Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

Somebody Somewhere: Season 1 (take 2)

February 17, 2023

Second time around watching this pitch perfect series. Bridgett Everett and crew create a beautiful small town lost soul experience. So much connection and so much precision. Click here or on the image for the full review.


The Golden Girls: Ageless

February 3, 2023

Reelz Originals presents a new documentary, The Golden Girls: Ageless on the continuing love for Dorothy, Sofia, Blanche, and Rose. Under an hour, the show talks about the reasons we still worship this perennial favorite and all the ways fans share their love these days including a Golden Girls cruise, a new book, new merch, and even a significant place at the Comic Cons table. And not so surprising – 3 of the talking heads are gay men. So much fun realizing I’m not the only stan in the house. Narrated by Valerie Bertinelli who starred with Betty White in Hot in Cleveland, I give The Golden Girls: Ageless a 3 out of 5.

Watch The Golden Girls: Ageless on Tubi.TV for free.


Interviews: Zelenskyy, Brunson, and Springsteen

December 19, 2022



Three big interviews aired recently on streaming services. All are worthwhile in their own right.

  1. David Letterman flew to Kiev and interviewed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on a subway platform far below the ground where the war with Russia rages on.
  2. Oprah Winfrey interviewed Quinta Brunson the creator of Abbott Elementary.
  3. Howard Stern interviewed Bruce Springsteen.

For various reasons, all three of these are excellent choices. President Zelenskyy’s interview speaks intimately and urgently. Quinta Brunson’s interview showcases a new generation’s voice. And Bruce Springsteen’s interview covers an entire career.

Zelenskyy’s interview currently streams on Netflix.
Brunson’s interview aired on OWN, and currently streams on HBO Max and Discovery+.
Springsteen’s interview currently streams on HBO Max.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

October 15, 2022

Based on the 2012 tinsel town tell-all, Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2018) follows Scotty Bowers in his later years (90+) as he reminisces on his post-WWII life acting as a sort of sweet pimp to the stars. The book and documentary have a polarizing effect on the public. There are people who laugh at the absurdity of Scotty telling tales after all these stars are dead and gone. And there are other reasonable people who feel like it has to be true, simply because of the pressure the studio system put on its stars from the 40’s and beyond – they had to have some way of blowing off steam so to speak. Told with frankness and kindness, Scotty comes off as sort of a Mother Teresa of the Hollywood underground sex scene in the second half of the 20th Century. At first, I dismissed Scotty. Then I finally sat down and watched the documentary. There are so many threads of truth – Rock Hudson, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, I can’t help but think a lot of this must be true, even if it might also be embellished. The oddest part of the reveal was not the Hollywood name dropping. It was the idea that in his 60’s Scotty would marry a woman who had no idea of his past. He never told her about his past. And then when he publishes the book, she wants no part of it. She’s also obviously homophobic in one scene. Why would a man who is gay or fluid or bisexual marry someone who’s not accepting of LGBTQ folk? And why would Scotty keep that part of his life from her, if he indeed celebrated sexuality his entire adult life? He seems so gleeful about sex and his part in helping others, even as he remembers the best times of his life well into his 90’s. In some ways I suppose Scotty embraced the modern definition of the word queer long before this new generation. Whatever you believe or don’t believe, Scotty’s tale is a salacious, saucy story. Lots of fun. None of the sex stories made me cringe. His hoarding in multiple homes really made me cringe. But the truth to his sexcapades whether they are true, false, or what I believe – somewhere gloriously in-between do make you wonder about the rigidity of the Hollywood system, and the people who bought into it to work and become stars. Whatever you believe, there was a lot of hormones pinging. 3.5 out of 5.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood currently streams on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Plex, PlutoTV, Tubi, and The Roku Channel.

The Partridge Family on Prime

September 17, 2022

Amazon Prime is currently streaming all four seasons of The Partridge Family (1970-1974). Take a wild ride back in time to that psychedelic bubblegum bus which transported all of us to a Friday night escape from some very dark times. I chose the cruise episode where Laurie goes on a date with a fabulist. And the Lauriebelle episode where Keith convinces Laurie to impersonate a southern belle and pose as his fake date to impress a girl he’s interested in. That initial scene with Keith, Danny, and Laurie cracks me up every time I watch it. Whatever you watch, have fun!

The Partridge Family currently streams on Amazon Prime.
Read Reel Charlie’s 50th Anniversary of The Partridge Family from 2020.

Only Murders in the Building: Season 2

August 27, 2022

Only Murders in the Building gets better in Season 2. Part of me may have embraced this cozy mystery come to life or maybe the scripts and delivery just got better. Whatever the reason, I laughed out loud during every episode. Was shocked by many of the reveals. And had no idea who the killer was until the shocking finale. Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez hit their stride together giving us Jessica Fletcher in on her own jokes realness. Loved so many of the secondary characters including gasp! Shirley MacLaine, Ryan Broussard, Jackie Hoffman, Michael Cyril Creighton, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Andrea Martin. Steve Martin’s character’s arc is particularly smarty pants funny as they make fun of a mediocre 80’s TV star making a comeback. Martin Short delivers potty mouth one-liners that make us sing. And Selena Gomez continues her dead pan parody of an aimless, rich, Millennial. Truly a fun way to spend a Tuesday evening. Upping my score to a 4 out of 5.

Only Murders in the Building currently streams on Hulu.

Loot: Season 1

August 21, 2022

Maya Rudolph stars as a fictional Mackenzie Bezos kind of character, a woman who spent her life supporting her richer than god tech husband only to divorce him in this fictional story after an affair with a younger woman. Loot is full of great actors. Aside from Maya, there’s Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Pose), Joel Kim Booster (Fire Island), Nat Faxon, and Ron Funches. Ron in particular steals nearly every scene he’s in. I wanted to be his best friend. I kind of ached to be his best friend. It’s also refreshing to see Michaela effortlessly play a cis gender female role. The show is not amazing, or a must-see. It’s low key comedy with some drama mixed in. It’s a perfect Friday night I’m exhausted after working all week kind of show to smile and enjoy. And the cliff hanger final episode guarantees they want to return for a second season. 3.5 out of 5.

Loot currently streams on Apple TV+.

Uncoupled: Season 1

August 11, 2022

I watched the entire first season of Uncoupled, the television series from Sex and the City creator Darren Star about a 40-something gay man in New York City who gets dumped by his long-term boyfriend and must cope as a single person in a new era very different from the one he left 17 years ago when he coupled up. Neil Patrick Harris plays Michael the newly single gay man. From the start, there was something unappealing about Harris’s role. Michael felt too whiny, too privileged, too clueless. He would have made an ok supporting character, but as the lead, it got tiring hearing him complain every episode about how awful it is to be single. Really? You’re an upper middle class cis white man living in New York City. STFU. Also he makes inappropriate cringy comments about life in 2022 that no self-aware gay man living in New York City with older single friends would make. I winced too many times during every episode I watched. In hindsight, I think his work partner Suzanne played by Tisha Campbell would have made the better lead. She’s a single Mom, never married, her adult son still lives with her. She’s aware of the world and realizes her place in it. And is still striving each day to make her life fabulous. Michael’s gay male besties seemed too one-dimensional – the overweight art dealer who can’t find a boyfriend… the sex-crazed local weatherman who can’t settle down. They could have kept these characters exactly as they are but made the art dealer actually be able to find a perfect boyfriend/husband and have the weatherman actually enjoy his non-committal sex life without everyone always judging him. We needed more Samantha Jones in that character. And then there was the Marcia Gay Harden character who was a walking caricature. Ugh what a waste of a great actor. I wish the show was better. It could have easily been a perfect summer of 2022 guilty pleasure. Instead, I’ve talked several friends out of starting it. There are too many great TV shows out there, this one can easily be skipped. The city never looked so good, so kudos to the cinematographers. The characters? Not so much. 2 out of 5. Next.

Uncoupled currently streams on Netflix.

Królowa (Queen)

July 17, 2022

Currently airing, the Polish short series, Królowa (Queen) follows 70-something ex-pat Sylwester who fled Poland as a young gay man after he tried to be with a woman and she ended up pregnant. Now living in Paris for his entire adult life and having an extremely successful bespoke suit business, Sylwester also is a celebrated drag queen who as the series opens is retiring from performing. The show has some formulaic tropes, particularly The Full Monty without the Monty feel, the tragedy brings people together, and the family heals. Also, Antoni Porowski shows up in a cameo that’s more distracting than it should be. Overall however the series is really sweet, joyful and proves that all different kinds of people can coexist if they simply allow each other to breathe and be themselves with respect. I enjoyed Queen, especially the portrayal of older people as vibrant and still interested in being a part of the world. Andrzej Seweryn brought a nuanced elegance to the lead character, Sylwester who abandoned the mother of his child and his daughter to find his way in the world. Today younger people would figure out how to meld relationships and responsibilities together. Back in the early 70’s, there were few options for gay men other than to flee their hometown and hope for a better life somewhere else. Homophobia and family restrictions encouraged straight people to cut ties and forget their gay relatives ever existed. The series is a reminder that things can get better, although Poland is still known to be virulently homophobic, sanctioned by the government and the Catholic Church. Maria Peszek and Julia Chetnicka play mother and daughter perfectly with Julia’s Iza shining brightly bringing her family together while creating a new one, all the while fumbling through her own life. Sylwester’s best friend Corentin played by Kova Réa was hands down my favorite character. I wish he had a bigger role. While Slywester had very crisp binary sides to his personality – stylish, masculine suit maker by day, larger than life tasteful drag queen by night, Coretin really brought style and elegance to his complete immersion into gender fluidity. He lived it day and night. Coretin combined masculine and feminine perfectly creating his sexy older self. Really great physicality between the two characters showing different gender paths taken. The more I write about Queen, the fonder I feel about it. It’s easy, simple premise pulls you in, but it’s low-key lessons of love and inclusion keep you watching this 4-part limited series. 3.5 out of 5.

Królowa (Queen) currently streams on Netflix.



Downton Abbey: A New Era (take 2)

July 11, 2022

The 4K disk for Downton Abbey: A New Era arrived this week. Simply gorgeous. Love watching at home with the clarity of HD disks to enjoy. Click for an updated review of this fan favorite second film. Glorious!

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