By Romeo San Vicente
‘Moonlight’ writer McCraney ‘Makes Man’ for OWN
“David Makes Man” is the name of a series from OWN, currently in production, a coming-of-age drama from Academy Award-winning “Moonlight” writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. This will be his scripted television debut and there’s an impressive cast led by Phylicia Rashad and young actor Akili McDowell. Set in South Florida and inspired by McCraney’s own life, “Man” will revolve around teenage David (McDowell), living in poverty with a single mother, finding his way toward adulthood, attending a magnet school for academically gifted students, and trying to survive. Rashad will play a teacher who takes an interest in David and becomes his advocate. No word on whether or not this young man will be a queer character, but a supporting role will involve a gender non-binary neighbor who helps David’s mother watch and raise him. Keep this one in mind for its eventual 2019 bow.
‘Pose’ star Indya Moore will serve Frankenstein realness
Che Grayson is a young black filmmaker from New York, whose short films have picked up numerous awards and whose self-published comic book series, “Rigamo,” is about a young black female superhero whose tears bring people back to life. But that’s not why she’s news right now. She is also the driving force behind a new, currently untitled, anthology series, the pilot for which, called “Magic Hour” will star “Pose”’s Indya Moore as a Frankenstein-like creature in search of her humanity and possibly love. Now, usually, pilots are only memorable when they become actual shows. But this one feels special, mostly because Moore’s star is currently on the rise. The “Vogue” model-turned-actress is one of the breakout stars of the series (recently renewed for a second season – watch it now, it’s great, seriously), and her acting talent has made for some of that show’s most moving, resonant moments. She’ll serve as a producer on “Magic Hour,” as well, so we hope that whatever clout she’s currently earning will get this fresh idea of a series looked at and placed. We are rooting for more queer TV, and we’d be thrilled if Moore were on our screens regularly.
A salute to Utah’s ‘Quiet Heroes’
If you lived through the 1980s, you probably remember it as a time of fear and struggle for the LGBT community. Ronald Reagan was the President, and his administration ignored the AIDS crisis as most of an entire generation of gay men lost their lives. To live in the country’s biggest cities with HIV/AIDS was bad enough, but at least in those places there was a queer community and medical help. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, the fear of AIDS and the failure of many members of the medical field to even work with AIDS patients meant that people like Salt Lake City’s Dr. Kristen Ries became experts in the field of care. Ries and assistant Maggie Snyder made house calls, provided education, and helped patients in the extremely conservative and religious area when others shunned them. Earlier this year, at the Sundance Film Festival, a documentary about Ries, “Quiet Heroes,” from directors Jenny Mackenzie and Jared Ruga, debuted to standing ovations. Now that film about one woman’s fight against ignorance, bigotry and time will debut Aug. 23 on Logo. If you weren’t there, you owe it to your sense of history to watch it.
One to Watch: Nicole Maines
Laverne Cox kicked open the door, “Pose” sashayed through it, “Sense 8” made it so cool it got itself cancelled, and now Nicole Maines is going to be a superhero. Forgive that one-sentence-long, woefully incomplete primer on the current state of transgender actors and stories on TV, but it’s important to remember that we are currently in a pop culture revolution of sorts and it’s very exciting to see it unfold on our screens. Next in line? “Supergirl,” the little superhero show that keeps on kicking. We already reported that the series planned to add a transgender character, and now that incoming additional superhero, Nia Nal/Dream Girl, has an actress to play the role. Nicole Maines, the focus of a groundbreaking lawsuit when she was in school (surprise, they didn’t want her using the bathroom, so she sued and won) and the subject of the book “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family,” has been cast in the part. She’s still new on the acting scene – she’s played a trans teen in one episode of Royal Pains – so we can’t really tell you much about her, but we’re going to assume she’s here to stay. Next stop: find a trans man to fill that ScarJo role.
Romeo San Vicente can, from memory, and for the sake of journalism, rank all Comic-Con cosplaying Wolverines in order of animal attraction.