Sunday, December 12, 2010

Writer/Composer Joel Derfner Is One of the Boys in "Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys"

By West Village Bill

I hadn't planned to watch Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, the new docu-reality TV show on the Sundance Channel, until I saw that Joel Derfner was one of the boys. You may know Derfner as Faustus, M.D., writer of the blog The Search for Love in Manhattan. Or as the author of Gay Haiku or Swish. And he's also a composer of cabaret and musical theater songs.

Tony and I watched the first two episodes of the eight-show series on Thursday night. We immediately liked David, who dressed up as a mime for his girlfriend Elisa's 45th birthday party in the hope that that would help him keep his mouth shut. We also saw him start teaching Elisa how to run. After he hurt his knee, he took to a bench and smoked a cigarette while she continued going around the track behind him.

Joel came across as sweet and fun, and he and his boyfriend, Mike, have a nice rapport. But his girlfriend, Sarah, is so self-absorbed she told him it should have been her getting engaged instead of him when he announced that Mike had proposed to him. (That's Sarah and Joel in the photo.) Tony and I decided to cut her a little slack—a little—after it was revealed she spends a great deal of time taking care of her ailing mother.

Crystal—who's raising two kids by herself after divorcing her professional-athlete husband who had cheated on her—is the most beautiful and glamorous of the straight gals. At first, I thought she was being too hard on her gay boyfriend, Nathan, regarding his perceived naivete about becoming a single parent. His mother raised him on her own, so surely he knows how much work is involved in taking care of kids, right? He apparently does because he seems to expect that a nanny or his mother would do the bulk of it. Nathan seems like a pretty decent guy otherwise, but in addition to being the gay who wants a baby, he's also so far the show's designated crybaby. And that's kind of annoying.

But it's not as annoying as the fourth gay's self-loathing and self-pitying tendencies. Sahil is out to some friends but not to his family, and his girlfriend, Rosebud (Best. Fag hag name. Ever?), is insistent that he'll never deem himself worthy of love until he can cross that impasse.

GWLBWLB airs on the Sundance Channel on Tuesday nights starting at 10 and is also available via iTunes.

Photo from


  1. I'm so very glad you think I'm sweet and fun!

    But I have to stand up for Sarah and say that in real life she was in fact 100% thrilled for me when I told her I'd gotten engaged. A combination of shady editing ("he's living my fantasy" was actually "I don't think he's living my fantasy" when it came out of her mouth) and a director saying, "Do it again, but this way" has done her a great disservice. I'm hoping that the rest of the season shows a more accurate portrayal of her character.

  2. Grrrreditors! Thanks for the backstory, Joel!

    =Tony (not the one who watched the show with Bill)

  3. Maybe I should refer to my squeeze Tony as just that, "my squeeze Tony," to avoid confusion. I hadn't until now paid attention to the fact that you're no longer using Father Tony as your blogger name, Tony A. Is there a story there? And I just realized I hadn't created a link to the Sundance Channel's GWLBWLB page, as I had intended to do. I fixed that.

  4. No story. I just love my married name!