Are there many amongst us (of all sexual orientations) who have not thought, fantasized or put into action a vrai ménage a trois?
Meet married couple Carl (Corey Page whose mustache and over-the-pond accent will have many viewers hoping for more revelations) and David (in the pivotal role, Ryland Shelton deals with lust, alcoholism and infidelity with convincing honesty and aplomb), invite into their nest Jason (Sean McBride—furry from top to, probably…bottom). Teasing on the sidelines (but also getting his piece of David’s pie, is one time porn star, Aaron (devilishly rendered by Anthony Nanni). For the, er topping, add in Jason’s lovely fag hag, Katelyn (Fatimah Taliah is the most believable character of the lot), who becomes the voice of reason from afar. Even better, setting the action in beautiful Palm Springs (full disclosure: this oasis in the California desert has been my home away from home since 1997), gives more satisfaction to the eye than even the furry chests of the men.
This six-episode mini-series from director/creator Matthew Lynn is long on drama, curiously short on sex (mostly imagined--Mother Mary—curiously at one with Jason’s dad, the vicar!), but still manages to make some interesting points about whether or not a “triad” (three men, equal partners) has any hope of achieving marital bliss (writers: Bishal Dutta, Lynn, Matt McClelland). Even as this trio of “happily” gay men set up house (much to the chagrin of Katelyn who can see the future) the prospects of perpetual harmony and joy are pretty much slim to none.
The non-linear storytelling works well: the opening of each episode successfully stirring the narrative pot. Yet the late-inning peek into Carl’s former marriage and moody son feels out of place with the otherwise forward motion of three men desperately (in some cases, literally) seeking each other. The only other false note comes from the sales associate as Jason, buying a bouquet for his twin intendeds, draws a raised eyebrow as she writes David and Carl on the accompanying card. Given that Palm Springs is one of the most gay-friendly cities on the planet, that wee bit of “tut, tut” just falls flat.
The music choices (from poignant to Palm Springs cheesy) adds much to the overall enjoyment.
Overall, The Third, is well worth a look for both the relationship-adventurous and curious crowd, but perhaps the next installment (a.k.a. The Fourth) might have a happier ending: in threesomes—inevitably—there is always one who feels left out. JWR