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New Sitcom "The Other Two" - When a Straight Roommate Isn't So Straight

The Other Two - Comedy Central


A new sitcom premiered in the winter of 2019 on Comedy Central, called The Other Two.  Set in New York, it focuses on Cary and Brooke Dubek, the floundering twenty-something brother and sister of a 13-year-old YouTube singing sensation.  I decided to give the show a view because of its SNL/Lorne Michaels pedigree and was pleasantly surprised to find that Cary is gay.  What was even more surprising is that Cary's supposedly straight roommate, Matt, is always coming on to him.  An All- American type, with washboard abs and a great smile, Matt is amusingly nonchalant after each fleeting encounter with Cary.  While sitcoms with gay characters have become less of novelty, I can't recall one in which a straight character acts on his same-sex urges.   And the show isn't shy about showing them in a lip-lock or jerking off.


From the premiere episode, here they are "innocently" watching TV (remember, this is a sitcom, not a XXX video):


The seduction1

Cary's glance
The seduction2  The pounce


The roommate is played by Andrew Ridings who in 2010 was in an off-Broadway play Over the Top where he played a closeted gay man (in the role of his boyfriend was Tanner Cohen, who starred in the 2008 gay-themed indie film Were the World Mine).  Cary's co-worker, Curtis, is also gay.  The actor who portrays him, Brandon Scott Jones, played a bitchy bookstore clerk in the Melissa McCarthy movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me?


Gay brother  the other two
Drew Tarver plays Cary Dubek


Of course, the show has more amusing gay-oriented stuff going on than just the furtive relationship between Cary and Matt (whose story arc appears to have ended after Episode 3).  And while the show is funny, at the end of each episode I felt oddly diminished.  Perhaps it's because of how it depicts the vacuous, social media-centric world that Millennials and Gen Xers live in.  Also, Cary is somewhat of a "sad sack", who, despite being in his 20s, acts like someone much older in the way he cringes at his peers attachment to social media.    

And although Cary's roomie may be gone, for the time being at least, you might catch Andrew Ridings, in a much more chaste role, appearing in a commercial for Dunkin' Donuts which began airing in May/June.


Dunkin donuts


The Other Two airs at Thursday at 10:30 after Broad City.


Other posts I've written about gay characters in TV sitcoms:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Modern Family


Will & Grace

"Call Me By Your Name" - Aesthetically Pleasing, But Lacking Sizzle



Since the early part of 2017 I had been eagerly anticipating the release of the movie Call Me By Your Name, which received rapturous reviews as it traveled the film festival circuit.  At long last it opened in New York in late November, but after all of the rhapsodic buzz it generated, I found the movie somewhat of a disappointment.  Although the Italian-set film was beautiful to watch, it felt sanitized (in fact, screenwriter James Ivory, who would win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, groused about its lack of nudity).  And unlike director Luca Guadagnino's  over-the-top, operatic I Am Love from 2009, this effort was more languid, sapping it of carnal fervor.


The reason for my disappointment was largely due to what I felt was a lack of chemistry between Elio and Oliver; their connection didn't ring true.  Furthermore, I didn't get a gay vibe from Oliver.  In my mind he came across as a player whose motivation was deflowering Elio, who served as a conquest.  (In fact, Oliver's demeanor, and even his appearance, somewhat reminded me of Mad Men's Don Draper.)  And Oliver didn't seem like a 24-year-old grad student, but, rather, more like the real age of the actor who portrayed him, 31-year-old Armie Hammer.  (Perhaps this was why he was overlooked for an Oscar nomination.)




Nor did I detect much in the way of sexual tension between Elio and Oliver, which was in stark contrast to the smoldering relationship between Johnny and Gheorghe, the two main characters, in God's Own Country, which opened a few months before Call Me By Your Name.  It was also critically acclaimed, but without the buzz of Name (however, in the UK it won the British Independent Film Award for Best Picture).  And the $375,000 it made in its four-month run in the US was less than what Name grossed in its first weekend ($400,000 in just four theaters).


God's own country - confrontation


With Call Me set in 1983 it had me thinking about the devastating early years of the AIDS crisis in the US (which was never mentioned in the movie).  I pondered how it might impact Elio's and Oliver's lives in a few years.  With Elio being new to gay sex would he be cautious and fearful?  Once Oliver was married would he be living life on the DL and risk the health of his wife? 


The highlight of the movie came during the closing credits as Elio is shown weeping silently as he gazes into the flames of the fireplace in the home of his parents.  His tears came after Oliver phoned him with the news of his engagement to his girlfriend.  Enhancing this tender scene was the gently captivating song Gates of Gideon by Sufjan Stevens.  This scene brought to mind the closing minutes of Michael Clayton, which showed George Clooney's character sitting in the back of a taxi going through Manhattan after his dramatic take down of Tilda Swinton's murderous corporate attorney (but no tears were shed). 


Elio crying - call me by your name


Finally, in what may have been a first, three other gay-themed movies were out at the same time as Call Me By Your Name: God's Own Country, BPM, and Tom of Finland.  And although none of these movies was ever in more than 20 theaters, nonetheless, it seemed like an embarrassment of riches. (However, in April the movie Love, Simon was released in more than 2,400 theaters, selling more tickets in its first two weeks than Call Me By Your Name did in its entire run.) 


Love simon

New Movie, "Paris 05:59", Explores Young Men & HIV in the 21st Century



Aah, memories of young love.  The French film, Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo, takes place over the course of two pre-dawn hours, and begins with an extended, explicit scene in a sex club, where Theo and Hugo meet and are smitten.  They leave together, but their giddy rapture is short lived when Hugo learns that Theo hadn't used a condom when he fucked him (and came in him) - and Hugo is positive.  Recriminations are cast, but the two immediately proceed to a nearby ER where Theo gets a 30-day package of anti-virals (the scene with the nurse has a very Afterschool Special feel to it).  As they slowly learn about each others' lives, they have occasional outbursts of anger and try to push the other away, but it's clear the two still want each other. 


Having lived through the AIDS crisis, getting educated about HIV and participating in a drug trial, I wasn't shaken by their plight (actually, I thought it was a bit overblown).  After all, Hugo was the receptive partner and his viral load was undetectable.  Still, I applaud the director for showing the angst these two young pups experienced since, nowadays, it seems this type of concern isn't prevalent, especially since the introduction of PrEP.  And this is the first movie I've seen in which the poz individual took the negative person to task for not sharing some responsibility for what happened, i.e. when Theo chose not to use a condom he could have asked Hugo about his HIV status.


Hugo making the call to the ER after revealing to Theo that he's positive. 


Bottom line, I liked the movie.  In addition to the film's first eighteen minutes (and the insistent, sleazy EDM track in the background) I enjoyed it for its realistic portrayal of youthful exuberance.  It brought to mind the times, back in my "salad days", when I went without sleep after encountering new-found love in the wee hours of the morning, which kept me energized after the sun came up.  Finally, I love Paris and hearing the French language - especially when spoken by two adorable characters like Theo and Hugo.


































When Grindr Came Calling - At the Office!



This week began in an interesting fashion.  As I was shifting into work mode on Monday morning, a meeting reminder popped up on my laptop, and I did a double take when I read that Grindr was giving a presentation at my office (it would have been a spit-take if I hadn't already finished my coffee).  Yes, Grindr!  Of course, I was very curious to hear how Grindr would position itself (no pun intended).  Amusingly, its director of ad sales used the term "experiences" rather than "hook ups" to describe the app's primary purpose.  But he added that the service, especially in the nation's hinterlands, was also a vehicle for making friends and building social communities; I raised a skeptical eyebrow - was "social communities" code for "orgies"?


Sitting there I thought back to presentations I attended in the 1980s in which the ad sales director of GQ tried his best to downplay the magazine's substantial gay readership because, in those days, non-fashion advertisers weren't keen to be found in a publication with those type of readers (especially automakers).  And a magazine like The Advocate couldn't even get its foot in the door of an ad agency.  So that's why today's presentation was so refreshing, because here was Grindr, embracing its gay subscribers.  However, even in these more enlightened times, I wondered if any mainstream advertisers would be eager to be associated with an app that has a rather salacious reputation (to put it mildly) - as suggested by this snarky meme:


Grindr humor


Some interesting stats were shared with us: On average, a Grindr subscriber is on the app 56 minutes each day (compared to 8 minutes/day for the typical Tinder user) and checks it 35 times.  However, the best statistic was that, based on Grindr's location-based stats, the gayest spot in the world is the Starbucks at the corner of 52nd St. and 8th Ave. in Manhattan (and all these years I assumed the gayest spot was the Vatican)!


Starbucks 8th ave and 52nd st
This Starbucks ... Gayest Spot on Earth?


As I continued listening to the sales pitch my mind drifted off as I mused that Grindr seeking advertising partnerships would have been comparable to the Saint Mark's Baths doing the same in the 1970s.  Yes, we've certainly come far from the time when The Advocate felt compelled to remove its 'Personals' section in order to attract advertisers.  But have we lost something by having the tawdry side of our lives (although presented in an amusingly sanitized way by Grindr) appropriated by social media ?


In the 1970s and '80s GQ had a difficult time attracting national advertisers because of its gay vibe.



Calling All Armpit Lovers (Round 3)

Nick jonas


A lady friend of mind has long been puzzled (and a bit amused) over the appeal of the fawning posts I've written about men's hairy armpits (both rank among the 25 most-visited posts I've penned).  All I can reply is, "It's a gay thing, sweetheart".  To meet the unquenchable demand of devotees for pics of this sexy body part, here's a third "sampler", titillating with a dozen more delectable selections from TV, magazine covers and advertisements.


Thick, black armpit hair
In this era of body grooming it's a rare treat to see such untamed pit hair on a young buck like this one.


It seems that singer Nick Jonas' "money-maker" is his armpits, which he seems to flaunt at every photo shoot.


Actor Bruce Greenwood played a suitor of Joan's in the final season of "Mad Men". Here he casually shows some nice pit hair during a post-coital chat.


James dornan interview mag
Actor James Dornan in the pages of Interview magazine, June 2014. He portrayed Christian Grey in the movie version of "50 Shades of Grey". Looks much hotter here.


James Franco, in a favorite pose for armpit lovers.


NBA Armpits
A hot Sports Illustrated cover. Although I hate the long, baggy shorts worn nowadays by NBA players, the sport gets points for its open display of armpits.


Nick jonas 3
Have I mentioned that Nick Jonas likes to show off his armpits?


NEW 2016ArmpitAd
This enticing poster ad for New York Sports Club got my attention as I waited to cross the street.


NEW black.armpit
I nearly tripped over my feet when I came across this ad at the 42nd St. subway station as I was rushing from the Times Square Shuttle to the Number 1 train during rush hour. 


NEW dennis rodman
Before he became a total flake and marred his appearance with tattoos and body piercings, NBA star Dennis Rodman was a sexy guy.  He was one of countless celebs of the day who appeared in the famous Milk Mustache ad campaign of the 1990s.  However, he was the only to show off his pits.


NEW reindeer.dancer.snl
This hottie was one of 4 dancers who appeared as reindeer in a holiday skit on SNL.


Nick jonas2
If I haven't yet convinced you of his favorite pose ...













And here are the two other posts that pay tribute to armpits:

A Celebration of A Man's Sexiest Body Part

Paying Lustful Homage to the Male Armpit














Remembering lllustrator Robert de Michiell (1958 - 2015)



Robert de Michielle


While watching last week's Tony Awards I was surprised, and saddened, when, during the In Memoriam segment, Chita Rivera said the name of illustrator Robert de Michiell (who had died in October 2015 at the age of 57).  Although I didn't know him personally I knew of his work through a friend who participated in an erotic drawing workshop that met weekly at the Leslie Lohman Gallery in SoHo.  Robert was one of the regular attendees and I bought a number of his sketches (two which are shown to the right) at the gallery's first Dirty Little Drawings show in 2003.  It exhibited work by participants of the workshop (all submissions were 4X4 inches square).  Once I knew his style I recognized his work in Entertainment Weekly and The New Yorker.  He also produced a series of colorful Fire Island postcards that captured the carefree, body-beautiful atmosphere of the Pines. 


One of the postcards in de Michiell's Fire Island Pines collection


Robert de Michielle chest
Another of his drawings that I own


Robert de michiell man on beach towel
Having spent a number of summers in the Pines, might I have been the inspiration for this sketch? 


New yorker cover by robert demichiell
March 1, 1993 cover illustration


I often found myself confusing de Michiell with another gay illustrator, Robert W. Richards (still alive, at the age of 80), who also participated in the erotic art workshop.  Their drawing styles, however, differ - de Michiell's hot and masculine men are a blend of caricature and cartoon while Richards' men are more lifelike and have pretty faces with a high-fashion flair.


Robert richards
An example of Robert W. Richards' work


After a number of Dirty Little Drawings exhibits the organizers of the workshop compiled nearly 300 of the sketches and published them in a handsome hardbound book (like the drawings, 4X4 inches) titled, you guessed it, Dirty Little Drawings.  de Michiell had four of his sketches published and eight of Richards' were chosen.


Dirty Little Drawings


The Play "Straight" Explores an Issue With Seemingly Little Relevance Today

StraighttheplayI was somewhat puzzled watching the new play Straight (at the Acorn Theatre on 42nd St.)  As it unfolded I opened my Playbill to verify that it was taking place in the present day, and not 25 years earlier.  The reason for my puzzlement is because Ben, a closeted man in his 20s, is in a relationship with Emily, who wants more of a commitment, while at the same time being involved with Chris, his twink plaything.  The plot brought to mind Elaine Stritch's oft-quoted line from The Ladies Who Lunch, "Does anyone still wear a hat?", except I was thinking, "Is anyone still closeted?".  Midway through the play Ben somewhat jokingly tells Emily that he's gay, but I sensed that he wouldn't have minded if she took him seriously.  Alas, she doesn't and his double life continues. 


The only time that Ben says "I love you", it's to Chris as they were settling into bed after a heart-to-heart talk.  Ben didn't even say those words to Emily after (spoiler alert!) he proposed to her.  However, I don't believe Ben loved Chris - he lusted for him.  Of the three characters, Chris was probably the lucky one, even though he was going to get hurt either way.  I felt it was better he got his heart broken when he did because if Ben had embraced his gayness he probably wouldn't have stayed with Chris for very long because of all of the opportunities he'd have  meeting men, many more suited to him.




I didn't feel much sympathy for Ben - nor was he a very interesting character.  I did, however, empathize with Chris and Emily, who were likable characters and nicely played (and it was refreshing that Emily wasn't a shrew).  When the play came to an abrupt end, with a surprise ending, I didn't care that Ben's dilemma was going to deepen, pushing him further into the closet and most likely without the outlet Chris provided.  Furthermore, besides struggling with his same-sex attractions, Ben was also unhappy with his job.  Get this man to a therapist - pronto.


Ben's situation brought to mind a boyfriend I had when I was new to New York.  He had been married and had two children but then lived a gay life for five years before marrying again.  He told me that he felt more comfortable being with a woman because it made life easier.  But that was 30 years ago (and at least he got a good taste of gay life - his journey is a more interesting one than Ben's).  Today, with same-sex marriage and the presence of children in gay households becoming more common, the plight of being closeted seems from a time long, long ago.






A Warm Farewell to the Hearthrobs & Divas of "Downton Abbey"

MenofdowntonIt may be PBS, but even they know that beefcake is a key component among the mix of program elements (especially when asking for donations from viewers).  The hunks of Downton Abbey made the viewing experience just a bit sweeter, and the divas added a touch of spice.  And although most men of any social class would look great in formal wear, DA's heartthrob characters listed below still maintained their debonair good looks even in more casual attire - or no clothing at all. 




Matthew Crawley

Dark and swarthy is what I prefer, but even I was smitten by the charming and dashing Matthew.  And what a pity Dan Stevens, the actor who portrayed him, left for Broadway and Hollywood, because that decision proved fateful for his beloved character.


Tony Gillingham

Of course, if Matthew hadn't been killed off, the delectable Tony Gillingham wouldn't have been introduced (nor Charles Blake, see below).  But when he and Lady Mary spent the night together at the hotel in Liverpool, what was it about Tony's bedroom performance, or pillow talk, that made Mary decide that they wouldn't be a good fit?


In addition to being a footman, James saw himself as a bit of a gigilo.  He was also the object of Thomas' affections, which was revealed to all when Thomas made the moves on him, thanks to O'Brien's scheming .

 Thomas Barrow

Thomas became a bit thicker in the middle in the show's last few seasons - perhaps as homophobia took its toll?

Charles Blake

He professed his deep affection for Lady Mary at the same time as Tony Gillingham. He would have been a good partner for Lady Mary because his personality was similar to that of Matthew's. 


Mr. Drewe

Mr. Drewe, a farmer who never smiled (perhaps it was due to his wife obsessing over Marigold and ignoring her own children).  I was always hoping for a scene that found him with his shirt off, or at least unbuttoned, but it never happened.

Tom Branson

Tom was kind and smart, with the sweetest Irish brogue. Like Thomas, his sex appeal diminished somewhat as he put on a few pounds in the last two seasons (after this scene was shot).


Jack Ross

Ross was the American jazz singer who stole Lady Rose's heart.  Lady Mary kindly, but firmly, saw to it that he called off his engagement to Rose.

Kemal Pamuk

Ah, the dashing Mr. Pamuk from Turkey. Although he appeared in just one episode, his ill-fated ravishing of Lady Mary in her bedroom in the third episode of Season 1 will not soon be forgotten.


You may have noticed that Henry Talbot is not one of the hunks.  It's because he left me cold.  While I loved watching any scene between Lady Mary and Matthew, or her and Tony Gillingham or Charles Blake, I didn't feel any sparks between Mary and Henry - despite their professed passion for each other.





Yes, she was responsible for Cora's miscarriage and for urging Thomas to make a play for Jimmy that nearly got him fired, but truth be told, I was as upset by her departure (she went to India) as I was with Matthew's death.


Lady Mary

I liked Mary.  Despite her occasional imperious manner and utter contempt towards sister Edith, she consistently showed kindness and compassion to others, upstairs as well as downstairs. And she was always the epitome of style.


The Dowager's butler, Spratt was like a 7-year-old, always pouting and complaining openly to her.  For whatever reason the Dowager put up with him.


Thomas Barrow

A second appearance by Mr. Barrow!  (Matthew also had his diva moments).  He was always scheming and then feeling sorry for himself.


The Dowager Countess

The Dowager (Violet or Granny to family members) did not suffer fools gladly. She did, however, enjoy sparring with cousin Isobel.  Based on the kerfuffle over the town's hospital, it's likely she would not be a fan of Obamacare.



Like the Dowager, Carson was resistant to change. He was loyal to Robert and tender with Mary, but he could be a prick with most everyone else.

Lady Rosamund

She offered wise counsel to all of her nieces and knew how to get a rise out of her brother, Robert, and their mother, Violet.  The fact that she was unlucky in love might have been at the root of her occasional bitchiness. 



The 12 Nations With the Sexiest Men - One Man's Opinion

Sami.yusuf.iranian.singerThis post could easily have had a broader scope, e.g., a United Nations of sexy men, since every country has its head turners and cock-teasers - even places such as Iceland, Bolivia and Chad.  But the dozen countries listed below are those that were top-of-mind based on my preferences - and fantasies (one advantage of having your own blog!).  And the sex appeal of some is enhanced by exotic or masculine names - first names as well as surnames.  Please note that some of them may have been born in or are citizens of a country other than that of their heritage. 





Soccer star, Alireza Jhanbakhsh


Despite their fucked up worldview,  they sure are sexy devils (or, perhaps, "Great Satans" is more fitting).


Wrestler, Taleb Nematpour





Danny Pino, actor in shows such as "The Shield", "Cold Case" and "Law & Order: SVU"


Danell Leyva, gymnast on the 2010 US Olympic team


Now a young adult, Elian Gonzalez was a controversial figure in 1999-2000 when, as a 5-year-old, he washed ashore in Florida and became the subject of a tug-of-war between his US relatives and his father in Cuba. He returned to Cuba with his father after being taken by force from his relatives' home.




Actor Jean Dujardin, nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for the movie "The Artist".


Fashion designer, Olivier Rousteing


The Guenot brothers, Steve and Christophe, both medalists at the 2008 Olympics in Men's Greco-Roman wrestling. Christophe is six years older than Steve.





Soccer superstar, Hideo Tanaka


Actor, Ken Watanabe






Hugh Jackman


Chris Hemsworth


Matthew Mitcham won a gold medal in diving for Australia at the 2008 Olympics.




Actor Sendil Ramanurthy


Cricket star, Dhoni


Cute Sikh fellow


Czech Republic


Roman Serble, world-class decathalon athlete, won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics and a gold at the 2004 Olympics.


Vaclav Noid-Barta, Eurovision singing star


Milan Baros, soccer star (somewhat resembles Ben Affleck)





Actor, David Oyelowo. Portrayed Martin Luther King in the movie "Selma".


Actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Academy Award Best Actor nominee for "12 Years a Slave"


Nigerian media celebrity, Ebuka



Saudi Arabia


One of millions of crown princes in Saudi Arabia, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud stands out because, at the age of 33, he is the youngest Minister of Defense of any nation.


Badr Alzadine, Indian media celebrity


This fellow, Omar Borkan Al Gala, supposedly was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 2013 for being too sexy, and thus distracting to the nation's women (but it's probably the Saudi men who's hearts were going pitter-patter).




Arpad Miklos, former chemical engineer who became a gay porn superstar. Sadly, he committed suicide at the age of 45 in 2013.


Olympic swimmer, Daniel Gyurta


Attila Vajda, Olympic medalist in the sprint canoe category




Caua Reymond, a popular actor on Brazilian TV


Generic, fun-loving Brazilian man, dripping with sex


David Miranda, husband of American journalist Glenn Greenwald.  Like most romances between 'gringos' and Brazilians, it began as a pick-up at Ipanema beach, where poor Brazilian boys line up in hopes of meeting a "meal ticket".



Puerto Rico


Ricky Martin


Actor, Adam Rodriguez, has appeared in TV series ("CSI: Miami"), movies ("Magic Mike") and music videos.


Generic Puerto Rican hottie


Honorable Mention:  Argentina, Spain and Morocco


If you want to take a trip to heaven, do a Google Images search of Argentine soccer star, Ezequiel Lavezzi. Every photo is stunning.


Spanish tennis great, Rafael Nadal


The Scent of a Man ... in Advertising

Doritos.maninbedThe funny thing about advertising is how much of it gets my attention despite the fact that I'm rarely in the market for the products being advertised.  But, like a dog who stops everything whenever a squirrel is around, I do the same whenever a bare-chested man comes into my field of vision on the screen or printed page.  Like the ads that follow ...




This hunk's stunned expression in this TV ad comes after his wife tells him that he's using Summer's Eve Body Wash.


Manhunt billboard
This traffic-stopping billboard in Greenwich Village's Sheridan Square back in 2009 is for Manhunt's mobile app.


Breath Savers
It looks like blondie is ready to make the best of an awkward situation, thanks to Breath Savers


This is recruitment ad for the US Army is from a telephone kiosk in Greenwich Village.


This ad for Garnier conditioner from the early 2000s has a European feel to it. (As for me, whenever I pull a guy's hair I tend to tug on the hair at the nape of his neck.)


Leftovers poster with Justin Theroux
Tune-in ad in a subway station for the HBO drama "The Leftovers", starring sexy Justin Theroux (pictured).


Trainer Stefano Pinto served as spokesman in this 2012 ad for Voskos yogurt.


I'm guessing that his front is as  impressive as his back ...


New York-New York Hotel
Magazine ad for the NewYork-NewYork Hotel in Las Vegas.


1988 ad for Interface skin care's line of products for men.


Poster for the 1992 revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring hirsute Alec Baldwin as Stanley Kowalski.


This is an ad for a construction company in northern India, Gaursons India Limited.  I came across it in a magazine in my hotel during a business trip to London about ten years ago.


From a 2015 TV commercial for Degree Dryspray for Men.



This ad for Liquid Plumr serves as an oasis for housewives bombarded by ads during Daytime TV for pharmaceuticals, burial insurance and lawyers.



Now for some reader participation, write your own scenario ...



Zippity do dah!