Great News! You've made Logo's A-List," said the invitation that Intel Jessica forwarded along, sending us to the top floor of the Hell's Kitchen gay bar Therapy, expecting shiny young men hip-checking us at the door. But apparently this "A-List" was referring to a motley crew of about ten cranky-seeming journalists, 'cause that's who turned up for last night's screening of Logo's new reality show about six gay men allegedly living a life of dining at Monkey Bar, weekending at Amagansett, and sleeping with Marc Jacobs; a little piece of hellivision that even Intel Chris feared might be bad for gay men. First order of business at Therapy, smartly, was serving us all multiple "Red Velvets," a Stoli-cran concoction, and "Drama Queens," a Stoli-lime juice drink, to ease us into what we were about to see.
"The great thing about being gay in New York is that it's just like being straight in New York," the show's opening explains, before preternaturally tan and weirdly handsome Reichen Lehmkuhl begins talking about his former relationship with Lance Bass, just to get that out of the way. At first, Reichen seems like the smart one: He says he's "A-List" because "A" stands for "Accomplished", and besides having dated a member of *NSYNC, he's also a former U.S. Army Captain who, during the filming of this show, starred in My Big Gay Italian Wedding. But all is not as it appears with Reichen, we suspect, after discovering that two years ago, he had a fling with his co-star Austin A, when Austin was around nineteen. (Bear with us.)
"Austin is sweet, but he's still a kid," Reichen explains. (That's something he should have thought of before they did it, no?) In the series, however, Reichen is seriously dating Rodiney, the Brazilian-model cast-member who moved to New York to be with Reichen! Tall and brooding Rodiney takes Reichen on a cruise around New York in the first episode, to make out with him and tell him he loves him. "Do you love me?" Rodiney asks, as the sun sets over Manhattan. "Yes, I do," Reichen says. Cut to the confessional, naturally: "I like Rodiney," Reichen explains to the audience. "But I don't know that I love him." Oh, dear.
The two were mum on if they're still together, after the screening, but there was no PDA; they hardly spoke. Reichen wrote a book on his time as a gay man in the military, so we asked if he thought this show was good for gay people on the whole. "The trailers are much more salacious. That was just to get a lot of attention, " he said. It's true. The series itself is a bit more, er... nuanced. Alas, "I hear people saying, 'Oh, this is going to be horrible for the way it represents the gay community,'" he said. "What I say to that is: It's a television show. It's an entertainment piece. We're not here to represent the gay community. This is just six guys and who they are. It's not representative of the gay community on the whole."
Forget that man, though. The most important person on this series is Austin, the former model who is trying to lose about 20 pounds to get back in the game. Trust us! Austin already had a brush with fame as Marc Jacobs's post-Jason Preston rebound. (The Cut even wrote him a letter once!) Austin is A-List if A stands for awesome. He still wants to get Marc Jacobs's attention, too, he says, and he seems to want to try things again with Reichen. And maybe Rodiney, too, while he's at it. And the whole cast hates him! Presented without commentary, here's what he told us after the show, about dating Marc Jacobs:
"I met Marc out at a party. I sent him an e-mail a few days later that said, you know, 'Great to meet you, I think you're a fantastic artist.' I never expected an e-mail back. But within two hours, I got an e-mail back saying, 'Come over, let's hang out. Let's have a drink.' The drink was Diet Coke, it was noon. So we sat on his couch at the Mercer Hotel for literally six hours just talking. He smoked about three packs of cigarettes and went through a six pack of Diet Coke. But the dialogue we had was fantastic. We were talking about the war and politics. He's such a phenomenal spirit. He had just broken up with Jason Preston, which was very public. And so when we went out together and got photographed, everyone was like, 'Oh, this is his new boyfriend.' But that wasn't actually the case. You saw us kissing and everything. But the honest truth is he asked me to do that because he wanted to get back at Jason. He wanted Jason to see him out with a guy who was younger and more attractive. It was bad timing. We're still friends. If I were twenty years older, I think we'd be soul mates. I'd love to have him in my life in a bigger way. But I called one time and Lorenzo, his ex-husband I believe, answered the phone and was like, 'Stop fucking calling! I know what you want,' blah blah blah, this and that. So, our relationship for the past year has been rocky because of his husband, or ex-husband, I'm not sure what the situation is. But now if Lorenzo's out of the picture, we can be good friends again. I don't need to be photographed with him. I don't want him to go out and buy me a Louis Vuitton bag, though he has."
Okay, we're going to watch this show after all.