Kizz & Tell is a combination of item #17 on my Life List (Develop an erotic fiction web site) and a continuation of the G-spot column I used to write at The Women's Colony. From fantasies to frank discussion I'm just trying to re-create a really great conversation with your friends. I hope you'll join in!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Watch More TV

I had coffee with Tony Comstock on Monday. I was unable to attend the event he was to speak at but I did have time to buy him coffee so I got a personalized preview. There's lots to say because I always learn something new when we chat but the extreme distillation is "we need to be positive about sex, all kinds, to everyone." So that's what I was thinking about when I looked for a recommendation for today. (Tony kindly gifted me with some of his films to review so look for those in later editions of the Resource Room.)

You may or may not know that I love TV. That love may or may not be a healthy one. I will watch, for the most part, any fictional programming you put up on the small screen at least once. (Thank you Eastbound & Down, Always Sunny in Philadelphia and anything starring David Spade for being exceptions that prove the rule.) I tell you this to explain why I'm about to recommend two shows and then criticize them.

I have watched every single episode of The L Word and Queer As Folk (US*). Some of you are cheering now, some are weeping.

Here's the thing, these shows are very poorly written, sometimes poorly acted and riddled with bizarre stunt casting and plot twists. Somewhere in the 3rd season the characters in The L Word just stop doing anything remotely connected to the boundaries of their characters in the first two seasons and they catapult off in new directions without rhyme or reason. At one point in QAF a guy with one ball breaks his arm and still continues to participate in a charity bike Canada. It's like when the Facts of Life cast went to Paris, we know it's a bad idea but we love them so we watch anyway.

I still think you should watch these shows. While we continue to work to highlight real, normal sex and real, normal relationships in a society awash in airbrushed, surgically enhanced people play acting their lives for marginal fun and short term profit The L Word and QAF stood front and center to bridge the gap.

The L Word is, admittedly, cast mostly with beautiful people who obligingly have sex that includes surefire orgasms at least twice per episode. As the show progressed, though, they filled in their gaps with different shapes, sizes and sexual identities of people. There were women of different ages, hues and nationalities. There were characters of different life experience and with different goals and, just like in real life, (nearly) everyone had sex. Sometimes I hated it when they did (Jenny, bah!) and sometimes I begged for more (Shane, call me!) but, in the course of (relatively) normal lives we also got to see the sex.

I wouldn't presume to speak to why Queer as Folk seemed more reluctant to expand their casting choices. The show remained steadfastly white, under 40 and carved out of expensive marble (even the token lesbian couple). But beautiful people, according to the writers, have lives and problems and sex, too. Sex within commitment, sex on the side of commitment, masturbation, single sex, unprotected sex, sex with HIV, sex with prostitutes, sex with friends, sex with drugs, sex that evolves with the participants, lots and lots of sex. While the overall production values of the show are perfectly average when shooting the sex scenes the whole series somehow stepped up their game.

I feel I'm not making my point. Did you ever watch Spin City? OK, so Michael J. Fox's character, Mike, was single and a big muckity muck in the NYC Mayor's office. One member of the large and wonderful supporting cast (Emmy nominated Connie Britton, I'm looking at you), was Carter, a single, gay staffer played by Michael Boatman. Over the course of the many episodes you watched can you give a round estimate to the number of times you saw Mike kiss someone, lie in a bed with someone, emerge disheveled from a bedroom with someone, or even emerge from under/behind a desk with someone? I'm going to just lowball it at 1.5 times per episode. There must have been an episode or two when he didn't do any of that and in a lot of them it was constant. Close your eyes and reflect again on the series. How many times did you see Carter in any of those situations? If you guessed zero I'd agree with you. I'm not putting Spin City up as a shining example of portrayals of hetero sex, either, but it's representative of the kind of sex we usually see on TV whether on something tame like this or a certified edgy series like The Wire (Ever see Omar Little getting it on? I thought not.).

So I'm recommending that we revel in shows that give us a variety of images of romance and sex. The L Word and Queer As Folk broke ground by being such popular shows while focusing on a. homosexual main characters and b. sex. Were they artistically exquisite? Perhaps not. But they were glorious fun, an emotional roller coaster and well worth your time and support. Treat yourself! And give Shane and Brian a little kiss from me.

*I have not seen even one clip from the original UK Queer As Folk. Anyone care to warn or recommend?

1 comment:

  1. Any one else a littlebitjealous that you got to take home some of Tony's films for review?