Summary:

Time for truth-telling: I suspect a big part of why I like Gay’s Anatomy is that the indie web series created by Karina Mangu-Ward and Bobby Hodgson isn’t just a Grey’s Anatomy spoof. But it also helps that the decidedly NSFW medical comedy features a committed […]

Time for truth-telling: I suspect a big part of why I like Gay’s Anatomy is that the indie web series created by Karina Mangu-Ward and Bobby Hodgson isn’t just a Grey’s Anatomy spoof. But it also helps that the decidedly NSFW medical comedy features a committed and hilarious cast, sharp one-liners and an intriguingly flexible approach to gender and sexuality issues.

The first time I’ve ever seen a potential failing of gaydar used as a persistent source of conflict, Gay’s Anatomy focuses on sweet Mark Merriman (Hodgson), cocaine-fueled Mark Weston (Wil Petre) and preening Jim Gable (Max Jenkins), a team of urology interns starting their first year at a New York hospital while also trying to figure out who is or isn’t gay. Spicing up the episodes is the fact that these men are dedicated to the study and treatment of male genitalia. That might seem like a one-joke element, but Mangu-Ward and Hodgson get a surprising amount of mileage out of the concept.

And while the sheer volume of jokes and references to gay sex are overwhelming, they’re relatively well-tempered by the underlying emotional relationships between the characters. Mark Merriman’s genuine effort to connect with Mark Weston underpins the bulk of the first season, and while there might be a slight over-reliance on gay stereotypes to create characters, even the more cartoonish Jim or Mark Merriman’s extremely male lesbian roommate Casey (Becca Blackwell) manage to find some real humanity in even the most absurd moments of farce.

Production values are generally solid (though a richer sound design would definitely give the show some additional polish) and the laugh-out-loud moments are numerous — which is why it’s unfortunate that Gay’s Anatomy relies so heavily on a fauxumentary style that’s even more derivative of The Office than other series who attempt it. Because with the exception of the choice in format, the show has an original voice, sharp and bitchy and uncompromising. Its blunt take on sex and casual drug use might turn off many. But for others, it may be a hidden gem.

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