Archive for April, 2010

The Snacks Of Life
April 30, 2010

By the early 2000’s, Natalie had come to terms with the idea that taco salad was, if not one of the facts, then at least one of the inevitabilities of life.

Ooohh, Maaaaaaarrryyyyy!!
April 27, 2010

Jackée Harry wasn’t just a stage name. Behind the closed doors of certain, female-only Hollywood bars, it was a complete sentence.

Saved By The Bel Ami
April 21, 2010

They’d been through a lot as a cast: driver’s ed, homecoming, caffeine pills, an improbable number of trips to Hawaii. But nothing matched the on-set tension of the boys’ first bareback encounter. Mr. Belding’s voiceover wasn’t lying: this would indeed prove to be a very special episode.

The Many Faces of Loni Anderson
April 19, 2010

While most television actresses find themselves hopelessly playing the same role over and over again, Loni Anderson has managed (over the course of a career spanning nearly four decades) to avoid the pitfalls of  the typecasting couch altogether. Perhaps it’s her ever-changing, chameleon-like exterior, combined with her commitment to fully inhabiting each character from the outside in. Perhaps it’s her mastery of a wide variety of accents, be they standard, dialectic, or California blonde. Whatever the reason, watching Loni ply her craft is akin to taking a masterclass in American performance styles.

Observe, as she effortlessly evokes the deepest range of human emotion, without so much as batting a false eyelash:

1. Elation

2. Horror

3. Skepticism

4. Intellectuality and Smartitude

5. Self-loathing

6. Fit n’ Fancy!

7. Embalmer’s Little Helper

8. Olden Timey

9. Wintry Mix

10. God Is Dead

As far as we at Classic Gay Sitcoms are concerned, the so-called “fine actresses” of the world — the Streeps, the Therons, the Tina Feys — are a dime a dozen, what with their bags of tricks and phony baloney line readings. What Anderson does — between looking directly at the camera, turning her head slightly to the left, and wearing various types of bikini tops — is art.

Sincerely,


Executive VP of Re-Programming
“CGS: Eat your heart out, Burt Reynolds.”

The Flashy “Girl” From Flushing
April 16, 2010

She had watched him for years on Days of our Lives

His perfect hair. The well-placed mole. The well-placed hair on his perfect mole. When she saw he was hiring for a live-in position, how could she resist?

Sure, she’d picked up the wig and makeup anonymously at a beauty supply store out in Yonkers. The dress she’d shoplifted from Talbot’s years ago, on a whim. And the cleavage was composed of equal parts silicone and tube sock.

But the feelings in her heart — no, those were all real.

Turn Your Head And Kaufman
April 14, 2010

He had never — not for a single moment in all his life — considered himself too short.

On the contrary, for the kind of precision sex act Latka proposed, Louie was concerned that he might actually be a bit too tall.

Whistling Dixie Past The Graveyard
April 11, 2010

Here at Classic Gay Sitcoms Headquarters in sunny Atlanta, we’ve got more than we can handle of the following things: crumbling family businesses operated out of crumbling family mansions, “career gals” who seem to support themselves by working only a few minutes a year, and old ladies who — having once smiled at a maid during the 60’s — consider themselves to be socially progressive.

We hate to say it, but our own beloved Julia Sugarbaker is guilty as charged on all three counts.

She framed herself as a bleeding heart liberal,
but her background was sketchy, at best.

Oh sure, one time in the 80’s she may have sat in the same room as a gay person. But if you think about it long enough, you’ll probably recall this this was the one and only appearance of a gay male character throughout the entire seven season history of Designing Women. Now think really hard about it, and you’ll also probably recall that by the end of the episode, he had died of full-blown AIDS.

Wowzers!

Next, let’s take a moment to reflect on some of Julia Sugarbaker’s other progressive qualities. Like the time she repeatedly — and irrationally — tried to block the sale of pornography to consenting adults in her neighborhood. Or the subtle way she had of censoring the workplace discussions of her employees for being  “inappropriate” or “in bad taste.” Or the fact that every interaction with her seemed to culminate in a tyrannical “my way or the highway”-style lecture.

Also, remember how she kept the dude from Mannequin as her own personal one-man-band of degrading stereotypes?

“Wait, I can’t remember if I’m supposed to be offending
gay people, black people, or Whoopi Goldberg right now!”

Social progress, of course, doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years to slowly erode the antiquated mindset of a people, and generations before what seemed once unattainable begins to feel commonplace. We at Classic Gay Sitcoms see terrific things in store for the future of this country: universal healthcare for all citizens, unapologetic environmentalism without consideration of corporate interests, gay rights for every man, woman, and child.

But let’s face it: In order for any of that to happen, we need ONE MORE GENERATION of old Southern people to die off. Just one. The next-youngest generation knows perfectly well how to mind its own business (and frankly, they’re all too busy looking for jobs these days to really cause any problems, anyway). And the generation below that actually believes for the most part in the radical notion that all persons are created equal, and accordingly, are deserving of the same basic set of civil rights.

Just sit tight, America: We’ll have ourselves a revolution, one dead old lady at a time!

Tick tock, Delta Burke.
Tick. Fucking. Tock.

That’s why we at Classic Gay Sitcoms both mourn and celebrate the unexpected loss of Julia Sugarbaker. I’m sure your politics were advanced for your age bracket, Jules, but to put it simply — that’s just not good enough anymore. Fine, you may have twirled the baton of equal rights and social progress higher, faster, and farther than your parents’ generation. But the day the rest of you old bitties with your high-necked collars, cameo broaches, and plantation money finally die off, will be the day the lights come on in Georgia!

Sincerely,


Executive VP of Re-Programming
“CGS: One dead old lady at a time.”

P.S. — Let’s also not forget that, although she supported gay rights, Dixie Carter proudly called herself “the only Republican in show business” and had to be bribed to deliver Julia Sugarbaker’s signature leftist rants with the promise of being allowed to sing in later episodes at a “one tirade to one song” ratio.

Cosby And Effect
April 10, 2010

Although her one-woman show, Clair Huxtable: Portrait of a Lesbian, never received the Broadway transfer she felt it deserved, Phylicia Rashad considered it the highlight of her career.

Designing Women Who Love Women
April 7, 2010

Eventually, Allison Janney was replaced by Dixie Carter in the role of Julia Sugarbaker. Only Annie Potts seemed to know why.

Aroma Lingers Forever
April 5, 2010

Every time his parents left the house, it was the exact same thing: “Wanna see how big it gets? Wanna see how big it gets?”

And even though none of the Tanners knew the specific workings of ALF’s genitourinary organs, little Brian understood better than any of them why, most days, the house was covered in a thin layer of mucus.

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