Welcome to All About TV. It’s about all things television — the funniest, the silliest, the hottest, and the latest — all from a gay perspective.
This week we are off to The Hamptons for some Revenge, then to Broadway for some SMASHing good times, and then we hang out with a group of gay sci-fi geeks.
With its endless promotion in 2011 and during the 2012 Australian Open, we were captivated by the blissful sounds of Coldplay’s Paradise and the pretty images of a sweet-looking girl who’s come to The Hamptons — the paradise of the rich and famous. With its large houses, large estates and sandy beaches, this is the perfect setting for some revenge.
Revenge is high camp. We have the pursed lips of its main character, Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp), who has come back to The Hamptons to seek some payback for past events, that we see revealed in each episode.
Society matron Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) controls everything — her family and the others around her — and has some secrets of her own. She definitely has The Bold and the Beautiful look down pat with her penetrating eyes.
The eye candy in this series is Joshua Bowman, who plays Daniel Grayson, and Nick Wechsler, who plays Jack Porter. They do have appeal. It helps that Joshua is either half-naked or wears a singlet showing enough off his well-proportioned body during his scenes. Nick has more toughness that is attractive. Actually the whole cast is pretty — which is what you expect from a Hamptons setting.
With its Polo Ralph Lauren meets Abercrombie & Fitch style and the look of Gossip Girl with a hint of Melrose Place and Dynasty, Revenge is a show with scandals, a body count and enough humiliation to want more, but you have to wait till Monday nights to get it.
As we are now six episodes into the first season, what helps this show is Nolan (Gabriel Mann). He’s a tech wizard — very Mark Zuckerberg. He has the tech know-how to get caught up in Emily’s revengeful ways. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is gay — the character has a gay vibe about him.
What also helps this show is money, and plenty of it. Emily Thorne wouldn’t be able to take revenge on anyone without it. It’s the money and power that makes The Hamptons such a setting for scandal, murder and vengeance.
But in Broadway, it’s the money, power, and ego that can create a new Broadway musical from scratch. The show is SMASH.
SMASH centres on a group of people as they prepare for an ambitious new Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.
SMASH has spark and energy that reminds you of a grown-up version of what Glee would be like if they were all trying to get into Broadway or if the movie Center Stage was based on Broadway not ballet. This show has gay appeal and charm. The opening scene has the talented Katharine McPhee, who plays Karen, singing Over the Rainbow.
When you first see it, you know that this show will be entertaining and as theatrical as its setting, which is New York City.
SMASH, which also features Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Anjelica Huston (Manhattan Murder Mystery), Megan Hilty (Wicked), and Raza Jaffrey, who plays Karen’s spunky and supportive boyfriend, has the song-and-dance numbers that would excite anyone with a high regard for musical theatre — and anyone with a penchant for anything Marilyn Monroe.
SMASH is a fun and often dramatic show that has you curious about these wonderful— but often narcissistic — characters that inhabit the theatre world. They are interesting people who often have their own dramas away from the Broadway lights.
We are up to episode four, two weeks behind the US, and the drama keeps on getting better.
Where theatre is another world, where those who grace it understand how fickle it is, the world of sci-fi is another world where those who admit to it do understand it and often commit to a group — like the characters in Outland.
Outland revolves around a gay science fiction club. It’s not quite Big Bang Theory, but does have some funny moments with its clichéd characters.
However, not much happens in each of the episodes, nor is there much conflict.
It is a savvy sitcom, which follows the lives of Rae (Christine Anu), Toby (Ben Gerrard), Andy (Paul Ireland), Fab (Adam Richard) and Max (Toby Truslove) as they struggle to belong. Everyone in the show is a pleasure to watch, but the show is missing something.
With the six-episode run ending this week, will there be a season two? It looks dubious, but who knows?
What we do know is hold onto your prisoner garb, because it’s back!
Everything old is new again, like fashion, but Foxtel is bringing back a show that has been in reruns since it ended — Prisoner. The new version will have the same DNA as the original, but will be about present-day issues in a women’s prison. I’m sure there will be a queen bee and lots of minions and perhaps some sexual escapades.
Maybe some of the original inmates may appear. Watch this space!
INFO: Revenge, Monday 8.30pm Channel Seven; SMASH, Tuesday 7.30pm W Channel (Foxtel); Outland, Wednesday 9.30pm ABC1
By TIMOTHY CONNELL