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Thread: Boy Meets Boy Final Thought

  1. #11
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    mmm. I think there are many ways to enjoy and criticize the show (as you would know if you read all the great posts on this forum) -- you probably took the most unenjoyable... which is entirely your right. Perhaps you were looking for a more typical reality show type atmosphere, where the producers purposefully bring together a bizarre group of people and plot them against each other. We sit back with our popcorn and friends and make fun of the lengths people go to to 'outwit and outplay' each other.

    This show has obviously been plugged to the audience and the participants as some kind of 'first-step' in the movement for exposure of gays on tv as well as some kind of social experiment. Whether or not you or others agree that this was sincere (or just a way to get the show on tv and seen by as many people as possible) is another case entirely... We know for a fact that the producers did not have open auditions -- instead they went out to various establishments and recruited people. We know now that they did convince the guys that since it was the first of its kind, they wanted to address the issue of gay/straight relations, and breaking down barriers. The greater public had differing reactions to this intention -- and to the twist itself, which caused some uproar by people who felt it was cruel and unneccessary.

    The bottom line -- most of these guys were there with earnest, respectful intent. If they were told that this was about snatching the guy at any cost, or to create soap opera and backstabbing drama, and if the producers had picked people who were willing to be that way, we would have gotten a different show. Given that the participants agreed to do the show for well-intentioned reasons (or at least they used the well-intentioned reason as a secondary excuse to get their faces on tv), I think the show turned out sweet. It may be too boring for you, but most people are pretty tame when it comes to dating; there are many steps, careful considerations, lots of conversation, etc. And these guys, who knew that they weren't doing this just for fun, but also as a 'first step' to many things gay on tv, you can't really blame them for being more restrained than those on other reality shows. It wasn't a show about sex and scandal; it was more about making everything be un-extreme, un-stereotyped, and something that the middle-america viewership could look at and take the first sip, get used to the idea.

    I think the fact that they chose someone like James and Andra who was coming into the show with a respectful and hopeful attitude about finding a good potential mate, was a good one. Maybe in follow up BMB-type shows, you'll get more of what you're looking for, and a more exciting leading man to fit your tastes, more raucous behavior, etc. As it is, the participants of this BMB series were very upset about the twist; it was discussed in another thread, but there is a theory that b/c the gay participants were so upset, the producers changed the general feel of the show to reflect something more personal, decent, and 'serious' towards the end.

    Things happen in incremental steps, and I feel like it did a decent job of making that first step happen. Because of this show, some time down the road we may have a more crazy gay dating shows -- something that is more ridiculous fun than self-conscious social experiment. It still was tremendous fun to watch, and especially chat with with my fellow FORT friends.
    Last edited by foody; 09-06-2003 at 08:37 PM.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by foody
    mmm. I think there are many ways to enjoy and criticize the show (as you would know if you read all the great posts on this forum) -- you probably took the most unenjoyable... which is entirely your right. Perhaps you were looking for a more typical reality show type atmosphere, where the producers purposefully bring together a bizarre group of people and plot them against each other. We sit back with our popcorn and friends and make fun of the lengths people go to to 'outwit and outplay' each other.

    This show has obviously been plugged to the audience and the participants as some kind of 'first-step' in the movement for exposure of gays on tv as well as some kind of social experiment. Whether or not you or others agree that this was sincere (or just a way to get the show on tv and seen by as many people as possible) is another case entirely... We know for a fact that the producers did not have open auditions -- instead they went out to various establishments and recruited people. We know now that they did convince the guys that since it was the first of its kind, they wanted to address the issue of gay/straight relations, and breaking down barriers. The greater public had differing reactions to this intention -- and to the twist itself, which caused some uproar by people who felt it was cruel and unneccessary.

    The bottom line -- most of these guys were there with earnest, respectful intent. If they were told that this was about snatching the guy at any cost, or to create soap opera and backstabbing drama, and if the producers had picked people who were willing to be that way, we would have gotten a different show. Given that the participants agreed to do the show for well-intentioned reasons (or at least they used the well-intentioned reason as a secondary excuse to get their faces on tv), I think the show turned out sweet. It may be too boring for you, but most people are pretty tame when it comes to dating; there are many steps, careful considerations, lots of conversation, etc. And these guys, who knew that they weren't doing this just for fun, but also as a 'first step' to many things gay on tv, you can't really blame them for being more restrained than those on other reality shows. It wasn't a show about sex and scandal; it was more about making everything be un-extreme, un-stereotyped, and something that the middle-america viewership could look at and take the first sip, get used to the idea.

    I think the fact that they chose someone like James and Andra who was coming into the show with a respectful and hopeful attitude about finding a good potential mate, was a good one. Maybe in follow up BMB-type shows, you'll get more of what you're looking for, and a more exciting leading man to fit your tastes, more raucous behavior, etc. As it is, the participants of this BMB series were very upset about the twist; it was discussed in another thread, but there is a theory that b/c the gay participants were so upset, the producers changed the general feel of the show to reflect something more personal, decent, and 'serious' towards the end.

    Things happen in incremental steps, and I feel like it did a decent job of making that first step happen. Because of this show, some time down the road we may have a more crazy gay dating shows -- something that is more ridiculous fun than self-conscious social experiment. It still was tremendous fun to watch, and especially chat with with my fellow FORT friends.

    I personally enjoyed the show the way it turned out. However I do have a couple of toughts/questions that I wonder about. Several of which occured to me after reading James' various intervies.

    Only the straight guys were told about the "breaking of stereotypes" aspect of the show. None of the gay mates know about it until the show had ended is my understanding.

    And since there was the confrontation that led the "reunion type" aspect of the show not to be shown I have to wonder if it hadn't occured would the show have been more in line with what the previous poster seems to have wanted to see.

    And I guess unless Bravo choses to release a "unedited" "behind the scenes" DVD of the show we may never know.

    Seth

  3. #13
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    Even Wes thought James was a little too self-restrained. Recall on the carriage ride when Wes wanted to open the champagne, but James was too afraid it would make a mess. As if it was a serious life consideration. Wes teased him by sarcastically saying he was so "adventerous". "I vote no", James said. After some arm twisting, he finally gave in.

    That pretty much sums up his personality in a nutshell.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Much Coffee
    Even Wes thought James was a little too self-restrained. Recall on the carriage ride when Wes wanted to open the champagne, but James was too afraid it would make a mess. As if it was a serious life consideration. Wes teased him by sarcastically saying he was so "adventerous". "I vote no", James said. After some arm twisting, he finally gave in.

    That pretty much sums up his personality in a nutshell.
    LOL -- you really don't like him, do ya?

    ah well...

    I think in that scene, Wes was struggling with the bottle and basically said "let's see, can I open this without making a mess?" and James said "I vote no"... he was teasing Wes that he was going to make a mess, not that he shouldn't open it for fear of making a mess. At least that's what I heard...

    but you're right -- Wes did comment on the cliff scene that Wes himself was still holding back a little b/c he felt James was being careful (remember, this was the last date, when James was on his suspicious mode)... so he did pick up James's reserved personality. Which is not altogether a bad thing -- it kept Wes on uncertain footing, and heightened the whole 'nervous' thing within Wes, which created a better release/relief for the culminating selection scene. I liked that Wes picked up on that and sort of matched his step to James. Wes was always so self-assured, that it was endearing to see him feel vulnerable during those last two days.

  5. #15
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    James took the process extremely seriously. If they choose someone who was more relaxed and playfull about the whole process, realizing that given the circumstances you couldn't be expected to make very good choices and that if more then one interested him, he could hook up with them after the show - well the show would have had a whole different vibe. I think the producers selected someone who would really agnonize over the eliminations it could add to the drama and make it that much more gut wretching when he learned off the twist. Plus they wanted to show that gay men take dating and romance seriously too, and are not just always looking for sex. It also made James very sympathetic to the audience, because it just seemed so decent.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFE
    James took the process extremely seriously. If they choose someone who was more relaxed and playfull about the whole process, realizing that given the circumstances you couldn't be expected to make very good choices and that if more then one interested him, he could hook up with them after the show - well the show would have had a whole different vibe. I think the producers selected someone who would really agnonize over the eliminations it could add to the drama and make it that much more gut wretching when he learned off the twist. Plus they wanted to show that gay men take dating and romance seriously too, and are not just always looking for sex. It also made James very sympathetic to the audience, because it just seemed so decent.


    true -- though ironically in the end he made his choice from mostly the 'who to take on the trip' angle anyway ... (according to his interview) Wonder if they'll go rock climbing again!?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by foody
    LOL -- you really don't like him, do ya?
    In all fairness, I can't say that I completely dislike James. I just don't like alot of his characteristics that were displayed on the show. I'm sure in real life he could very well be a more likable person. I'm also sure that Bravo edited out alot of material which could have shown James in a different light.

    Actually I liked Franklin alot, and I'm still venting my frustration that he happened to be one of the straight guys. Even though I always suspected he was straight, I held on to that chance that he was genuinely an exception to many stereotypes. He's the guy that I identified with the most on the show.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Much Coffee
    In all fairness, I can't say that I completely dislike James. I just don't like alot of his characteristics that were displayed on the show. I'm sure in real life he could very well be a more likable person. I'm also sure that Bravo edited out alot of material which could have shown James in a different light.

    Actually I liked Franklin alot, and I'm still venting my frustration that he happened to be one of the straight guys. Even though I always suspected he was straight, I held on to that chance that he was genuinely an exception to many stereotypes. He's the guy that I identified with the most on the show.
    awww... a lot of hearts plummetted when Franklin came out straight. Though I felt from the beginning that he was just too beautiful!

    There was a moment, right after James confronted Franklin, and Franklin said, "I'm sorry.." and sort of shook his head -- for a second, I thought it was "I'm sorry, I don't understand -- why would you think I'm straight?" or something like that... My heart got whacked this way, and then that way when he finally clarified by saying "You are correct". I was disappointed mostly b/c that first "I'm sorry" got me all turned around!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by foody
    awww... a lot of hearts plummetted when Franklin came out straight. Though I felt from the beginning that he was just too beautiful!

    There was a moment, right after James confronted Franklin, and Franklin said, "I'm sorry.." and sort of shook his head -- for a second, I thought it was "I'm sorry, I don't understand -- why would you think I'm straight?" or something like that... My heart got whacked this way, and then that way when he finally clarified by saying "You are correct". I was disappointed mostly b/c that first "I'm sorry" got me all turned around!
    Yeah, one of those hearts was mine. But, let's look at the young man objectively:

    He was certainly not ashamed to verbalize a lot of his thoughts and experiences, which made him, to me and many others, I believe, an extremely interesting person, despite the drop-dead gorgeous looks;

    In his closing V/O he said that "he wouldn't be categorized"; which may be his way of saying that he's keeping his (sexual) options open; hardly the first one to do that; after all, despite what our conservative "friends" may say, life is very much full of gray areas, and not black and white;

    Matt has already stated elsewhere that Franklin (or John, as his name may turn out to be) was under the same stringent contractual rules re-garding "backing out" or walking away; however, that makes me question Matt's very candid "I want off" as played in the opening moments of episode 6; what's the difference? It would be interesting if Matt or one of the other mates went through the "rules" with us.

    Right now he's getting mightily castigated by many, but is that really fair? Without knowing about "the rules" and, indeed, living in his skin for those final days, we probably will never understand fully what he was feeling. I'm not willing to write him off as a mercenary on a two-fold mission.

    Just my .02.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Much Coffee
    Actually I liked Franklin alot, and I'm still venting my frustration that he happened to be one of the straight guys. Even though I always suspected he was straight, I held on to that chance that he was genuinely an exception to many stereotypes. He's the guy that I identified with the most on the show.
    I was indifferent to Franklin during the show and pegged him as straight pretty quickly, but in rewatching the final two episodes and reading the post interviews I can understand the anger toward Franklin in particular from James and Andra. I think the show edited a lot of Franklin's conversations and manipulation of Andra to make him look more favorable. He played her and I think James didn't like it. Both have said in interviews and in the final episode that the only reason Franklin was there over Sean was due to Andra. James wasn't seeing Franklin as a #1 choice (like the show tried to portray), but Andra was selling him outright. She said so in the finale. James seems to be the type of person who thinks things out very carefully (maybe too carefully), and his dislike of Franklin (in particular) I think comes from how he played Andra, hurt her and lied up and down the map. He said in one interview that "Andra was the only one there for pure reasons. No trip to get, nothing to gain" and I think that bothers him the most that she was hurt by it. Again, it was a game but I think the $25K ticket at the end for Franklin doesn't sit him in a fair light. I don't think the others played (or were as good at it) Andra as well. Hurt me, I'll deal with it. Hurt my best friend, I'll write you off. I'd write him off too--not worth either one's time or effort. In the long run, the editing and final portrayal by Bravo was very good and ultimately gave James what he originally wanted "to portray gays with romance in a good light". All of the editing, the cast chosen and James himself did that. I hope things work out for him & Wes and they at least have a great time on the trip.

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