6 July 2008 | rambler-9
"The Lair", for anyone who doesn't already know, is a spin-off series from Here!TV's "Dante's Cove", and follows it the footsteps of that series in that it's a supernaturally-themed gay soap-opera. In most other respects, it's a different thing entirely.
I enjoyed "The Lair" quite a bit. While it suffers from all those things that typically plague new shows (the actors are still finding their characters, and so are the writers, for that matter) - especially new, short-season shows - it's well-produced, and feels well-directed as well. Some of the actors' performances are quite good, and I would say that all the core character performances are superb, which is unusual for a new show. The characters of Thom, Damien, and Colin are strong, motivated, and well-acted, and the supporting cast does a good job as well.
Although the show is a gay soap spin-off of "DC", and contains a "Gentlemen's Club" as a major location, it is actually less nudity-saturated than its sire. Perhaps that's due to "DC's" island beach location, while "The Lair" has a somewhat more urban feel about it (although it's ostensibly set on an island as well.) The nudity in this show feels more "natural" (that is to say, more plot-supported and less random) than that in "DC", and is only on rare occasion a distraction from the show's main action. There is sex (gay) and a lot of it (remember the "Gentlemen's Club") but it feels natural to the plot line and the location, and is generally well-acted (a major thing, in my opinion, if you want "hot" instead of "huh" in your sex scenes.) I'll give one ding in that there are scenes of group sex where the guys are soft (though the camera doesn't dwell on that part of the anatomy - this isn't hard-core porn, after all) and it feels off. Maybe there's a rule about showing hard guys on non-porn, but it seems to me that for a couple of seconds of airtime, it greatly help with suspension of disbelief - after all, I'm supposed to believe these guys are ENJOYING this. Either that, or edit more tightly so it's not obvious on a casual (that is, I'm not freeze-framing to hunt for it) viewing.
Overall, I really enjoyed the show. I think it got off to a stronger start than "DC" and am really enjoying the mix of interesting characters, skin/sex, and of course the "John Doe Murders" plot line running as the main frame the show lives on. I think this one has legs, and will give us all a good run.