"Outland" is an Aussie television import that boasts one of the most original series ideas in a millennium. Starring a cast of game comedic actors, "Outland" revolves around a group of people in a Gay Sci-Fi Fan Club. Toby Truslove plays Max, a cute but awkward nerd who has just finished an afternoon movie date with a hunky DJ named Dylan. When they arrive outside of Max’s apartment, Dylan asks to come up for some "coffee." This panics Max as this means Dylan would be entering the apartment, which, rather than being simply messy or small, is filled with sci-fi collectibles. Fearful his true self will be revealed; he runs upstairs and wipes the place clean of the nerdy knick-knacks before letting Dylan in. All seems to be under control, but when Dylan is about to make his move - "ding dong" - someone arrives at the door. While Dylan excuses himself to use the restroom, Max is confronted with his queenly friend Fab, played by the hilarious Adam Richard. Incredible fey and also a sci-fi geek, he enters in a flurry of stories about their Sci-Fi club meeting that went off the rails at Rae’s house because her girlfriend broke up with her. Because of this, the entire group is on their way over to watch an old unaired sci-fi TV pilot from the 70’s.
Max desperately tries to get Fab out of the apartment - "What is all this shoo-fly business?" - but doesn’t succeed. Dylan is discovered and as the rest of Max’s friends arrive, Max goes into overdrive to hide his true self.
The wit of this half-hour comedy is that the geek in Max is the one thing that remains in the closet. He isn’t ashamed about his homosexuality, he’s ashamed because he knows the entire history of the Klingons and can name every episode of Dr. Who.
Max’s other friends are equally as nerdy. There’s Rae (Christine Anu) a wheelchair-bound lesbian - strong to a fault - who has just been dumped by her girlfriend. Toby (Ben Gerrard) is a buttoned up rich kid who has been coming to the group for months, yet no one can seem to remember his name. Lastly, there’s Andy (Paul Ireland), an in-your-face leather-daddy who likes to regale the group with stories of his sexual exploits.
This is the brilliance of "Outland." While it brings together a varied group of homosexuals, it focuses on their one true love - sci fi. As a gay nerd myself, this is a subgroup of gays with which I am familiar and appreciate. As written by Adam Richard and John Richards, "Outland" allows a group to come out of the closet to entertain and enlighten us. It’s about accepting ourselves for who we are and not being ashamed for it. While that message is certainly nothing new in the world of "Glee" and "It Gets Better," "Outland" brings a group to light that has remained hidden in the shadows for far too long.
Gay Geeks Unite! Your show has arrived.
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