What it's about.
Lonely Planet revolves around two gay men, Jody and Carl, and their bout with the epidemic of AIDS and how it’s impacting not only the lives of everyone around them, but their lives as well.
We live in a world where someone’s sexuality is much a bigger deal than it has to be. Lonely Planet was so unapologetically, well, gay, it was almost refreshing. More importantly it explored something that I feel popular culture ignores, platonic relationships between two gay men. As a gay man myself, I absolutely hate plots where just because two characters are gay, they have to be lovers, no, gay men can be friends without there being a question of “should we get married?”
Carl comes in with this huge fur coat complaining about how the world bores him in this hilariously extra way. He is this eccentric, lightning bolt of a character, and I found it impossible to keep my laughter to myself watching him drag dozens of chairs into Jody’s tiny map store, which is where the story takes place.
Jody was this more reserved, almost cold, man who contrasted Carl perfectly. I didn’t think twice about why Jody was the way he was, but you later find out that his coldness comes from his fear of the outside world. My best friend from high school hated leaving her basement, so watching this I'm literally thinking, wow, this is really us.
I was wondering during the first act why in hell is Carl flooding his Jody's store with chairs against his will, but Carl's pushiness reminded me of the relationship between me and my best friend. Because she literally can never decide on anything, and here I am like listen we're doing this and we're doing it now.
My best friend is just like Jody who ends up being afraid to go out into the world to get tested for AIDS, because so many of his friends are dying as a result of the disease. The chairs that Carl brings in are the chairs of all the people that they know who’ve died from the disease.
When this was made clear, I further appreciated everything that this story stood for. There was no sexual tension, no need to fall in love just because they were gay, just two men who genuinely cared for each other through hard times. I’m not normally a crier, I swear, but I did find myself tearing up by the end of the show.
Tell us about it below.
In the comments.