Sunday, August 27, 2023

Dermot Mulroney: From tearjerker victim to corrupt preacher, with some nudity in between


John Wesley Seasons, played by Dermot Mulroney, is one of the Big Bads of Righteous Gemstones Season 1, a Baptist minister (shouldn't he be Methodist?) who tries to sabotage the new Gemstone satellite church in Locust Grove, fearing that it will run his small town church out of business.   He's not above sending thugs to destroy the satellite church and assault the minister. 

Dermot Mulroney has been a Hollywood staple since he starred in the Brat Pack movie Young Guns in 1988

.  In 1989, he broke new ground by playing the first of a group of gay friends to die of AIDS in the first years of the epidemic.  

He has played gay men or allies in several other movies and tv shows over the years, and displayed his dick and butt on many occasions. Here are some samples.

Dermot butt, from Intimate Affairs

Dick after the break

Saturday, August 26, 2023

The Kiss Heard 'Round the World: A Kelvin/Keefe Adventure

10:20 am: BJ

BJ watched Judy primping at her dressing room vanity. He grinned: it was so ordinary, but he wanted ordinary. After their marital problems, Judy and Kelvin both quitting the church, the kidnapping, and the rescue, it was nice to be just plain dressing for the morning service again.

Judy led him out into the south corridor and kissed him. He saw that Jesse and Amber were also kissing goodbye. But Kelvin and Keefe just pressed their foreheads together. Ugh! That was ordinary, too. How many times had Keefe complained about Kelvin's fear of being open in public? Well, he didn't really complain -- he was so devoted that anything Kelvin did was fine with him. But BJ could tell that he was suffering over being treated as a good buddy. "The kidnapping and rescue didn't change anything!" he thought."If that doesn't do it, what will?"

Jesse signaled "show time!" Judy took her place at his left side, and Kelvin at his right, and they walked toward the stage entrance. BJ saw that Amber was already halfway to the sanctuary entrance, waiting for the other partners to join her so they could walk to their assigned seats together. But Keefe was just standing there, watching his "good buddy" Kelvin walk away. Poor guy!

Suddenly Kelvin backed up, turned around, and walked back toward his dressing room. Did he forget something? No, he looked terrified. He took Keefe in his arms and kissed him -- twice! Jesse and Judy were shocked -- BJ could hear them gasp from 20 feet away! But Kelvin strutted back, proud of himself, on top of the world. Jesse gave him a "My baby brother got balls!" grin, and they continued on to the stage entrance.

BJ rushed over to Keefe and hugged him. "He finally did it, Buddy! Congratulations!" He kept his arm around Keefe's waist and led him down the hallway to where Amber was waiting. "How did you convince him to overcome his fear?"

"I don't know, really." Keefe was still smiling his angelic smile.

"Did you have a conversation about it?"

"Kelvin talk about it? Not in this lifetime!" He laughed. "Yesterday we went to Abraham's soccer game -- his parents couldn't make it. Then we got Thai take-out, watched a movie on Netflix, and went to bed. That's the only difference I can think of...he was more..."

They had caught up to Amber. She wasn't smiling. Keefe looked down at his shoes. "Uh...tell you later, Buddy."

10:25 am: Amber

Amber stared at Chief walking toward her, as if she had never seen him before. And, in a way, she hadn't. She should have known that he and Kelvin were...lovers, but honestly, it never occurred to her that they were more than just good friends. This changed everything. He was a nice guy, certainly, but was he an appropriate, husband? Spouse? ...for a Christian minister? Not just because he was a man, because he was so weird. He gestured more than he talked, and when he talked, it made no sense.

But twenty years of being gracious to the oddest types took control, and she smiled serenely at Chief and took his arm, and they walked down the sanctuary corridor. "You know, Chief," she began...

"His name is Keefe," BJ said.

"That's what I said, Keith. It occured to me that we know very little about you. Who your people are, what your Daddy I was thinking, would you and Kelvin like..."

Suddenly Abraham met them, coming down from his Sunday school class.

"Your game yesterday was lit, Dude," Keith told him. "You were on fire!"

Abraham fist-bumped him. "Thanks for taking us out for ice cream and wieners afterwards." Wait -- Queef went to Abraham's soccer game? Alone, or with Kelvin?

"Hey, I'll take any excuse to eat some wieners." Eat some wieners? Was he deliberately using a dirty double-entendre in front of her 14-year old son? Or did he not notice that it was dirty?

Amber calmed herself. "Anyway, Heath, would you and Kelvin like to..." But they were taking their seats -- she was separated from Heath by Abraham and BJ -- and the music was starting. She would have to invite them over for dinner later.

10:35 am: Gideon.

It felt strange sitting next to his Granddad in the congregation, after so many years seeing him on-stage, and Granddad seemed a little uncomfortable, too. "I've never been down here during church before. But I'm retired. I'm a member of the congregation, not a preacher, and this is where I belong."

"And I'm your driver, so this is where I belong," Gideon said, although he felt a little wistful to see his Mom two rows up, sitting with Abraham, BJ, and Keefe. The whole family together. Well, except for Pontius, who skipped church more often than not. "Are we going to Jake's after?"

"Of course, Gideon. I may be retired, but I still have to eat."

Suddenly his phone started vibrating in his pocket. Of course, he had no choice but to check. A text from his friend Jackie, who worked in security. "You'll never guess who I saw kissing in the south corridor!"

"Mom and Dad?" Gideon answered. "They always kiss before Dad comes on stage.

"Close, but no homo. It was your Uncle Kelvin and his butt buddy!"

Darn South Carolina homophobes! "So what?" Gideon typed. "Mom and Dad kiss, why can't Kelvin and Keefe? Are you heterosexist?"

"No, dude, of course not. It was just weird." Another text "Not that they're gay, or anything."

Another buzz -- an email from the Courier, requesting an interview? Why would they want to interview him? But before he could read the email, the music started, Granddad glared at him, and he put his phone away.

12:05 pm: Judy:

Judy knocked on Kelvin's dressing room door. "We're leaving for Jake's, Dummy. You boys about ready?" They didn't answer, so she let herself in.

Yep, they were kissing, so tightly wrapped that you couldn't quite tell where Kelvin ended and Keefe began.

She thumped Kelvin on the shoulder. "Will you give it a rest before you sprain your tongue? Geez, it's like you never kissed anyone before."

Kelvin broke away. "Sorry. But I don't think we can make it to Jake's today. We've got some things to do this afternoon." Keefe smiled that annoying angel-smile. It was more than obvious what "things to do" meant.

"Nope, nope, your lovemaking session can wait. Going to Jake's as a family is as important as the church service. Your fans will be expecting you. Yours too, Bicep Boy."

"I have fans?" Keefe asked.

"Don't tell me your boyfriend confiscates your fan mail? Half the comments on the church website are about you. Maybe one in twenty asks about Kelvin. You're the Golden Boy of the church."

"Then why did you demote me?"

He was talking about removing him as assistant teen minister. What a crazy thing to be hung up about! "You mean, moving you from a part-time job that barely pays minimum wage into a job with three times the salary and five times the responsibility? The only downside that I could see was not being able to spend every minute of every day at Kelvin's side. Or is that a benefit?"

"We like being together," Kelvin said.

"Yeah, that's obvious. But like it or not, sometimes you and your true love have to spend a few minutes apart. Or hours." She grabbed Keefe's arm and led him out of the dressing room. "I'm taking this one to Jake's for dinner. You coming, Dummy?"

More after the break

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Eastbound and Down Episode 1.1: Danny as an arrogant foul-mouthed, racist, sexist, homophobic...well, you get the idea

 I don't know anything about baseball, so I'm not sure what "eastbound and down" means (maybe a decrease in power, like "down the drain"?).  But I'm going through Danny McBride's series before The Righteous Gemstones to check for parallels, particularly the treatment of LGBT people.  Any homophobia?  Any queerbaiting?   So Eastbound and Down, Season 1, Episode 1.  

The premise: a disgraced pro baseball player is forced to teach phys ed at his old high school. need a degree in education and a year of student teaching to do that.

Scene 1:  Kenny (McBride) narrates: when he was 19, he changed the face of pro ball.  We see him hitting a ball and thereby winning the series.  This made him mega-famous, with endorsements, girls, a catch phrase ("You're fuckin' out!"),  and magazine covers (including Playgirl: "Kenny Powers gets a woody.").  

Montage of Kenny saying horrible bigoted things: "Jew York," "I thought the blacks were bad in New York, but they're nothing compared to the fags in San Francisco."  Wouldn't he be fired instantly?  Steroid allegations, anger management problems, becoming less competent at the game.

Scene 2 (Several shitty years later): Kenny in a big room, applying with others for a job as a substitute teacher.  The guy behind him ridicules him on the phone, and then confronts him outside: "I'm Marcus Shank.  You banged my stepsister in high school."  Kenny punches him.

Scene 3: Kenny driving his pick-up truck through redneck country, while the sound track sings "I'm going down, down, down."  At dinner with his brother Dustin (John Hawkes, top photo right) and his wife and kids, he talks about how they used to beat up "retard brothers" in the neighborhood.  This guy needs a huge redemption arc. 

Scene 4: Kenny and Dustin in the pool (shirtless, but not impressive). Dustin wants to know how long he'll be staying. "Four fucking years!"  Later, Kenny curls up on his bed in the study and cries. 

Scene 5: Kenny sits in his truck drinking beer, waiting for classes to begin at his old high school (Jeff Davis High!), thinking about how he's better than everyone else.  "Suck my dick, world!" he exclaims.  Why, exactly, is that an insult?  I'm sure lots of guys would be happy to suck Danny McBride's dick.  Is it homophobic, like "Suck a guy's dick!  That's gay!  Gross!"  

Suddenly he sees his Love Interest talking to some students, and zeros in on her breasts.  Love at first sight!  

Scene 6: Inside the school, Kenny approaches April, who is talking about a student: "He drew a pentagram made of penises!  My degree is in art, not psychology!"  They hug, and Kenny comments "I'm going to have to change my pants." Translation: her hug made him cum.  

He wants to rekindle their high school romance, but she's engaged to the fawning principal, Terence Cutler (Andy Daly). Kenny hates him immediately for being a dick, and for taking his girl.  Well, you still have the big-boobed Love Interest.

Scene 7:  Kenny meets his co-ed phys ed class, and fields questions about whether he was in jail and whether the steroids made his balls shrink.  

Cut to lunch.  Kenny joins the principal, April, and the others in the cafeteria. He meets drama teacher Mr. Nesbitt.  Drama, huh -- maybe he's gay.  And band leader Mr. Jankowski, who is all excited that they went to high school together, but Kenny doesn't remember him. 

Scene 8: Back at Dustin's house, Kenny negotiates with a prostitute on the telephone and orders Dustin's wife around.  He tries to strategize how to win April. 

After an argument about something or other, he goes to bar to drink and watch baseball.  A sleazy-looking blond lady makes vulgar innuendos as the bartender, Clegg (Ben Best), orders her out. She licks his face and leaves.  One of Keefe's Satanist buds did that on The Righteous Gemstones.  I still think it's gross.

Then Clegg, who knew him in high school, invites Kenny into his office for some blow.  (He means cocaine, not a blow job).  They bond, laugh, discuss how shitty their lives are, but don't have sex: Kenny stumbles back to his bed at Dustin's house. 

Scene 9: At school, the Principal asks how Kenny likes teaching. He loves it.  Good, because the coach he was subbing for died this morning. "How would you like to do this full time?" 

"You want a smoothie?" The principal asks.  "Naw, I'm straight."  So a smoothie is a gay drink?  Kelvin served them to his God Squad in Righteous Gemstones Season 2.

Scene 10: Kenny trying to decide if he wants the job.  Of course he does, or it would be lousy story.   Cut to the shower room, and Kenny's bare butt (not impressive).  Wait - is he masturbating?

Then he sits in his truck, listening to his autobiography on tape and watching April and the Principal leave the school together. 

Cut to Dustin and his wife in bed, sleeping (shirtless, not impressive).  They are awakened by a loud thumping. Kenny is chucking beer cans against the wall.  He explains: "The love of my life doesn't want to have sex with me because she's getting married to some smoothie-drinking fairy."  Wait -- if the principal is gay, why would he want to marry April?  I think Kenny is just using gay slurs as all-purpose insults.  "Plus I got offered the teaching job full time." 

Instead of settling, Kenny decides to get back on top, prove that he's better than everybody else,

Scene 11: Kenny bursts through a banner at the school, strutting, surrounded by hysterical Beatlemania-style girls (um...dude, those girls are underage). Boys cheer, too.  He shakes his crotch at them.  Ulp -- it's a fantasy.  The kids are actually ignoring him.  

As the principal exercises in a muscle shirt (no muscle)< Kenny commandeers the pa system to announce that he's discovered who he is: a man, an athlete, a lover, and a goddam champion."  Band leader guy grins: hero worship or a crush?

Next he accepts the job, stops by April's class to point at her, high-five the janitors, and leaves the building, even though it's only first period. 

Cut to Kenny jet-skiing with the sleazy blond woman from last night riding topless behind him (ugh!).  She falls into the ocean.  He splashes her.  She yells "You piece of shit!" 

Beefcake: I have never in my life seen so many unattractive men taking their clothes off, and I've been to a bath house in Palm Springs.

Gay Characters: I thought Stevie Janowski might be gay, but he appears to have a case of hero worship for Kenny.  Later he gets married, and contemplates cheating 'because of all the attractive women" around.

Queerbaiting: Nope.

Homophobia:  Kenny throws around homophobic slurs a lot, but he isn't targeting gay men so much as every man who doesn't meet his Neanderthal standards of masculinity.  He probably wouldn't mind a masculine-presenting gay man. By the way, he's also horribly racist, sexist, and xenophobic.

Chekhov's Gun:  I thought Marcus Shank, whom Kenny decked at the job fair, would become an ongoing antagonist, but we never hear from him again.

Kenny and Jesse: Both are brash, grandiose, with an inflated self image, but Jesse is not at all bigoted, and that seems to be Kenny's main thing.  They both want more power, but Jesse's main concerns are conflicts with his dad, his wife, and his kids, while Kenny just wants to win the Girl of His Dreams.  I did see a precursor of Kelvin and Jesse's relationship in Dustin's statement that the brothers used to be friends, but things changed.

My Grade:  Characters like Kenny are definitely not my cup of tea.  

Eric Roberts: a lifetime of sleazebag killers, hung hunks, and noble gay guys


Eric Roberts has had a long career  -- 667 acting credits on the IMDB -- in serious roles, late-night sleazefest killers,  and beefcake stars, beginning at age 22 with King of the Gypsies (1978).

An underwear bulge in Star 80.  Eric plays a sleazebag who murders his wife (a Playboy star)

No bulge but some nice pecs and abs in Final Analysis (1992), an "erotic film noir" also starring Richard Gere.

Eric's butt, from Love is a Gun (1994)

In 1996, when it was dangerous for an actor to play a gay character, Eric starred in It's My Party, as a gay guy with AIDS who decides to host a party for family and friends, then end his life.  Well, in those days gay men in movies were either dying of AIDS or coming out into a world where everyone is homophobic and there is no LGBT subculture.  As far as I can tell, this was his only gay role.

Not a lot of beefcake lately, but with movies like In Cold Blood and Runaway Train, and tv shows like Grey's Anatomy and Will and Grace, who cares?

Besides, I'm pretty sure that Eric played Eli's friend Junior as bisexual in Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones.

See: Gemstones Episode 2.1 Review: Junior likes dicks, Kelvin likes pecs, and f*k yeah, we got both!