Television

‘Yenta’ Goes Gay

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Logo’s ‘Love Lessons’ offers professional hope for the chronically single. Plus Ellen hosts the Oscars, the low-down on the down low, a six-part series on Lesbian Sex & Sexuality, and more.

lovelessons
Mark, on Love Lessons.

It’s like cruising the personals for a date, but with a navigator. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Logo appropriately unveils Love Lessons, a look at hooking up for the long haul, homosexual style.

In this eclectic documentary, viewers meet a trio of singles hoping to become duos. First we become familiar with Perry, a 30ish, HIV-positive man who turns to New York’s only certified gay matchmaker to help him find a mate. (Cue: Fiddler on the Roof dancers.) Next, Rachel has had her share of heartbreak in her 36 years, and now seeks the advice of Los Angeles relationship expert Robin Fox to learn how to avoid another lesbian dating disaster. Finally, Mark believes he’s ready for a long-term partner. Jim Sullivan, a dating coach, works with the former flight attendant to help him understand that the quest for a partner means he’ll have to say goodbye to cruising.

By the time Love Lessons’ credits roll, the three singles may have latched on to their individual mates, or may not have–you’ll just have to watch to know for sure. If nothing else, they certainly end up learning more about themselves. And what’s not to love about that?

In 2004, Love Lessons filmmakers David Van Taylor and Ali Pomeroy produced With God on Our Side, a documentary series exploring the rise of the evangelical influence on the White House for PBS. Luckily, Love Lessons has a happier ending.

Airs Saturday, February 3, 8 p.m. on Logo, and repeats throughout the month. More: www.logoonline.com.

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OSCARS…
An evening of tuxes and comfortable shoes

Ellengets
Ellen gets a man.

There’s a man in Ellen DeGeneres’ life, and he’s almost 80. Ascending to the highest platform any comic can aspire, DeGeneres is set to host the 79th installation of the Oscars. Smart money says she opens with a joke about Notes on a Scandal, lesbian cinema’s harrowing answer to Fatal Attraction. Airs Sunday, February 25, 7:30 p.m. on ABC (www.abc.com). More: www.oscars.org.

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AND SPIRITS
An evening of tuxes and comfortable Jews

What is it about comediennes emceeing awards shows this month? The ballsy Sarah Silverman (The Aristocrats, School of Rock) returns to helm the quirky 2007 Film Independent’s Spirit Awards. Last year the group had the good sense to tap queer-centric movies Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and TransAmerica for top honors. Airs Saturday, February 24, 4 p.m., on the Independent Film Channel. More: www.filmindependent.org. (Though not nominated for a Spirit Award, Silverman’s Jesus Is Magic airs this month on Showtime’s Laugh Out Loud. Info: www.sho.com.)

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EXAMINING RAP’S BAD REP

BHurts
Bryon Hurts

As part of its provocative Independent Lens series, this month PBS presents Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes. The documentary is filmmaker Byron Hurts’ “loving critique” of rap and hip-hop, examining the genre’s pervasive gender roles, violence, and homophobia. Included are interviews with Mos Def, Fat Joe, Russell Simmons, and The Notorious H.O.M.O.P.H.O.B.E., Busta Rhymes. Airs Tuesday, February 20, 9 p.m., on PBS. More: www.itvs.org.

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THE LOW DOWN ON THE DOWN LOW

Please don’t call them gay. They’re men of color who, yes, sleep with men, but they prefer the term “on the down low.” Scheduled to begin airing in the spring on here! TV, 2 Cents Productions’ The DL Chronicles examines the “sexual discovery, denial, betrayal, loss, and love” of the phenomenon. But remember, they’re not gay. Got it? More: www.heretv.com.

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NO MAN’S LAND

KLinton
Katherine Linton

Award-winning filmmaker Katherine Linton (AIDS: A Pop Culture History ; The Junkie Next Door: Women and Heroin) is no stranger to the provocative. Her six-part series Lesbian Sex & Sexuality celebrates porn, erotic dancing, fetishism, and more — all of which is produced and presented exclusively for and by women. Viva la vulva! The series began airing on here! TV in January, but continues through early March, at which point the series will be available on VOD. More: www.heretv.com.

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