June 26, 2008

Popular Gay, Lesbian Series Out on DVD for Pride Month

By Tim Clodfelter, Winston-Salem Journal, N.C.

Jun. 26--June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and various DVD companies have released titles timed to the celebration. Here are some of the offerings:

The Big Gay Sketch Show: The Logo network's irreverent sketch comedy series is produced by Rosie O'Donnell and directed by Married... With Children veteran Amanda Bearse. It is a typical sketch comedy show but with an LGBT twist, with a mix of one-shot sketches and recurring skits with characters including Gay Werewolf. Some of the more popular skits are gay takeoffs on such shows as The Honeymooners, The Facts of Life, and Nanny 911.

The first and second seasons are available separately in two-disc sets, each including bonus sketches, interviews, bloopers and more.

Exes & Ohs: The Complete First Season: Another Logo series, this one is a sort of comedy version of The L-Word, centering on a small group of lesbian friends. The central character is Jennifer (Michelle Paradise), a documentary filmmaker looking for Ms. Right. The DVD has the first six episodes, plus bonus footage and interviews.

The Buddha of Suburbia: This 1993 BBC miniseries features Naveen Andrews, years before he became one of the stars of ABC's Lost. He plays Karim, a young man coming of age in 1970s London and dealing with his turbulent family, the stress of being of mixed races, and his sexual identity. The miniseries includes a terrific original soundtrack by David Bowie. The DVD includes audio commentary and a music video by Bowie.

Stonewall: The Stonewall Riots, a series of clashes between gay rights activists and New York police officers, is the background for this quirky, music-filled 1995 film, which blends a dramatic story with documentary-style interviews.

Tchaikovsky: This two-part BBC docudrama examines the life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the famed 19th-century Russian composer who some historians say they believe committed suicide because of the stress of being gay in a repressive society.

The DVD includes a bonus BBC special that looks at the controversy surrounding his death.

Shelter: This romantic drama follows a young surfer who falls in love with his best friend's older brother. The DVD includes commentary, a music video and a featurette.


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