There’s a new webseries causing a stir (and not just in that region below your belt). It’s been referred to as the gay Sex and the City, and that’s an apt comparison considering that Hunting Season focuses on a gay blogger dealing with sex, the city of New York and his three best friends.
That blogger is Alex (Ben Baur, whose voiceovers for the show are far more nuanced than Carrie’s), a young 20-something who finds dating in NYC to be a difficult task, although hooking up with guys comes easily. Cruising comes easily for Tommy (Marc Sinoway) as well, who has mastered the art of using and losing guys. Nick (Gayby’s Jack Ferver) is the “older” guy of the group who is actually looking for a relationship—a seeming rarity for Manhattan gays. Lastly, there is prudish TJ (Jake Manabat), the guy in a long-term relationship that seems to be headed for disaster.
If these characters sound like longstanding clichés, that’s probably because they are. Any fan of SATC could easily deduce which of the girls they match up with. But as we all know, stereotypes are based in fact; and the fact is, it is easy to look at your circle of friends and see these same types in your life. These characters are relatable.
These characters are also likable—thanks in no small part to the talented actors portraying them (even at his smarmiest, you would be tempted to go home with Tommy). It’s easy to see bits of yourself in these characters. It also helps that the skillful Jon Marcus (director of the series) and Adam Baran write these characters, making it easy for the actors to submerge into these roles.
This webseries is based on a book (title The Great Cock Hunt), which was based on a blog (also called “The Great Cock Hunt”)—making for an origin story that mimics SATC’s creation. Packed with steamy sex scenes and wry humor, the show plays well in its 10-minute episode format, giving salacious glimpses into Alex’s life while still managing to tell a succinct and satisfactory story. As the series unfolds you’ll find yourself wondering if Hunting Season’s own Mr. Big—Lenny (Walker Hare)—will win over Alex’s affections or if his hunting season will never end.
You can watch this series on Wednesday nights at 9pm on LogoTV.com; and then you can support the show by purchasing the uncensored versions on HuntingSeason.TV the following morning—and trust me, they are worth it!
Posted by xoxojk on September 26, 2012
Truman Capote’s iconic novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s bears only a slight resemblance to the classic Audrey Hepburn film. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. The story follows the unnamed narrator who thinks back on his time spent with “American geisha” Holly Golightly.
The narrator, whom Holly dubs “Fred” in honor of her brother, lives in the same brownstone as Holly and quickly gets sucked into her life. While most of the story just follows small incidents throughout their time together, the plot slowly escalates into a criminal matter that will forever change Holly’s life.
What makes this novella truly stand out is Capote’s writing. His beautiful prose style is comprised of succinct and vivid descriptions that make the characters and the environment come alive in the readers’ imagination. Capote easily captures the essence of the 1940s in New York City in the same way that James Baldwin captures Parisian life in the 1940s in Giovanni’s Room. Both stories also focus on characters who live on the fringe of society and how they respond to that lifestyle.
This novella is a great little read that shows why Capote is such a great writer. And if you enjoy his style, then check out his meatier, groundbreaking book In Cold Blood (a great read for an entirely different reason).
Posted by xoxojk on July 5, 2012
In the 1920s, Cora volunteers to chaperone young and willful Louise on a trip from Kansas to New York City so Louise can tryout for a distinguished dance company. It’s a time of intolerance—of alcohol, of jazz, of short skirts, of bobbed hair—and Cora who (mostly) agrees with this intolerance tries to instill morality into Louise. However, it is Louise Brooks (a future famous silent film star) who ends up teaching Cora a thing or two about tolerance and acceptance.
Most of the book follows their journey to and in New York City. Cora, whose orphan beginnings are shrouded in doubt, is searching for the truth of who her parents were. In her investigation in the city she meets some interesting characters that help open up her worldview. While most of the Kansas storyline is dull, author Laura Moriarty does a fairly succinct job of providing the pertinent background information needed to create these fully realized characters.
She also does a great job capturing the spirit of the era. It is very easy to picture New York at this time with her descriptions of the atmosphere and character of those who reside in it. And the New York section of the book is by far the most compulsively readable part.
However, the book strays into tedium in the last 100 pages. After the reaching the revelations we’ve been expecting our characters to attain, the story drags out. Moriarty jumps through time to provide quick glimpses of what happens to the character in the next 60 years of their lives. Aside from a heartfelt reunion scene between Cora and Louise, there is little of interest in the snippets of scenes here and there; and they feel like a repetitive rehashing of Cora’s expanding change of morals that we have already learned from the first part of the book.
Moriarty has crafted a great story and setting, a fully imagined world. It is definitely a treat reading parts one and two, but avoid the third part. Instead, put down the book and you can easily imagine how well things might work out for the characters after seeing what choices they make in New York.
Posted by xoxojk on June 27, 2012
Bill Clegg’s follow-up to last year’s outstanding debut memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man is equally outstanding. Ninety Days picks up after Bill leaves the rehab he ended up at the end of Portrait and follows his journey to recovery.
As he struggles to stay sober, the reader feels like they, too, are a part of the struggle. And those times when he relapses can be deeply affecting passages. (I cried about three times while reading this book.) Bill moves back to NYC and tries to build a community of people who support him and his recovery. It is not an easy task and he runs into many stumbling blocks. But while this book is certainly gut wrenching, it is also very uplifting.
His final chapter addresses something that is oftentimes overlooked on the recovery front. It shows his life five and a half years after reaching that ninety-day mark and how he still has to struggle with his inner demons. However, he has learned how to save himself and learned how to keep his life straight. And for those of you who are struggling with addiction, his two books are very inspirational.
Posted by xoxojk on June 6, 2012
Malik Solanka is suffering from a deep-seeded fury. In a blackout rage he nearly slices up his wife with a knife in the middle of the night. Thinking a change of pace might cure him, Solanka moves to NYC (which is basically the least peaceful place on earth). His fury only grows, but the problem is that he is never conscious when he unleashes this inner rage. Thus, he begins to suspect himself of being the serial killer who has been killing women by smashing their heads with pieces of concrete.
Salman Rushdie’s psychological examination of Solanka is superb. He crafts a beautiful novel with intrigue and emotionality—and even an obsession with dolls. Rushdie seamlessly inserts literary allusions (Voltaire! Swift!) in his storytelling and his smart prose writing instantly elevates the IQ of anyone reading. In Fury, he crafted a compelling story with enough crazy characters to create unexpected surprises along the way. You never know where the story will lead.
I could come up with a multitude of praises for this novel, but it would be better if you just read it yourself. Meanwhile, I’ll be checking out the rest of his novels; I’m always excited when I find a writer that can surprise and excite me.
Posted by xoxojk on May 15, 2012