‘DTLA’ Comes To Logo – Could The Show Bring A Different Type Of Gay To Cable TV?
Within the past five years both network and cable television have seen a dramatic increase in the presence of LGBTQ themes, characters, situations and gay culture coverage all around. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been in the best light.
Recently we’ve seen the success of the character Lafayette on HBO’s True Blood series, Noah’s Arc becoming nearly a mainstream classic, and even the real-life extreme of Morehouse ‘Mean Girl’ College’s strict dress code forbidding a myriad of attire choices including cross-dressing. Needless to say, good and bad, the LGBTQ community, and more importantly, the minorities within that community have not gotten the best representation to the viewing public.
Enter DTLA, Logo TV’s newest scripted drama, which stands for Downtown LA where the story takes place. DTLA follows Lenny (played by Darryl Stephens of Noah’s Arc fame), SJ (played by actor/writer/producer Marshelle Fair) and their trail mix brand of friends all at pivotal points in their personal and professional lives. Stephens’ character is a civil litigation attorney trying to save his long-term relationship before it slips through his fingers, and from the looks of the extended trailer, gone are his effeminate mannerisms and gestures we’ve all grown to know and love. Rarely do we get to see this this particular brand of black homosexual male, and the only other widely popular alpha male gays on television are Mitchell from ABC’s Modern Family, and newcomer David Murray on NBC’s The New Normal. That’s not to say some of your old favorites aren’t still written in. Kai is your stereotypical “hook-up” gay; Trey, the baby of the group whom the trailer hints could possibly be a drag queen, and even Marky, a marine cadet, to mix things up. Finally, what’s a gay story without the resident fruit fly/fag hag? SJ (Marshelle Fair), Lenny’s best friend from college is going through marital problems of her own, but is still able to be there for Lenny supporting him the way he supports her. Also being featured on the show are Paul Mooney as Lenny’s (Stephens) father, reality TV breakout star Tiffany “New York” Pollard, and comedienne Luenell as Trey’s mother.
An equally important note about this new series is that it’s Kickstarter supported, and if you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, that basically means the viewing public PAID to see this put on the air. Premiering domestically on LOGO and internationally on Canada’s Out TV makes this a big move for LOGO, Kickstarter and basically all parties involved. This includes Darryl Stephens who is not only the star, but one of the shows directors and executive producers.
Having watched the trailer, and being knowledgeable of its humble beginnings, I’m rooting for this underdog not only because of what it stands for and what I hope it successfully presents, but also because the means with which it’s coming to television is a loud cry that others are looking for something more substantial as well. A-List and the gay characters of the Real Housewives of Atlanta are undoubtedly entertaining but now it’s time to move from appetizers to the main course. So cheers to DTLA for bringing dialogue, dynamic stories, and character development to our television sets. The show is scheduled to debut on October 24 at 11pm ET/PT on Logo.