May 11, 2024

Cucumber: Lots of cucumbers on display as gay life in Manchester gets increasingly dark


Link to the NSFW review

Cucumber, on Amazon Prime, is like gay Revenge, with plot twists, hidden agendas, and people who are not what they seem.  It starts out as a comedy, but turns darker and darker.  The nonsensical title, by the way, comes from a measure of erectile hardness, from tofu (semi-soft) to cucumber (rigid).  

Instead of scene-by-scene, I'm going to summarize the various cocksploits and tearjerks.

1. Middle-aged Manchester insurance salesman Henry (Vincent Franklin) gets angry when his boyfriend Lance (Cyril Nri, top photo) brings an anonymous guy, left, home for a three-way.  Maybe if you'd asked first, and waited for him instead of just going down?

Henry calls the police and has the two arrested (on what charge? Consensual sexual acts are legal in Britain.). 

2. Henry moves out and seeks refuge with a twink couple from work, Dean and Freddie (Fisayo Akinade, Freddie Fox, left).  And starts flirting with Freddie!  Wait -- you get all huffy when your boyfriend wants an open relationship, but it's ok for the twinks?

Freddie the Twink says "No, thank you, we're monogamous."

3. Henry is upset because Freddie the Twink rejected him, but then goes out and hooks up with another old guy, Cliff (Con O'Neill).

4. Meanwhile Ex-Boyfriend Lance tries to hook up with Straight Guy Daniel (James Murray, left).  He refuses: "Sorry, I'm straight."

5. Henry's Sister and her hot teenage son Adam (Ceallach Spellman, right) arrive to stay forever. Henry decides to make some extra money filming his nephew having sex with other guys.

Meanwhile Ex-Boyfriend Lance empties the joint checking account. Never leave much in that joint checking account, buddy. One tiff, and it's gone.

More cucumbers after the break

May 10, 2024

Tommy Nelson: Beefcake, bromantic partners, crushes, and cocks


Link to the nude photos

In my earlier profile of Tommy Nelson, star of My Friend Dahmer and Cat and Mouse, guest on The Righteous Gemstones and Better Call Saul, I noted that he married a woman in 2023.  Thus obviously straight, right?

Wait -- there are lots of bi/pan people in the world.  A closer look at Tommy's posts on social media reveals a lot of pre-marriage boyfriends or bromantic partners including Alex Wolff and a non-actor named Ryan.  Plus implications of getting down to business, maybe as a joke, maybe not.

1. Watching tv with a buddy in Fairborn, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton.  I can't tell who belongs to which leg, but they are obviously being intimate. Tommy tells his followers to "laugh."

2. Beer bottle placed strategically over his crotch to emulate an erection.  We've all done that to attract gay men, who always look at other men face-crotch-face.

3. Tommy's main man Ryan.  He invites his fans to invent "ship" names. Rymmy and Tyan sound too weird.

4. A younger Ryan mowing the lawn.

More Tommy after the break

Skyler Gisondo's Hot/Hung Photos, Part 2: Grimacing at girls, grinning at 69, wearing two caps, showing his..


This is a collection of cute/cool or hot/humorous photos of  Skyler Gisondo, star of The Santa Clarita Diet and The Righteous Gemstones, and Jimmy Olson in the upcoming Superman: Legacy.  As far as I know, he's over 18 in all of them.  He doesn't have any verifiable nude photos online, but some of his friends do, and there are some interesting chatroom and hookup app possibilities.

1. "No, you can't see my dick, but have I shown you my abs lately?"

2. "Sorry, I never heard the term 'skinny dipping.'  Did you notice my abs?"

 3. Skyler's reaction when a girl tried to hug him, and he smelled her perfume and felt her...yuck! 

4. Mormon friend: "Skyler's abs are nothing -- check out mine!"

5. Skyler shows us his favorite year in classic rock.  I swear I am unfamiliar with any other meaning of the term "69"

6. "I'm glad I signed up for this physics class.  No yucky girls..what do you mean, turn around?"

More glorious Gisondo after the break. Warning: explicit

May 9, 2024

"Black Monday": Downlow financier, closeted Congressman, and a photocopied dick in the homophobic 1980s


  Link to the NSFW review

Black Monday, October 17, 1987, is named after a stock market crash that resulted in a drop of 22.6% in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and $500 billion in losses in the U.S., 1.7 trillion dollars worldwide.  I didn't hear anything about it at the time: in West Hollywood we didn't concern ourselves with such trivial matters as finances.  But apparently in the straight world, it was a big deal.  

I still find the world of finance immensely boring, but I happened to notice that an episode of the 2019-22 Black Monday tv series showed Andrew Rannells having sex with a guy -- the scene I used as an illustration for my Gideon-Keefe fan fiction -- so I checked out Episode 2.4, "Fore."

Scene 1: Bosses Dawn, a middle aged black woman, and Blair (Andrew Rannells) , a swishy white man, show horndogs Wayne and Yassir(Horatio Sanz, Yassir X) a photocopy of an enormous penis. They've received an anonymous sexual harassment complaint.  Blair yells at them: "The women in the office don't want to look at that, and neither do I."  

And this is a bad time: Congress is about to pass deregulation, so we'll be getting generational wealth. You'll be able to set up your kids' kids' kids If Amerasavings gets wwind of this,.... Ugh, economics and politics.  Let's get some zombies up in here.

The guys protest that it wasn't them, but they are punished by being placed in the "Rubber Room" for a month, and they have to apologize to every woman in the office.  Then Blair leaves --- he has to go play golf with Congressman Roger  (Tuc Watkins, Andrew's real-life boyfriend) to ensure that he will vote for deregulation.  Dawn can't come, because she's not a white man. Wait -- he calls her "babe."  Are they romantic partners, too?

Scene 2:
  The horndogs figure that they've been framed, targeted by "some lying bitch" for being the last old-school "women should enjoy getting their butts grabbed" horndogs in the office. Their plan: find out who issued the bogus complaint, apologize, and then "get revenge." 

Scene 3: Blair goes back to his apartment -- still under construction -- and starts making out with his boyfriend -- Congressman Roger!  

Meanwhile, a lady bursts into the office to yell at the "home-wrecking harlot" who's destroying their marriage.  She wasn't expecting a middle aged black lady: "Blair" sounds more like a young, giggly blond, like the girl from Facts of Life.   

"This is a mixup from the tits up," Dawn assures her.  Blair is a man.  He goes golfing with Congressman Roger to push for his deregulation vote.  A downlow romance!  Neither of the wives know!

"But they golf all the time, in Palm Springs, San Francisco, Fire Island,,," Gay meccas, har-har.

"Standard business trips." A perfect example of heteronormativity: gay men cannot exist, so everything must have a heterosexual explanation.

The Wife, Corky, insists: "Blair and my husband are having sex...with other women, and using each other as alibis."  Come on, no one is that stupid!

Dawn calls Blair to prove that he is playing golf -- just as he is about to.... The wives will be driving out to the country club to meet them on the golf course.  "um...what hole are you in?"  Har-har.

Uh-oh, Blair knows nothing about golf, and it's too late to learn!

Scene 4:
 The horndogs try to play "good cop/bad cop" while interrogating the women. Except Yassir thinks they're supposed to both be bad cops, because "all cops are bad."

Scene 5: On the way to the country club, Wife Corky complains that Congressman Roger has betrayed her with a "nancy."  Dawn insists that Blair isn't gay, but Wife  Corky meant "a Nancy Reagan," who stole future President Reagan away from his first wife, Jane Wyman. Har-har.

She does happen to be the daughter of a Jerry Falwell-like homophobic televangelist.  He sells a special cologne that can "spray the gay away."

More after the break

Ian Winningkoff: From "Sulphur Springs" to "Grease," with some teen idol co-stars and hunky Danny Zukos


 Link to NSFW version

The New Orleans-based actor, model, and basketball star Ian Winningkoff has eight acting credits on the IMDB.

Including Secrets of Sulphur Springs, a Disney Channel teen thriller about kids who travel back in time to uncover the secrets. Preston Oliver plays focus character Griffin.

And several locally-produced shorts, including Revelation, Dies Irae, Good Girl, and Birthday Surprise. Eli Barron is his usual costar.

Ian's most famous role to date is Young Chuck Montgomery in Season 3 of The Righteous Gemstones.  In a flashback to 2000, he plays a sort of backwoods Tom Sawyer/ Barefoot Boy with Cheek of Tan terrorized by his hard-core  fundamentalist parents.  He grows up to become one of his father's most loyal militia men, played by Lukas Haas. 

Ian is also deeply involved in local New Orleans theater.  He has appeared in Legally Blonde, The Addams Family, Shrek, and Into the Woods, Jr.

More Ian after the break

May 8, 2024

Gemstones Season 3 Finale: Kelvin and Keefe married? Pontius a Dark Lord? Peter redeemed by the Redeemer?

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

Link to the nude photos

On The Righteous Gemstones, season finales is not a separate episode; it is a scene set some time after the various plot resolutions, allowing vieweres to say goodbye to the characters, a sort of "and they lived happily ever after." There are few plot developments, and only vague hints about the future. 

The Season 3 Finale has more of a timeless,dreamlike quality than the previous finales.  It has a flattened structure with no dialogue and not a lot going on.  The family gathers for a private monster truck rally.  Thus, the season begins and ends with the Redeemer.

The Arrival: 
Setting: a field, with a wooden fence to the side and a swing set.  The Gemstone garage is visible in the background.  This is the same field where Jesse played with the Redeemer in the 2000 flashback.  

The family arrives and sets up lawn chairs in a row, in this order: May-May, Chuck, and Karl; Peter (he has a prosthetic leg, and doesn't bring his own chair, so maybe he's in prison, out on furlough for this special event); Eli and Martin.

Next, Baby Billy, Tiffany, and their two kids sit on blankets instead of chairs. In a deleted scene, Tiffany is letting her baby sit up, so it's been at least nine months, probably a year, since we last saw them. 

Next: Amber, Gideon, and Abraham.  Pontius is not present, suggesting that he is completely estranged from the family.  In the future he will be an antagonist, the Dark Lord of the family.

The Rocking Chairs
: Then Judy and BJ, and finally Kelvin and Keefe.  Now they have two rocking chairs, depicting Keefe as the roots of the tree, and Kelvin as the branches. Those things must be very uncomfortable to sit in, and rather fragile.  Adam Devine notes that he broke his chair when he kicked it during the fight scene, and they had to get a replacement. 

Kelvin points the chairs out to the family, who look surprised.  Why haven't they seen the  chairs before?   Maybe  Kelvin and Keefe keep them in the bedroom, where they don't gete many visitors; or maybe Keefe has just finished his chair. In real life, the family would get up to take a closer look, but on the show that would involve a lot of staging with no payback.

 Why bring them today, instead of regular lawn chairs?  The guys' conflict this season has been whether to be open as romantic partners, and the two chairs certainly do the job.

 The Rings:  Kelvin sits in an odd position, with his fingers splayed, to draw attention to his new ring.  It is thicker and more substantial than the "wedding ring" he wore earlier in the season.  Keefe's is hard to see, but it looks thicker, and not as shiny.  Did they pick them out for each other?  Maybe we are to infer an advance in the relationship; maybe the guys are now married.

Gideon's Role: Kelvin pats Keefe's hand several times, presumably call attention to the fact that he built the chairs.  Keefe raises a thumbs up, and Eli and Gideon, the head of the family and his apprentice, return it.  Remember that the last time we saw them interacting, during the kidnapping, Gideon was explicitly rejecting Keefe as a member of the family.  This is a gesture of inclusion.

Also notice that Gideon did not drive Eli to the event, but they use the same gestures, suggesting that he has moved from driver to apprentice minister.

The Guys' Couture: 
Keefe is wearing an Eckhaus Latta Accordion Sweater in Kelvin's standard green color, with the midriff and back bare, giving him a feminine appearance.  

More couture after the break

Bronson Pinchot: A gay icon of my childhood turns out to be straight. Then it gets worse. But at least we see his dick

For many years, tv has disguised gay couples as heterosexuals with some other reason for being together -- they work in the same office, or share an apartment, or are brothers.  So censors, skittish network executives, and shrieking homophobic audiences remain clueless, but if you're "in the know," the gay subtext is obvious.

Bronson Pinchot broke into film as Tom Cruise's buddy in Risky Business (1983)..  After several years of playing swishy gay-vague characters, such as Dennis on Sara and Lloyd in After Hours, he was cast in the gay-vague buddy sitcom Perfect Strangers (1986-1993).  He played Balki Bartokomous, an exuberant free-spirit from the faux-Greek country of Mypos, who descends upon his stick-in-the mud distant cousin Larry (Mark Linn-Baker) in Chicago.  You can anticipate the the standard "let's do something wacky"/"but I have a dentist appointment" plotlines.

It's supposed to be a brief visit, but the two end up falling in love, their affection explained as fraternal love, and Balki stays on.

I watched during the first season when Perfect Strangers led into Head of the Class and Night Court on Wednesday nights.  A surprising number of plotlines could be read as negotiating a same sex romance.

Larry: "Balki is cute and all, but how can I build a future with someone who doesn't even know how to fill out an IRS Form 1088-B?" 

Balki: "Larry is good in bed, but he's so shy and reserved. How can I draw him out of his shell?" 

Apparently the network had a problem: the guys were too obviously a gay couple.  So during the second season plotlines increasingly involved dating girls, culminating in steady girlfriends Jennifer and Mary Anne (Melanie Wilson, Rebeca Arthur).

Obviously a screen.  Could they be sitting farther apart on that couch?

More after the break.  A lot more.

May 7, 2024

"Young Rock" Episode 2.8: The Rock hits the big time, with lots of locker room banter with wrestling greats in skimp suits


Young Rock is a fictional autobiographical series about the childhood of Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, bookended by his presidential bid in 2033 (the U.S. could do worse: Dwayne is a gay ally),   I reviewed Episode 2.8, which features Miles Burris as Hunter Hearst Hemsley, a flamboyant blond wrestler.  I figured that he was a parody of Gorgeous George (1915-1963), who riled up the audience by pretending to be gay, so there might be some gay subtexts or homophobia. 

Link to NSFW version

Scene 1: Johnson Family Ranch, 2033, three days before the election. Dwayne's bromantic partner, Randall Park, and his staff are waiting in the kitchen.  The doctor comes out of his room and says "I don't think he's going to make his campaign event tonight!" (Har-har).  He's got food poisoning from bad clam chowder.  "And he's asking for his buddy."

Scene 2:
 Dwayne tells his buddy that he's going to the event anyway.  When you face a challenge, you meet it head-on, like he did in 1996 when he got a call... the WWF is taping in Corpus Christi, and they want him for a "dark match" (before the main match, to get the crowd revved up). His first professional wrestling gig!  He just needs to quit his job at the gym and borrow some wrestling gear. 

Scene 3: Dwayne (Uli Latukefu) arrives in Corpus Christi, and is picked up by his opponent, Steve Lombardi (Scott Colton), The Brooklyn Brawler, a 32-year veteran who broke his dad into wrestling years ago. So this guy is over 50 and still wrestling?  The arena is sold out -- 15,000 fans.

Scene 4: Back in 2033, bromantic partner Randall asks if Dwayne was scared.  "No -- I was where I wanted to be."  

Next Dwayne meets the man in charge of his match, ex-wrestler Michael P.S.Hayes (Brad Burroughs).  The PS stands for "Purely Sexy." His advice: "Follow the Brawler's lead, and keep it simple.  You got six minutes. "But how do you want me to go over (lose the match)?"  Hayes and Brawler both laugh: "Kid, we flew you here to win."

Dwayne is shocked. Winning is unheard-of for your first match! He wants to call his parents, but there's no time. Anyway, they're getting the scoop on a WWF chatroom on America Online (if you remember AOL, you're getting brochures from the AARP).

Scene 5
: Locker room.  While dressing (or undressing), Dwayne is greeted by The Iron Sheik (Brett Azar left), a retired "heel" (bad guy) who has moved into heel management.  He promises to call Dwayne's parents. during the match to give them updates. Gee, these wrestlers are a big happy family.   

Dwayne also meets Stone Cold Steve Austin (Luke Hawx, bottom photo) who will one day revolutionalize wrestling, but now is stuck in a non-speaking persona; Downtown Bruno (Ryan Pinkston), The Undertaker, Mantaur, and Mankind (Brock Dunstan), his future tag-team partner.  Mankind thinks that winning his first match is a bad idea, since if he wins and the crowd doesn't like him, he'll be finished as a wrestler. 

Finally, a long-haired blond in a fancy suit, carrying a cane (he "looked like he was late for a fox hunt"), introduces himself as Hunter Hearst Hemsley, or Triple-H ( Miles Burris).  He will become world champion 14 times, one of the Rock's most important heels, and off-stage, one of his closest friends. They spar with each other, but without using any feminine-slurs.  Ok, so not a parody of Gorgeous George after all, a real wrestler.  He built his persona as rich-snob rather than feminine-gay.  

Scene 6: Showtime!  Everyone gives Dwayne encouragement: "It doesn't matter if you wrestle for ten years or ten minutes.  You make this moment happen!"  He walks out, waves to the crowd, ignores the heckler who asks "Who the hell are you?" The Brooklyn Brawler comes out, threatens the crowd, and gets booed.  "Six minutes to change the course of my life," Dwayne thinks.  Of course he's going to win, but he has to do it in a way that excites the fans. 

They wrestle; Dwayne actually throws the Brawler into a somersault!  I thought it was impressive, but the crowd jeers.  Back stage, Triple-H laughs.  Hey, are you still playing a character, or are you actually a bully?  The Iron Sheik suggests Dwayne show his legs, get some sexiness going on.  

When the Brawler starts pulverizing Dwayne, the crowd is silent. Uh-oh, they're supposed to sympathize. "What do we do now?" Dwayne asks, panicking.  "Just sell it for awhile.  If the crowd cares about you, they'll respond." 

So Dwayne plays at being in pain, and the love of the underdog kicks in.  The crowd starts encourage him to fight.  As if strengthened by their encouragement, Dwayne bounces back and uses amazing acrobatic moves to finish off  the Brawler.  Everyone backstage is ecstatic.  The kid has showmanship!

Scene 7: Back in 2033, Randall wants to talk about his first stage experience: in college he starred in an all-Asian version of The Hudsucker Proxy.  This puts Dwayne to sleep, so Randall says "Sweet dreams, Big Prince," and leans over to kiss him.  Dwayne wakes up, and he backs off. I take it you're hoping to move the bromance into boyfriend territory?  The end.

 Lots.  Half the episode takes place in the locker room, with those muscle studs walking around in those skimpy little wrestling tights.

Heterosexism: None. Young Dwayne has a brief telephone conversation with someone who may be his girlfriend.  Only one insult about someone's lack of sexual practice.  No homophobic slurs.

Gay Characters: None that I know of.  There are wikipedia pages for 48 "openly" gay professional wrestlers, but none of the guys in this episodes.

Gay Subtexts: Deliberate, with Randall Park being in love with Dwayne.

The Inside Scoop: The inside look at pro wrestling was interesting, and the pop-ups useful in figuring out who these guys were. Dwayne is a little too quick to tell us the moral of the story, but after all he is supposed to be sharing his wisdom.   

My Grade: A-

There are a lot of wrestler butts and one penis on RG Beefcake and Boyfriends.

The Gay Adventures of Jerry Lewis

When I was growing up, every summer and sometimes at Christmastime, we drove 300 miles from Rock Island, Illinois to Garrett, Indiana, to visit my parents' family.  We usually stayed with my Aunt Nora, whose kids were nearly grown-up: when I was 10, Cousin Ed was 21, Cousin Eva 19, and Cousin Joe, the only one still living at home, 17 .

It was fun staying with Aunt Nora.  Their house was only two blocks from the Limberlost Library, where Cousin Joe let us check out books on his card.  It was three blocks from Sylvan Lake, where we could go swimming and fishing in the summer.

And in the winter, there was another treasure: an attic full of comic books from the 1950s!

Donald Ducks! Ancient chubby Caspers!  Archie going to sock hops! Pre-code horror!

And Jerry Lewis.

At the time I didn't know that Jerry Lewis was a real person, a comedian whose shtick involved blatant gay subtexts.

I just thought that he was a comic book character, a big-jawed, rather dopey, but cute young man who was not interested in women, as many cover gags demonstrated (here a woman is amazed because he took her through a Tunnel of Love without attempting a kiss.)

 However, he had a long-term partner named Dean Martin.

The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis title (1952-1957) had the pair traveling around the world, to China, the Middle East, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, or Ruritanian countries of Europe, where they became immeshed in intrigues involving spies, bandits, evil cultists, or cannibals, allowing the easily-frightened Jerry to leap into Dean's arms.

Dean often got girls along the way, but Jerry did not.

In the few issues that displayed him shirtless, he had a pleasantly solid physique.

(Yes, that's Batman and Robin as guest superheroes.)

In 1957, shortly after the real-life comedy duo split up, Dean Martin vanished from the comic books, and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis continued for another 84 issues, finally folding in 1971.

Now Jerry was a single parent raising his sarcastic preteen nephew, Renfrew, and still not interested in women, though often they tried to seduce him.  The duo had humorous paranormal adventures with ghosts, witches, werewolves, monsters, mad scientists, and so on.

Eventually Jerry became the headmaster of a school for kids who are "different."

Some nice gay symbolism in my Aunt Nora's attic during the long, dull days after Christmas.

"The Fullness of Man" or "A Full Man" or "Filling a Man." Whatever, it has a wild penis scene.


Link to the wild penis scene

While I am scrolling through my "nude photo" feed, I am shocked to find two that are extremely explicit.  In the first, an older man wearing a suit catches a young man having anal sex with his boyfriend.  So Dad didn't know that he was gay?  In the second, the young man confronts the older man -- while fully aroused, and huge!

The caption says Tom Pelphrey, whom I've never heard of, in the movie A Man in Full.  It must have a gay theme -- gay men being accused of being "not really men," and all that.

Tom Pelphrey has 10,000 photos on the internet, but he usually looks much older, so this must be a movie from early in his career.  Probably European -- what American movie would show full arousal?

More research reveals that he starred in Ozark, but I can't tell which character.  An article in People says Perry Abbott, but a Reddit feed says that he was AMAZING as Ben.  The Ozark wiki mentions Ben, "a major antagonist in the third season," but not Perry Abbott, so People must be wrong.

Here's a long shot of Ben's butt.

Next I try to look up A Man in Full, but it's such a nonsensical title that I keep searching on A Full Man and The Fullness of Men instead.   When I finally get the title right, it's not an artsy European movie from the early 2000s, it's a tv series that dropped on Netflix in 2024!  Atlanta real estate mogul Charlie Croker, played by famous actor Jeff Daniels, goes bankrupt, and has to defend his empire. Isn't that, like, "Succession"?  

Jeff Daniels is best known for the adulation of 1990s stupidity Dumb and Dumber. Here he shows a bulge in Something Wild (1986).

Tom Pelphrey plays "Raymond Peepgrass" Ridiculous name! This guy is a voyeur of lawns?

Wikipedia doesn't say who he is, so I'm assuming from the photo, the rich guy's lawyer?  Why would he care if his lawyer is gay?

More after the break

May 6, 2024

Skyler Gisondo's Hot/Hung Photos, Part 1: Birthdays, biceps, and a Viking Satyr. Plus Asa Butterfield's junk.

Link to the nude photos.

This is a collection of cute/cool or hot/humorous photos of  Skyler Gisondo, star of The Santa Clarita Diet and Time Freaks, and Jimmy Olsen in the upcoming Superman: Legacy.   As far as I know, he's over 18 in all of them.  He doesn't have any verifiable nude photos online, but some of his friends do, and there are some interesting chatroom and hookup app possibilities.

1. 24th birthday, with cat, odd presents, and a bare chest.

2. "Ok, I switched to a muscle shirt.  Now can we kiss?"

3. Infinity shirt.  I can't think of anything clever to say about it, so feel free to fill in your own ________.

4. Skyler starred in The Santa Clarita Diet as the boyfriend of the daughter of the zombified Sheila Hammond.  Thomas Novak played their high school principal. Censored.

5.Skyler dressed as a Viking Satyr for a competition in Wet Hot American Summer.   If you don't like eating hot peppers, I have another suggestion.

6. A more realistic Viking-Satyr costume for you to consider. Censored.

More genuine Gisondo after the break.

"Chucky": Gay Kid, Murderous Doll, Small Town. What Could Go Wrong?

 I've seen one or two of the Child's Play movies, about a homicidal doll.  Some of them are apparently queer-friendly, with gay and nonbinary characters.  Most recently, the Chucky tv series (2021-) reputedly has a gay protagonist, so I bought the first season on Vudu and reviewed the first episode.

Scene 1:  Idyllic small-town Hackensack, New Jersey, a suburb of Manhattan.  At a late-autumn yard sale, Jake Wheeler (Zackary Arthur, a femme young man with big hair and an ostentatious ring), buys a vintage Chucky doll.  

On the way home, he listens to "Hackenslash," a podcast about the dark side of Hackensack.  Today's episode: Charles Lee Ray, who killed his family in 1965.  (I think he's the one whose spirit possessed the Chucky doll.)  

Scene 2: 
Jake's room.  He's building a truly disgusting statue composed entirely of doll heads.  I can't even look at the nightmare.  Dad (former teen idol Devon Sawa) enters to complain about Jake "playing with dolls" and "why don't you ask a girl to a movie."  He's only worried about Jake being gay? The kid is seriously disturbed!

Scene 3: Dinner with Dad's twin brother, his wife, and his son Junior (Teo Briones), who "accuses" Jake of being gay.  This enrages Dad so much that he shatters glasses on the floor and yells "He's 13.  He doesn't know what he is yet." So he can know if he's hetero and "ask a girl to a movie," but he can't know if he's gay?

Jake points out that he's 14, not 13.  Big faux-pas, Dad!  (the actor is 16).

Additional plot dump: Jake's Mom died in a car crash (of course).  Dad's business is going under, but he refuses to accept aid from his brother.  Dad drinks.

Brother's Wife Bree says she has to go to the bathroom, but instead she sneaks into Jake's room to make a secret phone call.  She finds the Chucky doll lurking in a closet.

Scene 4: Dad bursts into Jake's room and smashes the nighmare statue (Good!), but only because he thinks that Jake is gay.  "No more dolls!"  

In the morning, Jake checks the internet and finds that mint-condition Chucky dolls sell for $1,500.  Surely Dad will make an exception for a cash cow?  To be safe, Jake takes Chucky to school with him.

Scene 5: 
On the bus, Jake is bullied and laughed at. Well, you're a 14-year old lugging a gigantic doll around. He gazes longingly at Devon (Bj√∂rgvin Arnarson), who hosts the Hackenslash podcast, but his abusive cousin Junior is already sitting with him. 

Scene 6: At school, Jake's friend asks to be introduced to his cousin Junior, but Junior overhears and says "I'm flattered, but that's not really my thing."  Not so homophobic today.  To demonstrate, he smooches his girlfriend, the Mean Girl Lexi.

Scene 7:  In biology class, Jake is skittish about dissecting a frog.  He zones out, and when he returns, the frog is hacked to bits!  The teacher confiscates his Chucky doll.

Meanwhiel, Mean Girl Lexi starts a "Go Fund Me" to humiliate Jake. The teacher keeps her after class to complain.  When she leaves the room, Chucky menaces Lexi.

Scene 8: At lunch, podcaster Devon sits with Jake, but only to ask to interview him for an episode on bullying.  This enrages Jake, and he storms away.

Scene 9: At home, prospective buyers are contacting Jake.  One happens to be Andy Barclay, Chucky's original owner, who warns him about "mysterious things" happening around the doll.  Jake checks the internet: lots of murders.  Wait -- I thought just one Chucky doll was possessed.  Is it all of them? 

Scene 10:  When we last saw Chucky, he was locked in a cabinet at school, but somehow he ended up at home, and Dad found him!  "You have to get rid of this doll, now!"  Tell him about the $1500.  Suddenly Chucky speaks -- without batteries!  Jake freaks out and throws him in the garbage.

Scene 11:
School Talent Show.  Devon is not only a podcaster, but a pianist.  Later, Mean Girl uses her "talent" to humiliate Jake.  Suddenly Chucky is there!  Jake takes the stage, pretending to be a ventriloquist: "I'm Chucky.  We're friends to the end.  Only friends.  Not that there's anything wrong with that." 

He humiliates Lexi for dating both Junior and Oliver (Avery Esteves), and reveals a few more secrets, including Aunt Bree's obsession with Pokemon porn, to laughter and applause.

Scene 12:  At home, Dad is getting drunk.  Jake was suspended for his performance at the talent show: "You insulted your friends and family in front of the school!  Everybody thinks you're...weird." Does he mean gay?  Jake calls him out on his homophobia, and he responds by beating, strangling, and threatening to kill Jake.  

This annoys Chucky, who cuts the electricity.  When Dad goes down to the basement barefoot to check the circuit breakers, Chucky electrocutes him.  Jake is horrified.

Scene 13:
Jake talking to Detective Evans, who happens to be Devon's Mom, and Detective Peyton (Travis Milne). You called the cops for an accidental death?  

"You will be staying with your uncle.  Are you sure you don't want to see the grief counselor?"  An hour after his Dad's death?  Give him a couple of days.

They ask how the Chucky doll got from a locked cabinet in the school into the house.  How would they know that unless they asked the teacher or Jake?  And why would they, unless they suspect the dolll?  Jake claims that he broke into the school to retrieve it to work on his ventriloquist act.

The body bag is carted out, open enough to give Jake a good look at his father's bloody face.  That's got to be against protocol.

Uncle Logan arrives.  Oh, that's why it's a twin brother -- so Devon Sawa can continue to be on the show.

Scene 14:  Uncle Logan has a palatial estate!  A giant chandelier in the circular stairwell!  Aunt Bree shows Jake his gigantic room and gives him a map to the upstairs guest-wing bathroom.  Hasn't he been there before?

Cousin Junior just stands there, glaring at him.  What is he upset about?  Does he suspect something?  Jake shuts the door.  

Chucky animates.  Jake yells at him for killing his Dad, but Chucky insists: "He was an asshole.  He got what he deserved. Now let's talk about that bitch Lexi."  The end.

Beefcake: None.

Heterosexism:  None.

Gay Characters: Jake's friend.  Jake, although at this point unclear whether Jake is actually gay or just "accused."  Devon has not been specifically identified as gay, either, but he becomes Jake's boyfriend later.

The Doll Head Sculpture: If Jake is not being presented as a psychopath, what was the point of the nightmarish sculpture? (I can't even bring myself to make a screenshot of it).

My Grade: A-.

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