Lez Be Friends
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Lez Be Friends

USA, 2007, 70 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Comedy, Drama, Gay, Lesbian
Program: U.S. Features
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Glenn Gaylord

Television sitcoms from the ’60s and ’70s are comfort food for multiple generations. For many viewers — then as much as now — Maude’s abortion, Archie Bunker’s racism and the homophobia and the confusing sexual permutations of “Three’s Company” exposed societal issues while they entertained, with their pithy resolutions, canned laugh tracks and outré apparel.
Like a Norman Lear sitcom that never was (and certainly could not have been in its day), the revisionist sitcom Lez Be Friends serves up butch lesbian heroine Ricca Pike and her straitlaced gay male sidekick Jamie, who arrive in Greenwich Village on the day after the Stonewall riots in search of an apartment. Offered a room by the Stonewall Inn’s hunky bartender Blake, Ricca must pass as a feminine straight girl so as not to incur the wrath of the lesbo-phobic landlord Truman Dubois.
Like an inverted “Three’s Company” for those who thought “That ’70s Show” lacked a certain je ne sais gay, Lez Be Friends is a rollicking homage to the sitcoms that shaped many of us, for better or worse. With the pilot episode “Stonewalled” and its follow-up “All’s Kwell That Ends Kwell” — in which crab lice infests the residents of Casa DuBois, prompting a witch hunt for Patient Zero — this two-episode, feature-length package harks back to a more innocent era, serving up laughter and bad outfits and reminding us that while things seemed much simpler post-Judy and pre-AIDS, gay drama couldn’t hold a candle to the outrageous shenanigans inherent in gay situation comedy. — ANDY BAILEY



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