Showing posts with label Entertainment Series Gay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Entertainment Series Gay. Show all posts

February 14, 2020

How The "International Male" Captured The Gay Gaze

Starting in the 1970s, the International Male catalog had a coded appeal to gays anxious to gawk at throbbing pecs, shop for some offbeat chic, and maybe giggle a little. At the same time, straights picked up on its revisionist take on how males were allowed to look, complete with muscly models in white pirate shirts and blue boxers with a “contour pouch.” 
The catalog’s pre-stardom models included the likes of Shemar Moore, Kevin Sorbo, David Chokachi, and Reichen Lehmkuhl, and its admirers were everyone from Calvin Klein to movie and theater costume designers looking for threads and ideas. At its peak, in the 1990s, there were about three million catalogs sent out every quarter, with an amassed revenue of well over $100 million. 

All Man
The resulting phenomenon is finally the subject of a documentary: All Man, directed by Bryan Darling and Jesse Finley Reed. “More than outrageous fashions, hunky models, and scandalous undies, All Man is a journey across three decades of the International Male catalog’s lasting impact on fashion, masculinity, and gay rights,” reads the documentary’s mission statement. The film is currently in production, with no concrete release date. 
I talked to the directors about the project and what made International Male so “readable.”

Jesse Finley Reed: That’s the number one question. “How did they get my name?” They bought mailing lists. It was a magical thing for me. This thing started coming, and I thought, Did the boys at school who tease me send this to me? I didn’t care.

 Bryan Darling: In our movie, Carson Kressley describes the experience of getting it in such unbelievable detail. It would be sent to his older brother and Carson would go to the mailbox to get it first and take it to the basement rec room. At some point, he convinced his mother to buy him some clothes out of it.

Was his brother gay?

JFR: No. Let’s say you had gotten PlayboyGQ, or Columbia House Records. They’d buy those mailing lists and send catalogs, assuming that was the demographic they were going after. You have all these men in their 20s and 30s that had subscriptions to something and it would just go to them. A lot of the clientele were straight and a lot were women buying it for their men.

Would you say it also appealed to a lot of closet cases?

BD: Huge.
JFR: It was safe to have on the coffee table. It could go in the regular mail without a special envelope. It was a gateway to a different world—a way of looking at men and men’s bodies. That was super powerful to gay people because representations of gayness were horrific in the ‘80s. Here were men traveling the world and laughing and wearing underwear. 

All Man
BD: Gay men have always been more aware of their bodies than other men, and straight men were never allowed the freedom to do that. In a lot of ways, International Male was educating and giving permission for men as a whole to look at each other and themselves in a way where sexuality is open and the body is something to be celebrated and looked at, and you could wear colorful prints and wild clothes and not be gay or not be feminine. You’re still masculine, still a man.
JFR: That’s why they chose super masculine, ripped, able-bodied models.
BD: The ideas of being sexualized and body-conscious had always been reserved for women. If guys did that, people thought they had to be gay because That’s a good-looking guy was not as common as now. International Male helped normalize the way straight men could look at other men and say, “That’s a hot guy. I want to look like that.”

All Man

To me, the catalog tripled as kitsch, porn, and a useful guide.

JFR: It was permission for not-yet-out gay boys to look, for straight women who want to see what they consider a sexy Don Johnson-type guy and dress their boyfriend that way, and for a straight guy who wants to be a little more self-expressive. 

How did International Male start?

BD: Gene Burkard—a gay man who’s now about 89 or 90 and is still in San Diego—started it in 1972 with a piece of underwear called the Jock Sock. He was walking down the streets of London and came across a medical store full of incontinence items where he saw a pair of adult men’s underwear. He was intrigued and brought it back, then hired a pattern maker to modify it and make it the Jock Sock. He put an ad in Playboy and that’s when it took off. In 1976, the first catalog went out.

All Man
JFR: Ah-Men was a catalog that preceded International Male, and Gene felt their clothes weren’t masculine enough. 
BD: It was that sort of decadent gay look of the ‘70s—caftans and bathing suits. Gene felt it was too gay. 

But he still whipped up lots of flairs.

JFR: Some of Gene’s initial inspiration was, “Why are men dressing so boringly, compared to Europe?” That’s what he wanted to build on.
BD: A lot of the people that came on board at the beginning of International Male were young and inexperienced. They were doing it by the seat of their pants and had no idea what they were doing. It started in a cottage with termites. It wasn’t until the ‘80s that people were brought in to professionalize and streamline it. They wanted to make something sexy and different and fun. 

All Man
JFR: It was a band of outsiders that came together. The staff was all gay men or women. It was amazing to go to work. To work in a place where you could be so open was something not experienced. And women learned what gay was. As for the models, it was the highest paying job a model could get in the industry. This was the beginning of the male model and supermodels. Some were models for Versace and Herb Ritts, but they made their bread and butter working for International Male and bought their houses from it. Gene wanted a “magalogue”—part magazine, part catalog. He said, “I want to do a tight headshot of a model on the cover to make it like a glossy magazine.”

Why was Caitlyn Jenner on the cover in 1980?

BD: It was a way for Jenner to get [her] name and clothes and brand out there. For International Male, it was a way to legitimize their brand. There was always a letter from the editor, Gene. The one from that catalog is so good because that was the time Jenner and [her] people were pushing [her] to be more of a celebrity. It talks about 1980 being wonderful because a movie called Can’t Stop the Music [a big flop starring the Village People and Jenner] was coming out. It said, “From early rushes, we can tell you it’s hot.” 

What were the most outrageous items sold by International Male, aside from the Jock Sock?

BD: One of the first items they found was this British navy shirt called the Stoker. It was a completely knit mesh shirt, which looked like you were wearing a net. On the navy ship, it soaked up sweat when they were shoveling coal into the engine. They brought that back and created a story around it. When you look at it, it’s pretty gay. It was such a huge seller that they ran out of it and eventually began to knock it off. 

All Man
JFR: In the ‘80s, they sold a jumpsuit with lots of zippers in a soft lavender. It’s amazing. It was a piece in their Foreign Legion collection. 

How did the brand evolve through the years?

JFR: Gene sold the company in 1986. It was taken over by Hanover Direct, a conglomerate which previously had conventional, middle American catalogs. They had the desire to blow up the catalog, mainstream it.
BD: In the ‘90s, you saw changes. They were trying to make it sexy, but not sexualized. They wanted to straddle this line to get more straight males, a broader demographic. They wanted to keep the gay customer, but also expand it. It grew to an enormous extent. They were heavily influential in creating the young men’s clothing market. 

All Man

Why did the brand fade out in 2007? Was it the internet?

JFR: There was the internet, and I think they lost their way. You can see them oscillate between extremes—super trashy in one issue and super conservative in the next. The culture changed and they lost their audience. 
BD: If you look at their later clothes, there was nothing special about them. In the ‘90s, who is wearing this giant leopard print outfit? It almost became a cartoon or parody of itself. International Male actually designed a lot of clothes in-house—they didn’t just buy clothes—but at a certain point, they were no longer innovating. They were trying to appeal to fathers. All of a sudden, kids and families started appearing in the catalog. I hate to pin it on the internet because they did have a site. It’s more than the people owning it didn’t know what to do with it.

Michael Musto is the long running, award-winning entertainment journalist and TV commentator.

May 24, 2018

A Record Low of LGBT Characters in Homophobic Hollywood

The number of Hollywood films featuring LGBTQ characters plummeted nearly 40 percent in 2017 compared to the year prior, an annual survey of the major movie studios by GLAAD said on Tuesday.
The group found that just 14 wide releases from the majors, as well as offerings from their indie divisions, were inclusive of queer identities in 2017, a drop from 23 films in 2016.
Only 12.8 percent of studio films contained characters who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer — the lowest percentage of LGBTQ-inclusive major studio releases since GLAAD began tracking in 2012. Trans characters were absent entirely from wide releases (though the report does contain praise for the Oscar-winning trans story “A Fantastic Woman,” released by Sony Pictures Classics). 
“On screen, record-breaking films like ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ prove that not only does inclusion make for great stories — inclusion is good for the bottom line. It is time for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer stories to be included in this conversation and in this movement,” said GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a fiery introduction the survey, called the Studio Responsibility Index (SRI).
Now in its sixth year, the SRI applies a secondary test to the films that rate as inclusive. Called the Vito Russo Test, it’s a set of parameters that vets a given film for the quality of its depiction of queer people (often in mainstream commercial fare, gay people are used as punchlines or provoke anxiety in straight characters).
Universal Pictures got the highest score of any studio but was still labeled “insufficient,” by the SRI. Of fourteen wide releases. four of the studio’s films made the grade. The highest praise was for Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
It’s a blink-and-miss moment, but there’s a revelation that Allison Williams’ character Rose also recruited at least one woman (Betty Gabriel) to bring home to her family, who conduct a sinister procedure that implants the brains of white people into able black bodies.
Glaad charts
Behind Universal was 20th Century Fox (whose touching coming-out movie “Love, Simon” was released in 2018 and did not count for this survey) which merited inclusion for a gay male couple in “Alien: Covenant” and the creative and crucial deployment of Elton John in the plot of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” Fox was dinged for a portrayal of platonic female friendship in Amy Schumer’s “Snatched.”
Paramount received a “poor” rating, with just two inclusive films (Ruby Rose’s character in “XxX: The Return of Xander Cage” being one), along with Lionsgate.
Disney’s eponymous label and portfolio studios Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar tied for the last place with Sony Pictures — with both studios only releasing one inclusive film and both earning a “poor” rating.
There was a small silver lining — while depictions of queer people are still overwhelmingly stories of gay men, people of color counted for 57 percent of those characters last year. None among them were Asian or Pacific Islander, however.
Ellis and leadership from GLAAD hosted a breakfast at the Beverly Hills offices of agency WME on Tuesday morning, where they presented the SRI to industry players. Lena Waithe and TK sat for a panel discussion afterward to discuss how Hollywood can increase quality representation in film.

August 19, 2016

Playing a 16Yr Old In the ‘Fosters’ Requires A Good Grounded Actor

 Hayden Byerly (L) and Gavin McIntosh® on ABC Family series The Fosters. Photo: Youtube

Meet Kalama Epstein, the 16-year-old actor who recently took on the role of religious gay high schooler Noah on Freeform’s The Fosters. Epstein’s character is the new love interest for Hayden Byerly’s Jude, a lead character on the show.
While a recurring role on a major network drama is a tall order for any teenager, Epstein’s responsibilities are only magnified by the fact he’s playing gay, something that even a few years ago would have been the subject of much closer scrutiny. And The Fosters isn’t exactly catering to just a niche audience: it’s one of the most popular shows on Freeform, and won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2014.
We sat down with the teen to talk about what it’s like playing Noah, the shows he’s watching right now, his thoughts on Suicide Squad, and what’s coming for him in the future.
Out: Do you identify as straight?
Kalama Epstein: As of right now, I’m keeping my sexuality private. Just because of the fact that there are so many reactions. No matter what I say, there’s going to be a big reaction online, so I’ve decided to keep it private as of right now.
This role on The Fosters has been your first gay role. What’s the reaction been like from family, friends, and fans to you playing gay?
My whole entire family and friends have been incredibly supportive. I come from a very liberal, left-wing family, so they’re all very accepting. And all my friends have been huge fans of my character on the show. It’s been amazing.
Do you feel like the role has had any larger impact on audiences? When I was in high school just a few years ago, this gay relationship on TV would have been very taboo and rejected.
We haven’t really gotten to see as many openly gay characters who are also religious—Noah’s mom is a pastor—so this character, his church openly supports him. They’re very accepting. Normally these churches are depicted as very right-wing, and not accepting. So to see this kid who is openly gay, and proud of that, and can talk about this with his community, I think that’s great. I’ve gotten a lot of messages from kids saying they’ve never seen this before, and this character is really helping them. Which is very heartwarming and incredible.
Have you seen in your lifetime so far a major shift in cultural attitude toward gay people?
I think it’s definitely—I think the world has definitely gotten more supportive. There are still bigots out there, but just in general—the sad thing is terrible words still get thrown around like their nothing, which is hard, and gross. But definitely in general support for the LGBT community has grown immensely in past years. I think everyone has gotten a little more accepting.

It’s it been like transitioning out of those more G-rated shows into something a little more adult?
I’ve done a few more mature projects in the past, but this is definitely a lot more fun. This is more my personality. I have a trash mouth. I’m much more into the mature movies and television. Going from Nickelodeon and Disney into that, it’s much more how I like to work, and the roles I like to play. It’s what I like to do. So it’s been fun.
What kind of shows and movies are you watching these days?
Game of Thrones, but it’s off the air right now, which is sad. Catching up on Preacher, and I’ve got a few that I’m watching—I need to watch Stranger Things. Everyone’s telling me it’s amazing. I just binge watched the two seasons of Rick and Morty. I just saw Suicide Squad and Sausage Party. I disagree with the critics on Suicide Squad—I very much liked it.

 Kalama Epstein plays Gavin McIntosh in Fosters

What did you like about it?
I liked all the character work they did. There were a couple moments in the film that didn’t quite make sense. There were a good amount of plot holes and other stuff. But overall it was a fun comic movie for me. I had a lot of fun watching it. And that’s all that really matters. I’ve been on the hype train for this film for a while, so when it came out all I really wanted from it was to walk out of the theater with a smile, and I did. That’s all I wanted.
I was reading that your first passion is directing. Do you have any directing projects in the works right now?
As of right now mostly focused on acting. I’m writing a few things right now, and hoping to do my first short in a couple years, just to show people what I can do and for getting into film school, and stuff like that. I’m hoping to get one of my own short films done, an official short film, in the next few years.
What sort of things do you write about?
Definitely right now leaning more toward horror/thriller type stuff. Not necessarily slashers, but psychological thrillers.
Are there any gay character in any of those scripts?
Yes, actually. The short film I’m writing right now, the two leads are both gay.
Yeah, I’m hoping I can get that one done in the next couple of years. That would be my goal.


August 9, 2016

Animal Kingdom (TNT), Weaves Being Gay and Part of a Criminal Family

Jake Weary plays Deran, a young criminal struggling with being gay, on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom." TNT
NBC news posted:

On the surface, TNT's new drama, "Animal Kingdom," is about a family of criminals headed by a controlling matriarch, Smurf (played by Ellen Barkin). However, as the first season comes to a close Tuesday night, viewers have seen that each of Smurf's boys has his own love/hate relationship with his mother, while they try to pull yet another big heist.

But what do you do if you're in the middle of this intense, violent world, and you're hiding the fact that you're gay? The sexuality of youngest son, Deran (Jake Weary), however, hasn't been portrayed as your typical coming out story, and that's been the intention of the writers.

The series, based on the acclaimed 2010 Australian film of the same name, was developed for TNT by executive producer Jonathan Lisco, who talked to NBC OUT recently, along with Weary, to break down Deran's story and whether it's true in this case that mothers always know when it comes to their gay sons.

NBC OUT: We found out early in the series that Deran is deeply closeted, but it didn't completely take over the story. How did you navigate how you wanted to tell this story?

LISCO: I think a lot of people are surprised by how this show is subtler than its premise suggests and that we're doing that on purpose, obviously. We're putting in certain superficial things that draw people in who might not want a deeper narrative and then surprising them by how layered the characterizations are and then they stick with it because they like the combination, the cross pollination of all that. With the Deran/Adrian storyline we did that very thing so in episode two you see Deran in the stall of the bathroom and you're not sure what's happening and then he beats the heck out of that guy (Adrian, played by Spencer Treat Clark), and you never even see that guy's face. A lot of people at that point thought, "Oh okay, they're just doing it to show the brutality and what Deran is capable of. That'll never be a real storyline." We started with the DNA of that and then said, "No, we're going to thwart your expectations and turn this into not only a real storyline but a real relationship between Deran and somebody that he genuinely cares about, be it a man or a woman. In this case a man."

WEARY: I think there's something about this show that's surprisingly a lot about love. There's so much about family and what kind of relationships each member of the family has with each other and also outside of the family. A lot of the show is very much about staying in the family and keeping it a very exclusive. Every character is supposed to be so exclusive to Smurf and the family business, so I think that's another interesting aspect of it. It's a part of the struggle for Deran, because it's something that he's definitely struggling with that he can't really express to his family.

NBC OUT: Even when his brother Craig (Ben Robson) tells Deran he knows about Adrian, it doesn't make everything okay, does it?

WEARY: No, it's totally him.

LISCO: Smurf's relationship to all of her boys has depended on wielding her sexuality with them, in a certain way, and wanting to believe that even though it's taboo deep down they find her attractive. So the idea of Deran being with a woman would be hard enough for Smurf, but it's at least something that she can understand. The idea of him having a group that she really is outside of threatens her deeply, and threatens her ability to manipulate her sons.

WEARY: It adds to the element of Deran wanting to escape and leave. I mean there's an episode where he says, "I just want to leave Smurf." I think that's a big part of why he's driving himself crazy. I mean, he can't just be who he is and find his identity.

LISCO: We think about Deran sometimes as, in some ways, the baby of the family but also the one who's most possessed of his own need to escape the gravity of her power and so he might be able to one day have his own life if he can ever work this out.

NBC OUT: I'm always watching Smurf, because being a gay man, I believe mothers always know. Mine did! Does Smurf know?

LISCO: All I can say in response to that is we have discussed in the writers' room that she does, and we have discussed that she doesn't, but I think you make a very interesting point. Mothers always know, and if [she] doesn't, why doesn't she? I think that's the question to ask, so if we do go in the direction of her not knowing is it self-denial? Is it suppressing what is right before her? Is there some emotional reason why she's doing that?

NBC OUT: What will we see moving forward, even into the second season?

WEARY: This is something that obviously doesn't happen overnight. It's a long process, and I think that's something that I'm really excited about for season two. I think there are so many different layers to this character. It's not the stereotypical gay character on the television show. There's so much more to it, and that's why I love playing him.

The "Animal Kingdom" season finale airs Tuesday, August 9, at 9 p.m. on TNT

October 27, 2014

The Walking Dead is Got it All Except Daryl Dixon Romancing a Guy, Coming Soon?


The Walking Dead season 5 has it all, impeccable ratings, zombies, a stellar cast, and a legion of devoted die-hard fans. But, the writers seem to think it is missing one thing, a hot and steamy gay romance. A few lesbians have come and gone throughout the series, but over all the gay community seems to have been depleted by the zombie apocalypse. And, you will never guess which character the writers want to make gay!
According to the November 3rd edition of GLOBE Magazine“Producers of the run-away hit zombie show want to make heart-throb Norman Reedus’s character gay – but the actor has been begging them not to do it. Insiders say he fears the same-sex shocker would hurt ratings by disappointing his legions of female fans.” GLOBE’s inside source explains, “Norman isn’t anti-gay in his personal life, but he’s become one of the biggest male sex symbolsin television. He gets thousands of fan letters from women each week – along with dozens of marriage proposals.”                                         

Walking Dead fans can breathe a sigh of relief (or not as the case may be)… for now, apparently writers have agreed with Norman and shelved the gay storyline for the time being. Can you even imagine an episode of The Walking Dead season 5 with a love scene between Daryl Dixon and another man? If the writers are certain they need a gay male character, then their best bet is to introduce a new character as a gay man. After five seasons, fans know Daryl, and know how far-fetched it is to have him come out of the closet now.
What do you think Walking Dead fans? Do you think Daryl would pass as a gay man? Would it help or hurt ratings? If Daryl were gay, which other guy do you think the writers would pair him up with? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

February 15, 2014

American Idol Embraces Openly Gay Contestant

  • Not typical: MK told the judges she was 'very obviously gay' before learning her fate
  • While plenty of other Idol contestants have publicly come out after appearing on the show (see Adam Lambert, Clay Aiken and Frenchie Davis), the key word is "after," because Idol has never let anyone say, "I am gay" on the show. Until now. 
    After performing Ed Sheeran's "The A Team" during Hollywood Round, Nobilette sat in front of the judges to learn her fate, making sure to tell them, "I'm very obviously gay."
    The judges were quick to admit they had doubts about letting her through. "All these questions come up: How do you fit in? Do you not fit in? If we think it, what will America think?" Harry Connick, Jr. asked.
    To which Nobilette confidently replied: "There are always going to be people in America, and everywhere else, that are going to hate. But in the last two years, I think there have been a lot of things that have really changed that and have made it a positive thing." 

    From the legalization of same-sex marriage in several states to the Sochi Olympics backlash to highly sought-after Sam publicly coming out ahead of the NFL draft, the times they are certainly a changin'. And it all paved the way for American Idol to finally allow an openly gay contestant.
    "The world is changing," Jennifer Lopez admitted. "And we think you could be an American Idol." 

    January 27, 2014

    First Gay Drama Series Since Queer as Folk

    “Because Queer as Folk came out in America and ran for five seasons – ages ago now – I think a lot of execs probably thought ‘We’ve done our gay show now. We don’t need to do something else.’” So says Andrew Haigh, the British director of the acclaimed 2011 indie movie Weekend, which followed the fledgling relationship between two gay men. Haigh has now directed most of the first season of HBO’s Looking, the first drama specifically about gay men since the demise of Queer as Folk in 2005. For while lots of TV dramas and comedies include gay characters – from Will & Grace and Ugly Betty to Smash, by way of True BloodGossip Girl and even Downton Abbey – Looking is the first drama since Queer as Folk specifically about the gay world and not heavily filtered for a mainstream audience.
    Tonally similar to its HBO stable-mate Girls(it’s already been dubbed “the gay Girls”),  Looking will screen in the UK on Sky Atlantic in tandem with the third series of Lena Dunham’s comedy drama. The show centres on Patrick (Glee’s Jonathan Groff), a computer-games designer living in San Francisco, and his various gay friends. Patrick’s boss, Kevin, is played by British actor Russell Tovey (The History Boys, Being Human, Him & Her), who becomes a regular character from the third episode. I caught up with Tovey in rehearsals for The Pass, the current Royal Court Upstairs production in which the Essex-born actor plays a gay footballer.
    The last time I interviewed Tovey, who has been openly gay since he was a teenager, I asked him why he always played straight characters and what it would take for him to play a gay one. “For me to play gay it has to be something special”, he told me then. “I want it to be something that moves things forward.” So Looking is that something? “Definitely”, he says. “This is my Gay Period, rather like Picasso’s Blue Period.”
    It was the involvement of Haigh that persuaded Tovey that Looking might be that special project. “Weekend was an important film for the way gays are perceived in art,” he says. “The kind of normality of this couple that forms over a weekend… both gay and straight audiences discovered it, found it beautiful.
    “In Looking there’s no massive campery, there’s no one dying of Aids, it’s all very normal which is automatically fascinating because in art the gay guy is always the funny loner… or a murderer. At this period in history in Western civilisation we gays are allowed to get married, allowed to have kids… we’ve never had to grow up before, but now you can.”
    Indeed these must be the first male characters under pressure from their parents to marry and have children – with another man. It’s a fast-moving situation, and gay marriage wasn’t even legal in California when HBO green-lit the original pilot episode of Looking, two years ago.
    Groff and Tovey are both gay but, as in the US version of Queer as Folk, the cast is mixed. “Three of the main actors are straight and three are gay,” says Tovey, prompting a discussion about the difference between gay and straight actors playing gay. “It’s all emotion at the end of the day,” he says. “But your knowledge of the community is probably more worldly than a straight guy… the terminology and stuff, you just grow up with them.”
    The normalised gay community in Looking is a world away from the homophobic locker-room milieu of The Pass, the setting for John Donnelly’s Royal Court play in which Tovey plays professional footballer Jason. “There’s still a fear within sport, especially football, about being gay,” he says. “That’s why the Tom Daley thing was so huge, that’s why the Gareth Thomas thing in rugby was so huge.”
    It’s been a good year for the Essex-born actor since we last met: he brought a convincing air of bullying menace to his role in Tony Basgallop’s BBC1 murder mystery What Remains (one of the drama highlights of 2013 in my opinion), while the final series of the BBC3 sitcom Him & Hersaw Stefan Golaszewski’s lo-fi sitcom finally achieve the critical recognition it deserved. “It’s taken a while, but then The Inbetweenersonly broke out in its third series,” he says. “I could not be prouder of the show… it’s the best thing I have ever done.”
    There’s still no news of Emma Thompson’s biopic of the Victorian art critic John Ruskin and his teenage bride, Effie, starring Greg Wise as Ruskin and Dakota Fanning as his eponymous love interest, in which Tovey plays Ruskin’s manservant. “I don’t know what  happening about that,” he says. “Films are so different to television – they can just disappear or get shelved or come out at some random  cinema somewhere.”
    He is about to shoot a second series of the ITV sitcom The Job Lot, which was originally shown in a comedy double-bill with Vicious, in which Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi played long-term gay partners. That old-school studio comedy was a universe away from the explicit contemporary comedy-drama of Looking, and (to use Tovey’s favourite phrase) it didn’t move things on.
    “It just felt like a wasted opportunity to do something ground-breaking,” he says. “It felt stuck in this world that doesn’t really exist.  I thought the performances were brilliant and it’s entertaining but it could have been so  much more.”
    Looking begins Monday at 10.35pm on Sky Atlantic

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