Del Shores: My Sordid Life
Del Shores has made a name for himself writing, producing, and directing comedy on stage, television and in films. He worked on "Dharma & Greg," as well as Showtime’s American remake of the British series "Queer As Folk," but he might be best known for the play / movie / television series "Sordid Lives."
Shores certainly works that connection with his one-man show "My Sordid Life," a cheery trawl through his body of work and his family, which inspired quite a lot of Shores’ writing.
It’s his large family, jam-packed with outrageous and colorful characters, that lend this often-uninspired DVD some sparkle. Shores relates how he came out to his parents, and the unintended consequence of having to explain sex between men to his mother. (Though he gave her an account of oral sex, anal sex, and other techniques, "I skipped rimming," Shores confesses.) He gives us the skinny on how his cousin became a jailbird, and reveals how some of his most memorable characters were drawn right from his own genetic wellspring. "I’m not a writer at all," Shores reckons. "I’m a thief."
Then there’s the matter of those early life influences: "My daddy was a Southern preacher," Shores says early on, as he’s introducing himself, "and my mother was the high school drama teacher. And I am really fucked up."
Where the show doesn’t fare as well is in the asides in which Shores goes after actors he’s worked with and disliked, such as "Ned and Stacy" star Thomas Haden Church (whom Shores pegs as an "asshole;" he seems to like Debra Messing well enough, though) and "Queer As Folk"’s Randy Harrison (Shores reckons he’s an "ungrateful little shit"). Even Judge Reinhold comes in for a verbal slap down: "The biggest asshole I have ever worked with," Shores declares.
This angle seems, early on, to be one that Shores plans on working to great extent. "I am gonna call out every dick, bitch, and asshole I worked with tonight!" Shores promises. But none of the names he drops (or calls) excites much of a frisson; it’s also hard not to notice that no one from "Sordid Lives" seems to make Shores’ shit list.
Other than Shores riffing on his family, the DVD offers us the sight of him performing a monologue that delves into the Bible, comes up bristling with ammunition, and then destroys the anti-gay religious right. I confess that I have been waiting years, if not decades, for someone to confront religious bigots with the observation that sexual "sin" is hardly alone on the rolls of Old Testament infamy; gluttony is right up there, too, and it’s a treat to see Shores throw down the gauntlet to homophobic, but well-fed, "fat asses."
Regrettably, those moments of sheer pleasure are diluted by just as much tedious material, making "My Sordid Life" a purchase for hard-core fans and a tolerable curio for everyone else.
The DVD screener did not include any of the special features slated for inclusion on the finished product. Special Features reportedly include:
- Deleted Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes
- Photo Montage
"Del Shores: My Sordid Life"