Dark Shadows meets Queer As Folk meets Melrose Place
Brian Perry | 06/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dante's Cove is set in a small town on an mysterious island.The residents of The Hotel Dante are gay,bi.lesbian and straight....and are all young and gorgeous. They are plunged into a world full of intrigue,secrets and romance,when the towns sinister supernatural past comes to life. I saw these first 2 episodes when they aired and it is pretty much a gothic soap transported to today.A fun show with enough storyline to be entertaining with a gorgeous cast showing a lot of bare skin to enjoy. In a nutshell,about 100 years ago a sorceress named Grace, played by Tracy Scoggins (anyone remember her from the Dynasty spinoff, The Colbys?)finds out her one true love is gay and like any demon will do,seeks revenge.She imprisons Ambrosius and he is held captive until modern times when he is accidentally released from his chains by a kiss from Kevin,the hotels newest resident.Now the past and the present collide as Grace and Ambrosius continue their feud and the residents of the hotel pay the price.True love battles to overcome the forces of evil and Kevin may be the first victim. Will Kevin find true love with Toby?or will Ambrosius claim Kevin for himself? Will good triumph over evil?or will Grace have her final revenge? At least now I can watch the rest of the series once it airs in september and maybe I'll find out."
Silly, Silly, Silly...but kind of fun
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 09/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let's start out by saying that we all what this is, and we know who the target audience is. I can't say that I think it would appeal too greatly to viewers outside of that demographic. Why? To be perfectly honest, it just isn't very good--which doesn't mean it doesn't have some charm.
This is a perfectly harmless gothic soap opera in two episodes (I agree with others who think this really doesn't constitute a season). The plot is seviceable, but we've seen it before. The acting is atrocious. For my money, only Tracy Scoggins--in a deliriously over-the-top performance-- sets the right mood for this hokum. The other actors are certainly attractive, and most importantly, shown in various states of undress. But they are a little flat in their earnestness. Camp played as camp might have elevated this show--then maybe some of the laughs could have been intentional.
Sounds like I hate it, huh? Actually, it was just what I'd expect and I'd recommend it it provisionally. It was just loopy enough, had plenty of eye candy and never seriously tried to represent "real" people. I enjoyed myself, but it's instantly forgettable. But there are worse ways to spend a few hours. KGHarris, 9/06."
A. Batie | Portland, OR | 08/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Since when is two episodes a "season"?
Fortunately, the second part redeems it; the first part is about half softcore porn (going beyond QAF even), and the writing is pretty rough, as is some of the acting. The second part improved just about everywhere, though some of the writing and acting still leaves a little to be desired. It actually gets gripping and leaves me wanting more, and I certainly don't mind seeing lots of bare chested hunks, especially Gregory Michael! I just wish they'd make up their mind: one minute, they're showing a sex scene out of a soft core porn video, and the next they have the actors contorted in a gruesomely unnatural position in order to avoid showing a body part that they already had on camera early on in the first episode. If they shot it naturally, even though we'd see "everything", the scene would still be far less sexual than the one that preceded it, and would flow much better.
Anyway, if it continues to improve at the rate the second episode did over the first one, I'm looking forward to seeing it continue. Let's just not try to pretend that two episodes is a "season"..."
A Definite Guilty Pleasure
Eric J. Arrogancia | 08/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dante's Cove is definitely a guilty pleasure - one that you would not admit that you watch but you do. Like other people are saying, it is a mix of Melrose Place (stealing of boyfriend, the manipulation, revenge and of course, the sex)meets Dark Shadow (witches, cults, curses) meets Queer as Folk (the two lead characters are gay, with lesbians, bisexuals and, of course, straight). There are positive things about Dante's Cove as well as negative. The storyline for me is good - very unique as I might say - Grace and Ambrosius are lovers getting married until Grace saw Ambrosius having sex with a man. Scorned, she prisoned Ambrosius and cursed him until a kiss of a man will set him free (sounds like Charmed too me). Two hundred years later, lovers Kevin and Toby try to make their relationship work. Toby moved to Dante's Cove, with Kevin following him later. Things are turning great until Kevin hears voices coming from the basement of Hotel Dante - only to find Ambrosius still chained and old. After Kevin freed Ambrosius from his prison (turning him young again), Ambrosius wants Kevin to be his. Not only the plot is about the relationship of Toby and Kevin, but everything around them - supernatural things happening around the Hotel and they got stuck in the middle. The negative about Dante's Cove is the script and acting. The script on the first part, I find, good but not that good. The second part redeemed it. The acting for me is good, not the best but good. Some over act too much, some do it just fine.
The sex scenes in Dante's Cove is very hot, very steamy, and explicit. And I think it is way better than the sex scenes in Queer as Folk. In the first part alone, we have 6 sex scenes - my favorite being Toby and Kevin at Hotel Dante.
So, over-all, I will give the show 4 stars. If you are into campy, trashy, over-the-top show. This is for you."
Badly acted etc. but also quite unique and strangely compell
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1840 the small seaside town of Dante's Cove was awash in strange goings on. Grace Neville (Traci Scoggins) is about to be married to a young Ambrosius (William Gregory Lee). Although she's getting on in years, Grace is now sure she's finally met the man that she wants to settle down with. Is Ambrosius, however, really all that he appears or does he just want Grace for her money?
One afternoon, after visiting him, Grace realizes that she's forgotten her gloves, so she returns to his house only to find her suitor caught up in a hot and passionate session with his hunky and studly young butler. Shocked, she screams at them both, calling them deviant and disgusting vowing to make them both pay for their betrayal.
For Grace, it's immediately hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Furious and determined to seek revenge, she uses her supernatural and mystical powers to instantly burn her fiancé's boy toy with her very eyes - you actually see him frothing at the mouth - and then entombs her beau in an SM/dungeon beneath the Hotel Dante, placing an eternal curse on him.
Ambrosius is destined to spend perpetuity, shackled to chains. The only way the curse can be broken is if some virile male kisses him and breaks the spell. Meanwhile, in the present day, the young Toby (Charlie David) is living at Dante Cove when he invites his gorgeous lover Kevin (Gregory Michael) to spend some time with him.
Kevin and Toby are having problems. Although it looks as though they're having great sex, it seems Kevin's a bit of a closet case and is having trouble coming out to his homophobic parents, who have cottoned on the fact that Kevin is having an affair with Toby. After some domestic abuse, Kevin escapes to Dante's Cove, a little Key West-style hamlet featuring an inn of the same name where Toby bartends.
Within minutes of arriving, Kevin meets the eclectic cast of sexy characters, there's Van, a gothic lesbian, Amber a lesbian party girl, and totally gay muscle stud Adam, the resident boy toy. But it is the ghost of Ambrosius that Kevin begins to hear as Toby's hunky presence begins to release a menacing force from the hotel's past. Grace, ageless and still very beautiful, has survived, and is obsessed with getting together with her former paramour.
As the evil begins to spread in the form of a rejuvenated grace, Kevin and Adam and the rest of the sexy inhabitants of Dante's Cove find themselves literally fighting for their lives. The story in Dante's Cove is really just an excuse to tie together various scenes of what I call soft-core gay and lesbian "boutique" sex. Kevin and Toby spend most of their time engaged man-on-man action, which is mostly, made up of hazy images of flesh seen through the haze of steam and tastefully situated candles.
Dante's Cove gravitates between the jaw-dropping awful and ludicrous guilty fun. There have been a lot of B-grade actresses over the past few years that seem to be making a career out of appearing in low budget gay material - Jill St. John, Jacqueline Bisset, and Morgan Fairchild, but now Traci Scoggins can add herself to the list. Although she's by far the best actor in this series, her performance still vacillates between mostly watch-able to appallingly trite and melodramatic.
Most of the male cast don't fair much better, babbling their lines until the next nude scenes which aren't really that sexy or even that titillating. Although done on the cheap, the series looks mostly well made - perhaps with a bit more money they could get a better scriptwriter and employ better visual effects. The cast is very attractive of course both in the nude and fully clothed. In the end, this is trashy television at it's best, truly awful but also quite compelling, Mike Leonard October 06. "