Apparently the Beverly Hills: 90210 revival is going well. What else can explain its sister revival of Melrose Place?
The CW is bringing Melrose Place, 90210's sleezy, later-night sibling, back to television on Tuesday, September 8th. Gay fans of the original series will be glad to know that, among other things, the (then pioneering) gay slot filled by actor Doug Savant is being re-filled by the significantly beefier Victor Webster, albeit in a much different role.
Webster, a former Playgirl model, will play Caleb Brewer, the "non-stereotypical gay character" who, according to executive producer Todd Slavkin, is a "very masculine guy, smokes cigars, likes the Los Angeles Lakers, collects sports memorabilia, drinks Scotch, likes guys and is not afraid to admit it."
Well thank God for that! Thank God, also, that, according to Slavkin, Melrose Place 2.0 is taking place in a "post-AIDS" world.
That's right, the executive producer of the show wants people to rest assured that the gay men are less girly, the girls are more girl-on-girl friendly, and that in general the characters will be rougher, raunchier, and much less concerned about extinct sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS.
From an E! Online interview posted earlier this week:
The other twentysomething tenants (and some "wickedly sexy" guests) aren't wearing purity rings, either. "We feel that there is a current sexual revolution going on. Kind of post-AIDS--where the boundaries are off. Their parents have been shackled, and they want to explore," [said Slavkin] Kids! [said the clearly socially responsible E! Online.
Guess I don't have to go to work at an AIDS service organization tomorrow. Guess the research showing that HIV infection rates are actually going up again for gays, bisexuals and men who have sex with men is flat wrong. I'll call my colleagues in the prevention department, tell them to pack up and go home...
At a time when 56,000 people in the US are infected with HIV each year, it's appalling that Slavkin would promote his E-list show by waving away HIV/AIDS and, frankly, all other STIs. I mean, really, what decade is he living in? Did he even have to say that in order to convince people that the show would be inhumanly sexy?
I don't know if Slavkin is gay, himself, but if he is he should be especially ashamed of himself. Much of the reason my generation of gays, bisexuals and MSM is getting infected is because facts about the virus and prevention messages aren't reaching them anymore. No one needs a hot, new CW show propagating these myths. And I'm betting the dishonesty and infidelity inherent in these shows won't address infections of unknowing partners. But I guess they could always prove me wrong.