Long ago, in a TV decade far away, PBS aired the granddaddy of all reality shows -- An American Family, Alan and Susan Raymond’s peek at the Louds of Santa Barbara. Now PBS has the Raymonds’ Lance Loud: A Death in an American Family (Video Vérité, 800.343.5540) to eulogize the son, Lance, who died of liver failure from HIV/HCV [see Lance Loud: An American Son" POZ, April 2002]. In an early episode, Pat Loud is squired around ’70s Manhattan by her adoring 19-year-old son -- reluctant gay icon, free spirit and TV’s first open homosexual -- from the fabled Chelsea Hotel to a drag show and a Warhol exhibit. In the new documentary, Lance -- older, sadder, wiser, but candid as ever -- faces his final days with wry humor, addressing his former IV addiction with resigned culpability. Three hankies: Rufus Wainwright’s cathartic “Over The Rainbow” at Lance’s memorial service.
That ’70s Show
February 1, 2003 • By Dennis Daniel