WHO’S RUNNING CBS, ANYWAY? NBCSUCKS?
Can we talk just amongst ourselves for a second? We all know that ManCrunch.com ad isn’t really any good right? Come on, MAD TV did that joke years ago. Frankly, they did it better.
And I know ManCrunch says they have the $2.5 million dollars to pay for the spot, but I can’t be the only one who thinks they would’ve found a loophole to get out of actually airing the ad (um, our gay dog … ate the check), and that this was really all just a brilliant publicity stunt, right?
Two football fans suddenly kissing was funny … four years ago
Which of course means, CBS was perfectly within their rights to reject the ad.
And yet, I couldn’t be happier to see the network hang on the cross over this. Call it Karma. Call it payback. Call it fun to watch.
So often in life, people — or giant corporations — don’t get their comeuppance for that which they most deserve it. Think O.J. Simpson going to prison over those "stolen" souvenirs in Las Vegas. Except he deserved to go to prison for that, too. Anyway, this whole ManCrunch fiasco seems like a case in point.
Honestly, if CBS had done a better job with gay issues over the years — say by not blurring out Adam Lambert’s same-sex kiss during a news story the network aired about the American Music Awards — not only would I be a lot less hard on them over this, but I don’t think they would look as guilty of being homophobic as they do.
This is what happens when you not only previously turn down a pro-gay ad from a gay-friendly church because you don’t do advocacy advertisements, only to then turn around and secretly (and probably retroactively) change your policy so you can take money from one of the most homophobic groups in the country. Then on top of that, it comes out that you also worked with said group in order to create their ad. (Check out the Super Bowl commercial ads CBS didn’t want you seeing!)
How can us ’mos not enjoy watching that blow up in the network’s face?
At least when ABC censored Adam Lambert on the American Music Awards, the network could legitimately rebut claims of their being homophobic by pointing to their record of GLBT visibility on the network from Brothers & Sisters to Ugly Betty to Modern Family.
Meanwhile, all CBS primetime has are their reality programs, even the best of which — The Amazing Race — has had a few issues (you’re the deaf one, Luke. Don’t talk about being gay!). And when the subject turns to scripted characters on CBS, forget about it as the network currently has … none. That’s right, there are no regular or recurring GLBT characters anywhere on the network.
In fact, for the last really good gay scripted character on CBS, you have to go all the way back to December of 2006 and the "Forever Blue" episode of Cold Case. Hmm, not exactly a record of inclusiveness that CBS can fall back on there, is it?
Sean: Can you believe three years from now, we’ll still be the best gay characters on CBS?
Jimmy: Um, you sure know how to sweet talk a guy, don’t you?
Which isn’t to say CBS hasn’t said all the right things about GLBT visibility. Back in the spring of 2008, we published our Gays in Primetime — A Special Investigative Report which included an interview with CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler who told us that “philosophically” [CBS] is about is a “policy of inclusion,” and that CBS programming “has got to reflect what our audience looks like.”
In this case, "philosophically" means "I have no excuse for our pathetic record so am going to instead use pretty, big words that mean nothing in this context in hopes of distracting you. This is why I get paid millions of dollars. Is it working?
Um, no, Nina. Sorry.
Tassler also said the network was working really really hard to make sure writers and producers knew how much the network wanted to be diverse by constantly asking “Could this character be transgender, or could this character be gay or lesbian?”
Gosh, I wonder if Tassler was speaking some long dead language none of the writers spoke because not much changed despite that philosophy of inclusion. When we pointed out that their policy wasn’t showing much in the way of dividends, Tassler admitted “It is few and far between. I know we haven’t done enough. And I know we can do more.”
Yeah, so do we. And yet when I again asked Tassler about the issue more than a year later in the summer of 2009, I got more of the same promises that the network again failed to fulfill.
So while I don’t really think homophobia fueled CBS’ decision to pass on the ManCrunch’s ad, the network clearly does have a problem when it comes to GLBT visibility. And if getting pummeled over this is what it takes to finally get their attention, then so be it. Hand me my pummeling stick and let’s get started.
Not that I’m really expecting much to change.
Next page! In the famous words of Lisa Simpson "Grade me! Grade me! Grade me!"
THE POWER RANKINGS!
Just like I promised, the Power Rankings are back. I know, I know! All is again right with the world. Or am I overstating their importance? Maybe a tad?
Either way, now that things are mostly back to normal after the TCA, these first rankings are going to be for the whole time period since I last did them. So just that keep that mind!
Rank (Last Week)
|Did you ever think we’d see the day when a gay character from SyFy would make the chart! But with killer good looks, killer charisma, and, well, being a killer, how could he not make the list!|
|RuPaul’s Drag Race
|Ru is back bigger and better than ever! Thank heavens TPTB didn’t f*** it up and have to sashay away…|
Calvin and Grant
|The first ep of the new season kicked off with a great storyline for our gay frat brothers. Alas, they disappeared last week…|
|Congrats to Lee for his Best Director Oscar nod!|
Alby and Dale
|Fascinating to see guys in the closet who aren’t trying to get out, but instead just accept their lot in life. Fascinating and depressing.|
|Be Good Johnny Weir
|Evan Lysacek gets praised to high heaven when he competes sick, but Johnny does the same and gets skipped over for the team. Yeah, no bias here.|
Kevin Walker/Scotty Wandell
|Brothers & Sisters
|Those of you who don’t like the surrogacy storyline shouldn’t get too excited that the egg didn’t hatch. Just saying…|
|The Real World DC
|Oooh, the bi guy’s love life is getting complicated. Clearly, this isn’t CBS.|
|Welcome back, Officer Cooper. We missed your bad ass! Say, do you think you could do something about CBS? Maybe scare’em a little?|
|Kell on Earth
|Yes, he’s yet another gay assistant, but he’s kind of grungy and a rocker and not at all the usual assistant. And we even hear about his life. Again, so not CBS|
Gosh, CBS didn’t have a single character on the chart. What a shock…
Next page! Shooting arrows at the week’s TV!
IN MY HUMBLE OPINION
Much to my surprise, when I polled BGWE readers about which features you like best, the IMHOs were the number one choice by quite a wide margin. Which actually makes me happy as I like writing them and getting all the snark out of my system. So let’s get started!
And, just like with the Power Rankings, these IMHOs are for the entire past month.
THE GRAMMY AWARDS: Before you all riot over the up arrow, I didn’t actually watch all of the Grammys. I have people for that, you know. (Nice job, Ed! And you too, Snicks! Really! I didn’t mean to forget you. Now let go of my arm…) But of what I did watch — Lady GaGa and Elton John, Pink’s astounding performance, Stevie Nicks performance with that teen cupcake— I quite liked it. Of course, my Grammys were only twenty minutes long…
BTW, is it just me or was it embarrassing pairing Taylor Swift with Stevie Nicks? Stevie’s voice just blew Taylor away in a … wait for it, wait for it … landslide!
BROTHERS & SISTERS: Perhaps it’s just giddiness over the impending departure of Senator Prettyboy — happy dance! — but this episode felt like the show I used to actually like. Plus, not only was Kevin not a jerk — swoon — but Scotty had a little bit of a storyline, and the scene with our boys at the end was really really sweet.
Awwww…. none of this on CBS!
BONES: Great episode with gay dentists and gay football players, but giving Robert Gant sixty seconds of screen time can only be considered … wait for it, wait for it … a boner! Sorry, couldn’t resist!
UGLY BETTY: I see what you’re doing Betty! By putting on some subpar episodes, you’re trying to make it easier when you go away for good. Sorry, but it’s going to work about as well as Wilhelmina’s trying to pass Wilheldiva off as herself. In other words, not at all.
GREEK: Calvin and Grant didn’t have any face time in last week’s ep, but they were all over the first ep so they get an up arrow here. Here is hoping it won’t be the only one of the season!
RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE: Am I the only one who wanted to see Kathy Griffin get up on stage and go head to head with Pandora Boxx in a Lipsynch for Your Life match? Talk about great TV! That being said, the actual Lipsynch for Your Life battle totally rocked.
Which is the drag queen?
Next page! Ru Paul Untucked gets ugly.
RUPAUL UNTUCKED: If every episode is going to get this ugly, I think I’ll just stick with the drag race. I hate seeing stereotypes reinforced, and if some of these drag queens get any bitchier, they are going to end up in the dog pound.
CAPRICA: Okay, the pilot might have been a little dense and there aren’t transporters or warp cores or aliens with pointy ears, but we do have Cylons! And I’m sorry, but how can I not love a show with a gay mobster who is the father figure to the one and only William Adama? Take that Star Trek!
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE: Did Andy Cohen totally dodge that question about why Bravo dumped Jaclyn Smith from Shear Genius? He did, he did! Bawk bawk bawk! Good thing he had Cheyenne Jackson on to distract me.
MODERN FAMILY: I’ve heard tell Matthew Mitcham used a "splash down" to beat the Chinese diver at the Beijing Olympics. I wonder if this could help me with the pesky EW reporter?
KELL ON EARTH: Yet another program about a celebrity stylist/publicist/dog walker? Really? Are these people that interesting? Well, at least it didn’t suck, plus gay assistant Andrew gets plenty of screen time. Even better? He’s not a raging a**hole.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE: Want to know one of the best things about having so many gay characters on TV and so many shows doing gay episodes? I don’t have to like them just for doing something gay. Because another episode about how every woman needs a gay man to make them fabulous is not funny! And this show isn’t funny! Okay, the scene with the pants was funny, but everything else was LAME!
BIG LOVE: It’s weird how oddly compelling I’m finding Alby to be. I know it’s got to end badly, but I keep hoping. Something tells me Dale is going to be sorry…
CHELSEA LATELY: I can’t believe the questions Chelsea asked Spartacus star Andy Whitfield about his junk. I feel so dirty. And turned on. I need to get out more, don’t I?
Andy: You really want to hear the story about the naughty bits popping out again?
SPARTACUS: So Andy used a stunt double for his frontal nude scenes, eh? See what you learn watching Chelsea!
BE GOOD JOHNNY WEIR: Yes, it’s no Jersey Shore or The Housewives of Who Gives a Crap, but a reality show based on someone who has actually achieved something? What a concept. No wonder it’s not on MTV or VH1.
THE REAL WORLD: The stuff with Mike is interesting and I like him, but I want to beat Andrew to a pulp with that stupid hat.
THE BANK OF HOLLYWOOD: The only way the moguls on this Shark Tank wannabe would’ve turned down the gay couple looking to adopt would be if this show aired on the Christian Broaddast Network.
Next page! One more week until Valentine’s Day! Oh, joy…
FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE!
We’re only one week away from the arrival of Valentine’s Day starring Bradley Coop — what, no one cares because of the degayed ad campaign? Well, I see the movie on Monday so at least we’ll finally know if there is something gay there or not.
As for this week, the gayest thing we have is this picture of Channing Tatum from some weepy melodrama called Dear John.
BTW, this is directed by Lasse Hallstrom who did Chocolat and My Life as a Dog. Either Dear John is a lot better than it looks or Lasse is losing it. Uh oh, according to RottenTomatoes.com, Lasse is definitely losing it.
Friday night has new eps of our current faves Caprica (with hottie Sasha Roiz! Oh, and Lucrece, you are totally right to hate me!) and because I like you guys so much, I got SyFy to give us this clip from Friday night’s episode that shows Sam at home with hubby Larry. No need to thank me. Oh, go ahead!
Friday also presents us with a new Spartacus. This week’s episode doesn’t come out and say who the gay gladiator is, but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out if you’re paying attention. Don’t forget the recaps which will go up late Friday night. To tide you over until then, here is a little clip that doesn’t have any homoeroticism in at all.
Also on Friday night, we’ve got Kim Cattrall dropping by Jonathan Ross (John Barrowman is next week!) as well as a new Shameless over on Sundance. I really wish I had the time to watch this series, but I guess I’ll just have to wait for the Showtime version.
Saturday night has Ashton Kutcher hosting Saturday Night Live so that might be marginally interesting. Note I said "interesting" and not "funny." That wasn’t by accident.
Next page! Don’t know who to cheer for in the Super Bowl? Let me help!
Sunday has this little event known as the Super Bowl, the premiere advertising event of the year. A couple of football teams also compete for something known as the Lombardi Trophy, but most folks don’t care about that.
Mewelde Moore: I get a trophy and a baby! Woo hoo!
If you’re not sure which team you should be cheering for — the New Orleans Saints or the Indianapolis Colts — let me help clarify. As ’mos, bi men and women, lesbians and our allies, you totally want the Saints to win for a whole host of reasons.
Which city do you think is more gay friendly: New Orleans with it’s vibrant, diverse French Quarter and active gay community or Indianapolis which is in Indiana (think "red state") and isn’t exactly known as a gay-friendly part of the country. To be fair, Indianapolis did pass a gay right’s law by 15-14 a few year’s back and while Indiana did outlaw gay marriage, only Louisiana amended their constitution to ban it. Still, I’d take New Orleans any day of the week.
Moving on, guess which team was involved with the very homophobic Snickers Super Bowl ad campaign a few years back? And I don’t mean the commercial, but the really unpleasant website that went along with it. Yep, that was the Colts.
So come Sunday, I will definitely be pulling for ’Nawlins to win their first Super Bowl.
Oh, and thanks to the big game, Sunday has no new eps of Brothers & Sisters or Desperate Housewives, but there will be a new Big Love.
Monday has a new Greek and while last week’s was 100% Calvin free, this week’s does feature a Calvin/Grant storyline and it’s actually pretty good. It involves the use of “That’s gay” and what it means to stand up for yourself. Also on Monday is How I Met Your Mother, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Kell on Earth and the second episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Speaking of RuPaul, we actually have a new vlog that we’ll be posting after each episode. Here is the first one, but starting next week, they’ll go up on Tuesday morning.
Speaking of Tuesday, Ellen DeGeneres makes her American Idol debut and it will be very interesting to see how she meshes with Randy, Simon and the One Who is Pointless.
Ellen DeGeneres, and how about next time we have "Speedo guy" instead?
Next page! Patti Stanger strikes again!
Also on Tuesday, the oh so classy Patti Stanger is back with another gay millionaire she tries to fix up. At least this time she doesn’t get in to sexual proclivities.
Seriously, would you let this woman fix you a cup of coffee much less fix you up on a date?
Wednesday has another Idol, New Adventures of Old Christine, Ugly Betty, Cougar Town and Modern Family. If that isn’t enough, there is also the second ep of Bravo’s Shear Genius, a new The Real World and High School Reunion.
Also on Wednesday is Logo’s second new show of the month, The Robert Verdi Show starring Robert Verdi. In the interest of full disclosure, let me start off by reminding folks that Logo is AfterElton.com’s parent company. I say that because when Logo first announced this show, I read a lot of … unpleasant comments both here and on other websites about Verdi and the show.
I have to confess that before Logo picked this up, I couldn’t have told you the first thing about Robert. And after reading the comments and criticisms, I didn’t particularly want to know anything about him. Fortunately, part of my job is to keep an open mind (unless it’s in regards to Accidentally on Purpose in which case my mind is firmly made up; it sucks) and when I sat down to interview Robert, I found him to be funny and self-effacing.
Then I watched the first two episodes of his show and began to suspect that some people are missing the point of the show. The Robert Verdi Show starring Robert Verdi isn’t yet another one of these reality program about a designer/stylist/matchmaker/real estate agent that we’re supposed to admire even though they are a jerk/monster/egomaniac most of the time. It’s actually a sendup of those shows.
The first clue is the title. Come on, The Robert Verdi Show starring Robert Verdi is not a title meant to be taken seriously. And if after five minutes of the first episode, wherein Robert insists his staff make him an internationally beloved cartoon character with sidekicks including a cartoon Patricia Fields, you don’t realize Robert isn’t serious, you need to see a doctor.
The first episode also includes a rather sweet tea party Robert has with his nieces at Hello Kitty! But it’s the second episode where Verdi’s satire really takes flight as he concocts a scheme to get rich by first making Americans fat with his new ice cream, but then helping them get thin via a "negative calorie lollipop" he calls the "lollipoop" because, well, let’s just say the ingredients help the digestive system.
Robert has definitely borrowed a page from Kathy Griffin’s book in that he pretends to be completely serious about his schemes while pitching them to a book publisher (his cartoon character) and the editor of Self Magazine (his "lollipoop" diet craze), but unlike Kathy who really did publish a book, Robert is never the least bit serious.
All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised and I think you should at least check it out for yourself. And here is a short clip on aging gracefully that pretty much sums up the show.
For more info on the show, go here.
Finally, there isn’t much specifically gay on Thursday but Survivor kicks off it’s twentieth season, and there are new eps of Parks & Recreation, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and 30 Rock.
Here is the TV Calendar so you can look up the times of your faves!
Next page! Is it wrong to be crushing on this college student?
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
The other night I crashed on the couch and was channel surfing when I came across Jeopardy’s College Championship Tournament. Back before my life became about watching anything and everything gay gay GAY , I used to watch Jeopardy quite a bit. Now I watch Kell on Earth’s Shear Genius Drag Race.
But I digress.
Anyway, I was watching these fresh-faced, young college students when the very definition of adorkable started answering questions. His name is Ryan Stoffers and he’s a student at UCLA. He’s also super smart and is exactly the sort of guy I would’ve crushed on back in the day.
I just thought he was so adorable that I had to share!
Speaking of sharing, we had two great vlogs this week that I’m reposting in case you missed them.
The first is Dennis Hensley’s new vlog, Tell Dennis Everything. In this first episode, Dennis interviews out actor Woody Schultz who dishes on James Cameron’s Avatar.
And in honor of gay history month, Tim and Ryan of Gay in the UK take us on a wild sock puppet ride of all things gay throughout history!
Finally, for those of you that noticed, there was no Asshat/Gay Hero of the Week. Those were the least popular features in my poll last week, and in order to keep my work life manageable, they’ve officially been retired for now.
That’s it for this week so now I’ll shut up so can have the BEST.GAY.WEEK.EVER!