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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Shortland St strips for 7pm same-sex shocker

Posted in: Television
By Matt Akersten - 1st May 2008

Last night's episode of New Zealand's nightly soap was so gay, TVNZ's censors wanted it edited. Here's our blow-by-blow recap.


Previously on Shortland Street…

Poor receptionist Gerald is struggling with his sexuality. Won't somebody help him come to terms with himself? Yes. His old school friend Lindsay has reappeared in Ferndale after a few years man-loving it up in Sydney, and unlike Gerald, he's comfortable enough with his gayness to wear shiny sleeveless tops to dinner and tell bawdy stories of what he's been up to with blokes he's met in homo-hotspots across the Tasman.

Now he's back in NZ, Lindsay's heart and loins are fluttering for prissy young Gerald, and the two get on extremely well. Then Lindsay revealed he wants to take their relationship further. His horniness seems to be mutual… in theory, anyway.

But the opportunity for some man-on-man action has sent Gerald into a spin-out. We learn that:

1) Gerald is a virgin

2) He doesn't fantasise about men, or women, but "different-coloured clouds" instead

3) He doesn't want to lose Lindsay as a friend and wants to try things out, but:

4) He's scared.

So, naturally, Gerald's flatmate Kieran and his girlfriend Libby decide to get some gay XXX DVD's for him to watch, for research purposes. What are friends for, if not to provide porn?

Now you're right up-to-date, let's study last night's Most Gay Shorty Episode Ever...

"Warning: This episode of Shortland Street contains sexual material which may be unsuitable for younger viewers." Ace!

In the morning, Gerald is on the couch and Kieran enters, looking like this:


OK, so this episode already beats Close Up and Campbell Live.

"Were the DVD's helpful?" Kieran enquires.

Gerald: "Oh, absolutely. Yeah, turned me off gay porn for life. Bad music, bad acting, bad dialogue, and the art director wants a bomb up his…"

"I wouldn't worry about it," the ex-Coronation Street star sagely responds. "Porno's are pretty unrealistic."

Gerald: "That's a relief, I thought I was going to have to take up gymnastics for a second there. It gives flexibility a whole new meaning!"

OK, we still have gay sex issues then! So no bonks with Lindsay yet?

"If he's really into you, he'll wait," offers Kieran.

"Yeah, but he's not going to wait forever, is he?"


Gerald then confides in his flower-arranging friend Yvonne on reception at work. "I'm such a freak. Why is this so difficult for me?"

Yvonne: "You're not a freak… Go at your own pace… explain to him how you're feeling." All good advice.

Gerald: "I know he wants more. I want more… desperately," he convinces himself. "All right, I'll do it. I'll ask him out again."


Right on cue, Lindsay appears. But oh damn, he's busy tonight… how about lunch instead? Gerald suggests his place. Our hearts are beating really fast. It's a date. Cut to ads.


Welcome back. Gerald and Lindsay and having a lovely lunch and are enjoying each other's company. Nothing could go wrong now, could it? Then, Lindsay makes his move:

"I like you. I really like you."

Gerald: "I like you too."

Lindsay: "Here's the thing. I don't want to pressure you into anything you're not ready for. But I'd like us to take things to another level."

Gerald: "As in…?" Keep up, Gerry!

Lindsay: "As in a physical relationship, yes. I mean, don't feel obligated - I won't take it personally if you don't want to."

Gerald: "No, I do… I'm just nervous I guess."

Lindsay: "Well we can take things as slowly as you want… or not… I mean, it's up to you. Or we can just be mates."

Gerald makes up his mind suddenly.

"Let's just do it now!"


He looks pretty determined. Let's hope they've got the condoms ready*!

* This sentence was proudly brought to you by the NZ AIDS Foundation.

At last! The bedroom! Both guys look very anxious. "Nice and hard!" declares Gerald, but unfortunately he's talking about the bed.





Hurrah! But wait… things are still pretty awkward between these two. Gerald makes some silly small talk as they get into the sack. Hang on though! Where's naughty Lindsay going now? "It's a surprise," he says as he pops his head down under the covers.


Quite an ice-breaker! But is Gerald enjoying it? No. "It just really tickles!"


Then, from down under the sheets, a loud THUD!

Gerald: "Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry!"

Lindsay: "I'm bleeding…"


Oh dear. A knee-jerk reaction. Literally.

Gerald: "Maybe we should try again?"

Lindsay: "Look, don't take this personally, but maybe we should just be friends. It'd be safer!"

So there you have it. Not quite a full-on all-out gay sex romp, was it? But still fun!

More knee-jerking?

The message board was lively with debate after the episode aired. Here's some highlights:

"We never got to see Jay and Maia [Shortland Street's lesbian couple] doing that … sexist TV censors!"

"I changed channel tonight. Decided I didn't really want my kids to see two gay men, trying to do the wild thing. It made me feel weird, now, I feel stink/guilty. I have nothing against gay people, but still can't watch them kissing etc. :-( does that make me an awful person?"

"I think it's cute, Gerald all tongue-twisted and wotnot... what's wrong with gay guys? Gay girls are splashed about everywhere and nobody complains."

"There's a time and a place for everything... Not at 7.30 in the evening... WTF are TVNZ thinking? Or were they?"

"I let my 9 year old son watch, and have no problems with it, he asked questions and I told him that some men prefer other men instead of woman and he was ok with it. I don't want my son growing up to be a gay basher!!!"

Your thoughts?

So what did you think of Shortland Street's same-sex scenes? And what will happen to Gerald now? Our Forum is open for your thoughts… and the entire episode is available to view on the TVNZondemand website. The links are below.

Note: This article is an affectionate look at a Shortland Street episode, with no copyright infringement intended.

Matt Akersten - 1st May 2008