The DL Chronicles
You can Kiss, but don't Tell
Usually when I play around at www.imdbpro.com I find some interesting movies/TV shows and based on the synopsis I check to see if said movie/TV show is available on DVD. How I came across the first (and only season) of The DL Chronicles I'm not sure but what a treat it was to find.
It's really hard to find worthy entertainment (especially when the writing and acting are so superb) these days and the only downfall to this series was it never went on to explore other aspects of the characters which are as diverse as the person sitting next to you at a movie theater.
Each episode begins with a narration by aspiring author Chadwick Williams (Damian T. Raven) about the men he's encountered in his life (but the only time we see him is when he literally runs into Wes Thomas). Other than that Chadwick sets up the upcoming story.
Chadwick and Wes' encounter is brief and they exchange business cards in case Chadwick ever needs a real estate banker. After apologizing with one another they both go on about their lives.
Once Wes (Darren Schnase) makes it home, he discovers his brother-in-law Trent (Ty Vincent) will be staying for a few days. From the beginning the sexual tension builds and Wes puts up a front in which he "accepts" his brother-in-laws lifestyle and lets the innuendos bounce off his back.
Schnase is excellent in this role as the confused/stressed out Wes as he does everything in his power to keep his failing marriage up for appearances. His wife Sarah (Jessica Beshir) is extremely high maintenance and rather than "keep up with the Jones' she'd rather be above them. She too has a successful career and the couple seem to enjoy the finer things in life.
Following a casual dinner party at their home, Wes has a meltdown and finds comfort in a bottle in the guest room. Is he in there because this is where Ty will be staying or is he just trying to get away from Sarah?
In the second episode Chadwick introduces us to Robert, a closeted talent agent who begins an affair with health food manager Austin (Kareem Ferguson) who's 20 years his junior.
Robert (Terrell Tilford) keeps his secret well hidden from everyone and later that night while online he discovers Austin in a chat room. He agrees to come over to Austin's place and while wanting to get down to "business" Austin tells him he wants to take things slow and build a relationship.
He agree's to it but he wants more and as the days follow, he finds himself falling in love while trying to fight his feelings. As he wants more from Austin, he introduces him as a client to his daughter Rhonda (Toyin Moses).
As Austin leaves, she catches the two on the porch and later confronts Austin at the store. Before going home, he stops at Austin's apartment and ends the relationship as Austin tries to explain.
At home, Robert tries to explain his life to Rhonda and the circumstances regarding the divorce of her parents. After much silence and contemplating Robert leaves to talk to Austin. Can this relationship survive?
During the "Robert" episode Sheilynn Wactor gives one of the most outrageous performances as Shirley, Austin's employee. Wactor really is the scene stealer here and should have been a comedic star by now.
The third episode is about Boo (Oneil Cespedes) and his on again off again relationship with Keisha (Latoya Haynes). He's constantly being thrown out of her apartment and finds himself back at home with his overly religious mother (Irene Amen) and brother Tony (Clifton Morris).
With no job, Boo just hangs around all day or until he can find sex whether it be with a man or woman. During the thirty minutes he certainly has a lot of it and is constantly back and forth between Keisha's apartment and his mother's house.
While this episode is the most powerful of all he finds out from his brother that one of their friends has AIDS (Anthony Clark) it makes Boo wonder is he too has it since he's had sex multiple times with Deron and has had many sexual encounters.
When one of his "girlfriends" comes by to pick him up she leaves him standing on the curb leaving us wonder if he's giving up sex, will he be tested and what does his future hold?
Wactor appears in this episode as well but as Keisha's neighbor and this episode also features nudity (especially full frontal male nudity courtesy of Keisha's "current" play toy Shawn Palm).
The last episode is entitled "Mark" which stars Ulrich Que (Mark) and Colbert Alembert (Donte) as lovers living in San Francisco. This couple has been together for the last three years and Mark has finally decided to come out of the proverbial closet. Just as he's getting ready to, an unexpected visitor arrives - his cousin Terrell (Dee Gibson).
Like "Rhoda" Dee has runaway from everything in Los Angeles and thinks moving to San Francisco will help him build a better life. So the unexpected guest says he'll only be staying a few days which puts Mark back in the closet.
What Wactor does for her character, Gibson steals this story as he tries to figure out what's going on in Mark's house. Almost immediately he knows Donte is gay and Mark refutes it by telling him he's not. Later that night Mark has to leave for his job as a paramedic leaving the two of them alone.
Donte basically goes about doing his thing and later when he wakes up in the middle of the night the two of them get to know each other a little better and things look like they'll be alright. When Mark comes home after his shift he finds Terrell asleep on the couch and goes to be with Donte.
However, Terrell's still looking for answers and silently moves down the hallway to hear what's going on in the room. After a stumble he runs back to the couch and Mark quickly goes to the "fake" room. Terrell wait's a while and goes to talk with Mark.
When Terrell's friend Reginald (Monte Franks) shows up, they talk the couple into going out to a nightclub and Donte has to "be the ladies man" Mark has built him up to be. Instead he'd rather stay at the bar and drink while Mark sets out to be the "ladies man."
Each of the episodes are wrapped up but still pose potential questions as to what could happen to them in the future. It's a shame there's only the four episodes to this series because these are characters that are truly likeable and have a sense of direction. They're not over the top and the storylines are perfect since writers Deondray Gossett and Quincy Le Near take turns with each episode.
As far as Chadwick, well, we never know what happens with him and it would have been good if Gossett and Le Near wrapped the series by involving him with his own story.
We just know that he's on the DL as well.