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03/18/2009

An intensely pro-gay 'United States'

by Jeremy Hooper

United-States-of-TaraAre you watching "United States of Tara"? Well, at risk of sounding like a total PR shill, we simply have to tell you that if you're not watching the Showtime series, then you're missing what we can safely say is the best treatment of a gay teen that we've ever seen on American any television.

On last Sunday's episode of the Showtime dramedy, out-and-comfortable Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) finally locked lips with Jason (Andrew Lawrence), the object of his teenage affection:

So how does his dad (John Corbett) react when, post-kiss, he realizes that he has a boy-smitten son? Well, the onetime Aidan Shaw sits down and talks to his kid not about homosexuality, but about how bad Marshall has it for the young dude and how strong of a force love can be. The father doesn't make even a semi-negative statement about his son's crush being another boy. And in fact, when the dad sees the possible love interest leaving from the house, he treats him like he would any of his daughter's potential hetero suiters, seemingly giving Jason a welcome into the family dynamic. It's the dad-son dynamic of most gay boy's dreams!

And it's not just the dad. The whole family is like some post-PFLAG form of acceptance, where even a moment's hesitation about accepting their child would seem bizarre. It's what it should be: A true non-issue. And by not having to struggle, you see a teen character who, like his hetero peers, is free to focus instead on all of life's other ups and down.

It's rare than any gay plot line, either positive or negative, can still shock us. But this show, through its properly unshocked central clan, has managed to do so. Give it a look.

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Your thoughts

But you'll feel so bad for Marsh in the next episode.

Posted by: Tim | Mar 18, 2009 7:56:06 PM

I totally agree; it's the best treatment of a gay teenager I've ever seen portrayed on television. The Marshall character totally makes that show for me.

Posted by: mistaketv | Mar 18, 2009 8:19:23 PM

Marshall makes this show for me too. I just love him. Like Jason says: He is so CUTE! love his style and his music, and his movies. hahaha.

Posted by: McQueen | Mar 19, 2009 11:40:07 PM

That's a really sweet kiss. I'd like to see the discussion with the dad. Is that available anywhere?

TRiG.

Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Mar 21, 2009 3:04:29 PM

I love the way his dad is dealing with it. I figure it's a sign of the times.

Posted by: Meg | Mar 23, 2009 1:38:43 PM

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