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10 Random Observations: Noah’s Arc

Flaws aplenty but I can’t miss it

by j. brotherlove

I know every Modern Black Sissy is waiting for Rod’s recap of last night’s Noah’s Arc but I couldn’t resist listing a few things I noticed from the episode.

Like many, I’ve been disappointed in the show - until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to accept the show for what it is: a B-list sitcom. I didn’t watch Three’s Company expecting Jack, Janet and Chrissy to change the world. No need to start now.

My random observations from last night’s “Nothin’ Goin on but the Rent” episode (spoiler’s abound):

  1. Was that Aime Mann on the soundtrack? Wow!
  2. How can Noah owe $4000 in rent when his rent is $700/month? Can you really fall behind in rent for five months in LA without being evicted? Must be nice. That shit doesn’t fly in Georgia.
  3. Two words on Alex with a goatee: “Um, eww!”
  4. I know the show is based in La-La-Land so reality is a bit largely skewed. But if you want me to believe Ricky is “as far away from a queen as you can get” and only uses his ass for “exit only” then I’m gonna need him to lighten up on the eyebrow tweezing, the lip pursing, face-mugging and most of all, the rouge. I’m just saying.
  5. The show’s funniest line (delivered by Noah with a “straight” face): “I already owe you guys a grip.”
  6. Just when I thought Patrick Ian Polk had run out of ideas for Chance, he goes out of his way to confirm it. That pay-to-learn-thug idea has to be the dumbest (and poorly executed) storyline I’ve seen in awhile.
  7. How about when cast members talk in unison for comic effect? Let’s not and say we did.
  8. I’ve had (more than) my share of “straight” boys. But Wade has got to be the quickest and most successful conversion I’ve ever seen. The expensive gifts and random acts of PDA are so romantic and totally unbelievable.
  9. Why would Noah bring Wade’s script (the one he’s been assigned to rewrite) to dinner with Wade? She’s not the sharpest knife in drawer.
  10. It’s time for Ricky to get checked. He has no redeeming traits as a friend. Period.

Oh there’s so much more. But on a day when Janice Dickinson appeared on Tyra, Terry McMillan and Jonathon Plummer aired their laundry on Oprah as she gave the suckiest job of “hosting” this season and Lisa pissed in a pair of diapers on America’s Next Top Model, I’m exhausted.

There’s obviously a hunger for the MBS to see reflections of himself on TV. And despite the lack of character development, holes in plotlines big enough to drive an Escalade through, continuity issues and painfully uneven acting, I can’t miss an episode of Noah’s Arc. Go figure.

pub: 11/10/2005 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 11 | subscribe

I have to agree with everything you wrote, especially the La-La Land reality, or lack their of. Each week I can’t help thinking this show would have taken an entirely different approach had it been produced in NYC.

I don’t think that it’s the location, its the writer. JEH lived in NYC and got BBOY BLUES all wrong too [I was particularly offended as I was living there at the time].

Somehow, someway this is P.I.P.’s slanted view of life in L.A., or life in general. He’s created a world where femme guys get the hottest, masculine men, and they are accepted without ridicule.

I think the problem with NOAH’S fARCe is that its trying to be way too much in 22 minutes. It’s trying to be a mad-capped comedy, its trying to be poignant, and its trying to give all four characters’ storylines in each show. Result? Shooting itself in the foot.

And let’s face it, P.I.P is probably a better director than writer. His dialog is horrifically unrealistic and the poor acting magnifies that times 10. *Bad idea carting this around the country before shopping to a network. A recast would do this show some justice…not to mention a team of experienced sit-com writers.

Also note: Alex’s goatee disappeared after that first scene and went back to that yucky stripe of hair it usually is. He must have had another gig somewhere in there.

Things are going so fast on the show that it’s going to run its course in two years tops.

Bernie, I think I would enjoy the show even more if it was based in any city other than NYC or LA; simply because that’s where all the stories seem to be told.

But, The Lovehater has a good point. A better writer would be able to rise above the limits of his immediate experiences.

*dead* @ Noah’s fARCe

4. Daniel

Lovehater makes the most interesting point: “Somehow, someway this is P.I.P.’s slanted view of life in L.A., or life in general. He’s created a world where femme guys get the hottest, masculine men, and they are accepted without ridicule.” The most interesting part of this quote is that it is Mr. Polk’s view. You may think it slanted, but who are you to say that so-called femme guys never get the hot guy?

These kinds of opinions are proof that we have so far to go as gay black men. Do you really think that tweezing your eyebrows or wearing rouge means you have to take it up the ass? Get serious, guys. Also, it seems you missed the point about Ricky referring to himself as “far away from a queen as you can get.” The show was obviously poking fun at Ricky’s own ideas about his persona- as evidenced by the other guys’ facial reactions to Ricky’s comment. But even if he were the most femme guy on the planet, that still does not mean he has to be a bottom. Surely you’ve been with enough men to know that masculine doesn’t equal TOP and femme doesn’t equal BOTTOM. Why are we still subscribing to silly and outdated ideas about masculinity and femininity? Why is it so hard to watch a femme guy get a hot boyfriend? Why can’t we accept that a brotha like Wade might like a brotha like Noah, and that his affection for Noah might lead him to overcome his issues with his sexuality? Are we so jaded that we can’t accept the idea of black gay men being romantic, of gay brothas finding their prince charming? What would you rather see- some DL brotha ashamed of who he is, living the double life, straight in the day and gay under cover of dark night? Yeah, that’s a story we need to see told over and over again.

This show is fiction, fellas. It is not a documentary. And also it is ONE MAN’s vision. It cannot be expected to represent your or my or anyone else’s skewed view of what it means to be a gay black man. I accept the show for what it is- a good comedy-drama series that gets better with each episode (let’s not forget, SEX AND THE CITY wasn’t the best show when it started, but they got better and better eventually becoming one of my favorites). And you should do the same. It’s fine if you think the show’s writing is bad, or the acting is awful- your opinion is your opinion and it is certainly your right to lob criticism. But don’t criticize the show for not showing YOUR view of what it means to be a gay black male, because the gay black male experience is as vast and varied as everyone else’s- there’s no ONE RIGHT WAY to be a black gay man. And it’s unbelievably unfair to criticize a show because it doesn’t subscribe to your view.

I love this show- the cast, the writing, the clothes & the hairstyles (deliciously over-the-top), the MUSIC (Aimee Mann, Teedra Moses??? fierce!!!). It is so desperately needed. And hopefully it will lead to more representations of our diverse community. But at the end of the day, if you really hate the show as much as you say, then perhaps you should just change the channel. Just because it’s the only game in town, doesn’t mean you have to play.

Respectfully yours,

Thanks for your detailed comment, Dan. I’m going to need a minute to respond to it, respectfully. Because sweetie, you clearly missed the point.

I’m not saying femme guys should not get the hot guy, I’m not saying that femme guys should only be bottoms. I don’t even have a problem seeing it depicted on the show. I have very good friends who are effeminate and are versatile. I also see the pain they go through from never having been in a relationship because they choose to be their authentic selves. It’s a tough call for Polk; have fun and create a world where that doesn’t exist or tackle the real issue head on.

I actually expected NOAH’S ARC to be a romanticized gay television show where the gay folks live in a world where they can be who they wanna be—and I prefer it be just that. For the most part it is, but its when we get doses of reality the portrayal falls short.

I believe the problem with the show is that the levels of realism and idealism are way off. I don’t feel the “real-life” issues are being dealt with in a decent manner, if at all. When Wade brought Noah to meet his straight friends in his typical outfit, it ended up being a non-issue. Why create conflict that’s not a conflict?

I’m not sure how close you are to writing or television production but the show would never make it to primetime television in its current state. Call me a tv snob, but I like my tv with a certain polish. Sure this might be fine for THE BLACK GAYS and LOGO, but to me, its more of “LESS for the Blacks” and “whatever” for the gays. If it were just one thing, it could pass, but with the poor acting, writing, character development, continuity…its just hard to sit and say nothing.

I’m glad you’re loving NOAH’S ARC, I am watching as well. I would love to see it progress, not to what I want it to be, but to the fullest potential of what it is.

7. tdub

hey man… thanks for the thoughts on this show. i know this is an old post but i hope you see it! i’m eager to begin a rapport with some folks about not just this show but about being gay in general.

you see…i’m a newly “out” gay man who finally loves himself (after 38 years of self-loathing and unproductive therapy) *and* who just so happens to be in love with the most beautiful man in the world. he loves me so much….and i am smitten beyond words (and trust me, i’ve written thousands! haha)

anyway, he’s black and i’m white and we gotta vibe like no other. back in august, he gave me season 1 of Noah’s Arc. Now keep in mind, although i was “closeted” (altho any genuinely gay male, including my man, would scoff that i actually thot i was closeted) and by no means inexperienced, i’ve never seen Q.A.F. and have only seen one episode of Will & Grace.

I must say that i had a *blast* watching this show. I am so attracted to men of non-caucasian origin and (hope i’m not offending anyone) truly love everything about black men…. this show just made me *crazy* because A MAN LIKE THAT (think of what wade might be like if he would just embrace that he’s gay…) IS CRAZY ABOUT ME!!!!

and cried.

The scene where Wade & Noah make love for the first time touched me because that’s what it was like the first time for my guy and me… and afterward—yeah, this sounds like a romance novel—he looked into my eyes…and…he saw into my soul. i felt him—i swear to God…. and then he went back to his home 1200 miles away… and we’ve never been apart or lost touch, only having seen each other over 2 different 4-day weekends….and logged over 5000+ minutes each month talking to each other on the phone.

i know noah’s arc is a little surface and a little too pretty… but i think it’s a blast and yeah, attractive. i know it’s not “real” … but they have characterized some things pretty clearly; some encouraging, some disconcerting.

i mean…. i know someone who loves me like they’re trying to get across with noah and wade!! i mean…the depth of love i have for this man and the way he honors me is beyond characterization … beyond anything i have ever known; sometimes i can hardly breathe i love him so much….[God willing, we will be together in the same home in 7 months….]

my other concern is how it plays on the notion that no gay men can be faithful. and that’s the part of the show that i find unsettling because that’s the opinion i’ve always held (i was married, then with my first man for 2 years and he cheated and i cheated back, then i stupidly remarried thinking that would fix me and now am finally getting on my feet and have found the love of my life). anyway, i trust my man because, in all honesty, i—for the first time—trust myself. i don’t know any gay couples who are faithful to each other; maybe i just need to broaden my circle..???

ok…damn. that was *way* more than i meant to write. actually i tried to post something on this thread back in august, but it wouldn’t let me. i ran across this looking DESPERATELY for track listings for the show….and was doing that again this morning when i again ran across this post.


anyway, you seem like a pretty cool dude….and i hope you’re not driven crazy by my ramplings and gushings…


8. Lynn

Despite all the errors with the film, I simply Love it!

9. Nikki

Love the show…Best show on television…Flaws and all…If you don’t like it, don’t watch…It’s a low budget television show on a new network…it’s bound to have flaws…enjoy it for what it is, great entertainment!

10. Yung_ ma

Exactly Nikki ^^^^
great show !
I love it

11. Hongry for more

Noah’s Arc gave me another perspective about life. I watched season 1 and season 2 all in one weekend sitting with my best gay girlfriend and his lover. Because what I have realized over the last week and a half post Noah is because these characters are black, I can relate to them, even though I am a female. To me it is not about the show being realistic or not. I am a heterosexual black female who was engaged to the now famous “DL” Brother. When he finally told me he was gay and “couldn’t go through” with the wedding, my life got real bad in a hurry. Fast forward 5 years and Noah’s Arc gave me a perspective on a lot of things that happened, and why all my other relationships were failing. I really identified with Wade’s character, because I was seduced by a very attractive lesbian woman. I fell for her hard about a year after my relationship with my “DL” man broke up. She was sexy, beautiful, considerate and had the cutest 2 little boys you ever wanted to see. In the beginning she was romantic, attentive and funny, but when we moved in together, she became distant, and cheated with the girl downstairs. That was my one and only foray into the world of lesbianism, I wasn’t gay I was bi-curious - as they say but I did love her and wanted that relationship to work. I have to say though, I have hooked up with a couple girls here and there just because I realized I enjoyed that as well. I would never attempt another relationship. There is no difference in the drama, and if there is no difference, what the Hell is the point. To this day I don’t understand why she didn’t leave me alone if all she wanted to do was “turn me out”. Needless to say I don’t really care for Noah’s character all that much. Sadly there is a lot of that playing with people’s emotions going on. So while it is being portrayed as over the top and unrealistic the underlying stories ring true to me right down to Wade’s inability to let Noah go. I even fell completely in love with Wade and downloaded all the pictures of Jensen Atwood I could find. He really is beautiful, and his emotions come through in his expressions. It was a school girl crush because by the second season I realized I was in love with the idea of Wade, and Wade was physically Jensen Atwood but the emotions he had and all the right words he spoke were somebody else. But man is he GORGEOUS. I enjoy the show, disappointed there is no season 3, I am hungry for more. I even told a couple of my open minded straigt girl friends about it and they love it too!

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