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Showing posts from April, 2024

Smothered: Season 1 & 2 (Web Series)

I am really surprised that despite this show having come a couple of years ago, I had not heard of it till very recently. An indie-made sitcom about a longtime gay couple who can’t stand each other and spend virtually every minute of screen time saying so in the most hateful ways possible, sounded fun to watch. In fact, I thought it may end up being like Vicious, one of my fav sitcoms from UK. Over two seasons of 7 and 8 episodes each, the best thing is this is short n short story format of anywhere 5-10 minutes, so it's a very easy breezy watch. Ralph and Randy have ben a couple for forever now. Ralph is a needy romantic still clinging to his fantasy of a happy-ever-after marriage, while Randy is a vain and unapologetically shallow serial cheater who eagerly jumps at any opportunity to spit venom at his nebbish-y spouse. To call their relationship dysfunctional would be putting it lightly, for example they even get turned on the they physically and verbally start to fight; leading

College Boys Live (Documentary)

Reality TV has become part of our everyday life now and most people are used to all kinds of content. But think back to the days of non smart phone, modem internet, technology just coming up with online chats and videos. College Boys Live is, I a documentary feature that follows a group of young gay men living - and performing- in a Florida house in which the inhabitants are under the constant scrutiny of multiple cameras. The footage from the house’s cameras is streamed live on a website.  College Boys Live gives many of its subscribers and performers a chance to experience a truly gay community. The site according to its owner, Zac, is not just about sex and sex chat. He states its main aim is self-empowerment: both for the boys and for the site’s members. Three new members join this house where they have to live minimum of 6 months. Zac likes to give the impression he is doing this for philanthropic reasons, and perhaps he is, we wont know. But the boys, all young and skinny and jus

Greta (Portuguese)

Greta is a very interesting film in more than one way.  The film gives us a very compassionate view on people willing to try be in love against all odds - their own convictions notwithstanding. Looking at marginalization through several lenses; including age, sexuality, gender and criminal life; this is a thematically ambitious but narratively very intimate and compassionate story of human relationships. Gay nurse Pedro is way past his retirement age but still goes to hospital everyday and takes pleasure in taking care of others. One night, his trans friend Daniela, who suffers form kidney failure, needs emergency bed in the hospital. But since doctors wont allow her in female ward , she doesn't want to go in the men's ward, which is the only place with some vacancy. So when a bloodied stranger is brought in at the hospital under suspicious circumstances, the supposedly morally upright Pedro helps to smuggle out the man who might be a criminal on the run from either a gang or t

Summoning Sylvia

A campy horror-comedy would be the best way to describe this film. The tagline of the film says  “she’s here, they’re queer, get used to it". You should ideally know exactly what to expect from the film. Camp laughters an nothing more, nothing less. You it totally depends on your taste whether you will end up liking this queer over the top comedy or not. The film begins with Larry being abducted by his three other friends for his bachelor party in upstate woods. They have managed to get a haunted house and while all fun and games are going on , they have deiced that they will summon the spirit. Rumor is that an old lady killed her son there in the house. Things are just progressing when unannounced, Larry's fiancĂ©'s brother shows up. He is clearly ex-military and the straight man to the queer quartet. As strange things begin to happen around the house they all slowly discover that they aren’t alone and perhaps what was meant as a spooky night of fun is slowly turning into

Liuben (Bulgarian)

In a Bulgarian mountain village, where prejudice simmers, a summer romance begins between two boys from different worlds. I just read this line and of course it sounded interesting to spend time on this film. This is apparently first openly gay film from Bulgaria and I must say, what a beautiful film it was ! I had minimal expectations but thanks to the gorgeous landscapes and some great acting, the film kept my attention throughout. Victor, who now lives with his older partner Jose in Madrid, returns to his mountain village in Bulgaria after 11 years to attend his grandfather's funeral. He missed home so he decides to stay for the summer and rekindle his relationship with is old village and his father. Things take unexpected turn, when an unlikely friendship with a local gypsy named Liuben, an 18 year old drifter, things change. Liuben wants to do something with his life. He is outgoing and he literally forces himself for Victor's friendship. Victor finds him attractive for su

For The Love Of DILFS - Season 2 (Reality TV Show)

OutTV's reality show "For the Love of DILF" is back with Season 2. I am not sure how big f a hit or flop was the first season, but I am sure the makers made some money, otherwise no one in their right mind would come up with season 2. As expected of season 1, this continues to be guilty pleasure in this domain and the concept is exactly the same as first season. 5 Daddies and 5 Himbos are out together in a mansion with wild card entries being thrown in here and there to spice things up, eventually leading to the couple winner of the show. The shows once again hosted by iconic  bisexual model herself, Stormy Daniels, who once again steps into the role of host, den mother, friend, and sometimes-relationship-counselor to the cast. The show serves as a platform for deeper conversations about age, appearance, and the diverse spectrum of desires within the gay community. It challenges viewers to question their preconceived notions and embrace a broader understanding of attracti

Bugie Rosse (Italian) [The Final Scoop]

A journalist goes undercover to investigate a serial killer case in the gay scene. Soon he finds himself in CRUISING territory. Sounds familiar? Of course, the1980 Al Pacino film dealt with this subject. I am not privy if this film was a remake or something but this Italian film which came out in 1993, is just about a decent watch. Even if we forget the production quality, the movie just doesn't offer enough thrills or tense moments that would have made this film an exciting watch. Gay men are being murdered ruthlessly and investigative journalist is trying to figure out the case. He has a beautiful wife who is an air hostess and his best friend is a magistrate who keeps asking him to help police with investigation rather than working on his own. He starts cursing in search of serial killer with his camera woman trying to get footage, but murders keep happening and somehow Marco is always near or have met the men who keep getting killed. One day he meets an enigmatic male hustler A

A Secretly Love (Thai Series)

I cant believe that this show is coming in 2024. Stories like this made sense maybe 8-9 years ago, but this show was so bland, uninteresting with bad story, zero chemistry and most importantly awful subtitles by the makers. Watching this show for 10 episodes of 40-45 minutes each was so excruciating. I mean, why did the makers even make this show? Pluem and Khonprot are engineering students and Khonprot is a junior. He has had a crush on Pluem since high school but has never been able to b open about it. Meanwhile Pluem is a womanizer but when his last girlfriend dumps him, he cant take it and he keeps going back to her apologizing. This duo is part of the college hazing team and this is how they know each other. Somehow they end up becoming close because that girl is neighbor with Khonprot and get to spend more time with each other. Khonprot is obviously excited by the prospect, but suddenly, out of nowhere, Pluem also starts taking interest in Khonprot. How/why is never explained. Al

All the Colours of the World Are Between Black and White (Nigeria)

Can anyone remember a gay Nigerian film. One quick search on my blog, I found online such story. SO naturally my expectations were quite up knowing that this Nigerian film had won the Berlinale Teddy Award. The summary said, "An understated but heart-wrenching look at the love between two men in modern-day Nigeria, where such love is forbidden, as the motorcycle courier and aspiring photographer grow closer as they explore Lagos." Sounds good! So let's see what this is all about. Bambino, a delivery bike driver, is a single man, very used to his ways of living. He is looking to a possible promotion, and given that he has a stable job, he doesn't hesitate to help neighbors financially where he can and is generous when people are late repaying him. A girl in his neighborhood that he is close friends with, like shim and make occasional advances but he keeps things at a distance. However, everything changes when he meets Bawa, a charismatic photographer, during a photo co

The Lair: OnlyFangs (Web Series)

There have been a plenty campy gay vampire films and when you watch them you know exactly what you are getting into. So I would blame no one but myself, that I did not keep my expectations in check. I should have realized that this show is going to be as trashy and as bad as most of those films, and then maybe I might have enjoyed this 6 part series of about 22-25 minutes each. A show about gay vampires and gay werewolves clash in an electrifying war for dominance in modern-day Hollywood, sounds like it might have some interesting moments at least. But alas, over the top bad acting and superficial direction cannot save this mess. Apparently this series is a sort of revival of HereTV’s cult classic series “The Lair”; which I have not seen, so my review is going to look at this strictly on its own. Hollywood's ancient power struggle ignites as 600-year-old vampire Landon Scott is summoned by the old ones to reclaim the city, but werewolf Charles refuses to yield, sparking a deadly co

Coffee Melody (Thai Series)

This Thai series started off well, but somewhere it just became very monotonous, or I guess it just wasn't dramatic enough for them to stretch it for 10 episodes and then add 2 more special episodes. And at 45 minutes each, it does become a significant time investment. I was very much into the story for first two episodes and was looking forward to it. There are issues, but they resolve quickly; which keeps the show very soft, romantic, fluffy and just excruciatingly slow. Duen Yi is a songwriter and is tasked by his music record company to write his nextsog. He has been doing various iterations but somehow hasn't been able to crack it. His best girl friend, Chan Chao, works for the record label and frequently checks in with him, but he is stuck. The duo goto a coffee shop to meet the lead singer of one upcoming band, which is where Dune Yi meets Pleng, the coffee shop owner who is very knowledgeable about coffee. Duen Yi is forward with his flirtatious advances, making his rom

And That's YOU (Cambodia Mini-Series)

Being touted as Cambodia's first BL series after their previous effort 'The Law Of Love' failed to find a sponsor at the last minute. I appreciate the makers for doing their best to complete the show. The show which aired 2 episodes just before covid was finally finished in 2022 with the last 2 episodes. Honestly the last episode also felt very rushed. Overall with 4 episodes of around 20 minutes each, the story could have been decent, but overall this mini series is nothing much to talk about from any perspective. The only thing worth noting is that at least someone is trying to do something different in a country where creating a BL show is probably not the easiest thing to do. The story is extremely basic. There is a shy gay guy who just keeps to himself and is an introvert. In parallel we meths straight guy whose girlfriend has recently broken up with him but he doesn't want to give up that easy and keeps going back to her. Now this girl finds the gay guy very cute

Hard Love Mission (Thai Series)

This small little mini series has a paper thin plot and offers almost nothing new. What's worse is that there is not even a proper romance. Oh well!! On a positive note side, the show is only 7 episodes of average 25 minutes with last 2 episodes being half size. A story about a journalist and an actor/model is as band as anything. Yoshi and his friend Ampere are reporters. Their boss wants them to interview Putter, one of the trendiest actors, but also an elusive one. Interestingly Yoshi knows the actor's manager and thinks he can get an interview. When they arrive at the beach destination, the manager calls Yoshi and tells him that because of an urgent work cannot come and asks him to become a temporary manager for Putter (given his prior experience in the field). Thinking that this could help him get the elusive interview to save his job, he agrees. The manager also tells him that the female co star Vivi will try to get too close so keep Putter safe from that. When Putter arr

Although I Love You and You (Japanese Series)

Although I Love You and You is a sweet and harmless and an optimistic romantic comedy. Ever since I visited Japan, I suddenly find myself enjoying these Japanese BL more and more. Here the city of Osaka is also a main character, and I just had a smile on my face since that was the first city I spent time in. Add to it a bit of food and restaurant, you have me sold. The slight over the top reactions in some of these shows has always fascinated me and thesis no different. Also one other thing that really stand out here is that the actors the show has taken look age appropriate unlike the Thai counterparts. At 10 episodes of each 22 minutes, this is a very breeze weekend binge that will surely put a smile to your face. The story is actually straight forward but very charming. Sakae is a small restaurant owner in Osaka who runs the business by himself. He has a regular set of people who come to his place. He has recently broken up with his boyfriend and wants to focus on work. One evening,

Serviced (Documentary)

This documentary of under an hour explores touch based service businesses including cuddling, erotic massage, sex surrogacy and sex work. Some people venture into this line of work as a side hustle, despite having another full time job and for others this is their full time job. Like it goes for many documentary styles, we meet 4-5 folks who fall in this category and who for various reasons are into the business of providing these services.  We meet a cuddle expert, who talk sabot how he wasn't also aware of this service but now he gets clients who like this but the guy also emphasized on the importance of consent. We do overlook how little touch we get every day. And how it can be emotionally taxing as well trying to look for someone to be intimate with -- so hiring someone just makes a lot of sense. There is another guy who talks about how he provides mostly BDSM massage services and how he gets repeated clients and there is something there that he fulfills desires of his clients

Something You Said Last Night (Canada)

I am all in for slice of life films, especially when they center around dysfunctional families where you get to see some drama. But I am also not for films like this one, where literally nothing happens. The film is essentially about a young post-op trans woman who goes on a vacation wither parents and her sister.  And her inner struggle to stay independent while also enjoying the comfort of someone caring for her. And thats it. There is no conflict or discussion around her being trans, in fact, it's not even the topic here, which makes me wonder why was this character chosen to be trans and what was the whole point. IMO , this character literally could have been any age, any gender and it wouldn't have made any difference whatsoever. Renata is a trans woman, who has lost her job but not told her parents. She is on a week long vacation with her parents and sister. She is a person of few words, and ducks behind doors and absconds to the lake to vape and contemplate, her chin res

Playboyy (Thai Series)

After all these years, finally there is a series where I eventually gave up. When you have a show of 14 episodes and each episode is over one hour long, you expect something out of it. Although with a name like this, I did keep my expectations minimum and trust me, I really tried to stay on. I understand the need for sex and explicit scenes and I am all up for it, but I thought that from the main story point of view of a missing person; something more substantial will be offered but sadly, this didn't happen. Looking at some of the other reviews, it feels like people have either loved it or hated it. I definitely fall in the latter category. There is a group of 5 students who are very close to each other. One of them Nant went missing a year ago and despite repeated attempts by police, he couldn't be found. One day his twin brother Nont comes back from US and joins these friends pretending to be Nant and starts living with them. He is seeking answers and makes up a story of his

La Huella de Unos Labios (Spanish) [The Trace of Your Lips]

A sensual story about sexuality, isolation, loneliness, survival and unexpected connections; these are the broad themes that the film maker is trying to tackle in this film set during pandemic times. The summary of the film sounded interesting and the two actors look good too, but this one and a half hour film is more artsy than I would have liked it to be . There are a lot of moments of nothingness and I feel this could have been a much more impactful film as a short story. The film starts with us seeing Ramon, an actor in B-grade movies. We also meet Also, an extra on the set who finds Ramon attractive. He is new to the city and unsure of he wants to stay. A few months pass, were we see how Also meets a few guys here and there, has hook ups with them and slowly get used to the gay world of Mexico City. Then Covid traps them all alone in their flats; Roman can't work and Aldo loses his job. A year later, with the Mexican military still patrolling the streets, Roman is bored alone

Barrio Boy

I dont know why, but I had expectations from this film but it ended up being a little underwhelming. I felt like a lot of characters were not developed properly and there were likely some time jumps which were not really explained properly. Regardless, this story of a Latino barber in a macho world, trying to come to terms with his sexuality during a hot and sweaty summer in Brooklyn, makes for an overall average watch. The landscape of Brooklyn is quickly changing and we meet Quique, a Nuyorican barber navigating his life. One day he sees an attractive Irish man on the street and feels attracted to him. We get to know him better, where he lives with his family and sometimes hooks up with guys online since he is DL. He has a decent group of friends but all wrapped up in the bullshit of macho-ism. One day, the Irish guy Kevin ends up helping Quique's mom with groceries and Quique is surprised to find him at his home. Anyway, soon a nice friendship develops between the two and they s

Pre*So: Season 2 (Filipino Series)

I knew exactly what I am getting into for season 2, having just finished the first season. We have almost all of the characters from first season reprise their role in this weird continuation of the story of So, one of the most unlikeable protagonists in BL world IMO. Anyway, more about the story ahead but yeah the weirdness and absurdity of the whole thing has not gone away. In fact the season ends in a lurch with a threat of a season 3. God save us. For now this season has 10 episodes of average 20 minutes. The first season ended with So's ex-boyfriend Pablo return to him. Having learned no lessons from the past, So falls in love again with Pablo knowing very well that Pablo will oscillate between him and his girlfriend. So also ends up meeting the real Pre, who lives in the same building whose picture was being used by the poser in first season, whose real name is Cruz. Turns out Cruz and Pre are step brothers and Cruz shows up asking for forgiveness, but So is very upset and ma

Pre*So: Season 1 (Filipino Series)

It is a waste of time just even writing a review of this extremely low production Filipino BL series. Clocking at 8 episodes of average 20 minutes each, it is not too much of a commitment, plus there is so much unnecessary fluff in the whole show that you can easily fast forward half of it. Now I am actually dreading watching season 2 of the show soon after. Our main protagonist is called 'So' on his Grindr nickname "So Lonely". He has recently broken up with his boyfriend Pablo, who told him that he has a girlfriend and would rather be with her. Extremely dramatic and heartbroken he wants to end his life but his straight best friend puts sense into him and asks him to move on using Grindr. There he meets a guy named Preston (Pre). He refuses to share details about himself, but had his pic on Grindr and the duo start chatting on phone everyday. So tell shim his whole story and Pre helps him to get out of his previous love and move on. In the process So starts falling

Eldorado: Everything the Nazis Hate (German/English) (Documentary)

This documentary strives to recreate the liberated lifestyles and queer excellence that thrived in Berlin’s nightlife in the 1920s;  a culture that was completely eradicated and nearly erased from memory by the rise of the Nazi party in the 1930s. Named after the pillar of this long lost queer community, Eldorado aims to be as much of a testament to the power of queer love as it is a history lesson. The film begins as a portrait of the queer nightclub Eldorado that flourished in 1920s Berlin before expanding to a wider portrait of Nazism and the erasure of history. It then goes to tell this important story through several smaller stories — each deserving of its own epic film. There’s tennis star Gottfried von Cramm and his dual love stories with queer woman Lisa von Dobeneck and gay Jewish man Manasse Herbst. There’s one of Hitler’s right hand men Ernst Rohm who believed his loyalty to Nazism would exempt him from queer persecution. There’s the still-living Walter Arlen recounting his

Te Estoy Amando Locamente (Spanish) [Love & Revolution]

This comedy/drama Spanish film is set in the 70s in Seville, when homosexuality was still a crime in Spain. This is the story of Reme, a traditional mother moved by the love of her son, an adolescent aspiring artist, and how she will become involved in the Andalusian LGTBI movement, paradoxically born in the bosom of the Church. We meet Reme anther son Miguel who are clearly very close. Miguel is just 17 and is preparing for entrance exams to go to university to become lawyer. His fatherhood committed suicide. Miguel likes to sing and dance but his mother's pressure to be a lawyer is his top priority. In parallel LGBTQ movements are going on and people trying to get governments attention. One day when Miguel sees a drag performer in a club, he gets very pumped up and is ready to realize that this is exactly what he wants to do and secretly starts hanging out with this group of people. When he flunks the entrance exam and his mother confronts him, they both have a huge fight where M

Mr. Cinderella 2 (Vietnamese Series)

The sequel to the Vietnamese series that showed us the love story between a reformed gangster and a doctor. The story here sort of continues, a few years later. They are now married and have been together for a few years. But even if you haven't seen the first season, there is no direct connection as such and you can still watch this season independent. This season brings in a villain that is trying to break the couple apart. Just like the predecessor, this season also has 8 episodes of about 30 minutes each. Khoa and Dung are happily married now and living together. Dung is now reformed and works in a coffee shop while keeping the house together with cooking, cleaning etc. At his private practice, Khoa gets a new doctor Khang who feels a bit arrogant and he likes to brag about his successses. One of his success stories is a skilled procedure where he helped a patient recover his arm after a traffic accident. Turns out this was no other than Khoa' step brother Thanh. Khoa was a