July 28, 2014
July 25, 2014
Standard Interviews: Joanna Griffiths, founder of Knix Wear
Boob jail is a real place but you can escape
July 24, 2014
Do Make Say Think (July 25-27)
July 22, 2014
A conversation with Patricia Pearson
July 21, 2014
Standard Interviews: Les Murray, president of Toronto’s Festival of Beer
Recapped: The Avenue Season 2, Episode 1
Kevin Naulls speculates that every man on the show is a homosexual

Last season on The Avenue, the show followed protagonist Gregory Gorgeous as he went to school, went on dates, and had fun with his girlfriends. Remarkably, he did this all in super-high heels (and booties!) and aggressive clown makeup. It takes a tremendous amount of confidence to wear what he does–I’m focusing on what he wore, because in season 1 of The Avenue, I’m never led to believe that GG has a brain. Gregory went from catty verbal assault to hair flip to night out with the girls and while it may make for a low-budge The Hills, it is a dated reality TV model that can’t be carried into a second season. So in season 2, the show attempts to get ray-ull (that’s ‘real’ in the Gregory Gorgeous way).

And it does not mess around. In the first three seconds, I learn that Gregory’s mom recently died, and I can’t really make fun of that (as much as I want to make fun of the show, there is a line). You know where there isn’t a line? Il Sogno and Vagabondo, the empty restaurants featured on this week’s episode. Now that that’s out of the way (sorry, Greg and restaurants), let’s talk about the staggering continuity errors.
 
Somehow Gregory is now living in a beautiful Rosedale home, complete with a man in his bed and a Botoxed matron (Shannon) for a neighbour. Jay, the man in his bed, is Gregory’s boyfriend (who I can confirm is a closet case because I have watched the season 2 teaser trailer about 7 times), and the show leads us to believe that GG owns this home. How do you transition from an Avenue Road apartment to a Rosedale house over one summer? Makeup tutorials on YouTube can’t be that lucrative, and I know that this show isn’t paying dividends, so where is the money coming from? The one consistency with The Avenue is that it doesn’t explain anything. We’re supposed to accept that this house is his, that he’s somehow friends with Arta now (who has left her post at fake magazine Défilé for a position at tangible publication Verve Girl where she “curates photo shoots,” whatever that means), and that his Kate Gosselin haircut is not a dated reference.
 
We’re also supposed to believe that while Gregory has been playing house with his closet case Jay, he has lost touch with Claire and Rachel, his besties from season 1–besties who now have matching boyfriends who are no-question-about-it-okay-fairly-certain-boning-on-the-side. Gregory thinks they’re gay because they play tennis, but I have my own theory. Claire’s boyfriend Chad says he has never been comfortable with Gregory dressing up, and he makes that pretty clear when eating lunch at boutique resto School in Liberty Village. Just the mention of Gregory sends him into a homophobic rant, so I sense some hard feelings, or some inner demons (I’m just going to call it really early, and say that Chad is probably gay, can’t come out, and is taking it out on poor Gregory). Because the girls haven’t gotten together in what seems like a while, they play catch up, and it appears Rachel is happy and can see herself marrying her boy Connor (she also arbitrarily decides she wants to try modelling, because lol). Good for her, but Greg can’t even talk about his homebody homo because doing so would out him, so he lies and says he isn’t seeing anyone. He also lies about how close he is with Arta to Claire and Rachel, because they don’t like her.
 
So, Gregory is a liar and can’t be trusted, but don’t worry, he doesn’t want “any drama,” because he just wants to focus on what’s ray-ull, like shopping. I know it’s a lot of nothing to take in, but for a first episode it was pretty bad-good, and we have a whole season of sassy outfits, Rachel’s maybe pill addiction that requires an intervention (the role of Candy Finnigan to be played by Gregory, of course) and Claire and Rachel’s possibly gay boyfriends to look forward to. 
 
Whether or not it gets ray-ull, at least it’ll be real hilarious. And full of exterior shots of Toronto that aren’t relevant to the episode, like the Village’s Flash (a gay strip club) and City Hall (is this a wink to GG’s run for mayor?). 

____

Kevin Naulls is a Toronto-based writer and former editor of The Goods and The Hype at Torontolife.com. Follow him on Twitter @kevinjn.

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