Desperate for the Housewives, Episode 1.20
"The only queer people are those who don't love anybody"
-Rita Mae Brown
As I mentioned in Episode 1.05 [TV Doesn't Suck Anymore, Comparatively], I'm a big fan of good shows on the Boob Tube. One of the best of the crop is obviously ABC's megahit Desperate Housewives. Despite the Vanity Fair dust-up, I think the Housewives are here to stay-- for at least the five seasons it'll take them to get to syndication.
One of the most interesting developments on the show is Marc Cherry's exorcising his gay demons with the arc involving Bree Van De Camp [Marcia Cross] and her newly-gay son Andrew [Shawn Pyfrom]. Andrew has already been spotted in a wet and wild naked make-out session with Ryan Carnes' [of 'Eating Out' "fame"] gay gardener character, but is preparing to go to a 'very dark place' next season. Apparently, young Andrew will be using his sexuality as a weapon to irk the holier-than-thou Bree. All this because his mom thinks he's going to the sodomite circle of Hell?
There are a few problems I have with this scenario. First, Andrew would probably be going to hell anyway for just being the huge jerkface that he is. Sodomy is probably one of his lesser evils.
Second, and I'm sorry to his fans, but Shawn Pyfrom is not a great actor. At least, he hasn't been throughout most of his scenes in the first season. He can't pull off stoned, he has trouble showing emotions that aren't typical teen in nature, has mediocre reaction shots [at best]. He's not going to be able to pull this off without making his character looking totally over-the-top unnaturally evil.
Third, while Cherry's writing is still absolutely top-notch, it actually seems to weaken when he pulls from real life. Yes, the "I'd still love you even if you were an ax murderer" line was great, but the subsequent scenes were lackluster for DH.
Fourth, I know it's probably great for ratings to have a super-evil character doing mischief through sex, but aren't gay people kinda pissed? I mean, here they are with a gay guy running the most popular, zeitgeist-y show on tv, and he makes the 'gay character' an already-loathed bad boy and sex-crazed teenager? Isn't that kind of like a Spike Lee joint starring R. Kelly as himself?
But I guess I'll have to wait and see how it all unfolds. Maybe Pyfrom will get better as his character develops, maybe he won't malign all gay people with his performance and maybe Cherry can excise his demons and get on with his life. But sadly, I'm not hopeful.