Tag Archives: richard chamberlain

“That’s So Gay!” and Other Revelations

Disclaimer: I had a revelation about my future tonight, but it will require a long-winded and possibly boring explanation. 

Today I arrived home for Thanksgiving and tonight I joined my mom for some television.  First she was watching Friday’s episode of The Young and The Restless on SoapNet (the entire week builds up to Friday’s exciting conclusion and then you can watch the Friday episodes from every soap the next day on SoapNet in case you missed them!  [Which is definitely how I will spend my Saturdays if I’m ever hospitalized for an extended period or get so depressed that I become one of those reclusive women who eats cat food and frightens children]). 

But for now…I just can’t get into soaps.  Kathleen watches One Life to Live.  It is kind of fun once you get to know the characters and all the crazy back stories, but I still get restless.  Which is what happened when my mom was watching The Young and the Restless.  So luckily she switched from SoapNet over to the Lifetime Movie Network (huge jump) and turns out, they’re having a “Many Many Mini-Series Marathon.”  Tonight was Part 3 of 1983’s “The Thorn Birds.” 

My dad tried to steal me away from it to watch Iron Man.  And I love Robert Downey Jr. and I haven’t seen Iron Man yet, so THAT is how hooked I was to this mini-series.  Really he just wanted me to experience his new mistress that is the flatscreen television with surround sound and Blu-Ray hi-def blah blah blah.  It shakes the house and he loves it.  Anyway, I refused to join him.  He asked what we were watching and upon finding out, he replied, “That’s so gay.”  

First off, get a load of the cast in “The Thorn Birds”:

THE 60s heartthrob, Richard Chamberlain, playing a priest.

 That’s Richard Chamberlain.  Big 60s heartthrob.  Nick Jonas and Zac Efron had a love child who then traveled to 1961 to star in a television show and that love child was Richard Chamberlain.  What?  Anyway.  So he plays a priest who falls in love with a woman (weird!).  There’s all this Catholic versus Protestant stuff going on, then there’s class and status stuff that comes up because the series takes place on a sheep plantation in 1930s Australia.  That’s what I said!  Not that again.  I’m so tired of sheep plantations.

And guess who the MATRIARCH of the sheep plantation is????


Much older than the above photo, but Barbara Stanwyck!!  Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity.  That’s kick ass.  She was also in 1939’s Golden Boy by my boy, director Rouben Mamoulian.  She’s strong and sassy and I love that in a woman.

But okay, slowly getting to the point.  This guy plays the Archbishop in the mini-series:


Yeah!  Christopher Plummer.  Captain Von Trapp from the film that turned me into a theater geek, The Sound of Music.  Wow. 

So I didn’t even realize it was him and my mom goes, “This reminds me of The Sound of Music.”  And I go, “Why?”  And she starts talking about the whole forbidden love between Maria and Von Trapp and the forbidden love between Priest Richard Chamberlain and his woman.  So my mind is then blown and I decide I need to write a thesis on this and I grab pieces of paper and begin writing things like “Thorns-Roses-Jesus-Bleeding-Peacocks eat them to grow big, feathery plumes.”  And then, “Incest, gender inversion, ‘Don’t call me Father!’, Nazis.” 

So, tonight, thanks to Lifetime Movie Network and my mom and this ridiculous mini-series, I was reminded that I’m a film scholar.  Okay, I didn’t really forget, but it did make me realize that I need to get my act together and take the GREs and find programs I want to apply to and have a little faith that I’m not going to end up one of those women eating cat food and scaring little boys while watching marathons of soap operas.  Or you know, maybe I will.  But not before I analyze the crap out of some film.