JAMES: Poor James is apparently this season’s designated Tragic Mess. He’s a tall drink of water with sensual lips, a naughty sparkle in his gorgeous blue peepers, and a penchant for letting the good times roll. All good.
He also drinks a lot—to be fair, it could be an editing trick—and cries and splashes on the melodrama like cheap cologne. (If you watch Logo’s 1 Girl, 5 Gays, James looks and sounds like bomb-throwing cast member Andrew Edwards. He undoubtedly wouldn’t turn down another spin on Levi’s magic stick and he’s mortally offended that Levi doesn’t care to give him the time of day. Make it a double! He is shown in the preview clips copiously weeping, praying, fighting and drinking. Sometimes all at once.
ASHLEY: Young, pretty blond girl Ashley is friendly with several ALD castmates but otherwise doesn’t serve much purpose in this episode. (I swear, if she cuts a motherfucking single this season, I am done.) She stays out of the drama—bah, humbug—and holds down a regular job as a wedding photographer.
She’s married to a man who doesn’t mind if she cavorts with guys as long as they’re The Gays; otherwise, the only other dude allowed to be a regular part of her life is Jebus. (I was creeped out by that revelation, but perhaps I read too much into it.)
She and Taylor spent a fair chunk of this episode praising His Holy Name and asking Him to ensure Taylor gets into Levi’s jeans again soon. (Amen.) It’s notable that Logo chose to include two cast members who openly profess their devotion to the Lord. Neither addresses the Bible’s condemnation of gays but Ashley seems to recognize that organized religion is a polarizing issue, particularly among her beloved gays. Taylor, on the other hand, whines that many of the men he wants to date and/or hump “think they’re gonna burst into flame or something,” if they step inside a church.
No, they don’t, Tay-Tay. Many gay men don’t have a problem with religious conviction or even conservatism—what’s more inherently conservative than traditional marriage? But they do have a problem with hypocrisy. They’re offended by an institution—whether it’s the Catholic Church or the GOP—that regularly condemns the very life you proudly enjoy down there in Dallas and would restrict your freedoms as an American citizen if they could. You might get more dates if you could learn to recognize the distinction.
So far, A List New York‘s country cousin isn’t a train wreck, but still has plenty to get us riled up about—from Levi’s laconic arrogance to Phillip’s gleeful gossip mongering, and lots of Jebus! Praise Him! (if that pushes your buttons). Nobody gets slapped or punched or shoved (yet) and James cries only a little bit by typical reality-TV standards. Chase is funny, but it’s not yet clear if it’s inadvertent. There’s not much beefcake, just tight jeans plus Phillip in his undies and backwards chaps, which you’ve already seen a thousand times in the commercial.
The most disappointing aspect of this whole episode? Only one person—just one, dammit—complains about being “thrown under the bus.”
For shame, Logo.