Even as a heterosexual, married, mother of 4, I’m feeling super qualified to take on the job of recapping A-List Dallas, Logo TV’s latest reality series featuring the drama-filled lives of 5 local gay guys and their “gal pal.” I’ve written a few columns about gay issues AND only 1 of my 3 gay friends is a hairdresser. And, to further prove my suitability for the assignment, I once did a night of bar hopping on Oak Lawn.
I’ve also lived in Dallas my entire life, which is why I’m more than qualified to tell America that the very first thing said in the show’s intro is false, “People in Dallas have what we call Dall-itude. Dall-itude is attitude, but a little bit snobbish.” I’ve never heard that term and I’ll never type it again either.
The intro continues with cast voiceovers telling us stuff that just begs us to hate them before the first scene ever gets started, “We have a lot going for us. We’re kind of a big deal.”
Episode 1 is in the business of introductions and there is no better place to start than with 25 year old Levi. Levi is a guy I would have tried to convert if I’d met him before meeting my husband. He’s so gorgeous that his sexual orientation simply wouldn’t matter. I would have wanted to date him. Marry him. Have his children. And suppress everything about his desire to be with men. I’d live like that forever in exchange for this level of hotness.
He’s a big jerk too. But that’s what I’m saying- he’s so hot, it doesn’t matter.
Levi is a suave cowboy. He wears the ginormous hat without looking ridiculous and claims, “I get asked to wear the hat in bed quite a bit.” OK, that’s weird but you’re incredibly pretty so I’ll overlook it. And when you say “quite a bit” that makes us think you’re not a monogamy kind of guy. But, we’ll overlook that too. And how do you keep the hat on in bed anyway? Chin strap?
Did I mention charming? When a flirtatious suitor asked Levi if he’s a heartbreaker he replied, “I’m a dream maker.” And every heterosexual woman screamed at her television, “WHY? WHY?”
Beautiful Levi can’t ride in the rodeos due to an injury sustained a few years ago (thank God he didn’t hurt his face) so he started a clothing line catering to gay men, “I went from rodeo to CFO in no time.” Hey, Levi, tell us about those shirts that have a particular number followed by the “inches” symbol. He explains, “They reference an individual’s endowment.”
Got it. That’s gross. But you’re still hot. And unfortunately for all my single friends, still gay.
Next, we meet a conundrum named Taylor, a 26 year old gay, Christian, Republican who is the owner of a fundraising consulting business. And to help us get better acquainted with him, he throws in two nuggets of Taylor Trivia:
- He has the Bible downloaded on his iPad.
- He says George W. Bush once told him he might be governor.
He’s newly single and tells us, “I’m about to get out there and just take over the Dallas scene again.” And he adds, “I used to be the reigning queen and I’m about to come back.”
Call me a naïve hetero but I need a gay person to explain the use of the word “queen” instead of “king.” Even though he’s gay, he’s still a man, right? Stop rolling your eyes. We’re in this together for a whole freakin’ season so throw me a bone and this thing will go a lot more smoothly, K?
Next up- James. He’s a 23 year old party boy with super white teeth, living off of a trust fund. In case you can’t fathom how rich he is, he dumbs it down, “My American Express account reads like an adventure novel.”
He says he wakes up in the morning and, “I’m like, what do I want to do today?”
Many days, the answer to that question can be found at the bottom of a liquor bottle. He admits, “I’m not saying I wake up every morning and drink. Some days I do.” But drinking isn’t his highest priority.
He claims the two most important things are:
- How big is your bank account?
- How big is your [word referring to male genitalia, starts with C, rhymes with sock]?
Seems James should buy one of those shirts that Levi makes.
Next, Logo introduces us to the group’s mascot, Ashley, who is both heterosexual and married. Ashley either doesn’t own a flatiron or recently got a killer perm. She’s a photographer and has a seemingly endless supply of money, “I have a credit card for life and a credit card for shopping.” I guess the shopping card is the one that affords her all of the teeny tiny dresses from the junior’s department. While she seems like a sweetheart, I can’t help but conclude her wardrobe was inspired by the freshman class of a high school somewhere near Forney.
Regarding why she hangs out with the single gay guys as opposed to her husband, “Taylor and I are from the same small town and have the same religious values.” OK, got it. So is your husband an agnostic from Boston or something like that?
And, if you were worried the cast wouldn’t include a stereotypical gay guy who uses the word “faboo” a lot, rest easy. 23 year old Phillip is your gay. What does Phillip do with his high-energy feminine spirit all day? From the couture-clad closet of a Dallas socialite, Phillip explains, “I style for some of the most wealthiest women here in Dallas.” Most wealthiest?
So far I’ve pegged Phillip as occasionally fun and often annoying. My first hint came straight from him, “If I’m not the center of attention, I will make myself the center of attention.” I’m just sayin’ if you go out with Phillip, plan to fake a sudden flu and take your own car.
“Howdy, I’m Chase” says the only 27 year old in America who uses the word “howdy.” Though the Texas native has become successful in the real estate finance industry, people are jealous of him for something entirely different. Chase reveals, “People really do actually envy my life and it has everything to do with my hair.” Chase, I think you’ve been hanging out with Ashley too much.
So with levels of style, wealth and shallowness established, Logo doesn’t waste any time. We find ourselves having a few cocktails with trust fund baby, James, and gal-pal, Ashley. We learn that about 5 years ago, James and Levi had a physical relationship. It’s clear that James carries some bitterness which is why it’s totally awesome that he’ll be seeing Levi soon.
Apparently Levi invited Philip to the rodeo and then Phillip turned around and invited James to come along. Invitation etiquette doesn’t vary based on sexual orientation, right? And in the hetero world if someone invites you somewhere, you can’t then go invite other people that the original inviter has sexually-induced awkwardness with. That would be a clear violation of friendship rules, gay or straight.
But something tells me Phillip likes drama.
In preparation for the rodeo, Levi and Phillip didn’t just throw on some blue jeans. They went western shopping to get themed outfits for the occasion. Did I mention it’s the Mesquite Rodeo? Anyway, Phillip models a few choices and Levi helps him narrow it down. The first was more of a stripper costume, chaps with his underwear completely visible. Thank you, Levi, for getting rid of that one.
While browsing the boots, Phillip began to put his plan for drama in action. He asked Levi about James’ claims of a previous relationship with Levi. Levi responded like any man with something to hide, “James is a freakin’ nut.”
Levi digs a deeper hole in his credibility (but not his beauty) and explains that he never dated James or had a relationship of any kind with him. According to my gorgeous Levi, anything that James claims went on between them is a “made-up wonderland.” And in my book, anyone as attractive as Levi should be able to spew a lie and have it taken as the gospel truth.
At the rodeo, Levi has a VIP box and he’s lookin’ really good in it. He knows it. And he also knows his friends look ridiculous. Chase isn’t a rodeo kind of guy as evidenced by his wardrobe choice, a red, white and blue tank top with stars all over it. Levi tells us that Chase looked like Wonder Woman and then he referred to Phillip as “the gay rhinestone cowboy.”
Levi and James nursed the tension, staying far away from each other. Phillip knew that for any big drama to go down, he needed to get busy. So Phillip let James know that Levi denied a relationship with him, including a physical one. Instead of blowing it off and leaving my pretty Levi alone, James blurted out, “We exchanged fluids.” TMI, James. T.M.I. Seriously, what if your grandmother is watching?
Then, thanks to Phillip’s masterful plan, James confronts poor Levi who is eventually forced to admit to having oral sex with James. But, Levi claims, it didn’t mean anything and it didn’t count as sex or a relationship.
Levi, I supported Bill Clinton through the Monica Lewinsky thing, I can stand by you too.
And on Levi’s behalf, even if they did have “contact” of some sort, why has he been put in the position of having to defend it? I’ll tell you why, because James had to go flappin’ his lips about a private (albeit a tad slutty sounding) encounter. Should these things really have been shared with others, forcing a man as gorgeous as Levi to get stressed out, potentially causing some sort of pre-wrinkling to his forehead? I think not.
That is exactly why the following unfortunate exchange can be rationalized in my shallow mind:
James: Being naked together in a bed is something to me.
Levi: It wasn’t great.
Sorry, James. I do love your teeth, though.
But Levi isn’t done with the past. It seems he dated, and lived with, Taylor who has invited everyone to dinner. This is the first Taylor/ Levi meeting since the breakup which would be tense enough without the added bunny-boiling energy being released by James. Taylor acts like a grown-up and greets Levi. Sparks, I see leftover sparks. But it’s still a bit awk. And since the initial potential for something bad to happen has dissipated, Phillip decides to do his thing and when everyone is seated he directs his attention to Levi and Taylor and says, “So you guys are good, no awkwardness?”
Cut to the line of the night by Chase, “Phillip is a black, bitchy, Connie Chung.” And with that, I adore Chase. And his hair.
Back to the table. Thank goodness James is beginning to act like a toddler again, it takes the spotlight off of Taylor and Levi. Taylor tells James, “I think you need to stop drinking.” To which super-mature James responds, “And I think you need to [bad word that starts with F and rhymes with duck] off.”
James runs outside like a 7th grade girl looking for attention at the school dance. Chase and Ashley follow. James does a drunken rant about gay sex not meaning anything. Chase disagrees. So James tells Chase, “I don’t want to hit you right now.”
James, Chase ran after you. He’s on your team. Or he was before you called him a bit**. Your friend numbers are dropping, man. Get ahold of yourself.
A welcome scene change takes viewers to a beautiful day where Taylor and Ashley are having their weekly Bible study outdoors. Ashley concludes the time by reading her favorite verse and asks Taylor about his prayer requests. Of course she did. This is a Dallas hetero female way of asking for scoop. It’s not gossip if delivered in the form of a prayer request. And Taylor knows that his secret is safe with Ashley because they’re prayer partners. Taylor tells Ashley that Levi called and asked him to dinner but they’re keeping it on the down-low for now. They hold hands and pray.
It worked. Taylor’s dinner with Levi went smoothly and it seems they might give their relationship another try. Levi agrees with Taylor’s opinion of why the relationship didn’t work, “Our first date was on Sunday at church and then on Monday, he moved in like a lesbian.”
The date (and episode 1) ends with a sweet kiss, offering viewers a sense of hope that the entire series won’t be about trashy, casual sex and meaningless interactions. But moments later all of that is shattered with previews of upcoming episodes.