Braving the heat of summer

The Small Screen

As the days of summer come upon us, I know some of you will be going to various Pride events (Happy Pride Month!) and some of you will be traveling. But since a gallon of gas is more than my college tuition, it might be best to stay in, save money and stay cool. I suggest not only soaking up the sun (wear sunscreen!), but also getting to know some queer television shows you might not have heard of and revisiting the shows you love. So get the popcorn ready, relax, and turn on your TV (or computer), or head to your local video store for these queer titles.

For those who are lucky enough to have LOGO, the 24 hour queer TV channel, operated by MTV Networks, you have a lot of options to choose from. One of my favorite shows airing on LOGO is the show entitled “Exes & Ohs,” a show that echoes similarities with “The L Word,” but stands on its own. The show is based on the book “The Ten Rules: A Lesbian Survival Guide,” which was written by the show’s main character, Michelle Paradise. Throughout the six episodes of the first (and, so far, only) season there are lesbian dating rules. Not only are they humorous, but, speaking from experience, they’re pretty true, too. The show also has some familiar faces. Heather Matarazzo, who is best known in the queer community for appearing on “The L Word,” plays Crutch, the young, but immature aspiring singer who wants to be respected by her older lesbian friends.

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Another show on LOGO which has been around for a few years (started in 2005), but I’ve only recently discovered, is “Noah’s Arc.” The show centers around the lives of a group of black gay men who deal with issues ranging from HIV/AIDS, same-sex marriage and homophobia, particularly within the African-American community. I find that, at times, the show is better than those more well known shows, such as “Queer as Folk” because it raises more of the issues that arise from being gay in America. But with “Noah’s Arc,” it also shows the troubles of being gay and black in America. “Noah’s Arc” is LOGO’s most popular show, but is currently on hiatus due to works for a movie that will explain the second season’s ending (which I won’t tell you here!).

Thanks to the BBC, we have had many shows that have given us plenty to ponder and love. The BBC has adapted two of Sarah Waters’ novels, “Tipping the Velvet” and Fingersmith,” into two beautifully mastered miniseries with great dialogue, incredible passion and some of the hottest lesbian sex scenes we have seen, well, ever. I suggest reading the books (cause curling up with some lesbian erotica novels make for a good day or two in) before watching the miniseries. Both “Fingersmith” and “Tipping the Velvet” have been out on DVD for a couple of years now, but are worth watching over and over again.

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One last show I want to mention is a show called “Mistresses” which debuted on the BBC in January and goes through the lives of heterosexual, bisexual and gay characters and their affairs. The show features Shelley Conn, who is best known for her role in the Indian lesbian movie “Nina’s Heavenly Delights.” Conn plays Jessica, a wedding planner who is experiencing lesbian sex for the first time ever, thanks to Alex, one of the brides of a lesbian couple, whose wedding Jessica organizes. The show goes through the lives and relationships of these men and women, from all walks of life and how they come to mend their hearts and their relationships.

All of these titles and more can be found either online (through Amazon.com or LOGOonline.com), on iTunes, TV (if you have the BBC or LOGO) or in your local video store. If you want to go through and look for some more titles, go to AfterEllen.com and AfterElton.com. Both “After” sites have numerous titles dealing with female sexuality and male sexuality respectively, as well as blogs, videos and analysis of some current and past queer television shows and characters. Hope everyone is having a great summer and I hope you are able to brave the heat, and cool off with some great queer television.

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