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read_me.gif Southern Voice Washington Blade

The Closet (Finally) Comes Out

DVD series now available to own

by j. brotherlove

Speaking of Black LBGT media, I watched The Closet Platinum Edition over the weekend. The Closet is a DVD series about black men with “hidden sexual lives”. The Platinum Edition is a three-disc set that includes four episodes and previews of other work by Senwot Nella Productions (founded by Maurice Townes and Kevin F. Allen).

Some may remember the shorts making rounds at Black Prides a couple of years ago, before Noah’s Arc hit it big. The Closet was slated to appear on the defunct Q Television Network but that never materialized (LOGO obviously won the gay network battle). Despite additional setbacks, the show has been re-edited with additional scenes and is now available for purchase online and at select stores.


Set in Atlanta and Baltimore during the Christmas holiday, the wedding of Jeffrey Freeman to well-to-do Harriet Lexx is at the center of the series. Jeffrey has convinced Emory, Zachary and Isaiah to be groomsmen although none of them are particularly excited about it. That’s because Jeffery is obnoxious and sleeps with men on the regular (he makes Ricky from Noah’s Arc look like a Quaker). Jeffrey is also frank about marrying Harriet for money.

But that’s only one of many twisted plots. Isaiah Edwards is a preacher who does things in the church office that are definitely un-holy; Zachary Sledge is the handsome radio personality with a girlfriend and boyfriend each vying for exclusivity; Nathaniel is cheating on his wife with women and men while his wife suspects of such…

You get the picture. Drama! For balance, there’s young, self-aware Sheldon; Emory and Brandon; a saccharine-sweet, well-balanced couple with a son; and Darnell, a 30-year old virgin who doesn’t know if he likes men or women (although we know). Throw in a company takeover subplot and a bitchy ex-wife and you have a lot packed into the series.

There’s plenty of eye candy including, ass shots and a pre-wedding orgy that really pushes the envelope. The Closet does best when dealing with regular soap opera fair. However, it also stumbles into “educational content” where Character A Tells Us The DL Is Bad and Character B Explains Douching. Have we learned anything from Terry McMillan, Spike Lee and the last season of A Different World? Show it, don’t say it.

As with many of our independent work, the acting and production isn’t Oscar material. Also, there are odd technical glitches here and there. But the overall drama is what most will be interested in and there’s plenty of that. I have to admit, at the end of Episode 4 I was annoyed because I wanted to know what happens next. That episode is slated for May of 2007. For now, The Closet Platinum Edition will have to do for gasps and giggles.

pub: 11/30/2006 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 2 | subscribe

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for your comment you know where and this article. I needed to hear those words.

I saw the first episode of The Closet a couple of years ago at a screening in NYC.
I found it interesting even with the un-Oscar worthy acting and production and i wondered what was up with the dvds. I never did find the website either. It’s good to know that it’s available. I just hope the acting got better with each episode. Or are they gonna pull a “Noah’s Arc” on us?

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