Queer as Folk U.S.
Now Approaching…The Line

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Now Approaching...The Line

The Big Q-Mart. Fat Marly is busy insulting a customer at the cash register. Mike walks up and asks her if she's busy that night, and Marly quips, "Do you know how long I've been waiting for a man to ask me that?" Hard to say. How long have you been alive? Anyway, Mike needs help with inventory check that evening. Marly says she's got church choir practice. What a shock. The bigot is a faithful church-goer. Has that particular stereotype reached cliché status, already? Tracy overhears their conversation and volunteers to help Mike out. Tracy does the girl-crush thing very well, up to and including the trembling inflection, like she just hastorushthewordsout! before she loses her courage. Poor SOL. Sucker. Mike has no choice but to thank her and say that it will only take a couple of hours. Marly snarks, "[Tracy] wouldn't mind if it took all night." Mike frowns managerially at her. And she's mean to customers, too. Fire her ass.

Oh, for crying out loud, Justin's mom has taken him to therapy. Therapy, for God's sake. Well, now we know where the Drama Queen genes come from. Like, try being a parent first before you humiliate your son in front of a psychiatrist. Jennifer Taylor tells the shrink that she and Justin used to be close, but Justin won't talk to her, he's running away from her (how she managed to drag his ass into this woman's office is beyond me), he lies about staying over at Daphne's when she knows he's not (then why do you let him go, MOM), and she's found..."things." Things? Naked sketches of men. The shrink's eyes widen in shock. Give. Me. A. Break. Dude, this is Pittsburgh, not Kashmir. I'm thinking a woman with a doctorate in Psychology would probably be able to deal. This scene annoyed the crap out of me, especially since I'm starting to feel sorry for Justin, cringing on the edge of the couch. Jennifer says she just has to know -- and the therapist finishes for her, "if he might be gay?" "Might"? Are you kidding? Isn't that why we're here? You think he went galloping down the street because he was tired of driving? You think P-Flag the Clown and Gay-Boy-Michael dropped Justin off because he couldn't get shipped by UPS? Oh, but here's the capper: Jennifer, not even waiting for an answer, and not even addressing her son, "He's only seventeen. He's too young to be having those feelings." The Gay Man/Single Girl World Coalition emits a single high-pitched shriek as I throw this month's issue of Cosmo into the TV screen. Oh, really? And how old were you when you were sure you wanted to have sex with men, Jenny? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. He's too young to have those feelings. Un-f'in believable. "Justin, how can you possibly know who you are?" Jennifer asks him. Wouldn't it be nice if you couldn't have sex unless you "knew who you were"? That certainly would have made the last five years of my life a hell of a lot easier. But I'm not bitter. No, wait -- yes I am. Jennifer totally deserves what she gets when the therapist asks Justin if he wants to say anything. Justin steels himself and says matter-of- factly: "I like dick. I wanna get fucked by dick. I wanna suck dick. I like sucking dick. And I'm good at it, too." Whatever else I say I might say about this kid, he's got balls to burn. Mrs. Taylor is on the verge of tears. The shrink has that bug-eyed look again, so will someone take away her license, please? "Well," says the shrink haltingly. "That's a start." Yeah, but where does she think the finish line is?

Luckily, my blood pressure is given a rest as the screen cuts to Brian giving an ad pitch to a man who owns a tire company. It's all metaphor: "Your existing campaign is solid, Mr. Telson, but you need more muscle to break out of the boring, family market box. Target males, of course, eighteen to thirty-four, featuring speed, fashion, visibility. You sponsor a NASCAR team, but you need a campaign to max the investment." Yeah, yeah, you're gay, you're hot. We get it. Brian's boss hypes him up with a little exposition -- Brian's their best ad exec, and his campaigns have won real-life awards, like the Clio. Telson's not impressed with Brian's creds, and is getting up to leave. Desperately, Boss Guy says that Brian's willing to go through different strategies with him, and later on, Brian can show Telson the town, getting him in anywhere he wants. Little does he know. Brian's boss asks, "Tell me, do you like baseball, Mr. Telson?" Brian visibly winces at the mention of sports. I'm still laughing my ass off at that one. Anyway, Telson says he has meetings in the morning, so he can't go out. Brian tries to stop him from walking out the door with promises of Steelers tickets and fun hi-jinks the next evening before he leaves town. Telson says he'll give him a call if he has time. Everyone's pretty dispirited when Telson leaves the room. Brian gripes that Telson's just going to visit every ad agency in town, steal their best ideas, and take them where he wants to. His boss replies, "You just make sure where he wants to take them is here." No good shall come of this. Heed my words.

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Queer as Folk U.S.




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