Does the sitcom darling Schitt’s Creek live up to all the hype? Is Dolly Parton’s Netflix drama Heartstrings campy? Is Tiger King like a “snuff film”?
In the half-hour special Dorians Dish, debuting Friday December 18 on Revry’s free platform Watch.Revry.TV, famed queer broadcasting veteran Karel asks members of GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics—including groundbreaking TV journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, The Daily Beast Senior Entertainment Writer Kevin Fallon, media activist Tre’vell Anderson and The Advocate magazine Editor-in-Chief Tracy E. Gilchrist—to assess the state of television as we say goodbye to a tough year. Members also reveal their disappointment over a certain controversial show’s win revealed in the group’s recent awards show, the Dorians TV Toast 2020 on Revry.
That Toast, which premiered last September and was also hosted by Karel, included appearances by stars such as Hugh Jackman, Regina King, Dan Levy, Janelle Monáe, John Oliver and RuPaul’s Drag Race champion Chad Michaels. The program was shown across a multitude of platforms, making it one of the most-watched LGBTQ-themed entertainment specials of 2020.
“So I thought it’d be interesting to find out what my fellow Dorian Award voters think of their own group’s picks,” says Karel. “That’s something you don’t see critics groups do.”
GALECA, founded in 2009, currently counts 285 members across the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. The Society’s Dorian Awards go to the best in all of film and TV, from mainstream to queer-centric.
The Dorians Dish special features 16 GALECA members. In addition to Fallon, Gilchrist, Velez-Mitchell and Anderson—who co-hosts the Maximum Fun’s FANTI podcast—the other Dorian voters appearing are Eric Andersson (Senior Editor, TV Guide magazine); Liz Shannon Miller (Senior TV Editor, Collider); Dino-Ray Ramos (Associate Editor, Deadline Hollywood); Erik Anderson (Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Awards Watch); Jose Bastidas (Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor, The San Francisco Chronicle); Tariq Raouf, host of the Entertainment Queerly podcast; Ren Jender, who has contributed to The New York Times and The Film Experience; Manuel Betancourt (ET Online, Vulture), Topher Gauk-Roger (People, CNN), Wadooah Wali (an LGBTQ+ Advocate who sits on the Society’s Advisory Board); renowned columnist Michael Musto and Emmy magazine contributor John Griffiths, Executive Director of GALECA.org.
Pouring high tea in his fabulous TV den, Karel dishes virtually with the Society’s TV experts on everything from which satirical news shows are often more informative than “real” news shows to bigoted casting agents to the COVID 19 pandemic’s affect on our viewing habits. “There’s been so much social upheaval,” says Karel. “Everyone has turned to television.”
Karel himself offers a personal tribute to multi-Dorian Award winner Schitt’s Creek, explaining why the biting relationship comedy makes him shed tears of joy. Aside from giving viewers TV’s most powerful gay romance ever, he says the recently finished satire about a riches-to-rhinestones family provides the perfect blueprint for adjusting to the unexpected.
“What happens when you’re thrust into a strange world?” asks Karel. “You can try to go back to the way it was—or you can look around, take stock, make do and move forward. And that’s what Schitt’s Creek is all about.”
In April, GALECA will present its Dorians Film Toast. The Dorians Dish special begins streaming on Friday, Dec. 13 at watch.revry.tv, where the two-hour Dorians TV Toast can also be viewed (scroll to “2020” on the page to see both shows). For more information, visit GALECA.org and DoriansToast.com.