Kelvin and the teens are making anti-smut posters in the parking garage outside the Salvation Center Stage, for some reason, when Keefe drives up in the Smut Busters van.  Kelvin flitters over, laying on the femme stereotypes, and says "Hey, Bud."  Keefe calls him "Bro."  This must be facade language: they are pretending to be buddies and co-pastors in front of the kids.

Keefe drove to an adult store and bought out their inventory.  Again, almost everything we see is marketed to gay men. 

"You've been having all the fun lately!" Kelvin exclaims, wishing that he could have been there to help pick out butt buzzers.  He does his usual titty-tweak display of affection, then reveals that his Daddy is forcing him to go to Cousins' Night with the Montgomerys.  They have "a complete lack of knowing how to fit into the world around them."  

Sounds exactly like Keefe!  He tries to guilt his way into an invitation.  

Wouldn't he be invited automatically?  He was admitted to the family as Kelvin's partner back in Season 2.  But maybe, to stay closeted, Kelvin only brings him to events where a lot of people are invited, like the dinners at Jason's Steakhouse and the Zion's Landing ground-breaking.  This is a family-only event, and not even the entire family.  It's limited to Montgomery cousins by blood or marriage.  If Kelvin brings Keefe, no one will be able to pretend that they are just coworkers or platonic pals. 

Keefe's bribes are: his special sausage dip and his "flames and swords."  The dip is served with crackers on a phallic dish.  Everything these guys do involves dicks. 

Let's look more closely at the "flames and swords."   Kelvin knows exactly what Keefe is talking about: he doesn't have to say "Remember that fire dance I performed that one time?"  He must perform it regularly, but you wouldn't do it for just one person, and the family has never seen it.  We can conclude that the guys are involved in the local gay community, attending gay events with sausage dip and Keefe's "flames and swords" 

Sadness and BJ's dick after the break

One beefcake photo of Michael J. Fox and nine of other guys

Other than "that character can't be gay! He said hello to a girl in Scene 12!", the most common complaint I get is "that photo isn't of the obscure actor you're writing about!"

I don't understand the problem. Beefcake is beefcake.  Why is it essential that an article be illustrated by pictures of the actor listed on the IMDB?  Especially if they're so obscure that not one person in a hundred will be able to tell the difference.   

It's not intentional.  It's just that it's hard to recognize an actor after seeing him in just one movie.  There are usually a hundred other people with similar features.  Plus he might look completely different over time.

For instance, take Michael J. Fox, the famous star of Family Ties, Back to the Future, Teen Wolf, Spin City, and so on, the first celebrity I met  when I moved to West  Hollywood.  I'm going to pretend that I I've only seen him in Back to the Future, and google "Michael J. Fox" and "body." Here's who pops up:

1. Robbie Benson, a teen idol of the 1980s.  I'm definitely sure that this is Robbie Benson, because I had that same photo hanging on my bedroom wall.

2. Charlie Sheen in Full Metal Jacket. Michael J. Fox was not in it.

3. No idea

4. I think he was in one of those Friday-night TGIF sitcoms, Full House or Raising Dad or something.

5. No idea.

More after the break

"Raising Dion": Gay kid with superpowers and his Scoobies fight monsters, deal with a helicopter mom


There are lots of movie and tv shows about teenagers discovering that they have superpowers, but not many about eigh-year olds. In Raising Dion, single mom Nicole must deal with her own problems and her son's superpowers, which draw the attention of the usual medical specialists, dark-government agencies, and monstrous supervillains.  Gavin Munn plays Dion's best bud.  To see if they have a gay-subtext relationship,  I reviewed Episode 2.2, about a new boy in school, figuring that this was the episode where Gavin first appears.

Link to the NSFW review

 Mom and Dion off a giant smokey monster in naked human form.  So far, so good.  The monster leaves, and a guy named Pat (Jason Ritter, left) is left (fully clothed).  He explains: "It took a whole day for my body to completely reform, and another to walk to the nearest town, where I decided to start a new life."

Scene 1: Zoom out: he's being interrogated, claiming that he did unspeakable things because the Crooked Man was controlling him.  And now it is controlling someone else!  Big Boss Suzanne doesn't believe him.

Scene 2: Guys in Hazmat suits investigating a giant crater.  There are footprints down there -- maybe the security guard. They call him to check, but he's at home with a disgusting pustulating growth on his neck.  They block off the crater so no school kids fall in.

At that moment, Mom and Dion (Ja'siah Young) drive past. Dion, now ten years old, is troubled, but Mom tells him that there is nothing to worry about.  He praises his superpower trainer, Tevin (Rome Flynn, top photo). Mom says "I'm glad you like him."  Next subject of conversation: the upcoming musical, which Esperanza is counting on him for.  Does Dion have a girlfriend?  TV writers are hesitant about portraying gay pre-teens or even teenagers, but they'll happily have toddlers expressing heterosexual desire.

Scene 3:
 At school, Dion is drawing in the abs on a muscular superhero.  Questioned by his friend Jonathan (Gavin Munn, already a regular), he claims that they are power stabilizers to help him go faster.  "Um...ok," Gavin says, rather obviously pretending not to know that Dion is gay.  I'd better take another peek at Dion's interest in his superpower trianer.

Their third friend Esperanza (Sammi Haney), who has a unique body type and uses a wheelchair, wants to know when they're going to investigate the mysterious crater. How about today after school?  Next, she has picked out the songs they're going to use for their auditions for the school musical.  BFF Jonathan says there's no need: he has his song picked out, and it's going to be awesome!

During class, the new kid Brayden (Griffin Robert Faulkner) keeps glaring at Dion. 

The full review, with nude photos of the adult men, is on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Mar 28, 2024

Spring break in Iceland: A hookup with a Nordic god


Link to NSFW version

Augustana, Junior Year

Augustana was a small college, so there weren't many choices for Modern Language Majors: Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Latin, Greek, and occasionally Russian. We had to "become fluent" in two languages and "competent" in a third, so I chose Spanish and French, which I studied in high school, and German, because I spent the fall quarter of my sophomore year in Regensburg. 

We also had to participate in at least one language club, but the Spanish, French, and German clubs were kind of boring, with bake sales, foreign-language films, and field trips to the Goethe Institut or the Alliance Française in Chicago.

Everybody joined the Scandinavian Club -- they had an endowment from a wealthy alumnus, and paid most of the way for members to go on annual field trips to Scandinavia!  A different country every year, alternating between Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.

In my junior year, it was Iceland.  I would have preferred Norway, but I wasn't about to turn down ten days in the land of the Old Norse sagas and Nordic hunks.

There were 12 of us, eight boys and four girls, plus two chaperones. We stayed in a youth hostel, four to a room, but everyone got a single bed, so there wasn't any late-night fondling, just a couple of less-than-spectacular sausage sightings.

No one came out willingly in the 1970s, so if any of the other guys were gay, they didn't let on.

Iceland was interesting, but not quite interesting enough for six days.  After you see the National Museum and the  Árbæjarsafn, an open-air museum of Icelandic history, there's nothing but glaciers, geysers, rocks, and scraggly mountains.  I've never found natural wonders as interesting as museums.

We never made it to Akureyri, famous for its annual strongman contest.

One day we took a bus to Hveragerði, about 45 minutes from Reykjavik, to visit Reykjadalur, "Steam Valley,"  an unearthly-looking region of volcanic boulders, spurts of steam, rocks, waterfalls, pools of water, and hot springs with wooden footpaths around.

Our guide told us that some intrepid souls jumped into the hot springs, but you had to be careful -- in some of them, the temperature got up to 80 degrees (175 fahrenheit), and would scald you.

None of us was brave enough.  Besides, it was cloudy and damp, with a cold wind blowing -- who wanted to strip?

When it came time to get back on the bus, we discovered that Erik was missing!

The full story, with nude photos, is on RG Beefcake and Boyfriends

Brock Cock, Part 1: Brock O'Hurn's boyfriends and bulges, pigs and penises, cowboys and...well, you get the idea

Everybody needs a little Brock O'Hurn now and then.  At least his 1.7 million instagram followers think so.  Brock has played any number of muscle-hunks, including Hulk Hogan, Thor, Tarzan, a "swole Mel Brooks," and guys named Horse and Ragnar Stormbringer.  

Link to the NSFW photos

He may be most famous as  Torsten, the "gentle giant" of the God Squad, a homoerotic muscle commune, in Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones.  Presumably Adam Devine isn't in character here, or he'd be much more interested in the muscles pressing against him.

Here Brock is a shirtless cowboy in the video Wild West Showdown.  

Brock is a co-creator and model for Kane Comic Universe about an immortal muscleman who travels through time, fighting demons, evil gods, madmen, and so on. Warning: Issue #2 features women's boobs rather than Brock pecs.

Taking his pet pigs to the beach.  He also has dogs and cats.

More Brock Cock after the break

Peer Gynt: Your Grandfather's Heterosexism

Rock Island had a large Scandinavian population,  and our teachers, from grade school through college, felt it their duty to introduce us to "our" heritage (mostly Swedish, but also Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, and even Estonian). I liked Vikings and Norse mythology, but not much else:

1. The horrible fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, which usually ended with a kid dying
2. The Wonderful Adventure of Nils, about a boy who visits every single one of Sweden's 25 provinces.
 3. A Doll House, about a woman in an unhappy marriage
4. The Growth of the Soil, about a married couple trying to eke out a living on sparse ground.

Wait -- I could be reading The Lord of the Rings, instead of this stuff, or parked in front of the tv watching Erik Estrada on Chips. 

5. But the worst was Peer Gynt, the 1867 Ibsen play set to music by Edvard Grieg.  I had to read it, play it, perform in it. 

Peer Gynt is an irreverent rapscallion, like Tom Jones, whose adventures mostly involve sex with women.  After having sex with the sister of his true love Solveig, plus three dairy maids and a mysterious Lady in Green, Peer ends up in the Hall of the Mountain King, a haven of trolls.

The troll king offers to scratch his eye so that he can see clearly, know things as they are, but Peer refuses and runs away.  After many  adventures as a brigand and a businessman, he returns home, elderly and bitter, and reunites with his true love Solveig on her death bed.
The troll king asks "What is the difference between troll and man?"

The answer is the same as in Pippin: men don't aspire, don't dream, and certainly don't try to see things as they are.  They stay home and marry women, meekly accepting their destiny in job, house, wife, and kids. They aren't gay.

I got a B-.

In spite of my antipathy, Peer Gynt is very popular.  There have been at least 20 film and television versions in French, German, Norwegian, Dutch, English, and Hungarian.  Versions with street people as performers, with Peer as a young boy, with Peer as a hillbilly.

A 1971 German miniseries had 7 actors playing Peer Gynt in various stages of his life.

A 1941 student film had a very young Charleton Heston (future star of Ben Huras Peer Gynt (top photo)

There was a 1960 cartoon called Peer Gynt's Adventures in Arabia.

The 2006 tv movie was set in modern times. Robert Stadlober played a gay character in Summer Storm, but his performance was still entirely heterosexist.

Plus many stage versions and ballets.

There's a Peer Gynt festival every year in Vinstra, Norway, featuring a performance of the play next to Lake Gala, where Grieg found his inspiration.

Red, White, and Royal Blue: Romcom with the Prince of England and the President's Son in Love


I watched a season of Young Royals, about the crown prince of Denmark falling in love with a working-class boy. ("You can't be gay; it would destroy the monarchy!).  In Season 2, the guys break up, and the Prince starts smooching on a girl.  Ugh!  I don't care if they get together or not, I'm out.  Next up: Red, White and Royal Blue, another gay royal romance, on Amazon Prime.   Here's hoping they won't use the "You can't be gay.  It will destroy the monarchy!" conflict.

Scene 1: The wedding of Prince Philip, future king of England.  His younger brother Henry waves and smiles.  Alex Clairmont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), son of the U.S. President, is one of the guests.

Later, in the limo with his bff Nora, Alex scoffs.  He was a regular guy until his mom was elected; he's not used to all the pomp.  You know you can't get elected President unless you are mega-rich and powerful to begin with.  He's used to pomp.  He'll never fit in with the royals, he complains.  But she convinces him to go to the state dinner at Buckingham Palace: "Prince Henry is hot!" "Not my type -- too entitled," Alex scoffs.

At the reception line, Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) is complaining about the expense of this fancy wedding.  The cake alone cost 75,000 pounds. His escort, his sister Beatrice, points out that Alex is hot.  They've met: the Prince doesn't like him, and snubs him in the line.

Scene 2:  Nora has gone off somewhere with Princess Beatrice, leaving Alex alone, miserable.  Don't lots of people want to talk to the U.S. President's son?   He gets sloshed, insults Prince Henry for being a snob, and accidentally smears him with cake frosting.  They tussle, and both end up under the toppled 75,000 pound cake.  Chekhov's Gun: I knew that would happen.

Scene 3:  The President yells at Alex for causing yet another incident.  This one will jeopardize U.S.-Britain relations.  Haven't we been allies since like World War I?   She notes that before the incident ruined things, she was out-polling the Spice Girls.  What year is this?   Whatever the year, the Prime Minister is a black woman, and the President is a white woman with a Hispanic son.  We got us some diversity.  

Damage control: he has to fly back to London for a joint summit that explains that he and Prince Henry weren't actually fighting (well, they weren't).  They are, in fact, close friends (that will be difficult to pull off).   And no hookups while you're there.  Ok, so Alex and presumably the Prince are out to everybody.  It's not a problem in this homophobia-free world.

Scene 4:  Alex on Air Force One, drinking Diet Coke, being interrogated by his bodyguard on the royal family.  He's got to know all the details if he and Prince Henry are close friends, right? Not really -- I've never met the parents of any of my friends, and usually not boyfriends, either.  

Scene 5:
  After the usual establishing shots of London, Alex arrives at Kensington Palace, the residence of the Prince of Wales (and I guess his brother).  He meets the Prince's snively personal assistant Shaan (Akshaye Khanna).  The Prince comes zooming in, and they try to smile for a photography, while Alex says "My NDA is bigger than yours."  Non-disclosure agreement? 

Time for an interview.  They have to "scooch" close together, as looks of disgust...ok, they don't like each other, I get it.  They'll be falling in love, some obstacles, standard romcom stuff, except it's a gay couple in a world where no one cares.  I'm bored.  Can't they think of any other conflict except rich/entitled and regular guy?

Spoiler alert:  Alex can be gay, but the Prince has to be closeted.  "If you are gay, it will destroy the monarchy!" I guess they thought of another conflict after all.   But at least they stay together.

My Grade: I can't grade a movie when I've only seen the first 15 minutes, but audiences like it: 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.  So if you like romcoms, go for it. I'm going to look for nude photos of Akshaye Khanna.

Mar 27, 2024

Jason Schwartzman: Lots of quirky guys winning The Girl of Their Dreams, two gay/bi characters, one penis


Jason Schwartzman broke into film with Rushmore, 1998, which I didn't see: the plot synopsis sounded decidedly creepy, not to mention obsessively heterosexist.  A 15 year old boy tries to get with one of high school teachers, but she refuses to sexually assault him, so he fixes her up with his older buddy and finds an age-appropriate girlfriend.  Shudder.

He played a few more disaffected, deviant, and dangerous teenagers, in  Freaks and Geeks, Slackers, and Spun, then moved on to some well-received independents, such as I Heart Huckabees and The Grand Budapest Hotel

Looking through the list on the IMDB, I realize that out of Jason's 87 movies and tv shows, I've seen four: 

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World2010:  An adaption of the graphic novel, with Scott (Michael Cera, who I watched to see) trying to win the Girl of His Dreams by clobbering her evil exes.  One is a girl; plus Scott has a gay roommate, played by Kieran Culkin. Jason plays one of the exes, Gideon G-Man Graves.

Wet Hot American Summer, 10 Years Later, 
2017, reunites the gang from the movie and add some new characters, such as Deegs, "the new Andy" (Skyler Gisondo, who I watched to see). Jason plays Greg, the head boys'  counselor at the summer camp.

In The Righteous Gemstones Season 2, Jason plays Thaniel, a sleazy journalist digging up dirt about "sexual impropriety" among clergy.  He is especially interested in taking down Eli Gemstone, the most famous televangelist and mega-church pastor in the world. Eli's children, hoping to talk him into backing off, go to his cabin, and find him shot to death!  "Who killed Thaniel?" is one of the main mysteries of the season.

Jason plays a gay guy in Asteroid City, 2023: Augie Steenbeck, a World War II photojournalist who stars in the play based on the movie we're watching, and dates the playwright, I think. It's all very confusing, and not really worth it: the two are on stage for only about 30 seconds, and vanish after a single, so-distant-that-you-can-barely-see it kiss.

More Jason after the break

Brad Hallowell: A decade of dicks. The rest is silence.

Link to the dicks

As Janet Weiss said in Rocky Horror, "I don't like men with too many muscles." Greek gods are nice to look at, and fun to do stuff with, but cuddling with a marble slab afterwards?   So when I stumbled onto a nude photo of Brad Hallowell while  researching something else, I thought "Nearly a perfect body.  Why haven't I heard of this guy before?" 

Maybe because he's nearly anonymous.  No Instagram, X, Facebook, or TikTok page, an IMDB biography with just his home town and date of birth -- Waterville, Maine, February 13, 1981.  Seven movies listed on IMDB, all between 2006 and 2016.  Most directed by Todd Verow, most featuring frontal nudity.  A decade of dicks, and then silence.

, 2006: A high school senior ditches his girlfriend for a same-sex romance. Brad is 25 years old.

Hooks to the Left
, 2006. An "experimental" film, shot with a cell phone camera, about the adventures of a hustler named Nail.

Between Something and Nothing, 2008.  An art student gets a girlfriend and pursues a hustler.

Deleted Scenes, 2010: An "experimental" film, showing us fragments of a relationship between two guys.  It appears to end with Brad's death, but we do get a cock closeup.

The Endless Possibility of Sky
, 2012.  No synopsis given, but Brad and Todd Verow are co-writers, producers, and stars.  It looks like Todd's character murders Brad's character.

Tumbledown, 2013, with Brad and Todd as writers, producers, and stars again. A "complicated love triangle, which leads to sex, drugs, alcohol, and romance."

We see Todd's cock in this one. 

I haven't seen any of these movies,but I get the impression that they're not exactly gay-positive. The forays into gay life always seem to end badly.

Required Field, 2016. The police find the video and audio recordings of a serial killer.

More after the break

Mar 26, 2024

Schitt's Creek: A small town (in Canada, but don't tell anyone), with some gay guys and a boatload of beefcake

In the Canadian sitcom Schitt's Creek (2015-20), video magnate Johnny Rose (SCTV alumnus Eugene Levy) loses his fortune to a shady business manager, and he and his former-actress wife Moira and adult children David and Alexis  are forced to move into a cheap hotel in the desolate small town of Schitt's Creek, where they try to adapt to such hardships as sharing a room and making their own beds.

Link to NSFW version

They butt heads with many curious, eccentric, and passive-aggressive smiling-as-they-dump-on-you residents, like Mutt (Tim Rozon), the mayor's son, who lives in a barn and collects compost.

It reminds me a bit of Gilligan's Island, with the castaways trying to survive on a desert island, their plans to escape constantly falling through at the last moment.

Schitt's Creek is so small that it has only one hotel, restaurant, and "general store," and the same six people do everything.  But still, there's a lot going on, and the Roses throw themselves into town life, getting jobs, joining clubs, running for city council, dating -- a lot of dating.  David (Dan Levy) develops a friends-with-benefits relationship with a girl, Stevie (Emily Hampshire), who appears to be the hotel's only employee, and Alexis has a steady stream of boyfriends, like Mutt and  town veterinarian Ted (Dustin Milligan, left).

That's one of the things I like about Schitt's Creek -- it's overloaded with beefcake, hot guys in tight shirts -- or out of tight shirts -- everywhere you look.

The other thing I like is the writing.  The dialogue is witty, sardonic without being bitter.  There is no us vs. them, normal v. hicks or normal v. snobs.  Everyone has foibles, but almost everyone comes across as likeable.

What I don't like is:

1. David states that he is pansexual, and he is played by Dan Levy, who is gay, yet his relationships are exclusively heterosexual until the third season, when his ex-boyfriend Sebastian (Francois Arnaud) rolls into town.  Later he and Stevie get into a three-way relationship with Jake (Steve Lund, left).  

Eventually his coworker Patrick (Noah Reid) comes out and they begin dating.  Eventually, like in the Season 6 Series Finale, they get married. I get so sick of men who are canonically bisexual but only involved with women, or in this case only involved with women until the showrunners were quite sure that outing David wouldn't cause a mass exodus of horrified homophobic viewers.

2. They go to great lengths to erase everything Canadian from the show.  No loonies, no maple leaves, no jaunts to Toronto.   

Hello, CTV: for those of us who live elsewhere, half the fun of a Canadian sitcom is that it's set in Canada. I want to see multicolored money and Tim Hortons on every corner.  Corner Gas could not take place anywhere but Saskatchewan; Trailer Park Boys could not take place anywhere but Nova Scotia.  Schitt's Creek wants you to believe that it's set in Iowa.

What's wrong with a small town in Manitoba or Ontario?  Especially with all that beefcake going on.

There are some bulges, butts, and at least one Francois dick on RG Beefcake and Boyfriends

Gemstones Episode 3.2: Kelvin's butt buddies, gay Percy, two toxic families, and some naked soldiers


This is the G-rated version of the review, with  no nude photos or explicit sexual discussions. Link to the NSFW version

Episode 3.2 introduces Eli's estranged brother-in-law Peter Montgomery, his sons, and a disturbing super-macho mirror of Kelvin's God Squad.

Title: "But Esau Ran to Meet Him," from Genesis 33.4.  Jacob has tricked his father Isaac into giving him the inheritance.  Esau is furious and vows to kill him, so he flees.  When he returns after 20 years, Esau behaves as if he is happy to see him, but....

Stephen's abusive wife:  Stephen, who was fired as Judy's guitarist after her brothers discovered their affair, is trying to tell his wife Kristy that he was "laid off," not fired.  She doesn't buy it.  It's a highly abusive relationship: she calls him "an unemployed, cokehead piece of shit who sulks all day."  He screams "Fuck you!", and she hits him with a glass blender.  Shattered glass all over his face and head, in front of the kids!  Whoa, scary.  The Gemstones and their partners argue, but they never use abusive language or physical violence.  Except for the time that Amber shot Jesse in the butt. 

Later, Judy meets Stephen at Spanky's Cafe, a real restaurant in North Charleston, and offers him $10,000 to leave her alone: "I don't want to see you no' mo'."  But he still wants her.  Judy points out that he's married, but it doesn't matter: "I'd leave my family in a second if I could have you.  I'd murder them." Say what?  This guy is a psycho. Of course, he should leave his abusive wife, but murder her...and the kids?

Kelvin's Butt Buddies:  
Jesse and Amber's adult son Gideon, who moved to California to become a stuntman, is back, lying on the veranda in a bathrobe, smoking a cigarette, holding a box of Lucky Charms cereal, and sulking.  The background song by Buddy Knox tells us: "I think I'm going to kill myself."  He injured his neck, and may never do stunt work, tumbling, or martial arts again.  At least he's displaying a nice chest.

Background alert: Skyler Gisondo injured his neck in real life in 2022, when his hair stylist gave him a "little neck massage."  They wrote his injury into the script.

In a much, much nicer parallel to the Stephen-Mandy confrontation, Gideon's parents order him to stop feeling sorry for himself, get off his butt, and go to work for the church.  But he doesn't want to preach.  Ok, so he can become Eli's driver. Remember that the long-term driver, Walker, was fired.

We cut to Gideon on his first assignment, driving Eli and the siblings to see if May-May's kids are ok.  They are living with her estranged husband, Peter Montgomery, and his militia, the Brotherhood of Tomorrow's Fires: they expect end of civilization, like Eli's Y2K scare back in 1999.   Eli calles them preppers: "They want to make sure they don't run out of toilet paper."

Usually Evangelicals believe in the Rapture, when Jesus zaps everyone who is saved to Heaven, leaving the unsaved to suffer through seven years of the dystopian Tribulation before being sent to hell.  To this day, I will not let anyone stamp my hand for re-entry into an event, because  the Mark of the Beast was drummed into my head.  But Eli and Peter apparently have a different belief system.

On the way to the compound, at the defunct Boy Scout Camp Wooden Feather, the siblings discuss their cousins, Karl and Chuck.  Kelvin says that he always found them "kind of dumb and strange."  But you haven't seen them since 2000, when you were ten or eleven.  How much do you remember?

Judy: "That's why I'm surprised you weren't butt buddies with them."  

He gets annoyed, not because she alludes to him being gay but because she implied that he's also "dumb and strange," and therefore perfect for the Montgomerys.

Not the God Squad:  Bizarre signs like "Now we will see" greet the family, along with multiple armed guards.  They pass Jacob (Stephen Louis Grush) cutting up a deer.  Kelvin smiles at him -- think he's hot, buddy?.  Then a military-style obstacle course;  guys practicing martial arts; a guy taking a shower outdoors (no beefcake); and finally the mess hall, where about thirty militia men are having lunch.

Wait -- no women and children?  The actual far-right militia movement has many female participants, but this is a male-only space, like Kelvin's God Squad in Season 2, but with scruffy guys in military fatigues instead of flexing musclemen.  It is dedicated to phileo instead of eros, buddy-bonding instead of homoerotic desire. An article on Doomsday Preppers notes that these male-only groups "cultivate a dangerous vision of apocalyptic manhood that consummates a fantasy of national virility in the demise of feminine society."  Women are weak and fragile, their civilization doomed. Only the "manly love of comrades" can survive the Apocalypse. 

May-May's son Chuck ushers Eli and the siblings in. They are greeted by Cousin Karl (Robert Oberst), who is delighted to see them; and Uncle Peter (Steve Zahn, below), who is not.  It's time for church, so get out!  No, the siblings offer to help lead the service: Jesse will preach, Judy will sing, and Kelvin will  perform some "feats of strength" for the kids -- the only time he references his muscles during the season.  No kids around, but maybe the militia guys would like to see some masculine beauty.   

Uncle Peter rejects the siblings' offer.  They are "phony fakers," entertainers, interested in making money rather than saving souls. 

More military guys after the break

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