“The DL Chronicles”
Leading Double Lives
Here! TV has produced some wonderful shows. Following two excellent dramas like “Dante’s Cove” and “The Lair” is not an easy thing to do but it has been done by independent directors Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett in “The DL Chronicles” which focuses on men who lead double lives. Dealing with men of color who are sexually duplicitous, here is a provocative look at sexual discovery including denial, love, betrayal and loss.
The first season is now available on DVD and it is absolutely amazing. The term “downlow”, as I have learned, refers to African-American men who, for appearance’s sake, are outwardly straight but secretly have sex with other men. They go out with women, marry them, have children and appear to be straight to outside society. They do not self identify as gay or bisexual and refuse to be part of the gay community or have anything to do with the gay lifestyle except for sex.
The DVD is comprised of four shows and each is a gem. Standing above the other shows, however, is the episode entitled “Robert” which gives the story of Robert Hall (Terrell Tilford), a talent agent who lives in the closet but falls for a man 20 years younger than him who runs a heath food store. The two men fall very much in love but Robert does not disclose that there is a special female in his life and keeps that secret. When the store manager becomes suspicious, things get rough and we see the evolution of a triangle with surprises along the way.
Also noteworthy is the episode entitled “Wes”. Wes Thomas is a very successful real estate broker with a beautiful wife and a very sexy brother in law. He feels an attraction for men and this makes him a very unhappy person. But when his brother in law comes for a visit, temptation takes over and the expected happens.
Gay African Americans have been depicted, in most cases, flamboyantly in the movies and on TV and it is refreshing to see them here as masculine men who do not deal with the old stereotypes.