HBO To Launch Standalone Streaming Service

Finally, a major cable player who has seen the light. More will follow, I’m sure.

HBO is cutting the cord.The company announced on Wednesday that it will launch a standalone streaming video service in the U.S. that will allow you to watch HBO programming without paying for an expensive cable subscription.

via HBO To Launch Standalone Streaming Service Next Year.

Where the Beautiful People Go to High School

Back from my moving-across-half-of-the-country sabbatical to bring you a quick check-in on the goings-on at Westfield Prep. And there are a lot of things going on!

For the uninitiated, Westfield Prep and environs is the mythical(?) Southern California setting for the super-soapy teen web drama Youthful Daze.

When Tommy Dinato (Ethan Daniel Corbett) comes back to town, it’s clear that he has a past with Drew Castle (series creator Bryan James), but it’s not until a heated argument turns into a heated make out session do we learn that their history is a romantic one.


Nothing stays private for too long thanks to the movie studio everyone carries in their hip pocket. Will this restroom snogfest become fodder for the high school gossips or is it Grade-A blackmail material? As they say, tune in tomorrow.

Now, campers, your faithful correspondent, ‘Uncle Grandpa,’ is a bit long in the tooth for angsty teen drama, no matter how cute the angsty teens happen to be, but I was struck by this statement from creator James, “…[Youthful Daze] showcase[s] the straight storylines and the gay ones with no hang ups or discrimination in execution. We are a soap opera that has something for everyone.”

And that’s the way it should be. Besides, every generation needs their angsty teen stories and improbable dramas; it’s how we learn we’re not alone in the world. Take this well-crafted little soap out for a spin, I think you’ll enjoy yourself.

Here’s a preview, and below a link to one of the latest episodes.

A Grand Time for Singing

Steve Grand makes Top 10 list of most-funded Kickstarter projects.

When out singer-songwriter Steve Grand announced his Kickstarter a little less than a month ago, I contributed on the first day. I thought to myself, I think this is a good kid; I sure hope he makes it.

I needn’t have worried: he reached his $81,000 goal in 17 hours. As I write this, he has 8 days left on his Kickstarter and he’s at $237,000 and change.

Grand says he’s determined to stay independent and to use the money he raises over and above the costs of production to make sure the need for an openly gay singer, that has been embraced by his fans over the last year or so, feeds into the needs of the mainstream music community as well.

I like him. I like his work. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s cute as hell. If you can, send him a buck or two and let’s see how far he can go.

Big Gay Tweets

This Scoop Shop’s Secret Sauce? Social Marketing.


Founders Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff outside of one of the locations of Big Gay Ice Cream, the quirky East Village ice cream shop. |Image:

Great story on Mashable – with video – about Big Gay Ice Cream, the Manhattan-based ice cream truck and bricks and mortar stores of the same name and how they’ve used social media to fuel their brand.

They have found that their quirky take on tweets and Facebook posts have won over fans.

Next time you happen by, try a Salty Pimp. Or a Bea Arthur. You’ll be glad you did.

Netflix Checks Piracy To Help Decide What To Buy

Netflix has long argued that its service helps counteract piracy by offering a legal alternative; and it seems that the company is putting its money where its mouth is.

In an interview with Dutch tech website Tweakers, Netflix VP of content acquisition Kelly Merryman, says that it actively seeks out  TV series that have high rates or piracy when making programming decisions.

via Netflix Checks Piracy Stats To Help It Decide What To Buy – Forbes.

More than just a little bit smart.

And why do people pirate? Because traditional media outlets have not kept up with the needs/wants of the 21st century consumer.

Steve Grand Would Like You to ‘Stay’


The cover image from Grand’s latest independent release.

You can download the song at Bandcamp and set your own price. I think it’s a nice follow-up to “All-American Boy” but it’s always hard to get momentum on a sophomore release, so if you like this guy, you really should throw a couple of bucks his way. I think he’s well on his way to proving that out talent and indie talent are going to be essential components of our new entertainment mix. In case you haven’t seen the video for the song, I’ve embedded the YouTube link below. Enjoy.

The Persistent Cult of Arrested Development

The Persistent Cult of Arrested Development — Vulture.

Jessica Walter in a classic Lucille Bluth moment on Arrested Development. “The drive-by outburst wasn’t an ad lib. “The wink was mine. Whore was not. That was our genius writers,” Walter said in an article on classic Lucille GIFs by Vulture’s Denise Martin.

Here comes “Arrested Development” again. A lot of people could care less, I assume, but there are some that feel like Will Leitch who wrote this excellent in-depth article on Vulture.

The resurrection is the direct result of the happy-go-tireless advocacy of a small but rabid group of superfans who have become, over the seven years since the show went off the air, a kind of cult—the best kind of cult. Amazingly, ­executives have actually listened to us, even thinking it was good business sense to do so. 

Netflix is releasing the entire new season (the first since 2006) of 15 episodes on May 26 for streaming. A whole lot of TV nerds (me, included, I suppose!) will be giddily streaming away watching one of the oddest, smartest and most demented TV series ever created. The new series will be dissected in minute detail by Bluthites, so there’s no reason for me to think of anything pithy to say about it all in advance.

Looking back, I’m not sure that there was a more sublimely ridiculous TV moment than this one, rendered in kinetic typography:

What the World is Reading…


Not your grandpa’s reading material.
Image: Front porch, Sunday Afternoon, Vincennes, Indiana, 1941. Photo by John Vachon for Farm Security Administration/WPA | Wikimedia Commons

…on my blog.

I’m endlessly fascinated by statistics. (Don’t judge.) According to WordPress, here are the 10 most read pages/posts on my blog in the last week, month, and year.

1. Home Page
2. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
-originally posted Jan. 4, 2013 — fascinated by the legs this one has
3. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
-originally posted Jan. 26, 2013 — link to a great story on HuffPo
4. Jake Silbermann: Just My Type
-originally posted Apr. 30, 2013 — link to Silbermann’s terrific essay + my thoughts
5. How the Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling Could Upend the Immigration Debate
-originally posted May 4, 2013 — link to great analysis on BuzzFeed and my thoughts
6. EastSiders Debuts on
-originally posted Apr. 18, 2013 — one of many posts about Kit Williamson’s great crowd-funded gay Web series
7. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
-originally posted Mar. 11, 2013 — glad this post has a long tail as, socio-culturally speaking, it’s wildly important in understanding perceptional shifts. (Also, they are adorable.)
8. Durang’s Best Chekhovian ‘Spike’
-originally posted Apr. 30, 2013 — a quick piece about “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” and the Tony Awards. A tangential companion to the Jake Silbermann piece at No. 4.
9. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
-originally posted Apr. 29, 2013 — a riff on the premiere of the online roboot of “All My Children”
10. Gay West Point Cadet Escorts Boyfriend to Winter Weekend Formal
-originally posted Feb, 6, 2013 — another one with surprising legs

1. Home Page
2. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
3. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
4. EastSiders Debuts on
5. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
6. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
7. Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Vikings Punter, Rocks
-originally posted Apr. 3, 2013 — headline says it all!
8. Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again.
-originally posted Nov. 12, 2012 — riff on American vs. European soaps and how backward American soaps are … even when there is some forward progress.
9. Seven Reasons to Watch (or Rewatch)  ‘The Outs’
-originally posted Apr. 4, 2013 — BuzzFeed list about one of my favorite Web series
10. Jake Silbermann: Just My Type

1. Home Page
2. New Kids on the Block — All My Children, That Is
-originally posted Mar. 17, 2013 — Cady McClain tweeted this link and the thing just exploded. The viral power of social media.
3. Finnish Soap’s Gay Storyline Finds International Fans Thanks to YouTube
4. Like Sands Through the Gay Hourglass — Ticked Off at American Dramas. Again.
5. Gay Marines Talk About Falling in Love
6. “Bare” Off-Broadway: Cover It Up [review]
-originally posted Dec. 9, 2012 — my thoughts on the disappointing revival of “Bare”
7. Pine Valley Is Open for Business Again
8. Gay Teen Boys and Highschool Romance
9. Sam Champion Engaged: ‘GMA’ Weather Anchor Comes Out, Plans To Marry Rubem Robierb
-originally posted Oct. 6, 2012 — I don’t understand this one at all. I was just being snarky; I didn’t think anyone cared!
10. ‘Scut Farkas’ Takes Bully Battle to Court
-originally posted Dec. 20, 2012 — this one pops up every now and then, maybe when people see Zack Ward on TV? No idea.

15. Grandmother’s Pound Cake
-seriously, a cake recipe? I mean, it’s a good cake, but….
19. In With ‘The Outs”
-one of my many posts on this Web series, which I think is terrific
39. John Lithgow, the National Theatre, and my own Name-Dropping Memory of the Best New Year’s Eve Ever
-my story about spending New Year’s Eve with Sir Ian McKellen
51. Eine Kleine Ukulele Muzik
-link to a great video: the Queen of the Night aria accompanied by ukulele
53. Cleveland Street Comes to Broadway
-a review of “A Christmas Story: The Musical,” which I loved (as did this year’s Tony nominating committee)

-People are eclectic.
-You can’t pinpoint what people will read.
-Interesting how some posts that you never thought would be that popular, are. Consistently.
-Thanks for reading — whatever is is you like to read!

P.S. — If you read it and like it … hit the LIKE button! Thanks!!

Texts From Hillary Named Tumblr Of The Year By Shorty Awards

Texts From Hillary Named Tumblr Of The Year By Shorty Awards.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli,  LibyaThis Tumblr has been one of my guilty pleasures over the last year or so. TFH transcended it’s blog origins and became a full-blown meme with everyone submitting TFH’s all over the place. I love that power of social media to spur creativity on.

Now, if we could just get that pesky world peace problem solved!