The Week in Gay TV: George Takei leads a trio of “Supah Ninjas”, HBO plays “A Game of Thrones,” and “30 Rock” turns 100

It’s time once again for The Week in Gay TV, your look at what’s coming up in the week ahead and which shows will be trying to get space on your DVR. This week sees the return of CW’s Friday night line-up, the debut of HBO’s new fantasy drama A Game of Thrones, and the return of Teddy Montgomery in new episodes of 90210. The TV schedule is certainly picking up as we get closer to May sweeps.


The countdown to the end of one of The CW’s definitive series begins Friday with a new episode of Smallville. The series returns to the mirror universe as Clark gets pulled into that dark world where he was raised as a Luthor and not part of the Kent family.  This time, he meets with the mirror universe version of Jonathan Kent, while his colleagues have to face Clark Luthor one more time. If only Smallville never had the bad idea of killing off Jonathan, we could have avoided a second trip to the mirror universe to have Clark do his compare-and-contrast assignment about his many possible fathers.

This is the first of the final five episodes of Smallville, which will bring us Booster Gold, The Blue Beetle and the return of Zod. In its ten seasons, Smallville transitioned from monster-of-the-week stories to offering an entertaining take on the DC Universe, and these will be our final chances to see the CW adapt these characters.

“What’s that up there?”
“Looks like a
Final Destination homage.”

Friday also brings a new Supernatural as Fate comes to earth looking to take care of people who were saved from their um, fates of dying on a plane headed to Paris on the Titanic. (The Titanic? Does this episode happen in the past? I thought that wasn’t happening until next week.) While she’s taking care of business on earth, she decides to take care of another thorn in her side —Sam and Dean.

Horror movies centered around freak accidents such as Final Destination and The Omen are effective at scaring me. Judging from the promos, this episode sounds like it could play out similarly, so I can’t wait to see it return.

Meanwhile, the fifth season of Friday Night Lights makes its broadcast debut on Friday. This season will hint at a player being gay (spoilers at the link if you haven’t had a chance to watch this season on Direct TV) though I don’t know if those hints went anywhere.

Honestly, the critical and fan praise convinced me to check out this show. While I see the series’ quality, a drama frankly portraying the realities of a small, Texas town where football dominates the local culture just isn’t the kind of story that makes me tune in week-to-week. Still, even if the show isn’t for me, it certainly has its gay fans.

I don’t usually look to Nickelodeon for programming nowadays, but the kids’ network new action comedy series Supah Ninjas does have the amazing George Takei. The series follows a kid who discovers a secret dojo after his grandfather (Takei) dies and learns that he comes from a line of ninjas. Guided by a hologram of his grandfather, he and two of his friends decide to take on crime-fighting.

Meanwhile, the latest Logo Documentary takes a look at the world of male models with Pretty Boys. I’m curious if this documentary looks at how difficult it is to succeed as a model, how a pretty face is dime-a-dozen in that industry and how the demands for a model to look a certain way can get pretty specific. (I mean, who remembers how a pre-90210 Matt Lanter got called pudgy on Bravo’s failed reality series about male models, Manhunt?)

A Game of ThronesRenly Baratheon

HBO debuts its newest drama Sunday with the premiere of A Game of Thrones. Based on the series of books by George R.R. Martin, this fantasy epic follows a land where seven families battle for power, all while ignoring a darker threat, an evil that awaits past a wall of ice. Among the large cast is a gay couple, Renly Baratheon, a member of one of the land’s royal families, and Loras Tyrell, a knight.

I’m not familiar with Martin’s books but I quickly became enthusiastic to see A Game of Thrones once I learned that he was a writer for one of my favorite sleeper-hit dramas, Beauty and the Beast. Can A Game of Thrones become as addictive as True Blood?

“Noooo! That building has the only remaining copies of the Bruce on a Stick Bruce Campbell fanzine!”

We’ll have to wait a few more months until USA’s spy drama Burn Notice returns, but in the meantime we’ve got a prequel film on Sunday, The Fall of Sam Axe. Set before Michael Weston got burned, this movie takes a look at Sam (Bruce Campbell)’s final mission as a Navy SEAL, an attempt to take out a terrorist group in Cambodia.

In addition to telling Burn Notice fans how Sam ended up in Miami, this movie is supposed to serve as a teaser for the upcoming season. At the least, we’ll learn why Sam doesn’t trust the CIA and why there’s going to be trouble when Michael gets his CIA job back.

While I’ve never been a big fan of geek-fave Campbell, he was one of the reasons why I checked out the show in the first place. The man has charisma to spare and it’ll be fun to watch him step back into a lead role.

Meanwhile, TV Land’s annual awards shows returns on Sunday and, much like snicks, I’ll be turning in to see the reunion of the cast of The Facts of Life, who will be receiving the Pop Culture Award. That’s not the only classic 80’s sitcom with a recently-out castmember being honored, as the cast of Family Ties will also be reuniting to receive the Fan Favorite Award. This year’s ceremony will also be honoring The Cosby Show, Welcome Back, Kotter, Regis Philbin and Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Fox doesn’t have a new episode of The Simpsons on Sunday, but it does have new episodes of American Dad and The Cleveland Show. It sounds like there’s more Roger shenanigans as his attempt to boost Snot’s ego backfires in just the way you’d expect.

Sunday also brings a new night of ABC dramas. A new Desperate Housewives sees  Andrew deciding that it’s about time he confessed to Carlos about the car accident that killed Mama Solis, much to Bree’s dismay. If this story happened a few months ago, I’d be eager to see how things play out, but considering how badly Paul Young’s return has turned out, I don’t really trust this show to do much with that bit of history.

A new Brothers & Sisters has Nora and Brody heading out on a romantic getaway just as Scotty has a run-in with Michelle… who, uhm, might be the potential surrogate mom? Google tells me there was more than one Michelle on this show so I hope there’s a mini-recap when she shows up.

Monday becomes a busy night for gay TV starting with (finally) the return of 90210. The West Beverly kids are headed to Mexico for vacation and, as you’ve probably heard, Teddy isn’t excluded from the gang’s vacation hook-ups. I just wonder how are they going to fit that into Teddy’s three minutes of screen time?

There’s a family reunion for Lily on Monday’s Gossip Girl. As she waits to find out what kind of consequences she’ll face for that forgery with her ex-husband, her mother and her sister visit for support. (Though I imagine Cece’s support will be the backhanded kind.) I’d like to think the family visit includes Eric, but Gossip Girl rarely teases when we can expect him to get some screen time.

“Hold still, we’re up against Gossip Girl so I need to give you Jenny Humphrey eyes with this marker.”

ABC has a new Dancing with the Stars, with Louis van Amstel still in the competition. That’s followed by a special airing of Cougar Town, which sees Ellie trying to tell Jules that she’s getting too clingy with Travis.

John Lithgow is back on Monday’s How I Met Your Mother as Barney decides to try to get closer to his biological father. Unfortunately, he decides his life isn’t interesting enough and assigns his friends new life histories to memorize. That sounds like the kind of sitcom plot that would really annoy me on other sitcoms but sometimes HIMYM can often pull of this kind of over-the-top story.

With the finale upon us, RuPaul’s Drag Race is taking a look backwards with a recap episode that reviews the past season, with the usual promise of unaired footage. If I was disappointed in most of the full episodes, I don’t think I’ll enjoy a rewind, unfortunately.

Now I’m really frustrated that my DVR botched the recording…

Monday also has new episodes of Secret Life of the American Teenager, Paranormal State and Hawaii 5-0, while Showtime has more Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara.

This might be the only circumstance where I’ll be looking forward to seeing the former Mrs. Schue and the former Glee club coach again…

After that powerful regional episode, Glee is back with a new episode on Tuesday that sees Cheyenne Jackson return, as Sue assembles her team of Sue-pervillains.  Meanwhile, New Directions’ latest project involves helping a club that’ small and struggling (much like the way the Glee Club once was, I imagine).  Next week brings the eagerly-anticipated “Born this Way” episode, so I’m hoping we’ll get some good set up for it.

Gay-fave comedy Raising Hope is also back with a new episode Tuesday as Jerry van Dyke appears as a man who Maw Maw ends up fancying.

Planet Green also has a new episode of The Fabulous Beekman Boys as Bent and Josh try to plan a second Harvest Festival. Considering how contentious the last harvest festival turned out, this time the couple makes a pact not to argue. We haven’t heard any reports of either Brent or Josh’s heads exploding during filming, so I’m going to guess they don’t completely make it through the weekend without a fight.

Those expressions kinda summarize Cam and Mitch’s dynamic …

It’s time for Mitchell and Cameron to face another legal safeguard on Wednesday’s new Modern Family, as they decide it’s time to pick out who will be Lily’s guardian if they’re unable to care for her. That leaves them spying on the rest of the Pritchett clan and, unfortunately, their spying seems to catch everyone at their worst behavior.

That’s followed by a new episode of Cougar Town in its regular time slot, as Ellie gets Jules to babysit for her, a favor Jules turns into an opportunity to prove a point (surprise). Then, a new episode of Happy Endings sees Max discover one of the downsides of living with Dave — it turns out he sleepwalks and sleepeats. Oh, if only Kathy Griffin would show up to compare notes about living with a sleep eater.

After last week’s taste, I’m really loving Happy Endings. I thought the pilot had its weak moments, but the “gay husband” episode delivered plenty of laughs that helped me to understand Max and Penny. There’s a part of me that hopes that this show doesn’t completely define Max as a guy with few Obviously Gay Traits. One thing I really like about Modern Family is that Cameron and Mitchell both have their degrees of stereotypically gay qualities, but they also have unexpected ones that make them more than stereotypes, like Cameron’s athletic background. I’m hoping we see the occasional reference to stereotypically gay interests because sometimes a “non-stereotypical” character ends up feeling just as limiting.

With Adam evicted, Wednesday’s episode of The Real World has them meeting their new roommate. Last week, we got a homophobic and biphobic exchange when they discussed the possibility of a gay man being their new roommate, with former gay-for-pay performer Dustin joining the ugliness while his girlfriend Heather got frustrated with him. I’m thinking it could get very interesting when Dustin’s past comes out.

Wednesday also brings the series finale of Being Erica on SOAPnet along with new episodes of Justified on fx and a new challenge for the Top Chef Masters.

I think that’s Damon’s ’There’s only room for so many hot vampires in this town.’ look …

Thursday, The Vampire Diaries finally reveals the big bad when Klaus arrives in Mystic Falls, and once again Elena has her own plans on how to tackle this problem, much to Stefan and Damon’s frustration. Usually when a show promises that anything could happen, it rings hollow. Typically, you know the damage will be limited to the least popular characters and nothing will leave a lasting impact. However, The Vampire Diaries  always manages to shock, and even when it quickly undoes its twists (like when TVD killed Jeremy), it’s a surprise. I expect Klaus’ debut to be quite a ride.

Then a new Nikita sees her decide its time Alex got away from the division, However, Alex wants to take care of one last mission before disappearing. Naturally, that mission does not go well. Nikita’s really offering a fun ride to the finale with plenty of switching alliances and surprises. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

NBC’s Thursday night comedies include a new episode of The Paul Reiser Show with an appearance by Henry Rollins. (After watching the premiere, I feel sorry for all you Rollins fans in this case.) NBC also has new episodes of The Office and Parks and Recreation.

30 Rock celebrates its 100th episode with a full-hour of Liz Lemon that sees TGS on the verge of cancellation. While the episode description doesn’t mention Danny, Cheyenne Jackson was at the celebration, so I’m hoping he wasn’t there just to get a piece of cake.

Finally, Thursday brings an Archer double-feature as fx has the second-season finale while Aisha Tyler visits the infoMania crew to discuss the show. It’s certainly going to be painful waiting for the next season to debut.

It’s a crazy week with plenty of choices, what are you looking forward to watching the most?

Last week, you were most eager to see Brothers & Sisters return as you gave it 44% of yhe votes. Happy Endings came in a distant second with 23% of the total while a climatic episode of The Good Wife got 16%.

Next week, we have the debut of Logo’s new reality series The Setup Squad, as well as a very special, very supersize Glee!

Lyle Masaki is a fan of obscure superheroes, video games, adorkable guys and that show you loved that got cancelled way too soon.