Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Friday, April 02, 2004


-- television -- straight gaydar Features: Guess who's gay (Louisville Courier Journal, March 12, 2004)

....I would be the worst possible candidate for the new Fox reality show and ultimate gaydar test, "Playing It Straight," which premieres at 8 tonight. In this deceptive dating game, Appleton, Wis., college girl Jackie will be pitted against 14 potential paramours, some of whom are secretly gay, all of whom are set on seducing her. If Jackie chooses a straight contestant, both she and her dream man split a million dollars. If she selects a gay player, he pockets the full fortune.

The same concept was used last year on Bravo's "Boy Meets Boy," but in that case, it was a gay man navigating his way through a group of gay and secretly straight guys...

VH1 Outing 'Gaydar' Pilot (Reuters, April 2, 2004): NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - VH1 has ordered a pilot for "Gaydar," a reality project in which celebrity guests try and guess whether contestants are homosexual.

Filming on the half-hour pilot is under way in Los Angeles, with Brian Dunkleman ("American Idol") serving as host.

The pilot features a three-person panel comprising celebrity guests and a permanent cast member encountering three contestants who keep their sexual orientation a secret. The panelists try to determine whether contestants are straight by playing a series of games with them intended to yield clues. The prize for each correct guess is a donation to a selected charity.

Comedian Scott Kennedy has been tapped as one of the panelists.

Should "Gaydar" get picked up, it also could conceivably be a programing asset that would fit in the lineup at Outlet, the gay-themed cable channel in development at VH1 parent company Viacom.

... Oh, I give up. I just give up.

For some desperately inexplicable reason, the world is into watching people figure out who is straight and who is gay, ideally with more than a soupcon of abject public humiliation attached. For some desperately inexplicable reason, television seems to suddenly be more than willing to provide an outlet for that desire to see public humiliation and (ideally) thoroughly inaccurate gaydar combined.

I do understand that, buried very very very very very VERY deeply under the entertainment and humiliation factors, there is technically a point being made: that for the most part, you're not going to be able to tell who is gay and who is straight. I get that, really, I do. I just don't quite understand why it has to be made into game shows and reality shows.

Posted by iain at 12:13 PM in category television