Gay Storylines and Television, part 1
OK, maybe your television is not a small screen, but at one time our TV sets were much smaller. In fact, some of my Top Ten memorable LGBT series were seen on a small screen. Now we can watch in high definition on a much larger set. Some of the younger crowd may choose to watch on a 5-inch phone screen, but that is Not Me.
Broadcast television in the US has not embraced gay series with the same acceptance as other countries. A few series have been well received, but most USA LGBT programs will show up on cable networks or streaming services. There are quite a few to be seen and I don’t subscribe to a lot of paid services. There are even channels dedicated to LGBT programming (Here and Logo). I have Here with Prime but I am rather disappointed with the selection.
Before I give you my favorites we must toss in a few honorable mentions. After seven seasons, Netflix has brought its longest-running series to a close this past April. “Grace and Frankie” stars Jane Fonda as Grace and Lily Tomlin as Frankie. The rivals form a friendship when their husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) discover they love one another. A number of well-known performers turned up during the 94 episodes. Who would not want to work with that crew of old pros? All four of these stars are now in their 80s. Catch the trailer here.
Currently, I am watching the very popular Thai series “KinnPorsche.” After the first 10 episodes, I am undecided. It is about the second son (Kinn) of a Mafia family and a favorite bodyguard (Porsche). I know you are supposed to like the main characters, but, you know, they kill people. Maybe the third son will turn out to be OK.
The critically acclaimed “Modern Family” ran for 11 seasons and 250 episodes on ABC. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet play a same-sex couple throughout the run. Ferguson plays the son of Ed O’Neill’s character, family patriarch Jay Pritchett. Stonestreet picked up two Emmy awards, and the series picked up a basket full. It will be around in syndication for a long time.
Since June is Pride month, we have a top ten list of LGBT series that I have seen. Included are a few series from Thailand. I have watched others, but these are the ones worth watching with subtitles. I am sure there are many other great series from around the world. Please comment if you have seen something worth recommending. Our Top Ten list does not include reality shows or movies but just series and mini-series I liked best. These are the excellent programs you should discover for the Pride of it:
10. Dark Blue Kiss (2019), Netflix and GMMTV youtube channel. This is a continuation of the truly awful prequel series, Kiss Me Again. Fortunately, GMM cut out all the Pete and Kao scenes from the prequel to create a special three episodes, which are also on their youtube channel. Only one other storyline is continued and all the rest from the muddled prequel are dropped. Pete and Kao are reluctant boyfriends and schoolmates who try to keep their friendship a secret.
09. Love, Victor. (ongoing) Hulu. Two seasons and 20 episodes have already dropped. This is a follow-up to the 2018 movie, “Love, Simon,” and stars a buffed-up Michael Cimino as Victor. He faces similar problems as Simon did at the same school and in fact receives advice from Simon, as played by Nick Robinson in the movie. Robinson narrates the letters and actually appeared in two episodes so far. The third season begins this month on Hulu and Disney+.
08. Theory of Love. (2019), Netflix and GMMTV youtube channel. This is the story of four film students who work as a team. The problem is one of them, “Third,” has a crush on his best friend. “Khai” is straight and a player who keeps changing the girl he is dating. “Third” finally decides to end his friendship with Khai because carrying the secret is just too hard. He is tired of Khai’s lies and broken promises. The comedy/drama also has interesting storylines for the two supporting players.
07. 2gether. (2020) Netflix and GMMTV youtube channel. This college students series is the most popular LGBT series from GMM. It has tens of millions of views on the various platforms where you can see it. Tine asks the most popular boy at school, Sarawat, to be his fake boyfriend in order to stop Green from chasing after him. It turns out that Sarawat secretly wanted to be more than a fake boyfriend. The 13-episode series led to an additional 5 episodes (Still 2gether) later in 2020. Then came the movie and the musical, all with the same lead actors.
06. He’s Coming To Me. (2019). iWant TFC and GMMTV youtube channel. This fantasy/mystery series concerns a twenty-year-old student, Med, who dies under suspicious circumstances. He can not cross over and wanders the cemetery with other ghosts. His tomb is neglected and he has not received the proper send-off. A boy who comes each year with his father for tomb sweeping, an important ritual in their custom, asks his father why Med’s tomb is like that. The father explains no one comes to take care of the tomb, and the maintenance fee was not paid. The boy asks for an incense stick and an offering for the neglected tomb. So the ghost tells him to bring something else the next year, and he does. The ghost is certain the boy sees and hears him. One year the boy is crying at the tomb and the ghost asks what is the matter. The boy tells him! The boy does see and hear ghosts.
Many years later the boy (Thun) comes again but he is now a first-year college student. After spending the day with Med, he tells the ghost his aura is red, which means he does not know how he died. Med thought he had a heart attack. Thun is determined to help Med find out who killed him so he can cross over. Med is played by Singto Prachaya who had a lead in the first GMM LGBT series in 2016. The grown-up Thun is played by Ohm Pawat (Bad Buddy). If the murder is solved, the tomb is swept and merits made, then Med… Well, I guess you need to see it.
Click on any of the titles in 6 through 10 above to get the official trailer.
My Top 5 next week may include some favorite US series. Stop back to find out which ones.