Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Gemstones Episode 2.1: Junior likes dicks, Kelvin likes pecs, and f**k, yeah! We got both.

Season 2 of The Righteous Gemstones began over two years after the Season 1 finale, and the back stories, personalities, and even the genre has changed.  Remember, Danny McBride likes his seasons to be complete stories, with no or few call-backs, so new viewers easily understand what's going on.  In fact, it may be fun for us to start afresh, watch as if we have never seen or heard of these people before.  

Title: "I Speak in the Tongues of Men and Angels."  I Corinthians 13.1: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Charity means "love," of course.  We'll see who is lacking.

Memphis Soul Stew: Memphis, 1968. Teenage Eli Gemstone, the Maniac Kid (Jake Kelley), is playing a heel, a pro wrestling villain: "from the wrong side of the tracks, a newcomer to the League, all muscle, all attitude."  He fights dirty, pretending to reconcile with opponent Kyle Hawk, then throwing him out of the ring.  

As he fights, his manager Glendon Marsh (Wayne Duvall) cheers. Glendon's teenage son Junior (Tommy Nelson) watches, sometimes happy but usually disturbed.  Is he jealous of the attention Eli is getting?  Is he a rebellious teenager during the era of the Generation Gap?.

Nice Cock
:  In the locker room, Glendon offers Eli "some bonus pay on the South Side," while Junior looks on, smoking a cigarette, still either jealous or angry. As they leave, they pass a naked guy. "That's a nice cock, Ernie," Glendon says.  Junior is so busy looking that he trips, and then looks back again.  The boy is definitely into cocks and butts.

The Loan Enforcer: Glendon is a loan shark as well as a wrestling manager: the job involves beating up a deadbeat.  Eli and Junior both go, squabbling over who's the boss.  

"Kill 'em!" we hear.  Psych!  It's the tv.  We meet a slovenly, drunken, foul-mouthed, abusive jackass of a husband.  While Junor subdues his wife and baby, Eli punches him a few times and asks for the money, and when he doesn't have it, breaks his thumbs. Junior laughs "derangedly" (according to the subtitles).

Afterwards Glendon drops Eli off, hands him some money, and tells him, "Buy yourself something nice." This is a feminizing statement. 

As Eli drives off on his motorcycle, we hear Buck Owens' "Tall Dark Stranger":

 They say a tall dark stranger is a demon, and  that a devil rides closely by his side.

 So if Junior is the demon, Eli must be the devil riding beside him.  How long will they ride together?

Abusive Daddies all the way down:  Eli drives to the Gemstone residence (it's not a stage name, apparently), where his abusive dad chastises him for being late for dinner. So they're eating after Eli's wrestling match?  Like at 11 or 12 pm?   There's also a mousy, skittish mom and a little sister, May-May (important in Season 3). 

Ordered to say grace, Eli jokes: "Good food, good meat, good God, let's eat," which makes May-May laugh.  Dad slaps him.  End of flashback.

We're fine with the faggots:  In
2022, elderly Eli Gemstone is a megachurch pastor and televangelist.  He and the satellite church ministers are discussing the case of Pastor Butterfield (Victor Williams), caught videotaping his wife and another woman having sex in a dance club restroom, while they were all high on Molly ("we thought they were Sweetarts").  The story made the front page of The New York Times, thanks to reporter Thaniel Block (Jason Schwartzman), who has made a career of publicizing ministerial sex scandals.  Eli wants to be lenient, but the others object.  (Left: random pecs)

A Spanish speaking pastor explains: "My church is ok with the maricones (roughly faggots), but we're not ready for swinging and tropus."     Pastor Diane translates: "His church is really cool with the gays and the queers, but not so much about the swingers and the thruples."  They fire Pastor Butterfield; he tries to commit suicide.

 Why did Pastor Diane translate maricones with two words, gays and queers?  Why queers, doubtless with the old pejorative meaning rather than the contemporary reclamation? I get the impression that the pastors are not really ok with maricones, so any gay ministers might want to stay in the closet, especially with the reporter snooping around.  Since this is the first scene in the present day, it is doubtless setting up one of the main conflicts of the season.  But who is the gay minister  Eli, Junior, or someone not yet introduced?  

Left: God Squad pecs

Tell the girls:  A young man rides a motorcycle to the Gemstone Compound, doing crazy stunts (this will be important later), while the background song advises:

Tell the girls that I am back in town.  They'd better beware

They may run, and they may hide.
I'll follow, and I'll be there.

A stalker?  At least we know that he's not the closeted gay minister.  He turns out to be Eli's grandson Gideon, back from a job as a stuntman to assist with the Gemstone ministry.  He's going to move into the house that Eli built for his abusive dad.

In other news, Gideon's younger brother Abraham has been masturbating, and leaving "semen loads" all over the house, like in the freezer next to the Dreamsicles.  

Left: Selfie. Not Gideon or Abraham

We cut to a church service with Eli Gemstone and his children, Jesse, Judy, and Kelvin, announcing the start of their streaming service, GODD.  We see Jesse's wife Amber, their kids, and Judy's husband BJ in the audience.  No partner for Kelvin. He must be single

F*k, yeah!  More pecs and dicks after the break

"Doctor Who," 2005 Series: Hints, hunks, subtexts, surprise, and off-camera penises


Doctor Who has been wildly popular in Britain for 60 years: 26 doctors in 39 seasons (1963-present), plus spin-offs, over 200 novels, and enough tie-in products to rival Star Trek in the U.S.  

I've tried watching at various times, but it's like trying to read a Marvel comic: you're dropped into the middle of a long story, with references to characters and situations from years ago or different series: "But I thought you returned to the sub-galactic empyrion in Episode #1314!  How's Jenna?"  I even bought a history of Doctor Who to try to figure it out, but it was all studio gossip about why this or that doctor was cast.

The 2005-2021 series just dropped on MAX, starring Christopher Eggleston (below) and then David Tennant (top photo and below) as the Doctor (he keeps regenerating). This one is different: most episodes are self-contained, with the occasional call-back to previous series actually explained, instead of assuming that viewers have watched every episode since 1963. We even find out who the doctor is.

The premise:
The Doctor is a Time Lord, able to zap through time and space on his Tardis vehicle (which looks like a 1960s British police box from the outside). He has a tragic back story which might be new to this series: he is the only surviving member of his species.  They were all wiped out by the evil ("Exterminate!") Daleks, but he destroyed their species in retaliation (until they return).  

Now he travels around for fun or to seek out and fix time/space anomalies that threaten to destroy London or the universe:

Zombies plague the Victorian London of Charles Dickens.

Evil aliens are masquerading as Members of Parliament

In the year 200,000, an alien is controling the Earth.

The Doctor is in the habit of saying "It's hopeless!  There's no escape!  There's nothing I can do -- we're all going to die!"  Or "the universe will collapse at any moment!  There's no way to stop it!"  Or 'we're stuck forever on this parallel world where Britain has a president instead of a prime minister, and they've invented helicopters but not airplanes!"  Then, after the commercial break: "I've figured it out!  All we have to do is recalibrate the time coordinator and push it backwards through the space-time continnum!"  

I'm reminded of the old Star Trek series, where Captain Kirk says "The odds against us getting out of this jam are a million to one!"  Then he does it easily, and starts deciding what to wear for his promotion to Admiral.

The companion:  In the first episode, the Doctor meets Rose Tyler, a working-class shop girl from 21st century London, and invites her to join him.  Rose has a tragic back story, too: her father was killed in a traffic accident while she was a baby.  Somehow the Doctor's missions often put them in parallel worlds where he's still alive (but she can't see him, or time/space will collapse), or back in time to the moment of the accident (but she can't rescue him, or flying gargoyles will destroy the world).

I don't know if the Doctor fell in love with his previous female companions, or this is a new innovation, but he and Rose are definitely falling in love.  It's a slow burn romance -- we're halfway through Season 2, and they haven't kissed yet.  Of course,  Rose has a boyfriend, and the Doctor is busy falling in love with the lady alien or distant-future babe of the week (even Madame de Pompadour, when he tries to prevent distant-future cyborgs from stealing her brain).   

Occasionally they pick up a second companion, a guy, but the Doctor resents the competition and quickly boots him.

The Guys
: While they are in 21st century Utah, investigating an underground museum of alien artifacts, they pick up  "boy genius" Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley).  He is fired in the next episode, when the Doctor catches him  transmitting technology from the year 200,000 to his Mum's answering machine back home.  Langley also played Todd Grimshaw, the first gay character on the long-running soap Coronation Street, from 2001 to 2003. He is heterosexual in real life.

Next, the Doctor and Rose end up in blitz-besieged World War II London, where alien technology has transformed a dead boy into an "empty boy," wandering around and asking "Are you my Mummy?"  If he touches you, you turn into an "empty boy," too.  During this adventure, they hook up with Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, left and below), a loveable rogue time-traveler, and openly bisexual, flirting with men and women.  Rose is shocked by this -- apparently LGBT people do not exist in 21st century London -- but the Doctor points out that Jack is from the 51st century, when "anything goes."

More hints and hunks after the break

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Peter Kaasa: The hottest man in professional wrestling. With bonus nude wrestlers

The Greco-Roman wrestling of American high schools and colleges, the masked lucha libre of Latin American countries,  and performance-art professional wrestling have one thing in common:

Those blatant bulges in the wrestling singlets. 

Peter Kaasa has been wrestling -- and bulging  -- since high school. 


He was born in James Island, a suburb of Charleston, South Carolina, and received a degree in Exercise Science from the College of Charleston in 2008.  Along the way, he excelled not only in wrestling, but in gymnastics, surfing, and Brazilian jiu-gitsu. Finally he decided to train at the prestigious Funking Wrestling Academy in Ocala, Florida. 

In 2012, Peter began pro wrestling as a heel character, Peter Kaasanova (soon changed back to Kaasa).  Less than a year later, he won the TSW Heavyweight Championship.

His professional wrestling career lasted from 2012 to 2017, but during those years he was very busy, competing in WrestleForce, America's Most Liked Wrestling, Dragon Gate, and Evolve.  He drew a huge following, even becoming the subject of fan art and fiction.

 He was named the "The Hottest Man in Professional Wrestling" and "The Most Liked Man in Professional Wrestling"  

Several major injuries, including torn ligaments and a torn groin, forced Peter to retire in 2017, but he drew on his talents to move into an acting career.

More Peter and some penises after the break

Monday, January 29, 2024

I pray through to vic-trah, with Phil's hand on my....


When I was growing up in the Nazarene Church,  most church services ended with an altar call: an invitation (or exhortation) to come down to the front of the sanctuary, kneel at the long, low wooden rail, and Pray Through to Victory (all preachers had a Southern accent, so they said "Vic-trah"). 

 It was similar to Catholic confession, with no priest: you asked God to forgive all the sins you could think of, and if He decided to, you became a Christian or got saved (from an eternity in hell).

Praying through to Vic-trah  wasn't easy -- God wasn't really keen on forgiveness, so you had to work, sobbing and begging and moaning, for at least ten minutes, until He consented.  And afterwards, the most trivial of sins -- an angry word, a lustful thought, a glance at the Sunday newspaper -- would negate your salvation, so you'd have to start all over again.  It was not unusual to go down several times a year, and some especially sensitive types went down at almost every service.

Usually just adults went down -- kids were excused, and teens had regular invitations to "bow your head right here and ask God to forgive you" in Sunday School (just before the morning service) and NYPS (just before the evening service), so we were usually saved by the time the altar call came around.

But in ninth grade, the first year that I was officially a teenager, I discovered a benefit to going down to the altar (other than the not going to hell thing).

Praying Through to Vic-trah was such hard work that you needed someone by your side, entreating God on your behalf.  So whenever you went to the altar, Christians (people who were saved) rushed down to help.  Only the same sex.  Two, three, or even more, depending on your popularity. 

They pressed against you, hugging and holding, arms around waists and shoulders, even pressed on your butt as if trying to push you into heaven (don’t worry, only other teens did the butt pushing, I guess because we also pushed butts at jump quiz practice). And when you successfully Prayed Through, you became a single mass, bear-hugging and back-slapping and pressing together.  During those moments, I felt a lifetime's worth of hard muscle, and sometimes even private parts pressed surreptitiously against me.

Going down to the altar allowed me to get hugged, held, and caressed by the preacher, the preacher's son, my Sunday school teacher  and lots of other cute boys and men.

And the next service, if I was still saved, I had carte blanche to go down and touch, hold, hug, and fondle any guy I liked.

But never the guy I wanted most: Phil, a 12th grader, president of the Nazarene Young People's Society, and Captain of the Jump Quiz Team, tall and broad-shouldered, with black wavy hair and round professors' glasses. And planning to become a preacher!  I would not figure "it" out for three years, but I already knew that I had a special interest in preachers, preachers' kids, seminarians, even the Catholic priests and rabbis on tv.

Phil was not only hunky, he was the coolest guy I had ever met: he and his parents lived in an apartment (how cool was that?), he worked at the Country Style ice cream shop, and could get us free milkshakes; he had actually read The Hobbit instead of dismissing it as Satanic; and he wasn't afraid to make friends with Catholics -- "if you don't talk to them, how will you ever win them for Christ?"

More Phil fondling after the break

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Braxton Alexander: three heterosexual boyfriends, three serial killers, one saxophone, and five bare butts


Born in 2007, actor and model Braxton Alexander had a busy child star career. Strangely, although of course he had no control over the scripts at age eight or nine, his movies and tv shows seem overwhelmingly heteronormative, if not downright homophobic.

Four episodes of Mr. Mercedes (2017as the young Brady Hartsfield, living through the horrific childhood that would turn him into a homophobic mass murderer with psychic powers.
(Left: Harry Treadaway, who plays the adult Brady)

The young Callahan in Tag (2018), about a group of friends who play an elaborate game of tag every year, while not making homophobic jokes and fielding gay panic.  

The young Callahan kisses a girl. So you can have boys and girls sparking at each other from the womb, but heaven forbid depicting a gay kid.

(Left: Jon Hamm, who playes the adult Callahan).

Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square (2020) is intensely heteronormative: the meaning of life is boys and girls gazing at each other forever. Brax plays a singer.

The Black Phone (2021) is about a gay predator who kidnaps young boys (I'm not kidding).  Brax plays a bully, not one of the victims.

In I Want You Back (2022), a dumped boyfriend and girlfriend try to sabotage their exes' new relationships and get them back.  Brax plays a "middle school boyfriend."

Left: Scott Eastwood, who plays one of the targets.

The Summer I Turned Pretty
 (2022-4) features two brothers in love with a girl named Belly. Brax plays the young Conrad, falling for Belly at the age of 13.

(Left: Brax)

In Black Bird (2022), not to be confused with Blackbird, Jimmy Keane (Taron Egerton, left) is given the task of befriending a suspected serial killer to get a confession out of him. No gay subtext: the guys both display an incessant interest in ladies. 

Brax plays the teenage Jimmy.

More Braxton after the break

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Gemstones Season 1 Finale: Judy and Kelvin begin to heal, Scotty joins the family, and we say goodbye with some random dicks

Previous: Episode 1.9, Continued: Kelvin goes dark, Keefe goes down, and Captain America saves the day
Showrunner Danny McBride has stated that he wants every season of his programs to tell a complete story: no callbacks to previous seasons, and no cliffhangers.  By the finale, every plotline has been resolved and every character development arc has been concluded.  He also hates downbeat endings, so the season finale tells us that "they lived happily ever after"  

The Season 1 primary plot featured Gideon and Scotty betraying the family, first by blackmailing Jesse over the tape of his sex-and-drugs party, then by planning to steal the Easter offerings from the church. Secondary plots involved Eli butting heads with Rev. Seasons over his church expansion, and Kelvin and Judy dealing with obstacles in their relationships.  The finale ties all of the plotlines into a single theme: forgiveness.

Back in Freeman's Gap 
:  Church. In his sermon, Eli describes his visit to Aimee-Leigh's childhood home, where he interacted with her spirit.  Cut to a flashback of the siblings collecting the money that Baby Billy and Tiffany stole from Scotty's van.

He continues: "We move through this world, crossing paths with friends, family...and I believe that the goal of all that colliding is to make us appreciate one another, to find empathy." Shots of Martin, Mandy (Chad's wife), and Chad, sitting far away from her. 

Rev. Seasons is redeemed: Cut to a flashback of Rev. Seasons  (Dermot Mulroney) working in a hardware store (Baptist churches are autonomous, so if one closes you don't automatically get placed elsewhere). Eli offers him a job as pastor of the satellite church that Baby Billy abandoned. Rev. Seasons was a secondary Big Bad, but Eli stole his flock, so we are not sure who needs forgiveness more.

"If you're not rooting for your enemy's salvation, you are not in line with what the Spirit wants."  Shots of Dot Nancy and her parents, BJ, Keefe (working security again), Martin's wife, a couple I don't recognize, and Jesse's crew (Matthew, Gregory, and Levi).  Notice that BJ and Keefe are linked, structurally presented as the partners of Judy and Kelvin.  They won't begin sitting together until Season 3. 

Scotty is redeemed
: "Aimee-Leigh knew this. That's why she wanted to help, no matter what."  Shot of the spirit of Aimee-Leigh sitting in the congregation, glowing in ethereal light, with Scotty beside her. 

He looks more bemused than happy, surprised that he has been forgiven, wondering how he came to be sitting here, after all the pain he caused Gideon and the Gemstone family.  Remember that both BJ and Keefe had to suffer symbolic deaths before they could unite with their partners.  Did Scotty, in death, become Gideon's partner?  

Maybe, in spite of his machinations, posturing, criticism, and threats, in spite of the hints of abuse, this is what Scotty wanted all along.  After all, the goal of the two schemes was to draw Gideon away from his family so they could spend their lives together. Maybe he couldn't admit it to himself, so it came out in random bursts, like calling Gideon "cute," taking him out on dates, and finally admitting, just before his death, that "you broke my heart."  Aimee Leigh helped him understand what he needed, what he wanted, and she has made him a Gemstone.

Baby Billy grifts: "For when you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you."  Cut to Baby Billy and Tiffany selling their new gimmick, pictures of his trip to heaven. I guess they haven't been redeemed yet. 

Kelvin and Judy start to heal: "How we navigate this life,  and each other, is what defines us, and what leads us on the path to healing."  Cut to Judy and Kelvin in makeup, getting ready to perform, smiling. 

Before this season, the siblings spend their lives crippled by the traumas of their past. Unable to believe that they were worthy of being loved, they sabotaged every potential relationship, Judy by defining herself soley as a sexual being, and Kelvin by denying that he was a sexual being at all.  In this season they found partners who loved them in spite of their spitefulness, selfishness, and general craziness, in spite of Judy's obsession with the phallus and Kelvin's fear of it.  Forgiven, redeemed, they have started on the road to healing.   

The conclusion and cocks after the break

Steve Antin: radical gay representation and beefcake, from "The Last American Virgin" to "Girlicious." With lots of bulges and butts

Steve Antin's bio on the Internet Movie Database claims that he "broke all the girls' hearts" in The Last American Virgin (1982).  Same old story: gay people don't exist, so all girls and no boys swooned over his character.

Spoiler alert: Steve is gay.  

Born in 1958, Steve broke into film playing the Jesse whose girl Rick Springfield longs for in "Jesse's Girl" (1981).  Next came The Last American Virgin (1982).  In his first major screen appearance, he plays high schooler Rick, who has sex with dozens of girls, like "every high school boy" in the 1980s -- except for his his buddy Gary (Lawrence Monoson, below), the "last American virgin."  So he and a third buddy, David (Joe Rubbo), strive to get Gary laid.  

This is not the typical 1980s "sex with girls is the meaning of life" teen comedy. Horndog Rick gets Diane pregnant and dumps her, so Virgin Gary pays for the abortion and falls in love with her, but Diane dumps him!  Then Gary dumps Rick and drives off in tears. Rather a downbeat ending. 

But there's a obvious gay subtext relationship between Gary and Rick: Gary seems to like Diane only because Rick was intimate with her.

And there's a lot of beefcake.  Far more semi-naked male bodies than female bodies.  Muscle hunks in their underwear. Jocks stripped down in the locker room. Steve with a boner (left).

There is even a penis size contest, with the boys gleefully evaluating packages while their classmates parade by naked.

When was the last time heterosexual male teenagers were so happy to gaze at a row of naked men?

You might almost think that this movie with a gay star had a gay audience in mind.

Steve went on to play some teenagers on tv, the spoiled rich kid/horndog in The Goonies (1985), and some action/adventure and dramatic roles, all heterosexual.  But when he became the boyfriend of mogul David Geffen, he got some gay-positive roles.

He wrote, produced, and starred in the dramedy Inside Monkey Zetterland (1992), as a retired child actor turned screenwriter who lives with his overbearing mother and wacky/sad relatives.  He's straight, but he is friends with a gay man (Rupert Everett) and a lesbian posing as a married couple.  They are plotting to bomb an insurance agency that is denying coverage to people who are HIV positive. 

It's My Party (1996), although extremely downbeat, was a classic of gay representation.  Nick (Eric Roberts) is dying of AIDS, with only a few days of mental awareness left, so he decides to kill himself.  His family and friends come to his "going-away party," including ex-boyfriend Brandon (1980s tv hunk Gregory Harrison).  Steve plays one of their friends.  Christopher Atkins, one of my friends in Los Angeles, also appears.

Brian To appears nude.

Bonus butts after the break

Friday, January 26, 2024

Blair's Hot/Hung Photos, Part 1: Wicked Lips, Fierce Friday, and what happened in Australia in the summer of 2016

This is a collection of hot/hung or humorous photos of actor/model Blair Jackson, who becomes Kelvin's nemesis in Righteous Gemstones Episode 1.4, "Wicked Lips." I'm only sure about one of the nude photos.

1. "It's ok. My roommate says you can spend the night."

2. Beach boys.

3. "What do you mean, I have to wear a shirt to be served?  I usually take off my shirt whan I want to"

4. What happened in the summer of 2016, stays in the summer of 2016.

5. What happens in the library, stays in library.

6. Thai dreams of thighs.  And shoulders.  And....

More Blair bod after the break

"The Seminarian": Gay evangelical with an enormous penis looks for love, annoys his friends and the viewer. No, it's not Kelvin Gemstone


The Seminarian 2011: "A seminarian saves a lady's life. They fall in love."  And "A closeted gay seminarian struggles..."  Well, which is it?  It can't be both

.  The only way to find out is to watch on Roku (or to look very closely at the DVD cover).

Scene 1: Whoa, the first scene shows a very well hung naked guy changing clothes in his kitchen!  Now we know the audience they're going after.  

He's Ryan Goodman (Goodman, har har) (Mark Cirillo), who lives in an incredible decadent-red apartment with his "when will you find a girl and get married" mother.  He is about to graduate from a conservative evangelical seminary, but he doesn't want to become a preacher: he's applying to a Ph.D. program at Yale.   

Scene 2:
Meeting with his thesis advisor. Ryan is writing on how "love and desire" encourage procreation, protection, and socialization, "which enable us to survive and persist as a species."  The point of life is reproduction?  That's the house, job, wife, kids trajectory that my parents were always pushing on me.  I thought a gay guy would come up with something less oppressive.  Besides, he forgot the theology. "Oh, we love each other, we reflect God's love." .

Scene 3: A restroom hookup leads to a heart-to-heart.  The guy had a bad breakup six years ago, and hasn't dated anyone since.  "So you're content without love?" Mark asks, horrified.  Some people are aromantic, and some are asexual.

Scene 4: Mark has only one gay friend on campus, Gerald (Matthew Hanon), who has just been dumped by his boyfriend, and doesn't have the energy to listen to his "love is bollocks" moaning.  Also a sraight friend, Eugene, who plasters the campus with "Protect Traditional Marriage" fliers. 

Although he has a girlfriend, Straight Eugene argues that you don't need to be in a relationship -- God's love is enough.  If you disagree, you don't understand God, and what are you doing in seminary?  Judgmental, aren't you?  Oh, right, you're training to become a preacher, and hate gays for a living.

Scene 5: 
 Mark working on his thesis: "When you love another human being, you love God."  He pauses for cybersex with Bradley, his online boyfriend, who lives too far away to meet. 

Scene 6: Mark decides to busybody into his gay friend Gerald's relationship, but  they have reconciled and don't want him nosing around.

Cut to the gym, where Mark is talking to his other gay friend about the Online Boyfriend. "So he lives far away.  You have to go see him, or you will never find love."  Dude, you live in Los Angeles.  Just walk into any bar and say "I have 8 inches.  Who wants to buy me dinner?"

Cut to Mark sitting on a bench, looking morose while Straight Eugene flirts with his girlfriend.

More Mark after the break

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Chris Messina: Nude photos of the guy from "Birds of Prey," "The Mindy Project," and lots of movies with dicks and angst


I didn't get a lot of page views for my review of The Sinner -- maybe everyone found the title too judgmental -- so I decided to repurpose the numerous nude photos of Chris Messina into a separate article.  Who is this guy whom I never heard of before, who lacks a standard gym rat physique yet manages to tear his clothes off in practically every screen appearance?

He doesn't have much of a social media presence.  This Chris Messina looks like him, but must be somebody else, since he has a boyfriend, and our guy has a wife.  Plus an article in Forbes proclaiming "Chris Messina loves women."  Wow, a heterosexual, how bizarre! I've heard of men like that, but I've never met one in real life. How do they decide who's the top and who's the bottom?

Our Chris, who loves women, was born in 1974  He grew up in New York City, dropped out of college after one semester, and moved onto Broadway, then tv. He has 75 acting credits on the IMDB, including substantial roles in Damages, The Newsroom, The Mindy Project, and Based on a True Story.   I've only seen him in Argo and Birds of Prey.

Not a lot of gay roles.  In an interview, he says that his villain Victor Szaz in Birds of Prey is "probably gay." and in Based on a True Story, his character is married to a woman, but makes out with a guy during a fantasy orgy.

Our first glimpse of Chris's private parts comes in the tv series Six Feet Under (about a mortuary).  His Ted Farwell, an attorney who dates some of the ladies, walks through his house nude.

28 Hotel Rooms
(2012) features a Woman and a Man (Chris) hooking up in hotel rooms every time they are in the same city on business.  It sounds artsy, pretentious, and heterosexist, but apparently Chris walks around nude a lot.

More Chris dick after the break

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Sinner, Episode 3.1: Retired cop, sleazoid prof, and predatory chum, in Australia or New York. But at least we see Matt Bomer


I was recommended Season 3 of The Sinner, a crime drama anthology starring Bill Pullman as a cop drawn into different adventures every season.  I'm not much into crime dramas, but there are reputedly gay subtexts, so here goes: Episode 1.

Scene 1: Jamie (Matt Bomer) a guy in a scruffy suit, sits in a toilet stall, smoking marijuana. He walks through a ritzy private school, getting drooled over by all the coeds.  They need another chaperone for the LGBTQ  Alliance field trip.  "Sure, I'm happy to do it."  So he's bi?   

Then he teaches his class -- something about the Treaty of Versailles --in a small, crowded conference room.  Only female students?.  Is this a girls' school, or are we emphasizing that he's a hetero horndog?

After class, a girl hangs back to flirt while her friends glare jealously from the door.  Don't worry, you'll get your turn.  She's decided to apply to Brown, and she needs a letter of recommendation.  "Sure, you write it and I'll sign it."   Sleazing on co-eds, and now forgery?  This guy is a jerk.

Scene 2:
The Big Boss congratulates elderly cop Harry (Bill Pullman, left) on his retirement, although his replacements, Soto (Eddie Martinez) and McCafferty, are awful.  They have verve and energy, but no experience. 

Scene 3: A train chugging by a river.  Inside, Jamie the Sleazoid Prof is staring angrily at the other passengers as they scroll through their cell phones.  He gets off and chases after one, a bald guy in a business suit.

Meanwhile, Harry the Retired Cop, at the same station, greets his daughter and grandson: "Welcome to the Northern Territory." So this must be Darwin, Australia.  They drive to the creepy, isolated house that he bought to retire in -- a former army barracks.  Daughter disapproves -- what if he need help? Cell phones don't even work out here.  "I can get bars in the front yard." 

She also disapproves of her son's interest in reading.  "That's all he does.  He's got no friends."  Especially that one fantasy novel -- he won't put it down. Plot dump: she's recently divorced, and ex Andy has vanished to London.

Scene 4: Jamie the Sleazoid Prof is barbecuing, while his wife Leela complains about the customers in her shop.   Wait -- what happened to the guy he was chasing?  I thought he'd end up dead.  Suddenly Jamie has the urge to stick his hand onto the barbecue grill, but Wifey interrupts him.  They smooch.  .

Doorbell rings: Amazon Delivery.  Jamie is shocked and horrified. "What are you doing here?  I told you not to come here." So he prefers brick-and-mortar bookstores?  

Nope, the Amazon stuff was a misdirection.  It's actually Nick (Chris Messina), whom Jamie knows but hates.  Maybe a downlow hookup?  They argue and sputter at each other, but when Leela shows up, Nick is all smiles, and gets a dinner invitation.

Scene 5: Jamie the Sleazoid Prof and Hookup Nick glaring at each other across the dinner table, while Leela drones on about her shop. I don't really understand what she sells, but there are candles and  "essential oils"  Nick criticizes Jamie for forcing his wife to move to Australia, when she wanted to stay in Brooklyn. He makes more ominous, threatening statements, but Leela is oblivious. Not very smart for someone named after a space pilot on "Futurama."  

Scene 6: Night.  Harry the Retired Cop is asleep on the couch.  He gets a phone call. Hey, no cell phone reception in the house, remember?  There was an accident off Route 9, so he has to go investigate.  Hey, retired, remember?

And now he's driving on the right side of the road.  This can't be Australia!  But the only Northern Territory I'm familiar with is in Australia.  There's a Northwest Territory in Canada, but I don't think Yellowknife has that huge train station.  Maybe he was riffing on the remoteness of his community, and expected viewers to have the sound on, so they could hear the accents. 

Accident scene: The driver crashed into a tree. "He's ok -- at St. Emilia's getting checked out."  But he got splattered all over the car.  WTF?  Lady, you just said he was ok! Are we watching events in parallel worlds simultaneously?

What was the driver doing on private road that leads to just one house, where the owner wasn't expecting him?  The cops scratch their heads, baffled by this mystery. Harry checks out the driver -- it's Hookup Nick!

Scene 7:  The other "he," the one that's ok, is Jamie the Sleazoid Prof.  He sits on an examination table, looking sinister, staring at his hands.  

Scene 8: Retired Cop Harry works while his replacement, Soto, glares at him.  He calls a lady to tell her that the cops have some of her father's stuff.  Does she want it?  "No. Ok, I'll give you my home address."  Now he says he's in Dorchester, New York 11332.  The zip code is Flushing, Queens.  I was not aware that Queens was called the Northern Territory.  So when Nick got angry because Jamie forced his wife to move to the other side of the world, he meant ten minutes by subway? 

Jamie the Sleazoid Prof comes in for the insurance interview. After dinner, they went out for a drink at Nick's hotel. On the way back, Nick was driving too fast, and crashed  No big mystery.

"But where were you going?  You were nowhere near your house or his hotel. " were looking for an overlook, and got lost."  An overlook in the middle of the night?

Gay subtext: "I saw Nick die.  It was like seeing him for the first time.  The way he looked at me..."  This makes Harry suspicious.  So what if Nick and Jamie were boyfriends?  How would that affect the case?

More Bomer after the break

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Revisiting Brideshead Revisited: Does the groundbreaking portrayal of (temporary) gay love hold up after 40 years? With bonus dicks.

January 18th, 1982, a Monday night, the second week of classes in the spring semester of my senior year.  I'm lying on the bed in the attic room my brother and I share, reading a book for my Advanced Spanish class.  Significantly it's Ciro Alegria's El mundo es ancho y ajeno: Broad and Alien is the World.  

I always watch tv while studying.  Tonight the only options are two boring movies, MASH (doctors during the Korean War), and something called Brideshead Revisited on PBS.  It turns out to be an adaption of the Evelyn Waugh novel about 1920s Oxford undergrad Charles Ryder (Jeremy Irons) falling in love with the flamboyant, decadent, teddy bear-toting, alcoholic Sebastian Flyte (Anthony Andrews).  

They run away to Venice together. They go slumming in Soho, along with Sebastian's sister Julia.  Then Ryder begins a romantic entanglement with Julia, and the outraged Sebastian dumps him and runs off to Morocco. 

 Later Sebastian hooks up with a sleazy German guy named Kurt (Jonathan Coy), and later still he dies.  Ryder can't marry Julia because she's Catholic and he's an atheist, so they just live together.  Later he becomes Catholic.

I'm mesmerized.  In 1982, surrounded by the hetero-horniness of workplace sitcoms, my parents demanding "What girl do you like?", and the preacher at church bellowing about homa-sekshuls, just seeing two men involved in a romance is a revelation.  Sure, no one says "gay," Ryder turns straight, and Sebastian dies, but they walk arm in arm, cuddle, even go nude sunbathing!  And everyone around knows! Even Sebastian's mother.  Even Julia, who tells Ryder that "all our loves are hints and signals," leading us to God.  A same-sex romance leads us to God?  Hear that, Preacher?

40 years have passed.  I've studied a lot of LGBT history and literature, and watched a lot of gay movies, published a lot of books and articles on queering fictional texts, and recently I decided to revisit Brideshead Revisted.

You can't go home again.  Rewatching today, I strongly dislike Brideshead.  Sebastian is a decadent, flamboyant stereotype who ends up dead.  Ryder may fall in love with him, but then he moves on to Julia.  Evelyn Waugh, like Freud, believed that gayness is a phase -- adolescents, newly potent but forbidden access to the opposite sex, turn to each other.  Their brief period of quasi-romance ends when they move on to "mature" heterosexual love.

In 2008, the BBC aired a new version of Brideshead, with Matthew Goode as Charles Ryder and Ben Whishaw as Sebastian.  This time there's no subtext: Sebastian is gay.  But there's also no romance: Ryder is heterosexual but pretending to be interested in Sebastian to gain access to his vast wealth.

 It's more honest -- and there's a lot more nudity -- but nothing can match the joy of seeing same-sex romance on screen for the very first time.

Bonus dicks after the break: