Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tuned In: Friday, November 28, 2008

Material World

Sundance Honors World AIDS Day with Madonna Doc Because I Am

By Dan Avery

She might’ve thrown in the Kabbalah-blessed towel on her marriage, but Madonna has never stopped fighting against AIDS and HIV. At 9pm on December 1, World AIDS Day, the Sundance Channel debuts the soon-to-be former Mrs. Ritchie’s documentary I Am Because We Are, a riveting look at some of the one million children orphaned by AIDS in Malawi. “The suffering in Malawi is palpable, but so is the joy,” says Madge, who wrote and produced the film. “The people I met with in the course of making this film—from village headsmen to Nobel Prize winners to world leaders—have opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking. If you want to change the world, you have to first change yourself.” In addition to the pop icon, the film features insights from leading experts like President Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and global health advocate Dr. Paul Farmer.

Spring Time

Wouldn’t it have been awesome if High School Musical 3 was more like Spring Awakening? Well, we doubt we’ll see Zac Efron in a stolen gay kiss with Corbin Bleu any time soon, but here! TV has just wrapped production on The Awakening of Spring, an adaptation of the 19th century German drama that also spawned the hit Broadway show from 2006. The new version moves the story from Europe in the 18th century to the American Midwest in the early 20th, but still centers on a group of gay and straight adolescents struggling with their sexual desires and oppressive authority figures. Expect to see it air some time in 2009.

Out There
We’ve heard homophobes talking about exiling gays to some desert island, and it looks like that’s just what happened in merry ol’ England. The new season of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, a UK reality TV in which B-list celebs are sent to a remote jungle environment, features not one but three homo contestants: Newlywed Heroes star George Takei, tennis superstar Martina Navratilova and retired police offer Brian Paddick, who ran for mayor of London earlier this year. Ah, c’mon—we all know Martina will totally whip those boys asses!


Friday, November 28
Coffee Date (4pm, Logo): A straight bachelor is sent on a blind date with a gay man. Hilarity and sexual confusion ensues.

Saturday, November 29
Shelter (9pm, here!) A shy surfer boy is attracted to his friend's older brother.

Sunday, November 30
Brothers & Sisters (10pm, ABC): Nora recruits the family to tear down her charity home.

Monday, December 1
Rock the Boar (5pm, Logo): A team of HIV+ sailors compete in the 2,200-mile Trans-Pacific Yacht Race.

Tuesday, December 2
Rick & Steve (10pm, Logo): Rick and Steve's moms cross swords on Mother's Day.

Wednesday, December 3
The Rules of Attraction (9pm, IFC): Bisexual Paul (Iam Somerhalder) is one of the rich and amoral students at an elite college.

Thursday, December 4
Ugly Betty (8pm, ABC): Betty and Amanda spend an unforgettable night on the town.

Friday, December 5
The Starter Wife (10pm, USA): Chris Diamontapolous plays Rodney, Molly's gay best friend.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tuned In: Friday, November 21, 2008

Dyke to Watch Out For
Is America ready for Rosie O’Donnell’s return to television?

By Dan Avery

Hide the children and bolt the doors—Rosie O’Donnell is back on prime time! The outspoken comedian, who nearly came to blows with Elizabeth Hasselbeck on ABC’s The View, is testing the waters at NBC with a Thanksgiving Eve variety show tentatively titled Rosie Live. Airing Wednesday, November 26, at 9pm, the hour-long special features O’Donnell—a longtime fan of Carol Burnett and Mike Douglas—starring in comedy skits, kibitzing with celebrity guests and introducing musical acts. If the show’s a hit there’s talk of an ongoing series, but Ro’ would be wise to leave her more controversial soundbites to her blog. Consider this gem about Barack Obama’s victory: “i wonder if i will stop hugging every black person i see. archie kissed sammy davis jr.” Queen Latifah may need a restraining order.

Halloween is a distant memory, but that’s not stopping here! from debuting a new horror flick this week. Adapted from a story by H.P. Lovecraft, Cthulhu is the chilling tale of a Seattle history professor (Jason Cottle) who returns home after his mother’s death to discover his estranged father is leading a New Age cult linked to an aquatic terror. (Ain’t that always the way?) Expert source material and eerie cinematography give the film genuine chills, but it’s the steamy subplot between the prof and his childhood friend that really kept us watching. Of course, the appearance of gay fave Tori Spelling doesn’t hurt either.

German homos got some loving this month when the country’s first gay network, TIMM, launched November 1. The basic-cable channel currently offers American imports like The L-Word and Queer as Folk, as well as documentaries and international feature films.


Saturday, November 22
The Graham Norton Show (10pm, BBC America): Norton welcomes singer Tom Jones and queer comedian Alan Carr.

Sunday, November 23
Angels in America (10pm, Logo): A star-studded cast brings Tony Kushner’s riveting AIDS drama to the small screen.

Monday, November 24
Dancing with the Stars (8pm, ABC): We’ll still be watching even if Lance Bass has been ousted by now.

Tuesday, November 25
The Henry Rollins Show (9:15pm, IFC): Gay indie rocker Bob Mould performs.

Wednesday, November 26
Top Chef New York (10pm, Bravo): Richard Sweeney and Patrick Dunlea stir the pot for Team Gay.

Thursday, November 27
Mambo Italiano (7pm, Logo): A writer struggles with his closeted boyfriend (pictured) and immigrant parents.

Friday, November 28
Coffee Date (4pm, Logo): A straight bachelor accidentally goes on a blind date with a gay man.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tuned In: Friday, November 14, 2008

Making Out
TV stars shine in the Out 100

By Dan Avery

It seems like just yesterday we were clucking about Tilda Swinton’s garbage-bag Oscar dress, but awards season is almost upon us again. Getting a leg up on the competition, Out Magazine is announcing its annual Out 100 at a star-studded gala Friday night, with small-screen honorees including Christian Siriano, Candis Cayne, John Barrowman, George Takei, Ugly Betty producer Silvio Horta, Brothers & Sisters’ Luke MacFarlane (pictured) and MSNBC superstar Rachel Maddow (who we would totally switch for, FYI). Newly reformed disco divas Labelle will perform at the shindig, being held at Gotham Hall, but don’t expect it to be too glamourous. Professional potty-mouth Chelsea Handler is emceeing. (By the way, doesn’t “Chelsea Handler” sound like the name of a gay public-relations expert?)

Death Threats
I never thought there’d be a reason to watch Fox’s laugh-free sitcom ’Til Death, but never say never: According to’s Michael Ausiello, Nathan Lane will guest-star as Brad Garrett’s gay brother on the November 18 episode. Dumped by his longtime boyfriend, Lane comes to Garrett for solace and the pair bond over their common need for codependency. Gives you a warm feeling all over, don’t it?

Punch-Drunk Love
If you’re a boxing fan, you might’ve caught the Vargas-Titsworth bout on HBO’s Boxing After Dark last Saturday. If not, you missed a pretty queer sight: During the third round, Titsworth leaned over and kissed Vargas on the neck. (You can watch the liplock below.) I’d take a lover over a fighter any day, but the smooch cost Titsworth a two-point deduction and Vargas won the matchup 39-34.

Queer TV Highlights

Saturday, November 15
You Belong to Me (3pm, Logo): A gay architect is stalked by his eccentric landlady.

Sunday, November 16
Brothers and Sisters (10pm, ABC): The Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley guest stars as a surprise love interest for Uncle Saul.

Monday, November 17
here! with Josh and Sara (6pm, here): The affable hosts chat with porn star/singer Colton Ford.

Tuesday, November 18
Blush: The Search for the Next Great Make-Up Artist (10pm, Lifetime): Reality TV scrapes the barrel as homos compete to be mascara-queen supreme.

Wednesday, November 19
Rick and Steve (10:30pm, Logo): The gang runs out of gas coming back from the hospital with the new baby.

Thursday, November 20
Ugly Betty (8pm, ABC): Designers Badgley-Mischka stop by Mode, where Betty and Marc are vying for a prestigious internship.

Friday, November 21
The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle (6pm, Sundance): AbFab’s Jennifer Saunders stars as a vicious talk-show host in this satirical British series.

For more Tuned In, visit

Tuned In: Friday, November 7, 2008

What’s Cookin?
Gay gourmand Patrick Dunlea keeps it fresh on Top Chef: New York.

By Dan Avery

Viewers will find plenty of delicious drama on the NYC-based season of Bravo’s Top Chef, debuting Wednesday, November 12, at 9pm. And hopefully out contestant Patrick Dunlea will stand the heat and stay in the kitchen long enough to make it to the finals. Before the knives came out, though, I talked turkey with the single 21-year-old, whose currently a student at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.

You’re so young. Were you worried about facing more experienced chefs?
Being at the Institute, I’m really in the best environment for this show. I’m learning and using different skills every day. Some of the other contestants may be a little rusty in certain areas.

What was your relationship like with the other gay contestants?
I got along with everyone on the show. The other gays and I—Richard and [lesbian chef] Jamie—joined up to form Team Rainbow.

The new season is set in the Big Apple. What’s your favorite New York restaurant?
I really love Prune in the East Village. Gabrielle Hamilton cooks what she likes and doesn’t worry about trends. She has a whole Bloody Mary menu.

Are you a carb queen or do you indulge in rich foods?
I think food is made to be enjoyed, so long as it’s in moderation. It’s kind of ridiculous that people are scared of butter. If it’s natural ingredient, I figure it can’t be too bad.

What would you make for dinner on a first date?
I’d make a mushroom risotto. And serve a lot of wine. Dessert could be in the kitchen…or elsewhere.

Queer TV Highlights

Saturday, November 8
Sweeney Todd (8pm, HBO):
The demon barber (Johnny Depp) terrorizes London in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the hit musical.

Sunday, November 9
Summer Heights High (10:30pm, HBO): Mean girl Ja’mie (Chris Lilley) rises to the top of the “In” crowd.

Monday, November 10
Samantha Who (9:30pm, ABC): Mary-Kate Olsen cameos as a troubled young woman. What a stretch.

Tuesday, November 11
Rick & Steve (10pm, Logo): The happiest gay couple in the world (pictured) returns for a second season.

Wednesday, November 12
America’s Next Top Model (8pm, The CW): The girls party a little too hard back at the house.

Thursday, November 13
Ugly Betty (8pm, ABC): Betty needs Daniel’s aid to prevent a PR disaster at Mode.

Friday, November 14
Drawn Together (11pm, Logo): Captain Hero’s nerdy alter ego gets gay with
elfin homo Xandir.

For more Tuned In, visit

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Back in the saddle

I started this blog over two years ago, as a place to post stray thoughts and recent bylines. Ironically, I became so busy writing elsewhere that I cast it adrift some time in 2007. Now that I'm doing the freelance thing fulltime--and no longer have coworkers to subject to my quirky musings--I've decided to resurrect big words. Prepare for lots more verbiage.