What happens when the reviewer who did Dante’s Cove decides to tackle its vampiresque cousin, The Lair? (Besides scheduling more sessions with his psychiatrist) You get somebody who starts understanding what makes up the Here! network. We’re homies, we break bread together. Just don’t expect me to wear my pants that low nor participate in your late night parties. I got an image to uphold. Season one of the Lair provides something that no other show on the Here! network has proved to this point. A show where there is actual dialog and something more than a cheap excuse to show lots and lots of male on male action. Welcome to the Fang Bang.
The Lair is the story of a journalist, Thom (played by David Moretti ) who is investigating the John Doe murders when he comes across a janitor, Frankie (played by Brian Nolan) who gives him information about a club called the Lair. The Lair as it turns out is a sex club with all gay male clientèle (expect gratuitous scenes of six or seven men at a time doing things that would make Ron Jeremy walk out of the room) who have much darker secrets than their lifestyle. They are vampires. The vampires are lead by Damian (played by Peter Stickles) and Colin (played by Dylan Vox). Colin looks like he should be the double for Billy Idol’s next televised concert. Seriously, I expected him to bust out with White Wedding at any moment. The story starts to get interesting when Thom’s jealous boyfriend Jonathan (played by Jessie Cutlip) goes to the Lair and finds himself in a deadly situation. This leads to Thom who must keep himself alive and in the process unravel the mystery of how the John Doe murders and the Lair are connected.
The best way to describe the Lair is the Lost Boys with a twist of soap opera and more male flesh than I care to think about. However, beneath that is a decent storyline. Every episode starts off with Thom in a candle lit prison cell telling the story of his encounter of the Lair up to this point. While some would dismiss this as hokey, it actually sets the scene for the rest of the episode. The dialog is cheesy but actually isn’t painful. There is a decent supporting cast led by Laura (Thom’s journalist friend played by Beverly Lynne ) and Sheriff Trout (played by Colton Ford ) who add to each episode. The show however is stolen by Colin who delivers the most memorable lines and comes off well enough to look like he should be in the supporting cast of a more respected vampire picture. The only thing I really have problems (besides men wearing bondage outfits and dancing to techno music) is the one lone straight relationship in the show between Laura and her boyfriend, Jimmy (played by Evan Stone). It’s abusive. Jimmy is mean and abuses poor Laura. That and Jimmy can’t act to save his life. The only straight relationship and it’s a trainwreck. Why not stick Laura in a lesbian relationship abusive or not? For one, it would make more sense for the network and two, it would make my girlfriend and me very happy people.
The video is in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Since the crew is the same from Dante’s Cove, don’t expect much here. The color is still washed out and the production values are blah at best. The fangs were bought from Hot Topic for $3.99 on clearance after Halloween and the makeup needs work. The picture just isn’t very good and you wonder if it was shot yesterday or perhaps it was shot ten years ago. I do know that Jessie Cutlip’s character has a serious case of bed head.
The audio gives us the option of 5.1 DD or 2.0 Stereo in English. To be honest if I didn’t have the blue light on my receiver, I wouldn’t have known it was in 5.1 Surround Sound. It sounds honestly like they just mixed it to that point as a selling feature. Everything stays in the center channel. The dialog is clear and fully understood but how clear do you need the show to be when every 10 minutes they have to switch to a Flesh for Fantasy? Subtitles are also provided for the English SDH crowd.
- Bloopers 3:39: Watch the Lair crew screw up their lines and make me wonder where the next three minutes of my life have gone.
- Backlot 24:07: The usual Here! network fluff piece where they describe the show through a million clips and little interview spots. Good, but not really beneficial either way
- Photo Gallery : Photos all around of the cast and the set. It just plays in one long continuous loop though. (too bad that loop isn’t set to the speed of fast forward)
- Bonus Trailers: The Lair, Dante’s Cove Season 1, and Dante’s Cove Season 2
In its six episodes, the Lair actually succeeds where Dante’s Cove miserably fails. It provides a soap opera premise with gay action suitable for its intended viewing audience but actually provides something to draw in the casual viewer who might be looking for a decent story. Lead and supporting cast actually provide meaty dialog before jumping in bed or bondage back room together. I really hope that this caught on in the gay community so that we could see a second season (not necessarily for me to review though). The dvd package itself is quite the disappointment though. The video and the audio are weak at best and the extras are about as vacant as Evan Stone’s acting. If the strength of writing in the Lair could be coupled with the extras on the Dante’s Cove set; we could have quite the winner. One question you have to ask yourself before watching, “Whose side are you going to be on when the blood hits the fan?”.