'Gayby' is a pleasant surprise
Jenn (Jenn Harris), a straight, NYC yoga instructor and Matt (Matthew Wilkas), her gorgeous, geeky, gay, comic bookstore-employed BFF have been talking about having a baby together since they were in college. With romantic prospects looking bleak for both of them, they begin making plans for how to have a kid. Jenn prefers the old-fashioned way. And, since they have only officially – and disastrously – had sex once, while in college, they agree to give it a try. That, in a nutshell, is the premise of writer/director/actor Jonathan Lisecki’s funny and sweet rom-com “Gayby.”
Naturally, there are more complications than you can shake a pregnancy test stick at. Matt moons over ex-boyfriend Tom (Zach Shaffer), who works for a comic book publisher. Jenn’s relationship with fiercely competitive sister Kelly (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is dysfunctional, to say the least. Matt loves his job, where he gets to hang out with pal Neil (Adam Driver of “Girls”) and ultimately meets potential boyfriend Scott (Mike Doyle), a recently divorced gay dad. But the work barely pays the rent.
Jenn’s job has its good and bad points. On the plus side is spending time with her other best gay buddy, Jamie (Jack Ferver). On the negative side is disrespect from co-worker Valerie (Joanne Tucker) and boss Linda (Alycia Delmore). As Matt and Jenn get to the business of baby-making, Matt is inspired to begin work on a graphic novel about “a gayby who’s a baby by day and a superhero by night.” Of course the company where Tom works would be a perfect publisher, but Matt’s afraid to approach him. Meanwhile, Jenn is hoping to make a love connection via online dating while working on her procreation skills. She’s blind-sided by what happens when she meets Linda’s housepainter/visual artist brother Louis (Louis Cancelmi).
With drama to spare, “Gayby” is a pleasant surprise. The acting scores higher than most of what you see in your average gay flick. “Gayby” also is unselfconsciously hip, from its subject matter to its setting. Ultimately, the film delivers.
DVD bonus features the original “Gayby” short, commentary and deleted scenes.
Catty humor and homoeroticism fall flat in 'Where the Bears Are'
If Web series are the future of entertainment, then there must be major improvement. Case in point, “Where The Bears Are” (wherethebearsare.tv), now available on DVD in a double-disc set. “WTBA” wants to be campy, wacky, sexy and suggestive, but it looks like something a high school A/V club might put together as a final project. Attempts to blend catty humor, homoeroticism and murder mystery intrigue fall flat – repeatedly.
There’s no shortage of eye candy – especially in the case of Det. Chad Winters (Chad Sanders), Hot Toddy (Ian Parks) and Dickie (Tuc Watkins). But you want more than that, don’t you? If so, you’ll find the plot convoluted but predictable and the series seriously lacking humor. The second of the two discs, stocked like a bear’s fridge, contains special features, including a new Christmas episode, deleted scenes, bloopers and outtakes, commentary, interviews and a full-length uncensored version containing nudity.