Rather than make a series of short entries, I’m putting them in one long bulleted list because I’m efficient (or lazy) like that.
This week the Advocate puts John Stamos on its cover. Stamos plays gay in an upcoming movie for A&E titled Wedding Wars.
That’s not what got my attention.
It was the publicity shot of Stamos and Sean Maher of Firefly looking rather domestic. And Maher was wearing a rainbow-colored lei with his shirt unbuttoned.
I called it! I don’t care that this movie is on A&E — I want to see Maher do gay. Too bad it isn’t with Jamie Bamber. Those two would make a good on-screen couple.
I have to say, I don’t usually admit to rooting for a character on scripted television, but that’s what I’m doing for Matt Saracen (played by Zach Gilford) on Friday Night Lights. It’s rare to find characters on television as nuanced as Saracen. He’s a guy pulled in too many directions at once.
On the one hand, he’s thrust into a leadership role for a team on which he existed in the periphery. Now the culture of Texas high school football is drawing him in. At home, he’s taking care of an ailing grandmother while his father is stationed in Iraq. He’s got a job at a fast-food joint, and he’s got a crush on the coach’s daughter. There are even hints that he’s got a bit of the artist in him.
Gilford plays Saracen with refreshing understatement. Saracen isn’t an eloquent orator, so Gilford must rely on body language to convey his character’s uncertainty about the circumstances around him. He’s got the deer-in-the-headlights look down. Saracen’s story is perhaps the most engaging thread in the multiple layers of Friday Night Lights.
My gaydar is notoriously out of whack, and what little ability I do have with it is entirely misdirected. That’s my disclaimer to describe something of a game I play when I watch TV — Can This Actor Play Gay?
I can picture some actors more easily than others taking on gay roles. Before I ever knew Det. Tim Bayliss on Homicide experimented with his sexuality, I had a sense Kyle Secor would be convincing playing gay.
Even though Jesse L. Martin plays Det. Ed Green on Law & Order as tough and suave, I thought something about Martin could work in a gay role. Then I learned he was cast as Tom Collins, a gay computer programmer, in the musical Rent.
When I saw the headline that Neil Patrick Harris came out of the closet, I was surprised. Then the surprise wore off, and I was left with an odd sense of deja vu.
Hadn’t I already learned about this news from a long while back? I thought I had, but I couldn’t remember from where.
I always thought Harris would do a great job playing a gay character, and I guess now it wouldn’t be so much of an act. He’s not exactly on my hot list, but I’ve always found his handsomeness less boyish than what’s generally perceived. What surprised me more was finding out I’m a year older than he is. Damn, what have I been doing with my life?
Harris is the third big coming out story of the year (yes, I’m counting T.R. Knight.) In terms of child actors from the ’80s and ’90s, that makes three — Chad Allen, Danny Pinaturo and now, Neil Patrick Harris. Who’s next?