What do you get when you take and mix into the boiling cauldron of the witches brew to create a TV series with a pinch of hot men, a dash of hot women, a lot of gays, a sprinkling of lesbians, a couple of bisexuals, a pound of sex, ample nudity, a few cups of supernatural, sprigs of magic, plenty of drugs, abundant cra-zee soap opera plot lines, enough beautiful island scenery and some special effects? You get Here TV’s 3 year running series Dante’s Cove.
On the heels of cutting edge shows that portrayed gay life and gay sex life such as Showtime’s Queer as Folk or the L Word, Dante’s Cove does the same but takes it to a campy level. The nudity and sex becomes nothing more than a guilty pleasure or a backdrop to a soap opera genre reminiscent of shows like Dynasty or Knot’s landing.
Dante’s Cove is like one of those trashy novels that one of my girlfriends at work likes to read at the beach during the summer. You know the ones, with the picture of the big muscled shirtless man on the front cover holding the fair maiden ( not that I ever noticed those covers before in the Romance section of Barnes and Noble).
I have seen the previous seasons of the show. I have just finished seeing the 3rd season all in one day. The campy element is taken to the next level on the 3rd season. Dante’s Cove Hotel and H2O Bar has been washed away by a Tsunami caused by Diana’s interference with Tresum ( a drug produced from a Star Flower which causes visions but is also used as an illegal drug by island residents) and its power. Everyone has moved to Grace’s other home on the windward side of the island and there now there is a new bar.
Kevin is under the influence of Ambrosius because of the magic bracelet ( that’s right…a magic bracelet). Toby and Adam are now getting closer. Grace is back. She is now leading the fight against the Dark Shadows. These are evil forces that have been unleashed when Michelle was brought back from the dead ( that’s right….brought back from the dead).
Tracy Scoggins ( remember her from the late night soap “The Colbys) plays Grace and steals almost every scene. She plays the ever virginal witch who gets ditched a few centuries prior by Warlock Ambrosius ( Bro) because he likes men ( that’s right…Bro was and is queer). He was fooling around with the butler.
That was what started this whole mess the first season. Well, Grace finally meets a man who likes women. Okay, the new dude also likes guys but he gives them up for her, I think. He is also a brother ( that is how we say it here in Oakland).
Diana ( Thea Gill – she was also on Queer as Folk) goes Bette Davis CRA-ZEE in this movie and has a few Jack Nicholson ” Out of your Mind”, Linda Blair- like possessed campiest scene moments ever! I laughed so hard through them. I think I want to coin a new phrase, You have just gone “Thea-zee” on me!
Toby ( Charlie David), who I think is a great actor and Kevin ( Gregory Michael) , took the greatest hits to their character development this season. During season one, the series started as their love story as the central theme, and I actually cared about their characters. By the end of season three, I did not care how it ended. In fact the ending did not have the dramatic punch line that I think was intended. I also was disappointed that the character of Van was unceremoniously eliminated for the third season. It did make a difference.
Adam ( Jon Fletcher) has had the most character development and I wished they had even gone deeper with his story. I am glad they tried to develop the story line with him and Toby. I know Adam, with his shirt off, is kind of the running gag or character identifier, for him but I wish there was less objectifying and more substance. I think Jon Fletcher could have rose to the occasion. No pun intended.
Griff ( Jensen Atwood of Noah’s Arc fame) is the best thing that happened to the Cove. This man burns the Cove up! He not only wins Grace over but the entire island.
Also, appearing for the first time is Trevor (Reichen Lehmkuhl, ex-boyfriend of Lance Bass of NSYNC fame). He is additional eye-candy and has some comical moments. He is mostly naked throughout the show.
Brit ( Michelle Wolff) is another character that has been developed more in the 3rd season. She brings on the HOT meter to overdrive as the premier Lesbian Lover. OMG! Some of the scenes would not only get rave reviews from my queer sisters but I know a lot of my straight male friends would tune in. Also, Brit is struggling between her love for a sweet girlfriend and her recently resurrected ex ( who is also a possessed killer monster). What a dilemma!
Michelle ( Jill Bennett) This pretty woman can be scary. When resurrected Michelle returns with her possesed self and we see her for who she really is, man, she is scary! The special efffects with her very light blue contacts makes her freaky against the strobe lights! She is beauty and the beast in one. A very pretty, bad girl.
Ambrosius- Bro ( William Gregory Lee). Our poor dysfunctional Warlock. Held hostage by Grace for over a century because of his affair with a butler took an emotional toll on him. He bitterly took Kevin hostage from Toby because he loved Kevin and thought that was the only way to have him. That is when the magic bracelet came into the picture. I guess it was better than a leather collar and leash.
The cycle of abuse – will it ever end? He should have called Dr. Phil. Bro’s character got developed in Season 1 and 2. There was hope.
Then in season 3, it goes into overdrive and he turns into a some sort of vampire ( not the blood sucking kind) but the Tresum kind. He draws power out of men when he starts to have sex with them ( that’s right…I said when he starts to have sex with them). He does it in the locker room, in the car, in a wierd sex club… I mean he goes crazy. He simply loses control. Then I simply started laughing. Who the hell wrote this stuff?
Then he and Kevin have this big power struggle drawing power in and out each other ( not during sex) and then somehow they find love….that was when I was about to throw up. Is this for real? Oh yeah, this is not for real, this is only TV….poorly written TV.
So should you see this DVD? If just want to see some campy stuff like a trashy novel to read on a summer day at a beach for simple guilty pleasure, watch it. Otherwise, do something else.