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Thread: Feeling Letdown

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    DFE
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    Feeling Letdown

    I have to admit disappointed that the most obvious choice for straight guy was (drum roll please) the straight guy. I kept thinking that it couldn't be that simple, and trying to find elaborate reasons why it wasn't, especially since television has conditioned us to seek the non-obviouse answer.

    The very first episode, when each of the Mates was introduced, I ticked off four of the guys as being straight, based on little more then their appearence. (Brain A, Dan, Franklin, and Sean) I didn't think it would be that easy. I kept thinking appearences are deceiving and I would be proven wrong, but that was not to be.

    On the final episode, I also wondered why they went out of the way to show Franklin isolated, always showing him alone at the end of a long table and even going so far as to have Brian and Wes wonder if they were excluding him. Did they think that the average audience member was that thick and they needed to spell it out for them so they too could be impressed with the acuracy of their gaydar? Were they trying be too clever and thought to make it look like Franklin is straight so everyone will think it's obviouse that it has to be someone else and then they will be shocked when it is him? Or perhaps, somewhere a long the line they stopped making a reality show with a twist and started doing a documentary, unable to resist the parallel between Franklin's situation of trying to fit in but in the end only able to go so far due to his deceptions and the lot of many gay people in society. Or maybe they just suck as producers.

    I don't know. Maybe I'm just not the right audience. After Franklin confessed that his love of classical music made people suspect his sexual preferences and that was the sort of misconceptions he was trying to dispell, I though, Liking classical music makes you gay? who knew?

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    FORT Newbie Rio Pacheco's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat...I was hoping that the outcome wouldn't be so obvious...

    I thought the final montage with the voiceovers from the various mates was a crock...this show is not about bringing gay and straight men together...it's purely for sensationalism and it subsequently made an ass of James, Andra, and the gay participants in the process...

    At any rate, I'm glad James selected a gay mate...I'm curious to know their status as of now...

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    While they had some clever ideas at various points of the series, like cutting back and forth to each of the finalists while James was talking to them at the end, for the most part I don't feel as if the producers really had a clear vision what they were hoping to do. The show was never sure of itself, it seemed like everything could blow up or fizzle out at any moment. The only truly touching moments for me were James' final words to Brian and Wes. I don't fell like we got to know anyone else well enough for the show to have the payoff it desired.

    Great idea, they should do it agian, but with some smarter (and MUCH more compassionate) producers next time.

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    I'm wondering if Bravo said, "Well... we can't afford to get a real producer to make this show... let's go grab some schmuck off the street, see how well he does!"

    Bottom line, is that it was a poorly produced, directed, and edited show... All twists set aside, it had the potential to be great... and while it wasn't bad, and I did enjoy it... it could have been SO much better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invero
    I'm wondering if Bravo said, "Well... we can't afford to get a real producer to make this show... let's go grab some schmuck off the street, see how well he does!"

    Bottom line, is that it was a poorly produced, directed, and edited show... All twists set aside, it had the potential to be great... and while it wasn't bad, and I did enjoy it... it could have been SO much better.
    You have it backwards. The producers create and develop the show and then sell it to Bravo for airing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolasdad
    You have it backwards. The producers create and develop the show and then sell it to Bravo for airing.
    LOL EXACTLY!!! I just love the dubious Monday morning quarterbacking here. Also, when you do a show like this THERE IS NO WAY for you to know how your series is going to end, UNTIL IT DOES. Saying that the producers didn't know what they wanted to do or where they wanted to take this is complete rubbish!

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    The show was edited all along to tell a story: Boy James Meets Boy Wes. A melodrama in six acts, with Mystery, a Threat, a final Confrontation with the Villain (Franklin's own choice of roles - had he chosen to take himself out, out of respect and friendship for James, he would be the Self-Sacrificing Hero), and a Romantic Finish. In retrospect, the amount of second guessing that went on here in the last couple of weeks seems almost ridiculous. It was a story all along. Right in the first episode: "Every romantic adventure needs a Leading Man..."

    Mind you, I agree that, even allowing for the stagey editing, it was edited BADLY: we saw far too little interaction between James and the 'mates' (and among the 'mates'), and what we saw was too often 'dating game questions'. On the other hand, too much time was spent in the _very_ long oh-so-Dramatic Selection scenes (Matt said on Yahoo that the champagne sat so long that it was flat and warm by the time they got it), Dani was the wrong hostess for this show (now, Miss Coco Peru would have been interesting...), and the bumper and 'next time' segments were repetitive - how many times did we see Dani tell James the 'twist'?

    I do wonder if the producers really understood how downright cruel the 'twist' would seem to many of us? I think they may have underestimated how really likeable and just plain decent James is, and how much the audience would identify with his point of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlex
    The show was edited all along to tell a story: Boy James Meets Boy Wes. A melodrama in six acts, with Mystery, a Threat, a final Confrontation with the Villain (Franklin's own choice of roles - had he chosen to take himself out, out of respect and friendship for James, he would be the Self-Sacrificing Hero), and a Romantic Finish. In retrospect, the amount of second guessing that went on here in the last couple of weeks seems almost ridiculous. It was a story all along. Right in the first episode: "Every romantic adventure needs a Leading Man..."

    Mind you, I agree that, even allowing for the stagey editing, it was edited BADLY: we saw far too little interaction between James and the 'mates' (and among the 'mates'), and what we saw was too often 'dating game questions'. On the other hand, too much time was spent in the _very_ long oh-so-Dramatic Selection scenes (Matt said on Yahoo that the champagne sat so long that it was flat and warm by the time they got it), Dani was the wrong hostess for this show (now, Miss Coco Peru would have been interesting...), and the bumper and 'next time' segments were repetitive - how many times did we see Dani tell James the 'twist'?

    I do wonder if the producers really understood how downright cruel the 'twist' would seem to many of us? I think they may have underestimated how really likeable and just plain decent James is, and how much the audience would identify with his point of view.
    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but, as a gay man, I wasn't the least bit bothered by the twist and I don't think the show would have been nearly as much fun without it. I think that, not only did the producers know exactly what they were doing, but they did it extremely well. And, as a result, they got just what they wanted . . . great ratings, and a show people are still debating the merits of.

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    I do have to admit that the final episode did feel almost like a letdown. Although I didn't necessary buy the theory (now proven fact) about the groupings (i.e. that Sean and Franklin, the two straight guys, were paired together to ensure a straight guy in the final three). Apparantly the producers underestimated the intelligence of the audience. Personally, I would have chosen Wes, and am glad that at least James did pick one of the two gay "mates".

    Like most series, "Boy Meets Boy" was not without its flaws. I admit, host Dani did tend to get on my nerves after about the second episode. Also, since Franklin did appear (even to fellow contestants) to be the most masculine of the group, the fact that he was straight wasn't a big shock. Perhaps unintentionally, the producers may have enhanced a stereotype that gay men aren't masculine. To be fair, several straight "mates" did appear questionable, like Paul and Jim. Also, since the producers had made known that an objective for the series was to break down stereotypes, such an enormous task would almost leave viewers with that letdown feeling.

    Also, lets face it, if "BMB" didn't have the gay angle, it would simply fade in with all the other relationship series out there. Usually I try to avoid those series (i.e. "Cupid", "The Bachlor/Bachelorette", "For Love or Money", "Joe Millionaire", etc.), but in a summer that also saw "Queer Eye..." get national headlines, a gay couple winning CBS's "Amazing Race" reality series, coupled with real-life headlines from the Supreme Court and the Episcopal Church made it seemingly relevant and cutting edge being the first same-sex relationship series. Without this fact, I may have avoided "BMB" as well.

    If Bravo decides to do a second "BMB", the producers will need to come up with a new twist, since future participants will have figured the premise out. (A similar problem arose when Fox decided on a second "Joe Millionaire".) Perhaps instead, Bravo could air a reality/documentary series that would follow James and Wes' relationship (ala MTV's series "Newlyweds"). Of course, that would presuppose that they are still together and didn't decide to remain just "friends".

    Long story short, it may have been better (from a viewer standpoint) if Franklin had turned out gay and shattered those previously mentioned stereotypes, but it didn't. But, as a previous reply stated, that going in producers had no idea who would make the finals. Perhaps the more ambiguous Paul would have made a better choice than Franklin, but that was a risk that producers took. Final grade, not a bad series (as far as reality goes, I've seen much worse), but almost guaranteed to fail given its lofty ambitions.

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