Our 10 Most Anticipated Fall TV Premieres

As September begins to take hold of summer and we retreat into sweatpants, consume copious amounts of pie, listen to nothing but Cocteau Twins, and find ourselves wallowing in a general feeling of melancholy depression, there’s no better time to shoot some tubular cathode rays into our eyeballs from the comfort of our own homes. Here’s a list of the shows we’re most excited to see this fall.

http://youtu.be/boeAMyeQa1o

SONS OF ANARCHY (Final Season)
Tuesday September 9 at 10PM | FX

Marilyn Manson guest stars as a neo-Nazi drug addict in Kurt Sutter’s final installment of the West coast biker outlaw epic.

http://youtu.be/stjfnjcGXvg

THE MINDY PROJECT (Season 3)
Tuesday September 16 at 10PM | FOX

Mindy Kaling plays a lovable gynecologist bumbling through her personal and professional lives.

TIM AND ERIC’S BEDTIME STORIES (Season 2)

Thursday September 18 at 12:15AM | Adult Swim

Largely overlooked comic genie Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim once again team up for their signature blend of deadpan, satire, and gross-out humor featuring John C. Reilly and Zach Galifianakis.

http://youtu.be/VQAGTBoUwlQ

THE GOOD WIFE (Season 6)

Sunday September 21 at 9:30PM | CBS

A slew of critically acclaimed performances power this political drama about a wife who must make do after a scandal puts her husband, a state attorney, in jail.

http://youtu.be/jZgJ3p0qkYg

MODERN FAMILY (Season 6)

Wednesday September 24 at 9PM | ABC

The mockumentary favorite follows a close-knit and diverse extended family in the suburbs of LA.

http://youtu.be/NQYkGeeSfJ4

HOMELAND (Season 4)

Sunday October 5 at 9PM | Showtime

Claire Danes plays an unstable CIA agent assigned to a dangerous military outpost in the Middle East.

http://youtu.be/8ZSe7V02oLI

MULANEY (Season 1)

Sunday October 5 at 9:30PM | FOX

Upcoming Seinfeld-esque stand-up-punctuated sitcom created by comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney, who stars as a fictionalized version of himself.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW (Season 4)
Wednesday October 8 at 10PM | FX

Set in 1950s Florida and based on one of the last legitimate freakshows in history, Freakshow marks the fourth season of the soapy-camp horror tale from writer Ryan Murphy.

THE WALKING DEAD (Season 5)

Sunday October 12 at 9PM | AMC

Post-apocalyptic horror drama series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series. Sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes awakens from a coma to find a world dominated by flesh-eating zombies.

THE NEWSROOM (Final Season)
November 2014 | HBO

Jeff Daniels plays irreverent news anchor Will McAvoy in the final episodes of the acclaimed political drama.
http://youtu.be/1X63rdIcHLA

Linkage: Lindsay Lohan Might Be an Escort, Jessica Simpson Can’t Stop Bonin’, & a Kris Kross Reunion

If you’re wondering how the hell Lindsay Lohan can get away with jetting across the globe and staying in fancy hotels with nothing but money from Playboy shoots and Lifetime movies, here’s a possible explanation on where she gets her money: she might be working as a high-class escort for the rich and not-so-famous. Some of her alleged clients include Prince Haji Abdul Azim, third in line of the throne of Brunei (which is a real place, not like Genovia), and painter Domingo Zapata. Of course, these allegations come from her scumbag father, Michael Lohan, so take them with a couple shakers of salt. [Radar]

Nicole Kidman is on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter, and she dishes about Scientology—sort of. When pressed, she’ll say only: ‘I’ve chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology. I have two children [adopted with Cruise] who are Scientologists—Connor [the Red Dawn actor is now 17] and Isabella [20]—and I utterly respect their beliefs.’” The cover story also revels that Modern Family’s Sophia Vergara was director Lee Daniels’s first choice for Kidman’s role in The Paperboy, so just imagine that crazy lady doing her own hair and makeup and peeing on Zac Efron. [THR]

Jessica Simpson, as always, is both a good indicator of the failures of sex education in this country and an example of how annoying celebrities can be if their publicists can’t get them to shut the hell up. The occasional singer and sometimes actress told Jay Leno last night that she’d like to get married to fiancé Eric Johnson, with whom she has one child and a second on the way, but, in her words, “he keeps knocking me up.” [Fox News]

Sarah Jessica Parker replaced Demi Moore as Gloria Steinem in the upcoming Lovelace, premiering at Sundance, after Moore’s hospitalization for exhaustion early last year. It turns out it was all for naught: Steinem’s role in the film has been cut. [EW]

Because of money, NBC is going to roll poor Betty White out again and make her watch a bunch of people “pay tribute” to her for Betty White’s 2nd Annual 90th Birthday Special. The party’s guest list includes folks like Blake Shelton, Bill Clinton, and Larry King, because who else could possibly ruminate on all of Betty White’s achievements as an old actress who still makes dirty jokes when forced to read from cue cards in front of a TV camera? [Deadline]

Kris Kross are getting back together because they left a lot of things unsaid, a lot of pants unsagged, and also realized how much of a boner everyone has for the ’90s. [Vulture]

Does keeping a “princess-free” household promote feminist ideals in children or just keep them from having fun? [Jezebel]

Die Hard director John McTiernan is headed to jail for a year and must pay a $100,000 fine. And no, it’s not because he directed that Rollerball remake. [Indiewire]

R.I.P., old guy from old TV show. [TMZ]

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Linkage: Jesse Tyler Ferguson Supports Illinois Same-Sex Marriage, Emmy Rossum Is Just Too Pretty

Bow-tie enthusiast and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson stopped by Chicago yesterday to lend his support in the fight for same-sex marriage, the legislation for which may pass in the Illinois General Assembly before the session ends on June 9. Said Ferguson: "A lot of people who were not comfortable with marriage equality … turn on the television and see a show that has a lot of different families in it — and one of those families just happens to be gay. They’re realizing they have a great time watching the show, then they’re watching a gay couple that’s having a lot of the same problems and issues they have. They realize ‘Oh they’re not so different from me.’ And at that point, we’re in their living rooms." [Chicagoist]

South Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim has penned a film titled Rodham about, well, duh. [Politico]

Speaking of questionably titled biopics, jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, will close out the Sundance Film Festival and see an April theatrical release. [Deadline New York]

If you were rooting for Lil’ Wayne in your office Worst Tattoo of 2013 pool, it looks like you’re coming out ahead already. [Crushable]

Zooey Deschanel in Glamour: "I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?" Do you, girl! [Jezebel]

EGOT winner Mel Brooks gives some solid advice on how to make all of your creative dreams come true. [Fast Company]

Look, I get that times are tough but if you’re willing to let your boss fart on you then maybe you should just go on unemployment? [The Gloss]

If you expect Kathy Griffin to apologize for trying to perform oral sex on Anderson Cooper during the pair’s annual New Year’s Eve hosting gig, you can, well, suck her dick. [EW]

Emmy Rossum (or, as I like to call her, The Poor Man’s Jennifer Love Hewitt) claims she was almost not even considered for her role in Showtime’s Shameless because she was too pretty. It’s a little early in the year for this, yes? [The Frisky]

"[W]e eagerly await the BuzzFeed post, 10 Reasons We Raised $20M to Write More Things Like “Pretty Japanese Girls React to Drinking Poop Wine.” [Observer]

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NPR Claims It’s All Sunshine and Roses Now That There Are Gay Men on TV

Any article that starts with, "The pop culture gay flavor of the minute? White gay dads," will likely have me digging my fingernails into my palms by the time I scroll down to the bottom of the page. Ta da! Congrats, NPR, because you managed to incite my first internet-based rage of 2013!

In an article accompanying a story that ran this morning on the air, NPR writer Neda Ulaby discovers that our television sets are blowin’ up with friendly, proud, and out gay men who are showing the world how it can get better, or something. Yes, on Modern Family and The New Normal, there are white dudes who have sex with each other (but not onscreen, because ewwwww) and procreating with the help of, I dunno, white women and Asian adoption agencies. Breaking news, gang!

It’s a mini-boomlet, says real-life white gay dad and sociology professor Joshua Gamson. Not too long ago, he says, pop culture once mainly defined gay men as promiscuous and deviant, rather than monogamous and devoted to their families.

"It does seem like a strong counterstereotype of how gay men have been portrayed over the past, whatever, 50 years," he said.

A boomlet! Cute! The article also mentions, obviously, Will & Grace, whose creator, Max Mutchnik, also created the similarly gay-themed (and immediately cancelled) Partners. And, obviously, there’s the king of Gay TV, Ryan Murphy, who is responsible for Glee (gay teenagers!), The New Normal (gays who love NeNe Leakes!), and American Horror Story (murdered lesbians! a male ghost in a pleather body suit who rapes and kills a gay couple!). Sure, there’s also Max on Happy Endings, the lovably sarcastic and dumpy gay guy, but even his romantic prospects are hardly ever the focus of an episode (I say that regretfully, because I do love that show).

To give some balance to this piece, After Ellen‘s Trish Bendix gives some solid points about the representation of queer women on television: 

"Well, actually, there have been a lot of women of color, which has been great," said Trish Bendix, who runs a website called After Ellen that tracks lesbian representation on television. She rattled off at least a half-dozen shows with nonwhite queer female characters: White CollarThe Good WifeUnderemployedPretty Little LiarsGrey’s AnatomyGlee.

But too often, says Bendix, these are small roles played by exoticized, slinky femmes. "Like, ‘the other’ is always going to be the other," she observed ruefully. "So we’ll just pile all that otherness on the one person."

It’s true, though. After we’re done compiling lists of all the gay men on TV, can we narrow down which ones are not white? Because, let’s be honest, the modern definition of "gay" seems to be "white man who lives in the city and shops with all of his disposable income." And on top of that, do any of those men have personalities that don’t fit into a masculine-feminine binary? Because, you see, all gay men are either super queeny or straight acting, if The New Normal is to be believed. Or, perhaps even worse, any gay man who does not seem to be floating on Cloud Nine is, in turn, doomed, or perhaps evil, as one can see from any queer character on American Horror Story or Thomas from Downton Abbey, who is brought up at the end of the NPR article as a "character [who] once might have been seen as a homophobic stereotype [but now] blends into an ever-expanding universe." (Lemme know if that universe ever expands to include some queers who aren’t trying to screw over everyone they encounter.)

The point is this: we’ve come a long way in terms of the way gay men are represented on television. But we’ve only made it half way. Should we have congratulated the people behind Soap for creating the first regular gay character on a sitcom, or do you think we’re allowed to acknowledge the borderline homophobic humor surrounding the man’s (played by a straight guy, naturally) decision to "become straight" by pursuing a sex-change? Looking back on it, that was kind of screwed up, huh?

Hopefully in another twenty years or so we’ll have progressed to a place where we’re not just patting ourselves on the back for putting gay men on TV and saying, "Good work, everyone! Now, to collect the checks!" Because there’s a larger world of queer people out there who are still not represented, and its clear that there’s little to no interest in those who don’t fit into the whitewashed gay world that’s being packaged for middle America, just slightly and cheekily enough not to rock any boats. 

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GLAAD Study: Representation Of LGBT Characters On TV Is Best Its Ever Been

Finally! Some good news! The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s annual study of LGBT characters on primetime TV is out. Gay, lesbian, bi and trans characters have been the most visible they’ve ever been.

Where We Are On TV studied characters on scripted shows on the upcoming 2012-2013 season for both network (ABC, NBC, CBS, The CW, and FOX) and mainstream cable. The numbers may not sound like much, seeing as LGBT folks represent a meager 4.4% of scripted series regulars on broadcast TV. But they are indeed the highest number ever recorded by GLAAD:  2011 saw 2.9%, 2010 saw 3.9%, 2009 saw 3%, 2008 saw 2.6%, and 2007 saw 1.1%. Put another way, compared with 2007, LGBT characters saw a 400% increase on the broadcast networks — but it’s still an unacceptably small percentage of all characters overall.  As for mainstream cable, the networks studied reached a new high of 61 LGBT characters total.

ABC and Showtime came out on top as the channels from their respective categories with the best respresentation. But FOX — yes, really, FOX — had the most inclusive show on broadcast TV because it airs Glee. Over at HBO, True Blood was the most inclusive show in mainstream cable. 

You can read the full, data-filled study in a PDF over at GLAAD’s web site, which is packed to the gills with information about ethnic/racial presentation, gender identity, LGBT people of color, and people with disabilities amongst the characters studied as well. It’s more data than your brain might want to process, but the tl;dr? Things are getting better.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter and Tumblr.

There Are No Television Comedies Other Than ‘Modern Family,’ Apparently

So, the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards were last night, and considering we still have a bad taste in our mouths from our inappropriate drunk uncle Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars, for the most part, they were actually pretty fun to watch. Jimmy Kimmel had some funny bits, Giancarlo Esposito and Aaron Paul hugged it out and made us all verklempt, Lena Dunham ate cake naked and Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Amy Poehler stole the show with their acceptance speech switcheroo.

In terms of the awards themselves, the recipients were almost painfully predictable, especially in the comedy category. The drama awards were mostly bang-on, as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the most part avoided the soapy pleasure of Downton Abbey and Don Draper’s steely gaze to actually reward what probably are the two best dramas on TV right now, Homeland and Breaking Bad (Aaron Paul’s Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award made our hearts happy). And Louis C.K. took home two awards — one the writing on Louie and one for his standup special at the Beacon Theatre.

But in terms of comedy, once again, the Academy chose to throw Louie its one bone—the equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving the most envelope-pushing film of the year Best Original Screenplay and then kind of ignoring it the rest of the night—and then choosing to celebrate thoroughly mediocre stuff. In a run similar to the one Frasier made in the mid-‘90s, for the past three Emmy cycles now, Modern Family has dominated the comedy categories to the point where even better stuff from the banal, laugh track-y, Chuck Lorre school of TV comedy was ignored (come on, as eye-roll-worthy as The Big Bang Theory can be sometimes, seeing Mayim Bialik win an Emmy, especially as the show’s saving grace that is Amy Farrah Fowler, åwould have been golden). All four of Modern Family’s big winners—Outstanding Supporting Actress Julie Bowen, Outstanding Supporting Actor Eric Stonestreet (convinced that there is one dude voting in the Academy who is just still totally super shocked that a straight dude can play a preening gay man even though this is 2012, y’all), Director Steven Levitan and the show for Outstanding Comedy Series — are repeat wins, with the show itself and Levitan earning them back-to-back-to-back. This year, the rest of the show’s adult cast members were nominated for acting awards.

I like Modern Family. It’s cute. Ty Burrell and Sofia Vergara are eternally fun to watch. I usually walk away from it not hating myself. My whole family watches it (cross-demographic appeal!). And granted, the Outstanding Comedy Series pool was a little thin this year—the token Lorre (The Big Bang Theory), two former comedy powerhouses that are still very funny but mostly over-the-hill (30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm), and the two other HBO shows, Girls and Veep, which were long shots anyway. But at a time and place where so many awesome things are happening with television comedy, at a time when a fart and smunny show like Parks & Recreation or something that, love it or hate it, can spark an international conversation like Girls or a show that is so funny and so human like Louie or a show that celebrates its dweebiness so joyfully like Community or a great traditional thirtysomethings-in-the-city sitcom like Happy Endings can all exist, it seems a disservice to let more of the same rack up statue after statue. It seems kind of silly to rant—the Emmys will probably never change and TV comedy is full of niches and Modern Family certainly isn’t the worst thing to happen to television ever. But when the whole run of programming is so totally awesome, it would just kind of be nice seeing the celebration of the awesomeness spread around a bit. At least Leslie Knope won her city council election. Better luck next time, Team Dunphy.

So, to make ourselves feel better about everything, here’s Aaron Paul’s acceptance speech again. 

Bryan Cranston to Direct Episode of ‘The Office’

Since the start of the Breaking Bad’s fifth and final season, much as been said about Walter White’s transition from well-intentioned struggling family man meth dealer to the God-complexed absolute evil jerk he has become. Perhaps if a lesser actor than Bryan Cranston were at the helm, we’d now see that shining bald head, weathered face, and maniacal facial hair and look at him with distain or feel, like Skyler, betrayed by the man we trusted and loved. But no matter what Walt does, it’s hard to fully loathe him, because Cranston, the man you know lurking inside, you cannot help but feel the utmost adoration for.

And for someone so intensely devoted in his characters, he still finds time to step out of the spotlight and throw his pork pie hat in the world behind the camera. And it seems his latest endeavor will be guest-directing an episode of The Office. Back in the Malcolm in the Middle days, Cranston directed seven marvelous episodes and has taken on three Breaking Bad ones, as well, including “No Mas,” the infamous post-plane crash episode where Walt impulsively decides to burn his stash of cash. And in a lesser-known fact, Cranston even directed the “Election Day” episode of Modern Family. So there’s really no doubt that whatever he’s doing on The Office will be a raving success.

The news of his Office directorial debut came from Rainn Wilson’s twitter after posting a preciously creepy photo of Cranston sitting on his lap. Also, while the rest of the world spent the post-Breaking Bad evening tweeting about how smug and evil Walter behaved at his impromptu dinner with Skyler and Jesse, Office showrunner Mindy Kaling tweeted away, questioning her sanity over her undeniable love for Walter White and how he is “kind of the sexiest guy ever.” And yeah, we have to agree, she’s pretty right. 

 

 

 

 

 

Fret Not, The Cast Of ‘Modern Family’ Won’t Be Going Hungry

I know you were worried, distraught with worry, that the cast of Modern Family were not making enough money. But rest assured most of them will be making around $150,000 per episode next season.

The Hollywood Reporter says cast members Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, (Tyler Coates dopplegangar) Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet had filed a lawsuit to attempt to get out of their current contract in which they were earning a piddling $65,000 per episode each, the poor dears. (Ed O’Neill, formerly of Married With Children, made closer to $100,000 per episode.)

After contract negotiations this week — which resulted in a rescheduling of their table read — the new contracts give the aforementioned six actors closer to $170,00 per episode including bonuses and rocket towards $350,000 per episode as they fulfill out their new eight-year contract. Additionally, the six will receive a cut of the back-end profits (a la Joan Harris!), which O’Neill already shared.

The tl;dr? Rich people are getting richer. Good for them! (Seriously, good for them. At least it is not fucking Mitt Romney.) Modern Family is supposed to debut its fourth season on September 26. Let’s see if they make it.

Adam Goldman Opens Up About His Webseries, ‘The Outs’

These days, when there’s a cultural lack in the mainstream, artists are heading to the internet to create a new venue in which to express themselves as well as entertain others. The Outs, a webseries written by Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters, fills a void currently left open on television. The series follows Mitchell and Jack, two gay men living in New York, as each deals with their recent break-up and newly single status. Funny and poignant, The Outs takes a refreshingly honest look at what it’s like to be a young gay man now in New York—the awkward dates, the awkward sex, and, thankfully, the awkward (and hilarious) social scenes. Funded by two Kickstarter campaigns, The Outs is already a modest success. With three episodes online and three more to be completed, co-creator and co-star Adam Goldman chats about the process of creating a web series, the inevitable comparisons to Lena Dunham’s Girls, and the still disappointing lack of gay characters in media.

Where did the idea to film a web series come from?
I wrote the last scene of the first episode originally; it’s when my character Mitchell shows up at his ex-boyfriend Jack’s house and they have a fight. I had forgotten about it—this was last October or November. One day, my boyfriend at the time saw that I was wearing a blue shirt and he said, “You look really desperate in blue.” I said, “God, that’s a fucking mean thing to say,” and he replied, “Oh, you wrote that, I was quoting you.” He showed me the scene. I had forgotten it, but I kind of liked it. My roommate and my co-writer Sasha, who plays Oona, and I both wanted to make something, and I wanted to write a part for her. We started starting in February and we shoot a couple weekends a month and try to put them out every four to five weeks, which people are starting to not be happy with, but that’s our schedule because we don’t get paid.

How long does it take to film each one?
One of our actors, Hunter Canning, is in War Horse at Lincoln Center, so his only day off is Monday. Typically we’ve done them in two days—Sundays and Mondays. I think lately we’ve done three-day shoots when there have been more locations, or, in the last episode, we had to do some reshoots and it was much longer. We try to do each one in a few weekend days and a Monday, which is why we have like 20-hour days. It’s really stupid and everybody ends up grumpy, but the product is good and now everyone’s happy.

I know you have planned for exactly six episodes, but the first three are of varying lengths. Is that on purpose?
It was a natural thing in the sense that when I was writing them I didn’t think we were going to produce them. Luckily, we got to make them, and there are challenges and there are assets to doing something for the web. One of the nice things is that we can write each episode to be as long as the story is—exactly that long. The third one is 22 minutes long, the second is 18, and the first is 12. The fourth one is going to be 12 or 15 minutes. Some people on the crew are going to be bummed that it’s only 15 minutes, but I think people get it.

When I think of what people want to watch on the internet, it’s a lot of dumb YouTube videos that you can watch at work. It’s ambitious to create something longer with a story.
We’re walking this line where we want to make this little television show for the internet, but we do sort of want you to be able to go home after work and watch it. Watch it at work, I don’t give a shit—it depends on your work place, I guess. But it wasn’t deliberate; it was an accidental thing, and I feel like it’s about what you can deliver. If I can write a three-page script that leaves someone satisfied at the end, I’ll do that instead of writing something like Prometheus, because it’s just about where we leave you and that’s really important to me: the taste that you leave in people’s mouths. The second episode, which I love, definitely has some issues, but people really loved the final image of the two guys in bed. And I knew as soon as we shot it that it was really beautiful. As long as we can let people walk away feeling something, we win.

Have you written the entire thing?
Basically, yes. It’s all carefully outlined, and there’s some dialogue stuff that’s sort of in flux.

It definitely follows the British model as opposed to American sitcom, in which the entire season or series in written before shooting.
And if we wanted to be 12 episodes or 20 episodes, you can’t write that all at once; that’s very hard. It’s amazing to that people want more than six episodes! If it happens, that’s fine. At the moment, we just want to deliver on all the stuff we’ve set up frankly in the first three episodes.

Was there anything that you were sort of thinking about style-wise or writing-wise that inspired you to do certain things with the show? Is there anything you point to and say, “I was inspired by this movie or this television show or this writer?”
There’s a British TV show called Pulling. Everybody should watch it. It’s one of those things that’s on Netflix instant one week and then it’s off the next week, but it’s incredible and we certainly, as far as just balancing being a little bit edgy or in your face and funny and then ultimately like, “Oh fuck, I’m crying”—that’s sort of what we wanted to be like. I just want everybody to have a voice. It really gets under my skin when everybody in a show sounds the same. I know that I happen to hang out with people that are funny, so I think the characters end up being funny and that’s where the humor comes from, but I hope that everybody sounds differently.

I’ve read other writers who have compared The Outs to Girls. How do you feel about that?
I didn’t know about Girls when we started, and I think our first episode came out before Girls. I’ve tried to avoid it just because our Venn diagram kind of overlaps a little bit. I think that this Brooklyn thing is really in the zeitgeist right now, and I think we’re doing something unique. What stands out to me about Girls is that it ultimately feels very much like Curb Your Enthusiasm. My problem with the show initially is that I don’t really like those people, and that’s the point.

That’s sort of HBO’s wheelhouse: they’re making you like these people that are inherently unlikeable.
Or making you want to watch them. It’s funny because people are like, pitch The Outs to HBO! Well for starters, thank you, but it’s impossible because it’s an iteration of a show that’s already on HBO. I try not to compare this show to anything. People have said I’m the new, gay Lena Dunham. Well, Lena Dunham’s really new already, she doesn’t need like…

Someone already imitating her, even if it’s not on purpose.
That’s what’s so funny: it happened contemporaneously, so it makes sense that they do have a lot in common. I do think that there’s stuff about gay characters and gay culture that’s not there.

Absolutely not.
Are there gay characters on Girls?

Well, her ex-boyfriend, who is played by Andrew Rannells, comes out to her when they’re living in New York after college. He has a recurring role, but it’s kind of just a joke that she had this gay boyfriend in college and didn’t realize it. But that’s the thing: there really aren’t that many gay characters on television at all.
If I may, what is your favorite TV show about gay people?

There’s Happy Endings, which has one main character who is gay. I don’t watch Modern Family, and I know that people love it, but it’s still not accurate because they’re not affectionate with each other in a realistic way. They hug when they get excited about something rather than kiss.
They’re gay because that show told me they were gay. At the same time, then people say The Outs is “the new gay web series.” What does that mean? Like, is every other web series a straight web series?

What I like about The Outs is that it’s very honest about the sexual side of being gay. You don’t shy away from that; like, you’re never going to see the guy from Happy Endings having sex or making out. It’s still important not to scare people away from the sex and pretend it doesn’t exist.
In the beginning of the first episode, there’s less than three seconds of blurry gay sex and I guess kind of vulgar sex noises. We decided we needed to put that up front because if you can’t watch that, I really don’t want you watching the show.

I haven’t seen all of Girls yet, but what I’ve seen I feel is very accurate to my own experience in my twenties. And unfortunately, it’s a show about women rather than gay men. There has never been any sort of medium or art that I identified with that was written about a gay man. I always identify with women in films, sometimes men, but usually I react to things with such strong feelings and emotions that you don’t see straight men do that in film at all. It’s refreshing to see that in The Outs. Not only that, but you’ve got gay guys playing gay guys, which so rarely happens.
I saw Zachary Quinto in Angels in America last year, and I wanted to bring a fucking sign because I don’t think you get to be Louis in Angels in America if you’re in the closet. I was really pleased when he finally came out because I just wanted those kids in Ohio who liked Star Trek to know that Spock is gay. Spock! I have a friend that feels very strongly, that especially like a place in New York, only gay actors should be playing gay roles, and philosophically I really disagree with that because it goes against the idea of acting. That said, it is our total pleasure to have as many gay actors on the show as we do and—not that you need to have experienced it to act it, that’s not what acting is about—since it’s about New York and people and whatever, it helps. And we had experiences with one of the minor gay roles; a couple of them are played by straight men or whatever they want to identify themselves, and one of them asked, “Can you tell me if I’m going to have to do any guy on guy stuff,” and I was like, this probably isn’t a really great match because, no you’re not, but that’s not the point and I kind of don’t want you hanging around. Another straight guy said, “Whatever you want to do is fine, I don’t feel like making out with people on screen.” He handled that right. It’s just about how you handle these things and the level of sensitivity, because no gay actor will ever say, “Hey, am I going to have to, like, touch a boob?” Fuck off already. If you’re a professional actor, then put on your big boy pants and deal with it.

I don’t think that it’s inherently bad that straight actors are playing gay roles. It’s just the response to them being so brave for doing it…
It’s preposterous.

It just drives me up the fucking wall, especially because they’re usually playing someone whose going to die. But look at The Boys in the Band, which is still one of the most realistic gay films ever. All but one of the actors was gay, it was before Stonewall, and no one dies. Granted, that was before AIDS. And I think it’s very controversial but it speaks of such a specific time period that’s really not much different. I think that people are still going through the same issues and interacting in the same way. I think that we address self-hatred a lot differently than we used to, and we use it now to insult other people.
It’s a really funny thing. I noticed in the comments, which I usually don’t read, how differently people react to it. In the first episode, it opens with Jack having sex with someone, like anonymous intercourse, and one person wrote, “I really don’t appreciate the way you’re implying gay men in New York have anonymous sex all the time.” Right below it was a comment that said, “I can’t believe the person having anonymous sex has all this angst to deal with. Why can’t he just be a happy slut?” What people don’t get is that we’re telling a story about people. It’s not like we’re not calling it The Big Gay Show, or saying this is how all gay men are. We’re just trying to create a funny show that also honestly shows how people live their lives.