Article Title:2014 in entertainment
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:31st December 2014 - 01:09 pm
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Story ID:16241
Text:This look back on the year in entertainment is TV-heavy, because there have simply been so many shows with lgbti characters this year. Here are just some of the binge-worthy offerings from 2014, plus a quick look at film, theatre, music, comedy and books. TV Transparent Yes, totally on the bandwagon with this show – that’s because it’s just so good. It pits Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development fame as someone finally coming to terms with being a transgender woman, in a wonderfully dysfunctional family. It has brilliant dialogue which is only outdone by its quirky characters. Just watch it. You’ll be saying ‘Namaste, hey girl hey’ in no time. Lightbox. Orange is the New Black One word: addicted. The second season of possibly the most diverse show on TV was just as enthralling as Alex Vause and those glasses. Speaking of which, more Alex next season please! In fact, how do you even pick a favourite character with the likes of Crazy Eyes, Poussey, Nicky and Sophia … Season three is expected to drop mid-year, and we can’t wait – sharp writing, rich characters ad queer people everywhere, what more could you want? TV2/TVNZ On Demand/Lightbox. Wentworth Another women’s prison show, but far more rugged than OITNB, this contemporary re-imagining of Aussie classic Prisoner just keeps getting better and better. Also: Franky Doyle. Wish for the next season: bring back the old Governor, “The Freak” is scary! TV2. Faking It The premise sounded awful. Fake lesbians? But it’s actually a gem of a teen show, which has a number of gay and lesbian characters, and also someone who comes out as intersex. Michael J. Willett as gay teenager Shane is a lot of fun. Nice work MTV! Looking has found a good following. It stars Glee’s Jonathan Groff as he navigates dating in the heaving gay-tropolis of San Francisco, with a couple of best mate sidekicks along for the ride. A new season is coming.  SoHo. Penny Dreadful is also apparently very good (it's on the to watch list at the moment).SoHo. The Fosters Wonderfully fuzzy, weekend afternoon slot teen drama kinda material which is not quite as cheesy as we first feared. It’s about lesbian ‘moms’ with foster kids and includes a trans character, plus a young boy figuring out his own sexuality. The wedding episode is just gorgeous. TV2. Also enjoyed: Graham Norton (TV3 ... get Miriam Margolyes on a regular!), Topp Country (TV1), Orphan Black (SoHo/Lightbox/Quickflix) and Last Tango in Halifax (TV1/Quickflix). Neat TV moments: The lesbian seagulls on Our Big Blue Backyard! My Kitchen Rules New Zealand seemed to be missing a few of the ingredients that made the Australian version so watchable, but one of the highlights was definitely hilarious Christchurch couple Ricki and Jessie. Ricki’s never to be forgotten interview room highlights included a hand squeeze motion accompanied by the word “boobies” … and her classic “Nah. Boom. Take notes boys” after explaining she has flowers delivered to Jessie every month - after Jessie pointed out: “No guy would do that”. Give these two a show! Grey’s Anatomy is a love it or hate it kind of show, which I swore off about five years ago due to the drama overload, only to decide I should really find out what was going on with ‘Calzona’ and have a multi-season catch-up in the space of a few weeks. Not recommended. So much drama. But, this painfully addictive show offered a great moment in the latest season, when the smokin' Callie Torres is drinking with surprise bestie Meredith and talks about the place of bisexuality in 'LGBTI': “There’s a B in there and it doesn’t mean Badass. Okay, it does a little, and it also means Bi.” Boom. (Oh and Autostraddle’s recaps of this show are one of the best things on the internet BTW) Film This section is easy. Feel good flick of 2014, Pride, was a hands down favourite. Dallas Buyers Club was a little ‘paint by numbers’ plot-wise, but worth watching. After all the build-up, Blue is the Warmest Colour was incredibly difficult to review, possibly because it reminded me so much of an early relationship of my own … but it was very good, if hard to watch (particularly the snotty scene). Local couple Robyn Paterson and Paula Boock’s Queer Selfies was a gorgeous little short. God Loves Uganda and Kidnapped for Christ were both incredibly frightening but important documentaries. Theatre and performance It was another year of great theatre. Teen Faggots Come to Life and The Legacy Project were our Auckland Pride Festival picks. Shane Boshier’s Silo swansong Angels in America was stunning, Earnest was delicious and anything by Sam Brooks should have you lining up at the theatre door. Books You know how much we love Chris Brickell – and his 2014 work is no exception. Southern Men: Gay Lives in Pictures looks at gay men in 40s, 50s and 60 New Zealand. As well as love affairs on active duty, nude sunbathing, gossip and long-term relationships he finds men who may just have laid the foundations for our own gay liberation. Thanks Chris for telling the stories nobody else is. Gareth Thomas’ Proud and Graham Norton’s The Life and Loves of a He Devil are both worth popping on your summer reading list if you haven’t got to them yet. When it comes to fiction, Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests was everything you’d expect from a Sarah Waters novel. Comedy Urzila Carlson, of course, nailed it once again. Is she actually getting funnier? We found it hard to pick one of her one-liners for our quotes of the year section - with her “It’s Your Fault!” shouted at Louisa Wall during the Rainbow Tick launch, where she was talking about her impending wedding, a close contender. Eli Matthewson’s mix of dry and off the wall humour is so much fun, we recommend you check him out in a show – and follow him on Twitter. Guitar-wielding Becky Crouch is a fun fresh voice on the scene, with a Walking Dead ‘song’ which is killer-funny. Another newcomer, Christchurch’s Thane Pullan, provided the best comedy video of the year - which you can check out below. Music Against Me’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues is the first the band’s put out since founder, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Laura Jane Grace came out as trans in 2012. It’s a gritty and empowering punk album which packs a lot of punch in just 28 minutes or so. Sam Smith had a massive year, while out Aussie Courtney Barnett is one to watch, and her set at Laneway is one to get to. Bloc Party frontman Kele’s Trick is a great post-club or summer day listen, while Perfume Genius’ Too Bright is mind-blowing and Mary Lambert is just awesome. Locally, Mika’s Coffee and Dress to Impress and the ensuing parodies were fun! Coming in 2015: The Imitation Game is out in theatres. Is it a compelling look at Alan Turing’s life or a rewriting of history? We've heard mixed reports. We’ll have a review soon. How To Get Away With Murder From Shona Rhimes of the aforementioned Grey’s, this is another drama-packed offering, this time from the legal world. Gay character Connor Walsh is one to watch – and there is no censorship of his sex life. Coming to TV2. Grace and Frankie Stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as two foes whose lives are altered dramatically when their husbands fall in love with each other. Coming to Netflix NZ. Auckland Pride Festival and Auckland Fringe have plenty of exciting theatre prospects, while Holding The Man is being made into a film! And of course we can't wait for Silo's tribute to Hudson and Halls. Note: I don't think I have ever written a disclaimer based on the fact I am a lesbian before, but I am – and my picks for the year in entertainment may have a ladies who love ladies skew! If there are any entertainment junkies out there who would love to weigh in with a wrap of their own favourite things, or have suggestions to add to this list, flick me an email Jacqui Stanford - 31st December 2014    
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