Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

bravo: the cable channel that makes fun of gay men so you don't have to!

Bravo TV network launches a reality dating series for gay men: The Bravo cable network is going where no television dating show has gone before: matchmaking gay men. "Boy Meets Boy," a six-episode series that will premiere in July, also twists reality show conventions by secretly including straight men among the pool of dating prospects. No dating show, from "Blind Date" to "The Bachelor," has promoted same-sex unions, said Scott Seomin, entertainment media director for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. It appears "Boy Meets Boy" will handle it in a lighthearted, non-exploitive way, he said. The show is being made by a gay producer, reality veteran Douglas Ross of Evolution Film & Tape, Inc. "I wanted to be involved with a series I could be proud of," Ross said.

"Lighthearted." "Nonexploitive". "...a series I could be proud of."

Yeah, right.

Somewhere in the depths of Bravo lurks a programmer that needs a good swift kick in the balls. Perhaps several kicks. In fact, definitely several kicks. I'd volunteer! I have several pairs of boots! I could use a different boot for each ball, and then start all over again!

The series, with Dani Behr of "Extra" as host, will feature a gay leading man choosing from 15 potential suitors. Midway, he will be told that some of his potential dates are actually heterosexual. He won't be told which ones, of course, and Ross is still debating at which point viewers will be let in on the secret.

Um ... I'm guessing that viewers will be let in on the secret, like, NOWish. Since it's been written about in several articles today, making any sort of secret of it from the viewers at any point during the series would be utterly ridiculous. Not unlike the premise of the entire series.

The puzzling thing, from the way this article is written, is that the series seems not to have been filmed yet. And the information of this series is already a meme run rampant through various sites and newspapers. So ... if that is the case, and it hasn't yet been filmed, then how on earth do they expect to find a gay man who doesn't know about it? Where do they expect to find him? Outer Mongolia?

If it weren't for the fact that they're putting themselves in this position, I could almost feel sorry for the straight guys. At some point, one of them is going to be faced with the whole "goodnight kiss" situation, and one way or another, that will wind up being intensely unpleasant for all concerned.

Nobody gets to come out of this looking good. No matter what happens, the gay guy gets made a fool of; assuming that he gets told midway through about the "twist", how can he really back out at that point? If he does decide to back out, he's a quitter, he's not a good sport, and so on and so forth. The straight guys look like moneygrubbers ... although there is this: a significant number of people they know won't believe that they're not gay after that, just because that's the way that people are. So the straight guys' reputations take a two-for-one hit!

Apparently, being acquired by NBC has caused Bravo's ethics to head straight for the toilet. It's hard to believe that this is the same network that created and aired "Gay Weddings." (Although, unfortunately, it is entirely possible to believe it's the same net that created the various "Fire Island" clones of "The Real World.")

Bravo is also scheduling a series this summer, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," where five gay designers make over the wardrobe of a heterosexual man.

No comment. None. Whatsoever. (Except that it sounds like an even sillier version of TLC's "What Not To Wear". And I can imagine that All The Right People will be attacking it for perpetuating stereotypes, except that it's a curiously difficult target to attack. I mean, what do you say? "Hey! There are fashion impaired gay men out there! and stylish straight men!" I mean, somehow, that just doesn't fly, does it?)

Posted by iain at 12:53 AM in category



Well, I can't argue with your urge to go ball-kicking on everyone involved in this bucket-o'-slop, but don't think for one minute that pride or shame has anything to do with it. These are just a bunch of Hollywood whores with an agenda. That agenda is 1) make money any dirty degrading old way you can; 2) throw gays, and gayness, in the public's face at every opportunity; 3) repeat item 1.... You get the picture. Time to just turn it off and say no.

Posted by Mark Etzek at May 29, 2003 03:02 PM

I am repulsed at the new programing! I used to love watching Bravo, but all this gay stuff is a real turnoff. Do you have an extra boot?

Posted by Dorothy at July 30, 2003 10:16 AM

i use to love to watch your programing, but the direction your station has taken re: gay life styles has been offensive to me. since i don't believe in censorship and believe in the right to choose, i no longer choose to watch Bravo.
thanks for what use to be great programing.


Posted by helen at August 2, 2003 11:08 AM

It's just wonderful. Millions of americans are watching these mindless so called reality shows on every other network. Let's get real here. Cable has so many channels these days ; don't we have a choice here? When I don't agree with these million dollar marriages on T.V., I simply turn the channel. I salute Bravo for it's diverse programming and will continue to watch. Bravo! "Bravo".

Posted by Ricky at August 4, 2003 09:33 AM

Due to your lack of sensitivity of the majority of Americans who do not enjoy the gay lifestyle being seen in our livingrooms, we will not be viewing Bravo any more.

Posted by linda noffsinger at August 5, 2003 06:40 PM

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