DVD Review: Dante’s Cove: The Second Season
By Jeff Swindoll Jun 4, 2007, 17:28 GMT
Since its premiere in 2005, "Dante’s Cove" has grown from a cult sensation to a gay cultural phenomenon. Fun and provocative, the show has seduced thousands with its unabashed and unapologetic delivery of sex and camp, placing itself as the ultimate guilty pleasure. Season 2 is even more outrageous with the introduction of more deadly secrets, more intriguing twists and most importantly, more hot-bodied stars! ...more
Playing like a gay version of Dark Shadows this series from the Here! Network examines the supernatural and sexual adventures of the residents of the titular cove.
What the back of the box says:
“The sexy and supernatural residents of Dante’s Cove are back with explosive desires, devious plots, and passions laid bare. You won’t want to miss a single moment of this intense new season that also introduces many hot new neighbors including Jon Fleming (“Will & Grace”) and Thea Gill (“Queer as Folk”).”
Season one saw the 1840 wedding of Ambrosious Vallin (William Gregory Lee) and Grace Neville (Tracy Scroggins) interrupted when Grave finds him getting humped by his valet. She’s a witch so she uses her witchery to melt the naughty valet and ages and imprisons Ambrosious in the basement of her home. He can only be freed by the kiss of a handsome young man (Cinderfella?). We fast forward to the present day and Kevin (Gregory Michael) and Toby (Charlie David) are a gay couple that move to the cove and set up residence at the Hotel Dante that just happens to be the converted home of Grace.
Kevin finds the basement hideaway with Ambrosious in is and gives the old coot a smacker and soon Ambrosious is free, young, and soon obsessed with making Kevin his boy-toy. Season two picks up right where the first one left off but adds some creepy ghost kids, Diana (Thea Gill), a rival witch for Grace, and Van (Nadine Heiman), Toby’s lesbian friend, developing her powers as a witch.
I suppose the comparisons to Dark Shadows are inevitable. We don’t have vampires but the supernatural elements come from the various witches and warlocks that practice a religion called Tresum. The show basically is a soap opera for gay men and lesbians with a supernatural bent. So the comparison to Dark Shadows holds and it also reminded me of it with its over-the-top histrionic acting style of some characters.
The soap opera bits come into play as we have the “happy couple” (though this time Kevin and Toby) being split apart by other characters and Kevin being pursued by the warlock Ambrosious ala Barnabas Collins. It’s also a lot of eye candy for it’s intended audience and plays like a gay man’s hotdog stand – lots of buns and wieners (not to mention the simulated(?) gay sex). There’s some lesbianism (what straight man doesn’t want to see that?) but the most sex scenes go to the boys.
I’m definitely not the intended audience, but there are hot guys for the intended audience to ogle. I was sorta disappointed that Dante’s Cove really didn’t feature any old, fat, gay men but that might be too close to reality, this is a fantasy soap opera after all.
Disc one contains “Some Kind of Magic,” “Playing with Fire,” and “Come Together.” Disc two contains “Spring Forward” and “The Solstice.”
Dante’s Cove is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features include commentaries by director Sam Irvin and Charlie David on “Some Kind of Magic,” “Spring Forward,” and “The Solstice.” Disc two contains the remainder of the special features. These include the 3 minute “Guys of Dante’s Cove” which interviews William Gregory Lee, Jon Fleming (“Adam”), Charlie David, Gregory Michael, and Gabriel Romero (“Marco”). Giving the ladies equal play is the 3 minute “Ladies of Dante’s Cove” which interviews Erin Cumming (“Michelle”), Nadine Heiman, Thea Gill, Tracy Scoggins, and Michelle Wolff (“Brit”).
There’s also 16 minutes of deleted scenes with an optional director’s commentary. The 3 minute “Out on Set” talks to David, Wolff, and Romero about being openly gay actors. The 20 minute “Backlot” appears to be a making-of that aired on the Here! Network. Finally there are trailers for other similarly themed DVDs.
Although it smacks of Dark Shadows (the network has a new gay vampire show called the Lair airing also), Dante’s Cove will have its fans. I can’t claim to be one of them, it’s not the sexuality that bothered me (although I am straight) but more the over-the-top nature of the show.