10 posts categorized "TV REVIEW"

Jun 28 2023
Face-On: A Review Of GLAMOROUS Starring Miss Benny & Kim Cattrall Comments (0)

Glamorous-kim-cattrall-miss-benny-boycultureThe mirror has pretty faces. (Image via Netflix)

I shouldn't have liked Glamorous, the new fashion-fueled Jordon Nardino rom-com on Netflix that centers on a femme-presenting young guy (YouTube star Miss Benny) who lands a dream job working directly for a beauty-biz legend (Kim Cattrall) ... but I mostly ate it right up.

Kim-cattrall-glamorous-boycultureYeah, I'm sure this wasn't on purpose. (Images via Netflix & 20th Century Fox)

The series is not super deep or realistic, but if you were charmed by Cattrall in Mannequin (even though it was no Splash) and/or if you enjoyed Ugly Betty (even though it was no The Devil Wears Prada), you may be as satisfied with Glamorous as I was. It is, after all, a tremendously queer series, an engaging ring-light comedy and filled with pretty people, colors and messages.

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May 11 2022
Old Kids On The Block: New Doc, New Eps For Comedy Legends Kids In The Hall Comments (0)

Kids-in-hall-humor-comedy-boycultureKevin McDonald, Scott Thompson, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney & Dave Foley in 2021 (Image via Twitter)

Who would have thought we'd be watching new Kids in the Hall episodes in 2022, and yet here we are, with new episodes premiering on Amazon Prime Video May 13.

The boys — all aged 59-62 — are the subject of a two-part doc, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, which helpfully reminds viewers of the troupe's 38-year legacy of subversive comedy, including flirtations with SNL, exploration of drag and homosexuality and their dark humor's impressive sphere of influence. Using pristine archival footage and new interviews, the piece rehashes the group's rise to fame, internal struggles and lucrative reunions, doing so while also presenting snippets of their greatest hits and worst bits. It feels definitive, and I would suggest watching it prior to digging in to their new episodes.

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May 14 2021
His Good Name: A Review Of HALSTON Comments (0)

Halston-Ewan-McGregor-boycultureHalston refused to admit he had a problem — so does Halston. (Image via Netflix)

Halston suffers for having had a compelling trailer.

The trailer cheated, using a Depeche Mode song released the year Halston died rather than a disco tune evocative of his dominant era, but it was effective, mixing high drama with high camp and suggesting the kernel of a promising biopic. Would Ryan Murphy finally transcend his lust for getting the look right and hit rather than miss in the insight department?


Halston, a new five-episode series on Netflix, looks exquisite and contains a convincing, if flat, Being There-ish performance by Ewan McGregor as the boy from Indiana who restyled himself as a snob who was backed into marketing his elitism with the gusto of McDonald's slinging burgers. There is a lot to investigate, considering Halston was absorbed with the idea of changing who he was while retaining his birth name, and wound up losing that name.

But the work is strictly off-the-rack. Halston is a pretty, surface peek at a guy who — as Frédéric Tcheng's 2019 doc of the same name suggested — had a lot going on under the surface, enough to make you want to know much more than this series shares.

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Feb 25 2021
Looking Back Upon Our Lives: A Review Of IT'S A SIN — Spoiler Alert Comments (0)

Its-a-sin-actors-gay-aids-boycultureTheir stories are our stories. (Images via Channel 4)

When it comes to the early years of the AIDS crisis, I can't say, “I was there.” Rather, I was around there.

My youth wasn't so much directly shaken by AIDS as it was formed by the tsunami it created. I was already aware of what AIDS was before I had my first kiss in 1987, so by the time I was having sex, it was a fact of life. There was no meaningful before, during and after for me, just — after.

Instead of sexual abandon, I poured myself into collecting things, obsessing over music, making art and writing. I eventually worked out many of my frustrations in a novel that, in retrospect, exposes some of my AIDS-induced hang-ups — and I think It's a Sin could be read as similarly revelatory of the mindset of creator Russell T. Davies, for better and for worse.

Having received largely rapturous reviews, It's a Sin, a commercial, serialized, gay-told take on how AIDS ravaged the queer community in London in the '80s, is now experiencing a bit of a backlash, mostly from HIV activists, whose experience with the subject matter makes it impossible for me to refute their experience with the series. From the perspective of someone who narrowly missed the early years of HIV, and as an HIV-negative man, It's a Sin was always going to mean something different to me than it would mean to people who truly survived that era.

But I think the praise and the criticism are both valuable, and speak to the buttons Davies and his talented cast are pushing — buttons that should be pushed more often so we don't wind up, as we did when this first aired in the UK, with scores of young people expressing shock that AIDS ever happened in the first place.

Overall, I loved It's a Sin. Over the course of four episodes, I was engrossed in the story, impressed by the acting and surprised by Davies' deft ability to work in other aspects of gay life that I hadn't expected, including issues surrounding coming of age, coming out, meeting your first gay person, coming to terms with and exploring sexuality and dealing with parental, political and social pressures while attempting to nurture one's own sense of self. The series is not the story of HIV, after all, but the story of a group of people confronted by it, and it is most successful when not losing sight of that.

The fifth episode, however, failed miserably for me. It was so off the mark it caused me to reflect more deeply and critically on minor quibbles I'd had with the previous installments, and led me to decide I felt It's a Sin — which I urge everyone to watch — is a far better and more important work if one forgets the final episode.

Read on if you are okay with spoilers ...

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Sep 25 2018
Serial Thriller: MINDHUNTER Is In Session Comments (0)

13mindhunter-jumbo(Image via Netflix)

I've partially sampled a number of buzzworthy series on Netflix and beyond, but for every The Handmaid's Tale (on Hulu) there is a Maniac (Netflix) — something more stylish than it is engrossing, more interestingly cast than it is played.

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Jun 08 2017
The Family That Slays Together: A Review of MENENDEZ: BLOOD BROTHERS & A Discussion With Directors Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 6.39.42 PMMyko Olivier (L) & Nico Tortorella (R) as Erik & Lyle Menendez (All images via Lifetime)

“This is a case Randy and I were gripped by when it happened,” acclaimed filmmaker Fenton Bailey told me of his work with Randy Barbato co-directing a new scripted film about the Menendez Brothers' murders. “Now, 25 years later, it felt like, 'You can take a new look at the story.' We're always drawn to stories where people are overexposed but, we feel, underrevealed.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 6.41.55 PMThe Menendezes as envisioned by Bailey & Barbato

From its creepy opening, showing idyllic images of Beverly Hills while the late Kitty Menendez (Courtney Love) types up her son Erik's (Myko Olivier) gory manuscript — ahead of a nightmarish sequence depicting the shotgun killings of Kitty and her husband Jose (Benito Martinez) by their sons — Menendez: Blood Brothers (Lifetime, June 11) is a gripping, suspenseful, stylish take on one of the most shocking crimes of the late 20th Century.

It is also, as promised, revelatory.

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May 12 2017
What Ever Happened To The Abbey? — But Ya Are In That Gay Bar! Comments (0)

Rs_1024x793-170322152300-ab(Image via E!)

E!'s What Happens at The Abbey premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and I've seen a sneak peek.

Is it as gay as WeHo? No. But it is, as the bar's longtime owner David Cooley has said, a diverse look at one of the most iconic gay watering holes in the country.

From a press release:

Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood, The Abbey, hailed as the “Best Gay Bar in the World,”  is an institution where labels are abandoned, inclusion is paramount and everyone, regardless of their sexuality comes to mix and mingle with celebrities.

Presiding over one of the wildest nightclubs in Los Angeles, the team unapologetically embodies the open-minded mentality of The Abbey while fostering an environment of acceptance. Managed by owner David Cooley, the staff juggles delivering first-rate service to their VIP guests and celebrities while dealing with relationship drama, diverse sexuality and the pursuit of their own Hollywood dreams. It’s not all work, as this outrageous and unpredictable squad somehow manages to party even harder than their celebrity patrons.

So basically, a bunch of twentysomethings screwing each other, screwing each other over, getting wasted and tearfully fighting about things you forgot ever made you mad.

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Oct 06 2016
They Saw What He Did: EYEWITNESS Comments (0)

James Paxton Tyler YoungJames Paxton and Tyler Young (Images via USA)

Eyewitness, USA's new series premiering October 16 at 10/9c, is a moody, atmospheric thriller with a decidedly gay twist: Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 9.53.56 PMTwo teen boys in the middle of a hook-up in the woods see a shocking multiple murder, but decide to stay quiet in order to stay closeted. Meanwhile, a local sheriff (Julianne Nicholson, pictured) is hellbent on solving the heinous crimes.

The 10-episode arc is erotic, terrifying and beautifully acted. TV is just getting edgier and better—I think it's surpassed film, and it's certainly in more of a golden age now than it ever was in the' 50s or '60s.

Also, who could have ever imagined a show with a trysting pair of teenage boys back in the '80s? 

Watch it for its depiction of desperation, and how the closet can only make things worse.

Keep reading to check out the trailer ...

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