Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Queer TV? Maybe Next Year...
Reading Curve Magazine’s “Lesbian Fall TV Preview” the other day I found it almost disturbing how hard they were reaching to find any representation of queerness on television. The subheading reads “brace yourself ladies, your tv is about to get very very gay,” but the lineups don’t get very gay at all. In fact, in almost every instance the woman represented is bisexual or a lesbian in her personal life but isn’t playing one on screen.
I do not find bisexuality to be a problematic label, but I do find it problematic that television writers (House, Bones, Melrose Place, etc.) choose to make the female characters “bisexual” not to be edgy or politically correct, but to boast ratings. Why can’t any of these females be actual lesbians? Because people can’t handle the fact that they may not really deep down like the cock and bisexuality gives the opportunity for an almost pornographic male fantasy—will she make-out with another woman today—let’s watch and find out!
It is thrilling though to at least be making waves in the heteronormative media, though there is a lot more work to be done to break the hetero/homo binary and allow fluidity of sexuality to run the market place. I mean how many more great story-lines exist in the different realms of sexuality that lack any tv time? Seriously. There are so many more ways to create drama in a show. For example, polyamory: how much love is enough love? Or weird sex fetishes (that don’t start or end with someone’s death like on those SVU shows) or Queer lifestyles in general--an entire reality tv show dedicated to this would be awesome.
The world of television needs to expand, needs to become more inclusive, and needs to tackle more alternative lifestyles to show the beauty in diversity. We don’t need 87 different investigative crime shows, do we? Even if one out of the 87 has a bisexual woman in it, it doesn’t make it any better necessarily than those who don’t. What would make a show better is if it went against the norms and exposed the world to alternatives that people may have never imagined before, shows that are both enlightening and entertaining. Very few today do that, with queer people in them or not.