As with Rick and Steve, the Dana-Kirsten dynamic is rich with potential for butch-femme humor, sexual or otherwise, but it largely goes untapped. Instead, the jokes revolve around lesbian/gay male relations and the difficulties of obtaining sperm. I’d much rather see Dana and Kirsten tangle with the mythic "lesbian bed death" and eroticize their differences than constantly obsess about reproduction and politics.
This is the one frustrating thing about Rick & Steve: Its spirit of irreverence is more successful in the gay men’s story lines than in the lesbians’ story lines.
AIDS jokes, porn references and borderline graphic sexual innuendo revolving around Rick, Steve, Evan and Chuck all test the boundaries of the relatively new realm of gay programming. The creators obviously aren’t afraid to take risks with their humor, so perhaps the same adventurous spirit will prevail in future Dana and Kirsten subplots.
But Rick & Steve, not unlike The Big Gay Sketch Show, does make one thing clear: It is programming by and for LGBT people. The humor isn’t explained for anyone who might not be in the know, and there’s no tiptoeing around sensitive issues that might make gays and lesbians look like anything other than shiny happy people to the heterosexual masses.
Dana and Steve loathe one another (Dana on Steve: "I’m sure that Abercrombie & Fitch has thrown up all over him. As usual."); Steve and Rick are swingers; "heroic" HIV-positive poster boy Chuck is a foul-mouthed nutbag.
This comedic warts-and-all approach is what has made Brocka’s films popular with so many gay men, and it works in this medium as well. I’m hoping that in the future, the lesbians get to have as much progressive, politically incorrect fun as the men do.
Rick & Steve premieres on Tuesday, July 10, at 10 p.m. ET on Logo. Visit www.happiestgaycouple.com for more info, videos, and photos, download the first episode from iTunes now, and watch a clip of Dana and Kirsten here:
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