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Friday, September 28, 2012

Real Gay Talk

One of the things that I'm not sure comes across all the time in my writing is the fact that I am always willing to have my mind changed, given there's a compelling reason for it.  I'm an incredibly logic-driven person and while I DO hold strong opinions, when presented with new evidence, I'm always up to revisit and possibly alter the way I feel.  There are plenty of things I've said on this blog that I have since come to look upon differently, but if I were to go back and change each post it would be, not only a pain in the ass, but also dishonest.  So instead, I'm here to explain myself.

Last weekend, a (young, gay, white, male) friend and I were having a conversation about the presentation of queers in the media.  I was talking about how it feels like the only gay people given any sort of representation  lately are white men, and he brought up that he feels like that being a gay woman is more socially acceptable than being a gay man, and because of that it's more important for men to have the media representation in order to make people comfortable with it.  My other (straight, female) friend brought up the point that the only really socially acceptable form of lesbianism is two traditionally attractive women who look like they could be straight having casual sexytimes with each other, usually presented as an object of male fantasy.  She also brought up that the most socially acceptable form of gayness usually comes in the Gay Best Friend role, a role which is almost always so neutered and de-sexualized so as to make him more palatable for the masses. I went on to argue that the gay male perspective currently being presented was so limited (usually young; ALWAYS white) and often offensively stereotypical and that what the queer community REALLY needs is a wide range of characters displaying a wide range of sexualities.

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Weeds" Crumbs

So I finally re-watched the Weeds series finale.  Like every other series finale basically ever, it made some people happy and left some unsatisfied, but most viewers, like me, probably felt some combination of the two.

It was nice what they tried to do with the symmetry of the show, with plenty of callbacks to the pilot and to the early halcyon days of the show.  But opening on a PTA meeting and bringing back Josh just weren't enough to make this episode the perfect cap on the series.  I've been talking to a number of my friends about it, and most of them agree that the early seasons were by far the best (though I would argue that Season 4 had some strong comedic highlights, particularly with Andy and Lenny but also Celia and Ignacio).  Season 5 was where things really started to go off the rails, and Season 6 was an absolute mess.  They brought back some of the spark for this final go-round, but it really was too little, too late.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Go On" Just Isn't Quite There Yet

About a year and a half ago, there was this show that premiered around mid-season on ABC called Mr. Sunshine.  It was fantastic.  It was created by Matthew Perry, and served to highlight his notably wry brand of humor.  It was cancelled after six episodes, and I'm pretty sure that I remain the only person who has ever seen all six.  Its cancellation had nothing to do with the quality of the show, and everything to do with the fact that it premiered on a Tuesday in March, and all the promotion in the world won't help a show that isn't given a chance to find an audience or build up steam.  I was really bummed out about it, because I love Matthew Perry (and Allison Janney and Jorge Garcia and everyone else who was on that show), and it seemed such a shame for him to have finally found the perfect vehicle and then to have the politics of television programming just totally fuck that up.

Go On is not Mr. Sunshine.  Is Perry good in it?  Yes, because he is good.  Is John Cho my favorite for ever and ever and do I love him SO MUCH?  Yes.  But remember when I was talking about bland comedy?  Go On is it.  I've heard a couple other people compare it to Community, and after watching the third episode this week, such a comparison is inevitable.  You've got an emotionally closed-off man who joins a group for purely selfish reasons and then, you know, learns things and becomes friends with them and everyone is very different and diverse and isn't it hilarious? isn't.  It isn't very hilarious, and that's not because they talk about his dead wife all the time.  It's because I have seen this show before, done a million times better.  And, it's because, as much as I love Matthew Perry, it's really John Cho who should be given his own starring vehicle.    Funny, handsome, young, and whip-smart, Cho could connect with viewers in a way that, if he were in the lead, would drive this show to success.  And who knows?  It's still early days; Go On has the potential to get much sillier and more creative as the season goes on.  But right now, it's looking like the easily-digestible, very standard show that everyone at NBC wished Community had been.

But at least it's better than Animal Practice.  Animal Practice is TERRIBLE.  You guys remember that episode of The Office where Jim and Pam and Andy are watching a fake movie starring Jack Black and Cloris Leachman?  That's what Animal Practice feels like.  A fake TV show that fake people watch on another TV show, played for laughs at how bad it is.  Uncle Andy, what have they done to you?  Annie's Boobs, what have they done to YOU?

Image via IMDB

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Guys With Kids" Parties Like It's 1999

So, I watched the Guys With Kids pilot.  Here's what I'll say - it wasn't sexist or homophobic or racist or anything like that.  It also wasn't very funny.

The show is filmed in front of a live studio audience, and it very much feels like an attempt to return to old school classic NBC sitcoms.  I say attempt because such a return doesn't really feel possible.  When shows like Louie, Parks & Recreation, and Community are pushing the boundaries of what television can and should be, a show like Guys With Kids feels out of place and perilously un-hip.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The List, Part Three

So, with all of my working full-time and devouring Game Of Thrones and changing the blog name this summer, The Hedgepig's second anniversary just passed on by without comment.  And really, there's not much to comment on other than to say that I hope you guys enjoy reading this as much as I love writing it, and that recently I've been getting some really good feedback from people who've taken some of my recommendations, which just makes it all worth it.  So thanks for reading and all of that.  You can check out last year's anniversary post if you're interested in a more lengthy acknowledgement.  In lieu of that this time, here's one of my favorite Abed moments ever.  I really, really like talking about TV, you guys.  In case you hadn't noticed.

Now comes the part where, if I had a shame gland, it would start acting up.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vacation Is Over

Since it's now the weekend after Labor Day, and summer is officially over, it's time for Miss Hedgepiggy to return to the grind.  And man, do I have things to say and opinions to express!  Fall season premieres start this week, although, to be honest, none of the new shows aside from The Mindy Project have me feeling anything other than whelmed.  But I'm very excited for the return of some of my favorites, and to get back to a regular schedule of healthy analytical opinionating.  Here's a list of what I will and won't be watching this fall - new shows, old shows, and shows that weren't good enough last year to make the cut now.

The Mindy Project

If you haven't watched The Mindy Project yet, and you are a functioning human with a brain, vocal cords suitable for laughing, and eyes that enjoy looking at attractive people, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  The pilot has been up on Hulu for a couple weeks, and I highly recommend it to anyone.  Mindy Kaling!  Chris Messina!  Stephen Tobolowsky!  Richard Schiff!  Bethany from Mad Men!  Penelope from Gossip Girl!  A hot guy with a British accent!  Literally something for everyone.  It's smart and funny and aimed toward women in the same way that New Girl seems to be but is MUCH more interesting and not at all divisive and there are no stupid jokes about the ways that women and men are SO different to each other.  And it has Mindy Kaling, a fantastic actress and writer instead of the grating, dumb, obliviously saccharine star-who-shall-not-be-named of that OTHER show.  Most importantly, it is something NEW and DIFFERENT and it acknowledges the fact that not all funny, smart, and sexy people in the world are skinny white people.  183% MUST WATCH show of the season.  Everything else I could take or leave, but The Mindy Project is a straight-up glass of finely distilled awesome.