Logo and Bravo concede the gay high ground to Sundance Channel with their new reality series ‘Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys’
by Steven Foster
“Fag Hag” is actually a pretty ugly phrase, not very complimentary to the guy in the couple, and it certainly doesn’t do anything for the girl. It’s a sh–ty shorthand for what is, ultimately, a pretty complex relationship between two friends. Leave it to Sundance Channel to not only address this pas de deux intelligently but entertainingly with Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys.
Most gay shows are making homos want to turn into breeders just so they don’t suffer from guilt by association. There are the bottom-feeding publicists of E!’s Spin Crowd, The Rachel Zoe Project’s fussy, fame-obsessed stylists, and the ghastly coterie of morons on The A-List: New York who, every time they speak, unchecked ego, bitchy venom, or giant purses fly out of their mouths. If this is indeed the A-List, who the hell’s blowing the curve?
Girls Who Like Boys, on the other hand, is raising the bar. It’s “unscripted reality,” so expect the usual staged situations, but Sundance Channel is to be commended for not (yet) intersecting these four couplings with some forced interactions. The couples stay separated and, thus, we are allowed time to become engaged with each of them, and they’re fascinating for all their own reasons.
The hippie-dippy but deceptively intuitive Rosebud is friends with the virtually closeted Sahil, a self-loathing Indian who can’t see that he hates his own queeniness so much he only falls for straight bartenders, and views Rosebud’s love affairs with almost toxic scorn.
Newly separated Elise leans on her pal David, a rageaholic who dresses up as a mime at a birthday party just so he’ll keep his critical mouth shut.
Crystal, a down-to-earth diva, can keep her mouth shut, and does, even when her best friend Nathan proclaims he wants to be a father, a particularly galling suggestion for the overworked single-mother Crystal. Nathan can’t see that parenthood is his screwed-up tactic of working on his own daddy issues, making Nathan the most self-delusional person on television—and these days that’s quite a feat.
Lastly, all poor Sarah wants to do is get married—which, cruelly, her gaymate Joel is actually doing. (Joel’s nuptials, by the way, will be America’s first-ever televised gay wedding.)
But the real landmark here is a show that deals with gay men whose flaws are tragically real, and as such far more interesting than a group of narcissistic nimrods bitching about a Fire Island cocktail-party snub or being dismayed that their Broadway musical fires them because they can’t dance.
Premieres December 7, 9 p.m., on Sundance Channel (sundancechannel.com).
Editor’s note: Sundance Channel has partnered with the Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, to produce a public service announcement featuring the cast of the original series Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. Sundance Channel also premieres two celebrity-filled Give a Damn Campaign PSAs during Tuesday’s (December 7) broadcast.
Steven Foster is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.