Category Archives: Television

Funny Fortune

Last night I watched Fortune Feimster’s Netflix comedy special Salty and Sweet. I laughed so hard; I was nearly crying. Have any of you seen it? Fortune is a lesbian comedian from North Carolina. She came out surprisingly a little later than I did. She was 25; I was 23. However, like me, she did not realize she was gay for most of her formative years. Living in the South, we didn’t have positive LGBTQA role models. However, unlike my situation, her family has been very accepting, and she is currently engaged to a kindergarten teacher.  

She was in shows like Last Comic Standing and Glee. She’s been a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and will be staring in The L Word: Generation Q. She was also in the 2019 Tales of the City. I most remember her from a short-lived sitcom called Champions. I’ve watched her on TV a few times, and I think I saw every episode of Champions which was about a flamboyant gay kid who gets dropped off to his father (who never knew before that moment he even existed) by his mother so he can attend an arts school in the city where his father lives. It as a cute show, and Fortune played a coworker of the kids very straight dad. I’ve also seen clips of her comedy shows, and she never fails to make me laugh watching her stand-up acts. Salty and Sweet was no exception. I hope I didn’t disturb my downstairs neighbor laughing so much. I really recommend anyone who wants a good laugh to watch it, especially if you’re gay and from the South.

World on Fire

Last night, I watched the beginning of a new series on PBS’s Masterpiece called World on Fire. The series follows the hidden lives of ordinary people from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the USA during World War II. The drama switches its scenes between various locations in France, Britain, Germany and Poland. It features repeated visits to Paris, Warsaw, Manchester, Berlin and Dunkirk.

I really enjoyed the first episode and can’t wait to see more. One of the stars is a favorite actor of mine, the out gay actor Brian J. Smith who plays Dr. Webster O’Connor, a gay American doctor living in Paris.

Did any of you watch it last night? If you did not, I highly recommend you do.


What Are You Watching?

It seems like in the quarantined days, we get to either stare out the window, watch TV or movies at home, or work at our computers. I don’t really want to write about work today. I also don’t want to write about the coronavirus or our idiot president. Although, it’s funny that when I typed “idiot” my predictive text suggested “president” as the next word. Apparently, “idiot president” is a common phrase with Apple users. Anyway, with all of those topics out of the question, there isn’t much left to talk about.

I guess I could discuss Star Trek: Picard, but I realize not everyone has seen it, and I don’t want to be the one who spoils it for anyone. I will say that I enjoyed it. In other TV news, RuPaul’s Drag Race has been interesting, especially since Sherry Pie was disqualified after the season had been taped and will not be in the finale. If you don’t know, Sherry Pie, whose legal name is Joey Gugliemelli, is accused by former classmates at SUNY Cortland and actors he worked with at a theater company in Nebraska of posing as a casting director to get the young men to send him videos of them saying and doing degrading things on camera in various states of undress. VH1 has done what they can to minimized some of her screen time. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the rest of the season.

The other show that I’ve watched recently is Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C. J. Walker staring Octavia Spencer. It chronicles the life of Madam C. J. Walker who was America’s first female millionaire, who happened to also be African American. It’s a remarkable story. I’ve watched half the series and look forward to finishing it. I have watched a few documentaries while stuck at home. The first was Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary about the making of the movie Galaxy Quest, which was a fun and uplifting approach to spoofing Star Trek. I really enjoyed it, and I always enjoyed the original movie. The other one I watched was Life is a Banquet a documentary on the life and work of one of my favorite actresses Rosalind Russell. Auntie Mame ranks as one of my all time favorite movies, and quite honestly, I’ve never seen a Rosalind Russell movie I didn’t like.

So what are y’all watching in this time of quarantine?


Macy’s Fourth of July Spectacular

It was quite an amazing display. From the rainbow fireworks during “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to the “galactic battle” during Star Wars to the red and blue during the Superman Theme. I was just blown away. I love fireworks and big musical themes. This was so beautiful and emotional. What did you think?


Television Endings

Two of my favorite shows came to an end: Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory. One had the perfect ending, the other was an utter disappointment. Let’s look at the disappointment first: Game of Thrones. Nothing in the whole episode was satisfying. The whole last season was one disappointment after the other. For seven seasons, the show had been excellent, but season eight came along and it all fell apart. On the other hand, The Big Bang Theory ended perfectly. Things were wrapped up nicely and it was one of the funniest episodes of the series. So one disappointment and one perfection. That’s just the way television ends sometimes.


Reality TV

I’m usually not big into reality television, but there are four shows right now that I can’t let myself miss. Number one on the list is RuPaul’s Drag Race. The other three are tied for importance: The Voice, Project Runway, and Project Runway All Stars. I have to admit, I haven’t seen all the seasons of any of these shows. I saw the early seasons of RuPaul and Project Runway but got out of the habit of watching them. Now I’m back to watching them and hate I missed even a single season. Project Runway All Stars is relatively new to me, and I choose which seasons of The Voice to watch based on who the coaches are.

RuPaul is number one for a reason. It’s the best all LGBT show on right now. And let’s face it, drag queens are fun. Yes, there are some annoying ones each season. This season, it’s hands down Silky Nutmeg Ganache. She’s over the top and annoying as fuck because she’s a camera hog. She always wants to be at the center of attention. However, there are some good ones too: Brooke Lynn Hytes, Scarlet Envy, Shuga Cain, and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo. None stand out as the front runner yet, but time will tell.

I like the judges this season on The Voice, and it’s not up against Dancing with the Stars, which is its usual competition and what I usually choose to watch. So far this season seems to have some outstanding talent. There are three from Alabama, and I like them all for their country sound. I usually don’t root for someone on Adam Levine’s team because I don’t think he’s a very good coach even though he’s been on there since the beginning. However, that being said, I am head over heels for Andrew Jannakos of Flowery Branch, Georgia. He’s a very sexy country artist with a deep voice. His voice is as beautiful as he is. I try not to get too attached this early because you never know what’s going to happen in the battle rounds, but I’m hoping Andrew gets stolen and goes all the way to the end. My other top choice is Jackson Marlow of Rogersville, Alabama. He’s on Kelly Clarkson’s team and is also very sexy. Now we wait and see how the battle rounds go.

Project Runway All Stars comes to a close next week, but it’s been an exciting series. Sadly my favorite lost last week. I love Texas designer Anthony Ryan. To me he’s sexy, and I almost always liked what he designed. We are now down to four designers. Who will win is anyone’s guess.

That brings us to Project Runway which years ago moved from Bravo to Lifetime and is not back at Bravo. With the exception of Nina Garcia, everyone else jumped ship. There is no Tim Gunn or Heidi Klum. Without them, can the show even be Project Runway? Bravo seems to think so. Christian Siriano (winner of Season 4) is the new mentor replacing Tim Gunn. Karlie Kloss replaces Heidi. I was skeptical of this one. I love Tim Gunn, but the first episode wasn’t too bad. It’s early, so no designer has jumped out at me, I’m still learning their style aesthetic. So for me, the verdict is still out. Can Bravo bring it home with the newness of the show? I sure hope so.


Sex Education

One of the great things about a show being on Netflix is that you can binge the show all at once. Just sit and watch until you’ve seen the whole season. The worst thing about a show being on Netflix is that if you binge on a good show, then it’s over way too soon. The other weekend, I binged on the British comedy Sex Education. Once I got started watching it, it was hard to stop. In the show, socially awkward high school student Otis may not have much experience in the lovemaking department, but he gets good guidance on the topic in his personal sex ed course — living with mom Jean, who is a sex therapist. Being surrounded by manuals, videos and tediously open conversations about sex, Otis has become a reluctant expert on the subject. When his classmates learn about his home life, Otis decides to use his insider knowledge to improve his status at school, so he teams with whip-smart bad girl Maeve to set up an underground sex therapy clinic to deal with their classmates’ problems. But through his analysis of teenage sexuality, Otis realizes that he may need some therapy of his own.

The show is deceptively addictive. Asa Butterfield is so cute as shy and awkward Otis. He’s just adorable and you can’t help but love him. Add to that, his best friend on the show is gay. Another character has a massive penis. And then there is Gillian Anderson as Otis’s mom. To me she is barely recognizable. Not only is it her natural British accent, but her hair is so different from her character on the X-Files. If you have Netflix, this is a must watch series.

The Orville

Monday, I talked about Star Trek: Discovery. Today, I want to discuss the show giving it a run for its money, except you can watch The Orville for free on Fox. The Orville is not the Star Trek spoof Fox originally advertised it to be. It’s much more. While the different Star Trek series did not contain a great deal of humor, many of the original Star Trek movies did. The Orville, created by and starring Seth McFarlane, has all the wonder of alien races and science fiction that Star Trek is known for, but also has the humor that was present in the movies. When The Orville premiered last year, many critics feared it would be Family Guy in space. That, it was not. Yes, some of the humor is a bit sophomoric, but the science fiction is first rate.
The Orville has the comedy and drama of the original Star Trek movies. While it does have the comedy, it also has true drama. When a same sex couple from a planet of all males has a daughter, there is serious issues to be considered. Then there was the ship of religious fanatics or a planet ruled by social media. These are issues that may not directly connect to the world today but the lessons in the episodes are real. The original Star Trek series dealt with real life issues head on as well. It broke down race barriers and even had a Russian on the bridge. In many ways, The Orville is what Star Trek tried to be, with a little humor added in.
So as excited as I am about Star Trek: Discovery, I am just as crazy about The Orville. If you’re a Star Trek fan, you don’t have to compare the two, though there are good comparisons in my opinion. The Orville is a show that can be enjoyed by science fiction fans in general. It’s a good show and if you’re aren’t watching it, you probably should be.

Star Trek: Discovery

Let me first say, if you aren’t watching Star Trek: Discovery, your missing one of the best shows out there. I know not everyone can get Discovery. You either have to subscribe to CBS All Access in the United States or Netflix outside the US. It’s totally worth it though. While Fox has The Orville, which has the fun of the Star Trek movies, it’s not Star Trek. Some would say that Discovery’s darkness is not Star Trek either, I disagree. My favorite Star Trek series was Deep Space Nine, which was a bit dark in its storyline. Prior to Discovery, DS9 was the only Star Trek to fully cover the intricacies of war. DS9 brought us the Dominion War, whereas Discovery brought us the Klingon War. Also, Discovery has brought us in Season 2 back to the very origins of the Star Trek franchise with Captain Pike, Number One (though briefly), and Spock. It’s mind-blowingly good.

Now let’s look at the cast. Michael Burnham is played by Sonequa Martin-Green, who is by far one of the most intriguing characters ever created by Star Trek. Season 2 also brought in Captain Pike played by Anson Mount, and Spock played by Ethan Peck. Let me add here that Ethan Peck, Gregory Peck’s grandson, is the sexiest Spock ever. Saru played by Doug Jones is a fascinating character that continues to grow. Let’s not forget the remarkable Michelle Yeoh playing Philippa Georgiou. There are many characters that they are just fleshing out, especially on the bridge crew. Two of the most intriguing characters are Dr. Hugh Culber and Paul Stamets, Star Trek’s first ever gay couple, played by real life gay actors Wilson Cruz and Anthony Rapp.
The show is just remarkable. It’s unlike any Star Trek ever, and yet it is quintessentially Star Trek at the same time. The show is so exciting to watch that I have an adrenaline rush during each episode, and I can’t wait to watch the next episode. If you aren’t watching it, you can’t imagine what you’re missing.

Television

Usually on Thursday night, I watch Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Murphy Brown. No, I don’t usually watch Will & Grace. Too often, I find Will & Grace to be too stereotypical. But anyway, I didn’t watch any TV last night. I had another headache. Two days in a row, I’ve had a headache come on late in the afternoon. So I went to bed early last night.


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Charlie Smith; Single Man, ensorcelled, unreliable narrator, ravenous reader, love child of Jane & Paul Bowles, borne by surrogate, Little Edie Beale, devoted catechumen of Her Grace, Duchess Goldblatt; now living a life of Love & Light, shining from the social-media-free exile of my own personal mirage of Tangier, the Grey Gardens in the Elba of my imagination, here, where I am, going.