Gay TV characters of late seem to be either sainted daddies, bitchy fashionistas, or winsome quipsters. It's been years since a drug-addled, self-loathing, suicidal homosexual stumbled across our TV screens. Until now. In USA Network's limited-run political drama, Political Animals, which aired in the summer of 2012, TJ Hammond (played by cutie Sebastian Stan) was the openly gay son of Secretary of State Elaine Hammond (played by Sigourney Weaver), and he was a mess.
Not since Queer as Folk's mild-mannered accountant, Ted, became addicted to crystal meth had a character been depicted in such an unappealing fashion. But it was actually a refreshing change from the abundance of politically correct, "we're like everyone else!" portrayals.
Elaine also had a straight son, Doug, played by actor James Wolk. After USA decided not to renew Political Animals for a second season, Wolk turned up in a brief role as the gay love interest of Max on the ABC sitcom Happy Endings (since cancelled). Then he was cast in Season 6 of Mad Men as eager-beaver account executive Ben Benson (pictured, near left), a character, who it turns out, may also be "family". And most recently, he now co-stars on another show about advertising, the CBS sitcom The Crazy Ones.