Logo's 'Finding Prince Charming' debut receives mixed responses

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, September 9, 2016

Online recappers of the new Logo show "Finding Prince Charming" were not all charmed by the debut last night.

The show, which features Atlanta interior designer Robert Sepulveda, is very much in the oeuvre of "The Bachelor" and similar dating shows. Sepulveda is the catch and he eliminated three of the 13 suitors in the first episode including a guy whose name is inexplicably Brodney.

Yes, I'm recapping the recappers. I will admit to pure laziness on my part. These types of shows aren't exactly my cup of reality tea. Besides, I forgot to DVR the episode.

TV Line's Andy Swift found it more dull than compelling: "As the first reality dating competition series to feature an all-gay cast, Logo's  Finding Prince Charming is actually pretty historic. But as we all learned from falling asleep during social studies, history isn't always exciting."

He noted that Sepulveda's escort past is not brought up, probably because production at the time had no idea that had been one of his professions. He conveniently didn't inform Logo. But even after the news leaked out, Logo stuck with him. "We are aware of Robert's past and fully support him as he moves forward in his search for love on 'Finding Prince Charming,' " the network said in a statement.

In his first interview with Huffington Post, he was almost dismissive of his past, hoping people would see him as the charitable, sweet-hearted person he is today. But he was more open in a more expansive interview with Access Hollywood, noting his circumstances got desperate after his family's furniture business fell off the rails: "I basically had no money in my account … I had to take control of the situation and take control of my life." He also said explicit sex videos of him on various websites were leaked by an ex boyfriend and that he had never done porn.

Finding Prince Charming is so lifeless that it's impossible to imagine any broad cultural aftershocks from its existence. It's less a pop culture earthquake than it is the gravest disaster that could befall a piece of entertainment in 2016: It is bad reality TV.

But alas: not all is lost! Jeffery Sells of Vulture embraced the show for what it was. He did wish Sepulveda would embrace his escort past instead of try to sweep it under the rug. But otherwise, he wrote, "All in all, I was obsessed with pretty much every moment of it."

And Us Magazine's Mehera Bonner  gave it three out of five stars, highlighting a scene that had nothing to do with Sepulveda. She especially enjoyed the friction between Sam and Robby over the issue of authenticity as a gay person.

It's a pretty tense moment, and it raises an issue I had hoped this show would explore: the friction between masculine and effeminate gay cultures. There's so much resentment and homophobia within the gay community, and from the looks of this first episode, Robby and Sam will play this tension out beautifully. Yes, Robby is a literal cartoon of a human being, but I believe that he's being his authentic self. And his authentic self seems to make Sam very, very uncomfortable.