Monthly Archives: June 2009

Making television pretty, witty, and gay (for guys) (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

merlin-boysIt is a rather well-known fact that quite a few dudes (one example being our beloved staff writer Brett) think that two ladies doing the nasty is totally hot. It is an oft commented-upon pop culture phenomenon that Hollywood likes to cash in on, from House’s Thirteen (among others — see also: Callie of Grey’s Anatomy, Angela of Bones) gallivanting up and down the Kinsey scale to Katy Perry’s famous debut ode to exhibition lesbianism. It’s titillating (see what I did there? Punny, right?) and edgy to have two girls hook up on-screen, and is counted as a win-win. Not only does it make your show look modern and progressive (usually — it can be and mostly is handed poorly, but at least it’s handled), but it brings in the casual dude watcher who’ll tune in week after week in hopes of catching a lip-lock between two ladies. And yet, very rarely do you ever see it even hinted at that two dudes might also want to do the do with each other.

There are a few good reasons for this. For starters, female sexuality is considered to be far more fluid than male sexuality. This means when you’ve got two ladies hooking up, it’s easy to write it off when it’s convenient. It was just a phase, you can say, or, that girl was special to this character, and now she’s found the right man to settle down with and have a million babies. And even if the two chicks do end up in television’s happily-ever-after land, lesbians are the ones that settle down with their sperm donor kids and Subarus. Plus, it’s hot. It’s totally hot. Girls and guys agree it’s hot, right?

And then there’s the distinctly American prejudice against guys being gay.

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The Royal Pains redemption (this time, with sharks) (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

divyaI’ve got to say something for Royal Pains – they sure know how to take a note.

After my complaining last week (to which most of your replies were “so stop watching the show“), I was very nervous about this week’s episode, wondering who I could rope into reviewing this for me, et cetera, et cetera.  Thanks for making me worry for nothing, you guys, because this week … was awesome. And that, my friends, is why I keep watching shows, even when sometimes, I don’t like an episode. (That’s right! I’m allowed to not like an episode. It’s shocking, I know, that occasionally that happens.)

Despite totally stealing an episode title from House, (hello, the TB or not TB joke? It’s been made), this week was both delightful and original, sending the series in exactly the direction I’d been hoping it would go.  I guess what bothered me was the whole rich v. poor thing. It’s been done. I get it, rich people can be totally obnoxious (and how) and poor people need and are more deserving of the money. It’s all very Charles Dickens. But it is boring and one-dimension and … really? That’s the best a team of writers can come up with? Medical Robin Hood, the world’s lamest Maid Marian, and a bunch of Merry Men that are both way more interesting and tragically underused? No, thank you.

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Oh Reza, my Reza – Open Letters (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

reza_aslanDear Reza Aslan,

I swear to God, I am not a shallow person. Usually. I mean, do I have my totally awful moments of objectifying dudes when I really shouldn’t? Of course. I’m human, okay. Anyone who says they don’t do this is a filthy liar.

Now, there’s this whole thing going on in Iran with the election and so on and so forth. And since I pride myself on being politically conscientious, I am all up in that business. I have done my homework, listened to my NPR, and written my requisite informative blog post for the totally lost and overwhelmed. I now can speak intelligently on Iranian politics. (Ask me, really!) And, being the conscious person I am, I’ve been watching the news. And you’re on it. A lot. And this is causing me to have a lot of problems with being a non-reprehensible human being.

See, usually, if I tune into The Daily Show or the Rachel Maddow Show, I can concentrate on what is being said. I do not spend my time feeling unaccountably attracted to, say, former presidential advisers or four-star generals, and when I’m expecting those dudes to appear and then you show up with your hot self, my guard is down and you’re kind of killing me with your gorgeousness.  If I was watching a normal show, disproportionately pretty people would be showing up left and right and it wouldn’t seem quite so jarring. (That is not to say I wouldn’t still take time out and stare at you, of course, I’m just saying it’s less expected when I am catering to my more intellectual side to find myself giggling like a thirteen-year-old. Sometimes, I even put my chin in my hands and sigh. I didn’t do that when I was actually thirteen. This is a problem, dude.)

And then this Iran business came up and I’m having issues, because now there is a terrible, awful part of me that wants these protests to go on forever so you and your sexy, Iranian-born doctorate of religion self can be on my television. Forever.

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Sons of Tucson: These kids are alright – CliqueClack Preview (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

SOT_Pilot-Sc7pt_0003-425x283If there is one TV trope I will watch again and again and again and never fail to be delighted by, it’s a bunch of messed-up, crazy people coming together against all odds and forming a rag-tag sort of family. I fell for it on The Office. I love it on Leverage. There much isn’t a show I love that doesn’t have this to some extent. (30 Rock? Pushing Daisies? How I Met Your Mother?)

So when I read the summary of Sons of Tucson my response was, “Oh, hell yeah.” Adorable kids! Hilarious shenanigans! What could possibly go wrong?

Honestly, a lot. Kids are tricky on screen. Get them right, and you get them really right, get them wrong, and nothing ruins a show faster. And I am happy to report, after watching the screener of Sons of Tucson, this show has gotten it really, really right.

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Sons of Tucson

If there is one TV trope I will watch again and again and again and never fail to be delighted by, it’s a bunch of messed-up, crazy people coming together against all odds and forming a rag-tag sort of family. I fell for it on The Office. I love it on Leverage. There much isn’t a show I love that doesn’t have this to some extent. (30 Rock? Pushing Daisies? How I Met Your Mother?)

So when I read the summary of Sons of Tucson my response was, “Oh, hell yeah.” Adorable kids! Hilarious shenanigans! What could possibly go wrong?

Honestly, a lot. Kids are tricky on screen. Get them right, and you get them really right, get them wrong, and nothing ruins a show faster. And I am happy to report, after watching the screener of Sons of Tucson, this show has gotten it really, really right.

(Warning! Possible spoilers for the first episode ahead.)

If there is one TV trope I will watch again and again and again and never fail to be delighted by, it’s a bunch of messed-up, crazy people coming together against all odds and forming a rag-tag sort of family. I fell for it on The Office. I love it on Leverage. There much isn’t a show I love that doesn’t have this to some extent. (30 Rock? Pushing Daisies? How I Met Your Mother?)

So when I read the summary of Sons of Tucson my response was, “Oh, hell yeah.” Adorable kids! Hilarious shenanigans! What could possibly go wrong?

Honestly, a lot. Kids are tricky on screen. Get them right, and you get them really right, get them wrong, and nothing ruins a show faster. And I am happy to report, after watching the screener of Sons of Tucson, this show has gotten it really, really right.

(Warning! Possible spoilers for the first episode ahead.)

Who’s your (television) daddy? (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

fathersdayIn some ways, I think that Father’s Day is totally more important than Mother’s Day.

This isn’t because I think fathers are more important or do more than mothers, or that I’m anti-feminist or whatever, but it’s because I feel that dads just don’t get as much recognition as mothers do. It’s probably some sort of collective psychological thing that has sociological studies behind our view of gender roles and the father’s place in his children’s life, that someone smarter than me has actual facts and knowledge can talk about.

All I know is this: dads need some love, too. And generally, they do not have a lot of places to turn to for it. My father personally has a black list of books and cartoons — The Berenstain Bears being the chief offenders, though I believe he also may have had a vendetta against The Flintstones — that portray fathers solely as bumbling idiots who were completely lost without the sanity and wisdom the mother provided. (Though he’s a big fan of Family Guy. I don’t think it’s worth figuring out.) Heaven forbid I ask him to read a Berenstain Bears book to me (okay, I could read it myself, but my dad did voices) or he would not only refuse but launch into a rant on the stereotypical role of the father and how it was corrupting my brain and wildly incorrect and blah blah blah. Which I knew, Daddy, geez. It’s just a book. It wasn’t until I started watching TV that wasn’t on PBS that I really started understanding where my dad was coming from with his whole vendetta.

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The royal pains of Royal Pains (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

royalpainsep3Something that never fails to annoy me is entitled, rich, snobby people. People who drop millions for their own selfish gain and don’t spare a second thought for what that could mean for anyone else. These sorts of people tend to be paired with another characteristic that drives me batty: senseless ambition, especially projected on to one’s spawn. I mean, these are universally annoying traits, but they annoy me so much more than, say, when people chew with their mouth open or bite their nails.

I suppose given that I find these all hugely irritating,  I should probably quit watching Royal Pains or at least not discuss this episode since it boils down to “rage rage rage,” but I’ll take a stab at it anyways. Hah. Stab.

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So You Think You Can Dance – secrets, Shane Sparks, and nine times the fun. (Originally for Clique Clack Television)

sytycdweek2Nothing says summer to me quite as much as my siblings, my best friend, and me gathering around the television in our living room to watch So You Think You Can Dance. Of course, when I say “watch” I mean “yell loudly at the television, coupled with intermittent screaming,” but this is how we watch things in my house.

This week on So You Think You Can Dance, there was a special amount of screaming. The return of Shane Sparks! Mary looks halfway decent and not too spangly! (And her hair actually looked kind of cute? What strange new world are we living in!?) We disagreed with almost everything the judges said (And spent a lot of time making fun of Lil’ C’s extremely creative and ridiculous use of the English language. Why was he talking about labor? Who knows? Can we please not know?).

Isn’t summer great?

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