Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011 Page: 38 of 56
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Fur the boys
Andy Stark brings reality TV to bear — with sights set on the networks
RICH LOPEZ I Staff Writer
On shows like TheA-List or Girls Who Like.
Boys Who Like Boys, TV audiences get a peek into
the inner workings of gay men (at least the ones
Logo thinks represent us). But Dallasite Andy
Stark isn't so sure the current crop of reality
shows profiles our community in the best light
— or in all its glory.
He's not the only one. Where those series may
rely on caricatures or fabricated storylines, Stark
is delivering his own show that he sees less as a
drama fest and more as just a good tinm
"The show is going to be a positive natured
show," he says.*T want it to be appealing across
Stark is talking about his reality/travel series
Bear It All, which follows a cast of hirsute gentle-
men in different cities, around various bear
events. Clips of the show have made their way
online, with some containing footage taken at
this year's Texas Bear Round Up, but it makes its
full-episode debut at a screening party Sunday at
the Round-Up Saloon.
"The idea originally came up at Southern
Decadence last year, so it's almost a year old,"
Stark says of the germ of the series. "I didn't
think it would take that long, but it's nice. You
know, we had the idea and the tools to make it
and just said, 'Let's do it — we don't need
money, just the will to do it.'''
Pulling together a cast of mostly locals — in-
cluding Butch Compton, Charlie Himmler and
Michael Herrington — Stark pulled in Philadel-
phia-based bear Barney Philly and Indiana na-
tive Matthew Moriarity, who just might be the
breakout star of the show.
"The one bit of feedback I always get is hoiv
adorable he is," Stark says.
"I got involved with it when I was in North
Carolina," Moriarity says; *1 didn't really go to a
lot of bear events or gay events, but I got in con-
tact via Facebook."
Initially, Moriarity hadn't heard anything back
other than "stay tuned." But as TBRU ap-
proached, he received a call: He was now in the
cast as he was making his way to Dallas for the
"1 didn't know what to expect," he laughs.
As the Dallas-based episode came together,
Stark entered Moriarity in the Mr. TBRU contest.
Figuring on his random entrance into the con-
test, Stark had developed the arc of the episode
Eligible for a reason: Obnoxious
Here's my big problem with reality TV: Most of our lives aren't
scripted, but they are made to seem so if you watch too many of
these shows. It's not a problem on competition-based series like The
Amazing Race or Survivor (how many of us get to travel that much
anyway?), or even episodic series with a sense of humor, like Kathy
Griffin: My Life on the D List (Kathy's inherent wittiness feels authen-
tic). But the Bravo-style throw-six-people-together-and-pretend-they-
are- the-shit egothons like The Real Housewives and TheA-List?
They are merely soap operas where the actors are underpaid. And
not very good actors.
Add to that list the latest little disaster of preening incorrigibility:
Most Eligible Dallas.
It's one thing to cajole your way onto America's Got Talent by
wearing goofy clothes or exaggerating your personality for a perform-
ance; it's another when what sells you as a TV star is being the
biggest asshole you can be. I don't wanna sound like a curmudgeon
blaming TV for the ills of society, but when I see drivers who take left-turns from right lanes with arrogant
disregard for the rest of humanity ... well, it's difficult not to think that because they see everyone on the
tube behaving the same way.
Most Eligible takes a half-dozen single 20somethings from Dallas and follows their appallingly wonder-
ful singleness. There's Drew, pictured, a car-loving gay guy who self-medicates with female hormones to
keep from getting fat again; Glenn, the muscle-bound football wannabe who's been passed around more
locker rooms than a Kardashian; Matt, the obnoxious "playa" who goes on dates with multiple women;
and Courtney, the big-haired bimbo who has such a blatant unacknowledged crush on Matt that her
venom forms the basis of the Sam-and-Diane (or Reichen-and-Rodiney) thread on the premiere.
The calculated way the series tries to create personalities — Drew is, to my knowledge, the only per-
son who has ever been shown smoking a cig in the address-the-camera interviews, just to show what a
rebel-outside-the-box-gay he is — feels incredibly fake, exacerbated by the over-reactions to banal activi-
ties (Glenn in particular seems like a real drama queen). Easily the best thing about the series is seeing
local landmarks. The rest just perpetuates negative stereotypes about Dallas.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
Premieres on Bravo Aug, 15 at 9 p.m.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011, newspaper, August 12, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239180/m1/38/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.