The world needs a new gay drama, thought writer Jacalyn Burke,
one that represents all aspects of the gay community. The Center of
the title is the LGBTQ Community Center in Manhattan. Bringing
together both gay menandgay women (unlike the segregation of such
shows as Queer As Folk and The L Word), The Center strives to give
an honest depiction of our queer community.
Here at DIVA, we're privileged to have been given a
sneak-preview of an extended trailer - a 20-minute taster of what
the show will offer. And I can safely say, I have seen nothing like
We get acquainted with the characters one by one, and they soon
prove themselves to be an extremely eclectic bunch!
Scenes are shown in split screen, so we experience the different
characters' lives running simultaneously alongside each other,
until they predictably collide. The Center brings together: a
married Christian fundamentalist, a mob cashier, a Yale graduate
who has turned her back on corporate success to work at there, an
illegal immigrant and his husband, an aspiring actor and a rookie
The show offers seriously intriguing lesbian characters. Ellie
Simpson is the Yale graduate; a corporate success on paper, she is
experiencing an identity crisis which we wonder if working at The
Center can cure.
Hot lesbian Lucky Haberwitz's luck is about to run out,
apparently. Her previous affiliations with the mob act as a
potential catalyst for things to come and her dodgy past isn't the
only thing she keeps under wraps. Her secret lover, Jo-Jo Sanchez
is described as 'one long entertaining train crash'. We are
introduced to her as she wakes up after a one-night stand with a
lawyer. When the woman's kids intrude in the morning, Jo-Jo is out
like a shot.
We encounter Cecil Braithewaite - the show's host of sorts - in
an extravagant room. This former 40s star of stage and screen
resides at the community center where all of the other characters
converge. Like an omnipresent narrator, this character takes us
through time and queer history. His presence is slightly
unsettling, he is the eyes and ears of the Center. He sits
confidently introducing 'his world' of 'theatre-type people,' while
retaining mystery. He is a man with a secret, a man in the
This show is not simply about being gay; it is an exploration in
character study. Exciting plots have been foreshadowed, for
instance, we wonder about the future of Danny Tyndale's marriage
and how his anti-gay activism will continue when we get the
impression it is a half-hearted attempt at covering up his
ownactivegay thoughts. And what does the future hold for Mexican
queer Hugo Martinez?
As a fresh strike for equality on screen, I wish The Center a
load of success when it airs on website blip.tv on 11 July!
Like The Centre's