Calling Big Excellent 20th Reunion a feel good story to teach LGBT youth that “it’s ok to be different and to accept everyone” is right on point. Well, truthfully, that’s all that I got out of it after I had to piece together the story myself. The dramedy jumps right into the 20th Reunion of six High School “friends” who, while seemingly were all cool with each other back then, are just judgmental bitches to each other now even if… surprise… they’re all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered. (Think I’m kidding? Wait til one of the characters leaves the stage to chase after whomever the hell. Talk about waiting until someone is out of the room to talk smack.)
It doesn’t stop there as the character of Mitch Johnson, played by Vincent DiGeronimo, comes off as a douche to his transgender friend Danielle Parker (formerly Daniel). Sure, they played football in school together but his character keeps having some sort of issue with her new individuality… even after he sings about being a leather boy to a couple daddies and serving in the Navy. (Yeah, harty har. ‘Seamen.’ We get it. At least you’re cute to look at.) Big Excellent comes off as more of a shoddy attempt to teach actual high school students a lesson in acceptance among one another but falls flat with musical numbers and ridiculous stories that are more stereotypical than anything else.
Check it: the LGBT counselor (I’m guessing that’s his job) of the school and “friend” of the others in the group, Kevin, goes on a musical tirade where he was once a total party bottom boy and ended up contracting HIV. Stereotype! The awkward, nerdy lesbian, Samantha? Stereotype! Lipstick bisexual businesswoman, Debra , falls into that category too. The list just goes on and on and the jokes were even subpar. My main issue is that, despite talented Bianca Leigh giving it her all in the role as transgendered Danielle, the role to me just lacked the oomph that Leigh’s performances normally have. This project for all involved I felt was more than lacking in substance, story, writing, originality, and just sense.