Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wrong Kind of Hard

It shouldn't be this hard, people. It shouldn't!

But enough is enough.

1.         Below is required reading for network/studio suits, immature mature actresses, shameless spin doctor hucksters, and obstinate executive producers.

Major kudos to this brilliant writer for her spot-on polemic; I am in absolute awe and agreement.

2.         Just when I thought the season three finale of Rizzoli & Isles couldn’t possibly be any worse than the season two finale… thanks for proving me wrong, Janet Tamaro! I understand it’s not easy being one of the few female power players in the industry but this is exactly why you need to do much, much better.

Unlike the first two seasons which were appointment television for me, I’ve only watched about half of the episodes this season on DVR out of misguided curiosity and nostalgia.

Sadly, I will not be making that same mistake again: (

The incredible season one finale ended with Jane firing her gun through herself to get the bad guy and save her brother. It faded out with Jane and Maura sharing an earnest look with each other.

The ridiculous season two finale ended with Jane firing her gun through Maura’s big bad bio dad. It faded out with Jane and Maura sharing an anguished look with each other.

Now, this bucket of dreck known as the season three finale ended without Jane using her gun in an anticlimactic moment with everybody alive (yet again) and a cursory acknowledgment of her LLBFF. It faded out with Jane and Maura’s lingering, wistful look not on each other but on the Treacle Toy Soldier as he hobbles off into the handicapped parking section.

Too bad the surgeons can’t perform a dual TV miracle procedure on him to restore his ability to walk and make him ejaculate chocolate diamonds at the same time!

Jane acts like she would rather take out the garbage for the whole precinct instead of lending a “shoulder to cry on” for her supposed best friend who is dealing with a deep emotional crisis – forget that said friend lets the entire Rizzoli family crash at her place.

Currently, this once dynamic duo is only allowed to show a scintilla of affection:

a. in the wake of a massive calamity
b. when they are whining over dudes
c. when they are whining over dudes in the wake of a massive calamity

And the “chicks before dicks” tenet which once made this show so strong has entirely vanished.

But we got FROST’S MOM.

Sorry Rizzles fans, after outright gay baiting you for years, it’s totally on the super straight and narrow now for our leading ladies. But instead of bringing on a cute lezzoli cousin or hot bi female dick (as in detective), here is your colorful consolation prize – two old boxes of stereotypically stale Mac & Cheese! Thanks for playing along and making our show great but you are no longer needed. Now, take your token crumb and toss off.

Do y’all feel like a valued audience member or a used condom?

Let’s compare R&I to some of its crime-solving contemporaries...

Castle & Beckett:         Consummated.
Bones & Booth:            Consummated.
Annie & Auggie:           Semi-consummated with a deep kiss.

Detect the glaring hetero pattern here? So, it’s okay for straight fans to get excited and invested with male and female characters for the big payoff but we should only be in it for the fantasy or the giggles and grins. What year is this?

Let’s substitute another word here instead of ‘gay.’
“It’s the most Asian non-Asian show on television.”
Offended yet? You should be!

I understand it’s a business and it’s difficult to sell a gay lady show into syndication in this country, let alone the rest of the world. But I also wonder what television would look like today if the courage to put “The Jeffersons” on in the 1970s had never happened. Is Shonda Rhimes the only one with a spine in this decade?

By the way:

banter: to speak to or address in a playful, witty and teasing manner

bicker: to engage in a petulant or petty quarrel

Who wants to see a show saturated with the latter? I guess the target audience is now 14 and 80 year olds instead of my age bracket with the solid careers and the discretionary income.

Ever since the death of Hoyt (unless they try to bring him back to life out of sheer desperation), there has been no suitable nemesis for Original Badass Jane. It’s basically been Pseudo Grumpy Jane dealing with her crazy family, busting boring perps, belittling her best friend at every chance, and mooning over men like a hormonal teenager.

And instead of exploring the morally ambiguous minefield of Maura and her father’s Irish mob connections, we get an overused encyclopedia, recurrent hives, and the reduction of serious topics like live organ donation and what it means to be an adopted child into soap opera piffle.

Woefully, a once-promising cop drama with a potential romantic twist has now devolved into a silly, corny, cartoonish melodrama – a total 180’ of what it was in the first season. And Angie’s charismatic chemistry and Sasha’s PR charm offensive only work wonders for so long.

3.         Subtext, for me, has become the curious girl who never goes beyond second base; it’s an intriguing challenge at first until it quickly turns into an exasperating bore. Then one day you finally see the light and dump her pathetic ass.

Subtext worked well in the 90s because it was the 90s and there weren’t a whole lot of other options. With a historic election behind us and 2013 right here, our television representation continues to be supporting characters buried three levels deep in an ensemble series or pansexual mythical monsters.

Are you fucking kidding me???

That is why it is supremely sadistic for R&I or any show to keep using subtext as a cheap ploy for loyalty and buzz when there is never any intention of follow through. It is the equivalent of black face as others have pointed out and we deserve better. Instead of endlessly echoing these hollow words, we need to find other assertive methods of getting the message across.

And that brings us to the problem with fan fiction. It has become a double-edged sword for our community. On one hand, it satisfies the need to see two adored female characters together in a romantic capacity. On the other, by getting fanfic writers like me to carry the torch, it allows the studio/network to avoid social responsibility by default.

In other words, if you want the dream of Jane and Maura or Emma and Regina or Xena and Gabrielle or _____ and _____ together, you can DIY and find it online. For free.

Meanwhile, everyone associated with a successful television show is definitely not making Olive Garden wages. With so many successful and smart “sisters” in the biz, it baffles me as to why someone cannot sponsor some kind of alternative consortium or profitable business model.

Anyway, I’m afraid I can no longer support R&I by doing their job for them. Self Control is at the halfway point and will be finished but then it is done. I am not done writing; I am just done writing for these types of shows while the powers behind them choose to remain sealed in platinum towers.

Thank you for reading my words and please never stop fighting for more – we have a long, long way to go!