The single most intriguing gay character on television right now is green, has horns, can survive when beheaded and loves singing showtunes.

Lorne (Andy Hallett) is a demon character on Angel, a Buffy spin-off that is tragically in its final season. He’s a minor character on a fairly low-rating show in a late timeslot, but in a television universe filled with all-too-real gay renovators and fashionistas, Lorne shines like a glittery shining thing on National Shine Day. (We’re talking about Buffy now, so there’ll be more of this sort of talk.)

Angel premiered in 1999 and chronicles the crimefighting efforts of Angel (David Boreanaz), a vampire cursed with a soul and thus major guiltage (see?). Through four seasons Angel enlisted his own Scooby gang to join his convoy to redemption, including Lorne: a sensitive, artistic, camp and charming empath demon who can read people’s souls when they sing karaoke.

The joy of Buffy was its use of metaphor, and creator Joss Whedon has kept the spirit alive (and occasionally undead) in Angel. For some of us, high school was hell and the jocks were evil. In Buffy, Sunnydale High is literally on the mouth of hell and the jocks are evil demons, vampires, cunningly disguised inter-dimensional wraiths, and sometimes all of the above.

It’s no biggie then to learn in episode 42 of Angel (Over The Rainbow) that Lorne hails from a parallel universe where his skills were rejected because Pylea has no music. On Earth he’s much more at home: in the latest season Lorne is a showbiz agent, and in episode 89 he pitches a show that’s like Joanie Loves Chachi meets The Sorrow And The Pity. It’s Joanie Loves Pity.

Lorne rules, even if strictly speaking he isn’t, like, totally gay. He has called Angel sugar-pie and a big hunk of hero sandwich, but also dubbed Cordelia a perky love-muffin and hot-a-rama, as Whedon wanted to keep Lorne swinging (but not asexual, thank Gawd).

But he’s no sissy either. In last week’s episode, Lorne had his sleep removed while organising a Halloween party (as one does), which had the unfortunate side effect of releasing his subconscious self, anthropomorphised. Lorne’s inner self was an angry, enormous brute and showed everybody that this crazy and undeniably queer demon meant (show) business.

Stuff Will & Grace. I want the horny devil with the heavenly tones.

INFO : Angel screens on Channel 7 on Wednesday nights at 10:30pm.

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