Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Subtext Games

Before we start this new season, let us start with that promo. You know the one. The one that seems like a Rizzles fanvid instead of an official TNT preview. I’ll be honest, it makes me grind my teeth. I mean, I understand what they are doing. In theory it’s cute. It’s TNT saying, “Hey, even we know they seem gay!” But in action it’s, well, problematic.

I have always been the kind of Rizzoli & Isles watcher who is in it for the current chemistry instead of the remote possibility they might actually be a couple. Sure, I enjoy the smile and wink of it all – like, isn’t it ridiculous these women are supposed to be heterosexual when their relationship feels so very gay. But mostly I enjoy their obvious friendship and effortless rapport. So I understand and accept that in the canon of the show they are straight. (Though, really, in this day and age why not go there and make them gay?)

But into that fray comes this new TNT promo. I have no problem with the producers and network acknowledging the shows lesbian and bisexual female fanbase. In fact, I appreciate it. But I do have a problem with them teasing us. It’s a fine line, but a definite line. I’m not one to drop the “QB” word quickly. But, yeah, it’s a little queerbaity. It seems TNT realized the errors of its ways, because it was taken down almost as quickly as it went up. Perhaps this is a good thing. A reminder that while the show’s gay female fanbase is strong and loyal, we don’t enjoy being teased. There’s a difference between being in n the joke and being joked about.

And that’s how I feel about that. In other news, my first #Gayzolli recap of the season is up today at AfterEllen. I’m rusty after three months. Please, be gentle.


Scamp said...

I'm a lesbian and I love the Ladies' Night promo. It' fun and sexy. Oh my goodness, how Angie does swing her hips and Sasha slays me with her eyes.

I'll bet that TNT marketing people thought they were doing a favor for R&I's gay/lesbian/queer fans. After the on-line outrage, they'll never try that again.

p.s. So happy you are still doing Rizzles recaps!

maya said...

I've been trying to reconcile my feelings around why I have turned on Rizzoli & Isles and I think it's because of that fine line you alluded to. It's one thing to have genuine chemistry that we, the public, see with our eyeballs and enjoy turning into more with fan fic etc., but it's other when the actors et al. are consciously teasing the audience to up their ratings. (Excepting the sweep month lezzie kiss which is a time honored tradition.) I haven't even really conceptualized queer-baiting until recently--and I think probably, mostly because it actually is a relatively new thing--but I am already sick of it. If Xena was on today, I would probably be in a fit that the players weren't willing to admit what we all knew. [It wasn't 'til after the show ended that Lucy Lawless said, "Oh, yeah, they were lesbians," and the relationship became canon rather than subtext.] Anyway...I love your recaps, but I may be evolving on how I view subtext in the context of today's social landscape. I don't appreciate being straight-up used for ratings. If the show was actually awesome...yeah, I'd watch it, but the best thing about it is the amazing chemistry between Sasha and Angie, soooo, I think I'll pass. (But I'll still read your recaps. :-) xo)

Helena said...

Ms Snarker you hit in on the nail , like a joke but not to be joked about. Will always read your recaps though :)

egghead said...

Perhap Ms. Snarker's recaps should be made into real? No? I love them more than my luggage. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree DS it is too much. Glad they removed it. I stopped watching the show. I really could just watch Angie Harmon walk from room to room and talk for about 30 seconds.