Open mouth, insert foot

All the brouhaha over Isaiah Washington’s use of a pejorative made me do something till now I had no interest in doing — watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Medical dramas are not my thing. I am easily queasy, and medical dramas these days do not shy away from the gore. Besides, I watch way too many crime dramas to make room for their medical counterparts.

That, and Grey’s Anatomy just struck me as a show about a bunch of doctors hooking up with each other because, hell, that world is so insular, who else can you screw?

My interest in the show piqued when I realized T.R. Knight played a particularly elusive villain on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Knight played Neil Colby in the episode "F.P.S.", and Colby’s technical wizardry kept Det. Robert Goren (Vincent D’Onfrio) a run for his money. I don’t think Goren got this much push back from a suspect since Nicole Wallace.

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At such a young age …

The Advocate ran a story a few months back about the character of Justin Suarez on Ugly Betty. The article quoted AfterElton editor Michael Jensen, taking ABC to task for not labeling the character as gay.

"By not saying one way or the other if Justin is gay," Jensen says, "they’re either communicating that there’s something wrong or shameful about being gay …. Americans need to acknowledge there are gay 11- and 12-year-olds in society."

Excuse me? There may certainly be gay 11- and 12-year-olds out there, but they are not everywhere. And I’m wondering if Jensen’s statement would be rendered more accurate by saying there are gay white 11- and 12-year-olds in society.

Perhaps Jensen doesn’t remember being 12 years old. That’s the no man’s land of child development, a period of time when you’re not a child but you’re not a teenager either. As worldly as young people are these days, I can’t buy into the notion that sex isn’t still an abstract idea at that age.

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A Day Without a Gay

I remember there was a lot of favorable press leading up to the release of a movie titled A Day Without a Mexican. When it was eventually released, I heard nothing but pans from people who had watched it. I never watched it myself, but I know the premise — what would happen if you all the Mexicans in the country disappeared? It’s a premise rife with the potential for profundity or disaster.

Wedding Wars is essentially A Day Without a Gay. The Advocate, in fact, used the phrase as the headline for a sidebar to a cover story about the movie. What would happen if all the gays in the country went on strike? The profound answer won’t be found in the movie’s plot.

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Teh pr0n

I just tried to sit through the pilot episode of Dante’s Cove on DVD. My mistake was waiting for some sort of storyline to emerge. If I go back to watching this DVD anytime this weekend, I’m just going to fast-forward to the man-on-man sex scenes, of which there are many and are quite graphic. Aside from that, this show really stinks. It inspires me to sit my ass down and write my police procedural with gay characters.

Unintended effect, part the second

I thought TiVo would be responsible for many hours chained in front of a television set. On weekends, that sometimes happens.

But I think I’m probably watching less TV than before I switched.

I’ve developed a habit with the machine — TiVo will catch it for me, I can watch it later. "Later." That’s the catch, isn’t it?

"Later" sometimes never comes. Last month, I was working on a project that required a number of hours each evening. I ended up watching a lot of TiVo over the Thanksgiving holiday because a three-week backlog built up.

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Unintended effect, part the first

TV commercials for Apple products usually come off as smug, but I have to say I’m really liking the Mac and PC commercials featuring John Hodgman as PC and Justin Long as Mac.

The only problem is that these commercials aren’t convincing me to make the switch. I’m not the only one. In fact, they make me glad I’m a PC owner. I wasn’t inclined to get a Mac in the first place, and these commercials pretty much tell me not to.

I work with some pretty technical stuff sometimes, and if the PC excels at it, as the ad spots would have you believe, why would I even consider getting a "lifestyle" machine such as the Mac? Here’s a wonderfully executed ad campaign that achieves exactly the opposite of what it aims to do.

Called it

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.

Friday Night Lights has turned me into a post-rock listener

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.

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