Tuesday Night’s “Southland”: No Weddings and a Funeral

After last week’s recap, there was an interesting debate in the post-recap postings about the show’s handling of Cuddlybear’s sexuality so far.

Some people appreciated how subtle it’s been and acknowledge the show’s clearly building toward something, while others seem to think it’s been so subtle that it’s easily missed completely.

Well, the show’s producers have obviously heard this complaint and taken it seriously. Which is why they’ve agreed to broadcast this week’s episode in “Gaydar-Vision.” I’m sure you saw all the promotions this past week telling you to go pick up your “Official Southland Gaydar Glasses” at any participating Bed, Bath & Beyond.

“Wear them during the show,” the promos promised, “and you’ll see exactly how gay Cuddlybear and his friends are acting in any given moment.”

Fortunately for those of you who weren’t able to get to B, B & B in time to get your own official glasses, I can give you the Gaydar readings I got throughout my recap of the show …

We see Cuddlybear and Rookieboy getting into the car, both wearing those tight T-shirts and crotch-grabbing slacks we saw them in at the end of last episode. They’re going away together on some outing, and they’ve even got garment bags and weekender totes.

Gaydar-Vision Reading (on a scale of 1 to 10 rainbow flags): 6 flags. And here’s the Gaydar-Vision explanation for why: “The garment bags aren’t in and of themselves gay, because we later see they’ve brought their uniforms along with them. But the weekender totes are a dead giveaway. No straight man needs that many personal grooming products for a one-day outing.”

As they get in the car, they talk about how they’re going to visit Dewey in rehab, which Cuddlybear says is “basically a bunch of guys sitting in flip-flops at some desert spa.”

Gaydar-Vision Reading: 8 flags. “By comparing rehab to a spa, Cuddlybear makes it clear he’s been to one.”

Cuddlybear mentions that Rookieboy will also have to go to a funeral with him. He says, “Dewey and Death. Some day.”

Gaydar-Vision Reading: 10 flags. “Poetic use of alliteration. ‘nuff said.”

In other words, from the opening scene alone, Gaydar-Vision is telling us this little road trip couldn’t be gayer if Cuddlybear was a politician taking one of his pages to a male-only congressional offsite.

It was also during this scene that I started feeling a smidge bad for Ben McKenzie. I used to watch him on The O.C., the show that basically invented ho-yay as we now know it. And now it’s become obvious that all that ho-yay energy has merely followed him over here like bad cologne. Because Cuddlybear might be the official gay of the show, but watch these road-trip scenes with those Gaydar glasses on and try and tell me they’re not going to be shopping for his-and-his matching boxer briefs any day now.

Meanwhile, Lydia has a storyline too! We see her being called to a crime scene — a pretty young woman who’s been shot dead.

Foreboding Announcer Guy: “Every victim tells a story. Detective Lydia Adams has heard this one before.”

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