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04/19/2007


10 LGBT TV Moments From 2013

  Downtonjimmytom

When it comes to LGBT characters on television, 2013 was the best of times and the worst of times. The first half of the year was part of the record-setting 2012-2013 television season in terms of LGBT representation on television. However, it also saw the end of many shows featuring LGBT characters, including The New NormalSmashSouthland, and Happy Endings

Despite these losses, LGBT characters on television continued to become more multi-dimensional and better reflect the lives of LGBT people in 2013. For example, in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to strike down DOMA and rule that Prop. 8 proponents have no standing, there were many television weddings and proposals. There was also a small uptick in transgender representation, including characters on the critically lauded Orange Is the New Black and Glee.

Relive 10 of our favorite LGBT moments on television this year and share yours in the comments, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Get Talking: Critics Weigh In On 'Mad Men' Season 6 Finale

Donmeganbeach

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

There’s been plenty to discuss this season of Mad Men. From T-shirt red herrings to Bob Benson’s intentions, the sixth season of AMC’s critically-adored drama transformed viewers from passionate analysts to crazed conspiracy theorists

Interpretations of last night’s season finale are already popping up. Before you solidify your opinion, check out what critics are saying about the latest episode, “In Care Of,” and the season overall. 

More, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Bob Benson’s Secret Revealed On 'Mad Men' [Spoilers]

Benson2

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

[SPOILERS]

After weeks of speculation, Sunday’s episode of Mad Men finally answered the question, “What is up with Bob Benson?”

The rising accounts man (portrayed by James Wolk) had recommended a nurse to care for Pete Campbell’s aging mother. When Pete’s mother started suggesting she and the nurse had a romantic relationship, Benson sat Pete down and tried to explain.

“Couldn’t it be that if someone took care of you, very good care of you, if this person would do anything for you, if your well-being was his only thought, is it impossible that you might begin to feel something for him? When there's true love, it doesn't matter who it is.”

As he spoke, he slipped his knee up against Pete’s, and suddenly it was clear Benson wasn’t just talking about how Pete’s mother could fall in love with the younger nurse. He was talking about how Pete could learn to love him.

To Benson’s dismay, Pete made his feelings known. “Tell [the nurse] I'll give him a month's pay. And tell him it's disgusting.”

While that’s one question answered, we’re still left wondering: All those handsome men running around SC&P, and you choose Pete Campbell?

Bobby Hankinson is a Brooklyn-based writer and digital strategist. His days are spent thinking about digital engagement for non-profits, while his nights are spent shimmying to Spotify, reading comic books and watching the best (and, let's be honest, worst) TV has to offer. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe and Houston Chronicle.


Mad Men's Bob Benson: Gay Activist, Government Spy or Red Herring?

BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Benson

The sixth season of AMC’s Mad Men has been steeped in even more mystery than usual. In addition to whatever Don Draper is hiding (we mean his true identity, not what’s in his pants), audiences are also debating the likelihood his current wife may share the same fate as murdered actress Sharon Tate.

But the real focus isn’t on the Drapers (or even Peggy, Roger or Joan). With the acclaimed series just three episodes from ending its penultimate season, folks are surprisingly obsessed with a character we met only this season. 

The name on everyone’s lips is Bob Benson.

The eager accounts man, portrayed by James Wolk (Political Animals, Happy Endings), has captivated Mad Men fanatics. If the notoriously meticulous show’s Facebook posts are any indication, they’re on the right track. How those suspicions play out, however, is still a topic for debate.

One prevailing theory suggests Benson is secretly a gay man. 

Here’s why:

  • Bloggers Tom and Lorenzo popularized the idea that the lack of heat between Benson and Joan must be attributed to his disinterest in the opposite sex. (Similarly, Benson was equally unmoved when visiting a brothel with Pete Campbell earlier this season.)

  • Writing for the Star-Ledger, Tom Wright-Piersanti notes how Benson dodges the question “Are you a homo?” in Sunday’s episode.

  • The show is drawing closer to 1969, the year of the Stonewall. Jaime Woo on Huffington Post suggests the show could be positioning Benson as the audience’s ambassador into a period of sweeping change, much in the same way they’ve used Don’s secretary Dawn to discuss race.

Other viewers are not convinced.

  • Some Reddit users believe Benson is working for a government agency. Maybe he’s snooping for dirt on Don Draper’s past, or maybe he’s after intel on one of their clients.

  • He might be a stand-in for a young Don. Knox McCoy at TV Asylum certainly thinks so. We’ve had glimpses at Don’t early experience, but these parallels allow viewers to see the makings of an ad man.

  • Then again, this could all be misdirection. Paul Ford for Slate posits the fact that viewers are so disturbed to see a positive, enthusiastic person in this world that they immediately assume some sort of nefarious intent speaks more about us as a viewer than Benson as a character.

What do you think will happen with Bob Benson?

Bobby Hankinson is a Brooklyn-based writer and digital strategist. His days are spent thinking about digital engagement for non-profits, while his nights are spent shimmying to Spotify, reading comic books and watching the best (and, let's be honest, worst) TV has to offer.


First Look at Shirtless Gay 'Happy Endings' Addition James Wolk

Wolk

Back in November, I mentioned that James Wolk was coming to ABC's Happy Endings as a love interest for Max (Adam Pally). Here's a first look (and a shirtless one at that) at Wolk's first episode on the show, airing just before Valentine's Day.

More (spoilery), AFTER THE JUMP...

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James Wolk to Play Gay on 'Happy Endings'

Wolk

James Wolk is joining the cast of Happy Endings, they report.

TV Line adds: "TVLine has learned that the sought-after actor will appear in multiple episodes of the buzzy ABC comedy playing Max’s old new boyfriend. That’s right, he’s a guy Adam Pally’s scene-stealing character used to date and is now dating again."

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