’Half-Share’: The Funniest TV Sitcom You May Never Get to See
When I read about "Half-Share," an unsold half-hour TV sitcom pilot, I figured it would be another in an all-too-long line of no-budget queeny, campy, dreary, unfunny indie dramadies I’ve suffered through lately.
Well, it’s definitely campy and queeny. It also happens to be rolling-on-the-floor, pee-in-your-$200-clam-diggers funny. As a veteran of far too many share houses in Fire Island Pines, watching this felt more like a documentary than a fictional representation of that unique custom of the country, the half-share.
In Fire Islandspeak, a half-share is a room in a house every other weekend during the season (roughly a few weeks before Memorial Day to not too long after Labor Day). You don’t get your own room, unless you want to pay a lot more. The standard is sharing with someone else.
Mac, the protagonist in "Half-Share," like many in real life, doesn’t know his new roommate until he arrives via ferry on Fire Island. He is met by another Fire Island standard, the housemother, here played by Alec Mapa as a drunk who lusts after very old men.
Like one of those World War II submarine movies or ’70s disaster films, the house is a cross-section of gay types -- all of them drawn closely from life but given a life of their own by the writer-directors Sean Hanley and Jesse Archer.
The Michaels are a couple united by dysfunction, alcohol excess and bitchiness. Harold (played by Kevyn Morrow, the best in a very good ensemble of actors) is a Republican black Park Avenue lawyer during the week who magically transforms himself into a sex-crazed, coke-infused, semi-cross-dressing diva on the weekends.
Archer as the roommate is the consummate Fire Islander: WASPY-cute; given to excess in sex, drugs, alcohol and any other pleasure he can get his hands on; a bit of attitude; judgmental as hell about hair (top of head and facial), clothes, music and tricks.
Kyle Spidle is perfect as Mac, the lost puppy dog who moves to New York to nurse a bad break-up in the Northwest. Bad move, Mac! Anyone knows that New York, and Fire Island especially, eats newbies from the Great Out There for breakfast. Mac is quickly picked up by a very hot Korean-American who quips, "I’m going to be on you like rice over white."
If you find that line offensive, I suggest you do us all a favor and don’t watch "Half-Share," which has a wonderfully un-p.c. attitude about gay life. (The show fearlessly depicts the hot Asian-American as an arrogant prick.) The fact that it draws from real life only makes it more biting.