I have watched the 2008 pilot of Pretty Handsome. The show is a Ryan Murphy production and there is so much in it that is interesting for a fan of Glee.
I mean, there’s the school. The blazers have a crest including the initials D.A., but I do think it means Darien Academy (because of the lacrosse team shirts). However, the school itself is definitely shot in the same place as Glee‘s Dalton Academy. If nothing else, there’s a running-down-the-hallway scene (using the same hallway, very different situation) and The Staircase. Don’t look at me that way; you know the one I’m talking about.
There’s also the cast. Dot Marie Jones, Jonathan Groff and Mike O’Malley are all magnificent. There were a couple times I cried out, “BURT! What’s wrong with you?” but otherwise, my character confusion was kept to a minimum.
You know what? Here’s a bunch of photos:
But by far, the most striking thing about this show is its emotional intensity. The scenes where (closeted) transsexual doctor-and-father-of-two is confronted with a post-transition transman, Mario, are amazing. There are rough shots when a character is in a really intense, emotional state, or sometimes when they are having a fantasy moment before they decide how they’re really going to deal with that situation.
I would gladly have continued watching the show had it aired. I guess the only happy way to look at this is that if it had been picked up, we’d have no Glee.
But what I don’t get, and what is going to mess with my brain a little bit for a while, is how Ryan Murphy could go from writing this show — how he could go from writing a show where we are made to feel so strongly for these amazing characters, to a show where the word “tranny” is dropped like it’s nothing. I don’t get it. I mean, I get that FOX might make them remove the line from Lady GaGa’s Born This Way, and that FOX may not have wanted a guy to play Frank in the Rock Horror Picture Show Episode, and that FOX wanted to replace the word “transsexual” with “sensational”. I can blame all of that on the network.
But there’s no way they held him down until he wrote “tranny” into the script.
I may need a moment.