Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The A-Holes

Did you know that there's a gay A-List in New York? Surely you must.  But did you also know that it's comprised mostly of nobodies who no one has ever heard of (or heard of briefly and then forgot) who basically do nothing, and talk about nothing? Well, if you have never known this, that gay bastion of cable, Logo, is seeking to set you straight. Or gay, as it were.

Now, I have been told by a few people in my time that I am a "nightlife" personality. I have also been called at least once (though by a drunken friend), "The King of the Twinks." I often deny these claims. I am not hunting for celebrity, nor am I interested in possessing any bit of it. NOR do I really think I am one (feel free to leave mean anonymous comments to cement me in this knowledge). I want friends, I want family, and I want money and thankfully I have those things... so I'm pretty set.

Anyway, in my occasional nightlife adventures, I do spend some time with actual personalities in the NYC gay scene - top tier drag queens that are bowed to on the street every day, promoters who have been throwing hugely successful parties for decades. These folks might be considered A-Listers. But even these people don't claim to be superstars (and the ones who do tend not to actually be one). They simply blush and/or blanch when you praise them.

This speaks to a basic fact: if you have to constantly announce that you are Big Shit, then chances are you're really not much of a somebody at all. Look at actual celebrities. They cover themselves in sheets to hide from papparazzi. They use fake names to check into hotels. They have to hide from the public for fear of being trailed all day by fans and admirers. Those are celebrities. 

Imagine my rage, then, when I stumbled upon this trailer for an upcoming reality show on Logo, titled "The A-List".

So what we have here seems to be a "Real Housewives-esque" reality show featuring gay men who are supposedly somebodies, though I had to spend minutes in Google figuring out who the hell any of them actually are. What they do is still left unknown. They seem to like swimming, sitting in restaurants, picking out ugly clothing, and mentioning the fact that they are on the A-List.

What defines being on the A-List, besides proudly stating "Am I on the A-List? Oh, definitely."? Apparently it includes eating at "the finest restaurants" (though no actual Gay-Lister should be caught consuming anything, if you ask me). It means weekending in the Hamptons in your skimpy bathing suit and it means getting "whatever you want, when you want it." That's their definition, not mine. So let's start there.

Newsflash: if the aforementioned is all it takes, then I passed about 40 A-Listers on my way to work this morning (and one of them might have been homeless). Fancy dining, expensive vacations, and facials (of both varieties) are staples of gay New York living, fellas. It's not like the rest of us are eating at McDonalds and vacationing at Lake George.

You're not on the A-List, you're just on camera. And even THAT isn't that special these days. Did you know all you really need to do is own a cake store or tanning salon in New Jersey to get a show? Yeah! That's it! Hell, you can just pop out a baker's dozen babies and TLC will be banging down your door for merchandising rights. You can even LOSE in another reality show, and STILL get your own show! This just in: I now am starring in a reality show, because I wrote about someone who lost a reality show and then got their own reality show. See you on the A-List!

If it's about access to parties, I have another news item for your consideration: in a recessed economy, anyone can get into just about any party. Just show you have some money and some friends. Or just give your email address to me or any other promoter in NYC. We'll SPAM the fuck out of you every week with FREE VIP access. You can be a superstar to all of your friends who delete my emails and have no idea that anybody who says "I'm on Justin Luke's List" gets in for free.

I think what gets me angriest about this show is how Logo seems to be positioning it. If this was a "check out these hot messes!" I would probably be all about it. Who doesn't like seeing liquored up disasters in super-tight jeans throwing up into their Vuitton murses? I know I would. But this is not what Logo is doing. This trailer makes the A-Listers' lives look oh-so-glamorous. From vacant boutiques to wood deck-wrapped swimming pools, all the while fabulously skipping up the ladder of celebrity, we are to idolize these Gay Listers and want to be them.

I give you Logo's description of the show: They're stacked, packin', fierce and ambitious! From the producers of The Real Housewives of Atlanta comes The A-List: New York--a new docu-reality show following members of New York's gay elite plus their families, best girlfriends, and pocket dogs as they navigate being fabulous in the city.

Stacked, packed, fierce and ambitious!? That sounds more like a teetering pile of lions, suitcases, and investment bankers. Which would probably make a better reality show, if you ask me. And how does one actually "navigate" being "fabulous"? Is it really that complicated? Because these boys just told us they get what they want, when they want it, and where they want it. That doesn't sound very difficult. So unless the show's producers plan on blindfolding them and forcing them to traverse a catwalk suspended 100 feet above a bad neighborhood in Spanish Harlem, I don't think there's much drama or intrigue to be found here.

But that's not all!

It seems like Logo can't even decide if we're meant to laugh and be embarrassed on behalf of these boys, or not. Because while the trailer yaks up gallons of glitz and glamour, on the show's description page they cheer: If you thought the housewives were desperate, wait 'til you meet the houseboys!

Wait, so they're all houseboys? No, they aren't. I think one is a photographer. Another one a model. Agador Spartacus they are not.

So are they desperate and pathetic? Or hot-to-trot and enviable? Logo, make up your mind, and fast. You can't have it both ways. The trailer says "be jealous" and the marketing says "take pity." I don't think humankind is capable of both simultaneously. And frankly, in the end, viewers will probably take pity on themselves and be jealous of people who spent the same half hour staring at a wall.

You may have noticed I haven't even MENTIONED the names of Logo's "A-List" in this post. That is because I don't know them, and don't care enough about them to re-Google to get those names. Feel free to do so if you please, but I've already wasted enough minutes on these guys. I know one is named Mike Ruiz, because he shares a last name with an ex-boyfriend of mine. I also know another cast member's name sounds like Rhyming Lemoncool. I think. Maybe.

Point is: you're not A-List if nobody knows you. For fuck sake, Kathy Griffith is on the D-List and I know her and her mother better than I know any of you. And if you define yourself by pricey food and fancy clothing, then get in line behind the other 400 guys just like you who are wrapped around the entrance to any gay bar in this fair city. (And say my name at the door, so they keep paying me).

The kicker is that, assuming this show isn't immediately canceled, you boys WILL be some sort of New York City A-Listers. And I'll have to stand idly by as we pay you to appear at our parties, and people flock to see you in the flesh.

Fuckin A'

- J.

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