Editor’s note: After several
years of covering the soap world for us, we thought it was about time Anthony Langford
got the recognition he deserves. So his monthly “Gays of Our Lives”
column is getting a new name: Langford
In this edition….
In THEATER, Sean
just got together, but can their relationship withstand sudden fatherhood? Find
out on Coronation Street. Elsewhere,
of the Valley, Iolo is determined to find out what
happened to his brother. But is Macs
ready to admit he was raped?
In SCOOPS AND SPOILERS, Deniz runs afoul of a deadly gang of car
thieves on All
That Matters, and
inability to deal with his sexuality puts a patient’s
life at risk on Holby City. Plus,
Christian and Syed have a wedding disaster on EastEnders.
And in NEWSBEAT, gay kissing has people
complaining and broadcasters on the defense, Aussie soap Neighbours casts a boyfriend for gay Chris, and Freddie Smith teases his storyline Days of Our Lives.
All this – and more!
contests? Are you kidding? This soap has had some silly plot
arcs over the years, but I think this might be one of the dumbest. In fact,
save a couple of scenes here and there, which I’ll get to,
this entire week was pretty much a waste. I really wonder if this show knows
where they are going and what to do with Ste,
Brendan and Noah. For much of the past year, Ste and Brendan’s
relationship and Brendan specifically seemed to be written with an idea in
mind, a goal and some sort of recognizable plot arc.
there’s a pattern that has developed with this group
of characters. They vanish for a number of weeks
for no particular reason and then make a one week appearance where they have
some silly plot arc that goes nowhere and comes to nothing in terms of long
I thought that the last one, with Noah
developing a thing for Brendan was ridiculous, but this one isn’t
much better, mostly because the writers keep throwing Ste, Brendan and Noah
together for reasons that don’t make sense.
Why in the world would Brendan seek cooking
lessons from the ex-lover he abused and his ex’s new boyfriend who he recently
tried to seduce? WTF? But worse is that they would agree to help him! They
should have shown him the door. And don’t get me started on Ste and Noah
participating in the “games” at Chez Chez. They really don’t
have anything better to do? The writers need to come up with better and more
plausible reasons to have these three in contact.
good thing this past week were the scenes that Cheryl and Brendan had over
dinner where they finally made up. The writing
was a little weak, but the acting was sharp, especially on Emmett Scanlan’s
part. We still see that Brendan can’t accept
that he is gay, even though the entire town knows it and doesn’t
care. And on that note, Brendan needs to deal with his issues – and the sooner
the better. Much of the past year’s calamities came from his inability to
accept his sexuality. It’s time the show worked through that, otherwise
the character risks becoming stale and one note. And for an intriguing,
compelling character like Brendan, that would be a terrible shame.
really enjoying this storyline, mostly because of the fantastic performance of
Jimmy Akingbola as Antoine Malick. He’s
bold, hard nosed, egotistical and quite sexy, all of which were on full display
in the scene where he confronted Dan about their kiss. I loved how he bragged
to Dan that he could understand why the supposedly straight doctor would put
the moves on him, given what an incredibly sexy black man he was. And while Dan
denied how he felt or what he wanted, there was no doubt of Dan’s
true desires. The acting was strong and the chemistry between Dan and Malick
really liked the plot device the show used to cause this new conflict between
Dan and Malick: the elderly gay man struggling to deal with his lover leaving
him for someone younger. It was a compelling and real
storyline and I liked how they resolved it with him realizing he had to get on
with his life. There were two particularly nice scenes, the first being when
Dan looked outside of himself for a change and gave the old man some solid
It wasn’t so much
for the advice itself, but we got some insight on Dan that he has gone through
several serious relationships, came close to marrying a woman twice, and yet never
quite got there.
The looks on Malick and Chrissie’s faces as he
relayed his past were nice touches. We could see them thinking about why Dan couldn’t
make a relationship with a woman work. Malick of course knew why, but we could
see that Chrissie was wondering if she’d be the next woman to have a failed
relationship with Dan.
This of course, led to the even better scene,
where the patient was about to offhandedly say to Chrissie that Dan was gay,
only to realize that Dan was dating Chrissie and that she didn’t
know the truth. And while the patient backtracked on his thoughts, he said just
enough to put a suspicion in Chrissie’s mind.
this story suffers is that Dan isn’t a very likable character. His
inability to deal with his sexuality makes him act like a complete jerk at
times, but even more concerning, it puts patients’ lives at risk. This
is the second time a patient under his care has nearly suffered serious medical
problems because of Dan’s personal problems. He’s
really not a very good doctor, and I can’t believe
that the hospital isn’t taking notice and asking questions about his
unethical behavior. Its really a rather troublesome flaw in an otherwise
Not only that, given that Malick is such a
compelling and appealing character, it makes you consider if you really want
Dan and Malick together. Or wonder why such a confident and self-assured guy
like Malick would become involved with Dan in the first place, chemistry
I gotta say
that Sean’s son is adorable.
For such a young child actor the kid who plays Dylan acquits himself well on
camera. As for the storyline, it’s
interesting enough I guess. The show is doing a good job showing Sean’s
fears about suddenly having to play full-time father to Dylan and his worries
about how it’ll affect his relationship with Marcus. It’s
rather realistic and very relatable.
But it’s not all
that compelling. At least to me. I think that’s just
because I never cared for the character of Sean and that causes me to have a
bit of distance from the storyline. At least I don’t
hate it or want it to go away, which is a decided change from previous
storylines involving Sean.
It seems as if Sean’s
more annoying habits are being toned down for this storyline, perhaps in an
attempt to mature the character as he becomes a father. And Marcus is as
lovable and sweet and engaging as he always was, which helps a lot in making
this story somewhat watchable.
If I had a problem it would be that after not
wanting Sean to have anything to do with Dylan, Violet suddenly wants him to take care of the child for a long,
undetermined amount of time. I realize she’s got
medical problems and perhaps that made her see things more clearly, but it
would have been nice to have seen those issues dealt with on screen rather than
have them ignored altogether.
continues to do a good job with the fallout after Jackson’s death. The
acting and writing is as solid as ever and as much as I liked Jackson, it’s obvious
his hanging around for as long as he did really had a dragging effect on the
show and the story.
His death seemed to have kickstarted this
show, making the remaining characters more interesting than they have been in a
very long time. I thought that the scene where Aaron played the video of Jackson saying he loved
him over and over had to be one of the saddest and heartbreaking scenes in this
story thus far. Still, overall I had some issues with how this past week’s
scenes played out.
how Ashley would feel about Hazel and Aaron having assisted Jackson. I expected some really good scenes
resulting from it. I was not disappointed. The scenes
were Ashley refuses to perform Jackson’s
funeral and Aaron and Hazel’s reaction to it were sharp and on point. Both
sides of the issue were well depicted and full explained. However, I think
there was a big part of the entire situation that was missing, which made
Ashley’s way of thinking kind of flawed.
declined doing Jackson’s
funeral because he didn’t condone that Aaron and Hazel had
helped him to die. But in my mind, the funeral is not
about Aaron and Hazel, it’s about Jackson.
Ashley referred to Jackson as the victim, but he
even further by refusing to act as his vicar and perform the funeral service. No
one really made that point to Ashley, which was a big failing in the writing.
years, I’m sure that Ashley as provided
counsel to or dealt with people who have done a host of horrible things.
So for him to refuse to help Jackson seems more like the show writing the story
a certain way whether it makes sense or not, just so they can have the dramatic
scenes of Aaron suffering because of Ashley’s decision.
That’s really no
surprise given that this show lives to make Aaron miserable. In many ways, that
seemed to be the point of this entire arc.
of The Valley
hope Iolo doesn’t take too much longer to figure out
what happened with Macs and Scott. Macs’
behavior clearly indicates Scott has done something
to him, and I hope Iolo doesn’t let it drop. Especially given that Macs is
acting so bizarrely and his anti-gay outbursts get more ugly and offensive. The
show is doing such a good job with this storyline so far, but for Iolo to spend
weeks and months wondering what’s going on with Macs and Macs denying things
one minute and attacking Iolo the next would really strain credulity. It hasn’t
reached that point yet, and Rhys Bidder
and Dyfan Rees are very good as Macs
and Iolo respectively, it’s just a concern of mine.
One other thing: while the show is quite
compelling in its depiction of Macs struggling to deal with being raped, the
scene where he shaved his head kind of fell flat. I realize that the show is attempting
to illustrate that Macs can’t deal with his problem and so is acting in
radical ways, but it was only a few months ago that Macs shaved his head and
people even commented that they liked the shorter hair. Perhaps the show could
have picked another way of showing that Macs is falling apart rather than
something he did quite recently as a fashion statement.
clip first started, I was thinking how much more beefy and muscular John
Partridge has gotten lately. He’s
clearly been hitting the gym. So when the show launched into the scenes of Christian feeling old and past his prime,
I kind of found them hard to buy.
I guess anyone, no matter how good they look
can feel the ravages of time, but I think a lot of men would kill to look that
great when they are approaching 40. Still though, Christian’s
fears are real and plausible and they made for some nice scenes between him and
glad the show is finally starting to actually acknowledge that Syed still has
doubts about becoming a father. It’s
believable that he would still be uneasy about the idea. It’s
also just as believable that Christian would continue to ignore or at least
downplay Syed’s concerns and fears about their future plans.
Christian has always bulldozed his way through
this relationship and just pulled Syed along with him, often reluctantly. So it’s
no surprise he would do that here. But something has to come to a head soon. Let’s
hope it’s before Syed and Christian actually go
through with adopting a child.
GOOL SCOOPS AND SPOILERS
Sonny Kiriakis is bringing the gay
Of Our Lives – Will’s reluctance
to sleep with his girlfriend becomes an issue when Gabi puts the moves on him (should we ignore that she *just* got
out of the hospital after having her appendix removed), insisting she’s
ready to move forward in their relationship. But Will rejects her advances,
saying the timing isn’t right.
However, after a talk with Will’s
grandmother (!!!), Gabi realizes that Will is concerned about dealing with a
teen pregnancy, like his mother Sami
had to when she got pregnant with him.
Of course Sami got herself pregnant on purpose
to get a man, but I digress… Gabi
tells Will she understands why he wants to wait and promises not to rush him. Apparently
Gabi doesn’t realize teenage boys never turn down sex
with their hot girlfriends…
Will has a fateful meeting with new boy in town Sonny Kiriakis when the two
have a misunderstanding and find themselves at odds. Sonny
is cute, charming and openly gay. Is this just the beginning of a life-changing
relationship for Will?
Olli self-medicates to deal with his
Love – Olli’s marital
problems take a backseat to other matters when he is inadvertently involved in
a hit and run that leaves a friend critically injured. Everyone assumes Olli
was responsible for the crime, including Olli himself, who responds by locking
himself in his apartment and getting seriously drunk.
Christian, upon hearing what has happened,
puts aside his and Olli’s woes and rushes to his estranged husband’s
side. But Olli refuses to even let Christian inside the apartment to talk. Will
Christian fight to help Olli or give up, putting further strain on their
already troubled marriage? Let’s just say things are only going to get worse
between the couple, not better.
How long will Malick keep Dan’s
Holby City – When
Chrissie gets a chance at a promotion, Malick offers to help her prepare for
the studies she’ll have to undergo for the job. Chrissie
accepts the offer, but Dan is afraid of them spending too much time together.
Dan is nervous that Malick might tell his
girlfriend Chrissie that the two of them kissed, not to mention the continued
sexual tension that brews between the two men.
Malick assures Dan that he cares about
Chrissie, doesn’t want to see her hurt and would never blab
about his sexuality. But Malick also asserts that Chrissie will eventually find
out and Dan should be the one to tell her before she gets too involved with him.
Dan refuses to listen.
obstinacy causes serious problems when it gets in the way of his being a good
doctor. Dan ignores Malick’s
advice regarding a patient, and as a result the patient’s
life is placed in jeopardy. Unlike similar incidents in the past, Dan is unable
to walk away from this crisis he’s created
and is made to answer for his unprofessional behavior.
Sean isn’t happy when Marcus plays
Street – Since
suddenly being thrust into instant fatherhood with his son Dylan, Sean has
worried about the effect it would have on his relationship with Marcus. But
Marcus loves playing happy family with Sean and the three of them are quickly
becoming a domestic unit.
But problems arise when Sean leaves Dylan in
Marcus’ care and Dylan gets sick. Rather than telling
Sean about it, Marcus handles the problem himself. Dylan is fine, but Sean is
angry when he finds out that Marcus dealt with the situation on his own.
– Syed couldn’t be happier
for his brother Tamwar, who is about
to get married to his girlfriend Afia.
surprised when Afia’s father Yusef
invites Syed to the wedding given all the controversy about Syed being a gay
Muslim. But Yusef says Syed can only attend if he keeps his relationship with
Christian a secret and he must leave Christian at home. Under that condition,
Syed refuses to attend. But after Syed’s mother, in
an attempt to reach out to her son, invites the couple to attend together, Syed
Syed tries to play peacemaker at his
things go badly at the wedding when Masood, Syed and Tamwar’s
father arrives to stop the wedding, not wanting Tamwar to marry Afia, as he
hates Yusef. To everyone’s surprise,
Tamwar reveals that he and Afia are already married and have been for months. When
Zainab and Masood lash out against Tamwar, Syed defends his brother, revealing
known the secret from the start. Needless to say, that doesn’t
Deniz tries to convince his father
to give up his life of crime…
That Matters – Deniz
finds himself breaking the law thanks to his father Marian. Marian
wants to pay Deniz back for wrecking his car while driving drunk so he colludes
with a band of car thieves in order to make the money to give to his son. After
a few successful robberies, Marian wants to walk away from the group, but the
criminals refuse to let him go and threaten to kill Deniz if Marian leaves. When
Deniz finds out what has happened, he becomes determined to help his father out
of this fix. Deniz tries to convince his father to leave the group, but Marian
is too afraid that Deniz could get hurt. So without his father’s
knowledge, Deniz calls the police….
First a job, next a boyfriend?
– What’s this? A storyline for gay Chris? Well,
probably not, but at least he’s not worried about his friend’s
love lives for a change. It’s graduation time and everyone is preparing
for college, but Chris isn’t feeling good about his future. His lousy
grades don’t support his getting into a good school. But
when Chris hears that the local garage is hiring, he decides to apply for the
job, having always been interested in cars.
Chris proves not to be very good at the gig
and is quickly fired. Chris refuses to give up though. He’s determined to get
his job back.
Aaron is arrested for murder…
– As they wait to learn where the police will
charge them for Jackson’s death, Aaron and Hazel prepare for
funeral. Aaron is given the task of finding a picture
of Jackson to
put on display, and as he goes through the pictures with Adam he can barely
hold himself together. Later, the day before the funeral, Hazel is relieved to
learn that the police won’t be charging her. She assumes it’ll
be the same for Aaron.
everyone’s horror, Aaron is charged with
murder and arrested. Stunned, horrified and still
grieving Jackson, Aaron cries in his cell, realizing he’s
going to miss Jackson’s
funeral while his bail is being organized. Paddy and Chas offer to stay with
him during the service, but Aaron, only thinking of Jackson, insists they go in his stead. Thinking
that Aaron tried to take his own life this time last year, Paddy and Chas worry
that Aaron might not be able to handle things.
Jackson puts in an appearance at his own funeral…
father is delighted that Aaron has been arrested and also pleased that Aaron
will miss the funeral. As for Hazel, she is devastated at the loss of her son
and what has happened to Aaron and barely makes it through the service herself.
During the ceremony, a video tape is played of Jackson, explaining to everyone about his
plans to take his own life and that no one should blame Hazel or Aaron for
Aaron is later released on bail and he visits Jackson’s
grave alone, deeply saddened at having to say goodbye to his lover.
of the Valley – Macs confesses that he was raped…
– Ste is worried about Amy’s
Freddie Smith will play openly gay
It seems like we’ve been
talking about Days Of Our Lives’
gay storyline for months. Things are finally
set to get underway this week with the introduction of Freddie Smith as Sonny
Sonny arrives in Salem to reunite with his parents, Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis played by soap vets Wally Kurth and Judi Evans.
Sonny will be Salem’s
first openly gay character and Smith is pleased about his new gig..
”He is the center of attention kind of guy but
in a good way,” Smith told Entertainment
very confident and mature, he’s traveled the world and is very open-minded.
very excited to portray him.”
“I think it will be interesting
to see how people respond to it,” Smith
continued. “I truly care about the whole thing. There’s
been a lot of controversy about this and for me to be able to a part of it, to
be able to change people and make a difference … I’m
really excited to play a character with that much pull.”
Chandler Massey plays Will Horton
One of Smith’s
earliest scenes will be with still-in-the-closet Will Horton, played by Chandler Massey. The
show will supposedly begin a coming out story for Will and a romance for Will
buzz from show insiders that the chemistry between Smith and Massey is good. However,
Smith, going along with the show’s mantra of
being coy about this storyline (just last week a closed-mouthed Massey said
during an interview that he didn’t know who
the gay storyline involved), says he doesn’t know who
his love interest will be.
“I’m going to
be surprised,” Smith said. “There are a
lot of guys on the show, so it’s going to be interesting to see who I
end up falling for. Someone new? Someone on the show? We all make jokes, `who
am I going to make out with first?’ It’s
going to be fun to see.”
Smith has already played a gay character once
before when he was cast as Teddy Montgomery’s love
interest on 90210.
One more item on DOOL:.
Continuing it’s backstage drama, the show fired its longtime
executive producer Gary Tomlin, replacing him with Noel Maxam, who has been a
producer on the show for the last four years and Greg Meng, who has been in
charge of the show’s production unit for the last ten years.
There’s a new gay coming to
Australian soap Neighbours…
Since James Mason debuted as gay teen Chris
Pappas on Australian drama Neighbours last
year, fans have been wondering when Chris would get a boyfriend. It looks like
finally going to happen. Bob Morely
has joined the cast of Neighbours as
male nurse Aiden Foster, a love
interest for Chris.
Chris and Aiden will be the first gay couple
on the show. Morely is looking forward to his new gig and isn’t
bothered by his character’s orientation.
“I don’t see it as a big deal that the character is
gay,” Morely told the Herald Sun. “It certainly doesn’t
define him and what the writers have planned is really interesting and
had doubts that Chris would ever find love, especially as Neighbours is a conservative soap and gay
storytelling is rare on Australian television, the show’s
executive producer Susan Bower says that it was only a matter of time.
“To be true to the Chris
character, now he is a regular in story-lines, we knew at some stage he needed
to meet someone,” Bower said. “How it unfolds, all will be revealed,
however I think viewers will find the story compelling.”
Morely, who found fame as hunky teen Drew Curtis on Aussie soap Home and Away, is signed
with the show for six months, but if the story and character proves popular,
talk the show will extend his contract.
He’s back.. but why?
More gays on
television? Well, this is a case of one returning, but you
have to ask why. Viewers might recall that Chris
Geere played gay music teacher Matt
Wilding on school set UK drama Waterloo Roadfor
a couple of years a few seasons ago. But Chris was little used during his time
on the show and fit the definition of a ‘barely there’
gay. Yet Chris will be back on the show for its upcoming season. No word on why
Chris is returning or what the show has planned for him, if anything. Guess we’ll
find out when WR returns
for its new season later this year.
This still seems to bother some
depictions of gay love on television aren’t so rare anymore, especially with
gays more visible on our screens. Yet seeing
men in intimate situations still seems to upset some members of the viewing
audience, as UK dramas EastEnders and
Holby City both recently
learned. EastEnders showed
engaged lovers Christian and Syed in bed together. Holby Cityaired a steamy kiss between
embattled doctors Dan Hamilton and Antoine Malick. In both cases, the
television shows got complaints. But also, in both cases, those working at the
respective shows defended the scenes that aired.
Responding to complaints over
the gay kiss on Holby
City, a spokesman for the
network airing the show told Digital
Spy, “Regular viewers will have
seen the subtle build-up to this story as Malick’s sexuality wrong-footed Dan
and the love/hate relationship they have endured since Dan realized Malick is
gay. This is a story we will continue to tell with sensitivity and integrity as
we follow a character who struggles to come to terms with his sexuality.”
The spokesman added that the show aims to tell
characters from many different backgrounds, faiths, religions and sexualities” and that they treat their gay characters and stories just as
they would treat their straight ones.
for EastEnders, Bryan Kirkwood, executive producer of the show, shared the
same sentiment. First, he pointed out
that the show recently aired a heterosexual couple kissing, so naturally they would
depict a gay couple also being loving and affectionate with each other.
“I think Christian and Syed
are the most established gay, loving relationship on TV.” Kirkwood said on the
British chat show This Morning. “It wasn’t crude, it wasn’t over-sexual. It was something that
you see every day within a heterosexual relationship and I stand by the
decision to do it. [Syed] had just accepted his marriage proposal, so it was a
Both shows have no intention of
letting these complains affect how they tell their stories. In fact, you’ll see more of these particular stories playing out front and
center in the next several months. EastEnders
plans to focus on Christian and
Syed’s wedding and move forward with adopting a child.
Despite his sexuality,
Dan will continue to pursue the ‘picket fence’ life he’s always wanted…
As for Holby City, the
drama between Dan and Malick will continue to unfold, but producers say this is
not a coming out story. The show is looking to have a different take on the
tried and true coming out stories that so many other soaps and dramas have had.
“…it really isn’t a ’coming out’ storyline.” HC executive
producer Myar Craig-Brown told Digital
Spy. “The focus really is on Dan’s character.
Dan is Mr Conventional – he wants Chrissie, he
wants the wife, the house, the career and 2.4 children. It won’t be about him
coming out and coming to terms with his sexuality. If anything, the kiss with
Malick has made him even more determined to try to have a conventional life – because that’s what he wants the most.”
suicide storyline has people talking.
Emmerdale’s assisted suicide storyline, in which Aaron Livesy, played by
Danny Miller, helped his severely paralyzed boyfriend Jackson Walsh, played by
Marc Silcock to take his own life has generated a lot of debate and controversy.
The show has taken heat from
television watchdog groups such as Ofcom, who criticized the soap for showing
the grim scenes during the early evening hours. Also, advocacy groups
representing those with spinal injuries are upset with the show for depicting Jackson’s ordeal in a negative, hopeless light. However, the show is
pleased with what they have done and how they handled the story.
“All I can say from my
point of view is that it’s been brilliant. The one thing we knew we wanted was
debate – and that’s what we’ve
got. There have been some complaints and some people aren’t happy with the way
we told it, and we understood that and appreciated it.” Emmerdale executive
producer Stuart Blackburn spoke during the British chat show This Morning.
’But I think overall, it’s gone
down incredibly well and we’re now sitting here having an adult debate about
the issues it raised. I don’t want to go out to offend, and we tried at every
level to be as sensitive as we possibly could – and I think we achieved that.”
Is Aaron headed for a
life behind bars?
for what’s ahead, as we told
you in a previous column, this is a long arc for Aaron. First he will be on
trial for murder with the results of that kept top secret. And even after the trial, Aaron will still struggle with what he’s done, eventually coming to believe that he made a mistake and
should have been given more time to deal with his disability. In fact,
producers say they are currently working out story arcs for the Thanksgiving
season and Aaron is still grappling with his actions regarding Jackson.
it for this month. I’ll be back next week with a new
edition of GOOL Theater. What did you think of the clips,
news and spoilers in this column? Leave your comments below.