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  •  "The New Normal" (14+ / 0-)

    One of the interesting things about '70s exploitation films is that they're some of the first major films in which women & people of color were depicted as strong characters who could take care of themselves. For example, some Feminists saw sexism in the T&A or the acts of violence directed at the female characters in that era's horror films. However, the other side of the argument is some of those exploitation films were also the first films to have strong female characters that weren't dependent on men to "save" them.


    However, TV shows of the same era had some difficulties dealing with these issues. Many television shows of the '70s & '80s went the Very Special Episode route to deal with issues of race, gender, etc. Basically it's an episode where you have the collection of rich, white characters come to the realization that death, drug abuse, alcoholism, AIDS, suicide, gay people or black people & racism actually exist in the world. The problem with the "very special episode" is that it comes off as both incredibly naive while at the same time horribly condescending.

    Which brings us to NBC's new sitcom "The New Normal." The comments in the A.V. Club's review for the show are fascinating to read, since they bring up an interesting point. Is the current depiction of gay men in television shows the equivalent of where the depiction of African-Americans was 30 years ago (i.e. a character meant as a positive depiction, but in the end is still grounded in stereotypes instead of being a person with different layers)?

    I think one of [the more] progressive shows out there is "Happy Endings" for making a gay character who is not wildly feminine, not a good dresser, or not remotely virtuous.  He's just a self-involved jerk who happens to be in to dudes. I'm not gay but I can imagine it's irritating to be constantly portrayed by homogenized stereotypes.

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