Multi-talent Nick Jonas has come a long way since his Disney days. No longer is he 1/3 of a chaste prefab fraternal pop act. Instead, he’s flying solo and doing so outside the bubble of pop music altogether. These days, the 23 year old Jonas is giving young Hollywood a run for its money. He’s had a few post-Disney TV roles in the past including guest spots on Hawaii 5-0 and Smash, but his most noticeable roles have been his two most recent. This fall, Nick will be pulling double duty on the small screen with a small but scene-stealing role in the brash and inescapable dark comedy Scream Queens, and then taking the lead role in a more subtle and understated drama, DirecTV’s Kingdom which began premiering new episodes from its long-awaited second season last week.
On Scream Queens, Jonas plays the delightfully campy and obnoxious comic foil Boone Clemens. Boone is an entitled snot rag frat boy on a college campus plagued by a murderous rampage from a mysterious figure in a red devil costume. Boone is rich, definitely a Republican, probably has a trust fund, and is known for his tacky country club golf attire.
But Jonas’s character on Kingdom would definitely never be a part of Boone’s country club. Instead, Jonas’s Nate Kulina is the epitome of working class if ever there was one. He’s the second son of a California gym owner, and the family business is in desperate need of saving, and it’s up to Nate and his fighting career to man up and pull his weight, literally. All in all, Kingdom is a tale of pulling yourself and your family up by the old bootstraps in the New Economy, which is a far cry from the trust fund baby Boone of Scream Queens who expects life on a silver platter.
That being said, these two vastly different characters do have one thing in common. They are both gay (or at least bisexual in the case of Nate), but the shows deal with their respective character’s sexuality in vastly different ways. On Scream Queens, Boone’s sexuality is a bit of a shock only because the character himself seems so conservative and in no way interested in being a part of any group prone to exclusion. But other than that, Boone’s sexuality is just a matter of course, and it’s comical (as opposed to dramatic) that he nurses a crush on his BFF and head Frattie Chad Radwell because we know Chad is an incurable womanizer. But on Kingdom, Nate’s sexuality is the source of much more turmoil, both within Nate and within his family. With many hints throughout the first season, Nate’s true desires weren’t known for certain until the season’s final episode where Nate went to gay bar and ended up meeting an, ahem, friend in the alley behind the bar. Add on top of Nate’s traditional family worries the pressure of being a professional athlete who is out as either gay or bisexual. Those are some pretty heavy issues for a former Jonas Brother and Disney star to be carrying on his shoulders, but if you doubt this kid’s ability to carry that weight, just tune in on Wednesdays and check out the serious side of this former pop icon. Also, while he’s been absent since the series premiere, expect more Boone on Scream Queens before the season wraps.
For now, tell us what you think!!! Which Nick Jonas role this fall do you think is to die for???
Goofy, golf-loving, obnoxiously rich, oblivious, yet possibly evil and definitely devious, out and proud Boone on Scream Queens?
Troubled, introverted, understated, but still fit and cut Nate, the closeted MMA fighter with lots of family drama on Kingdom?