Thursday, November 18, 2010

Six Feet Under is Awesome Because It's Not Afraid to Show Two Men Kiss (thoughts regarding the First Season only)

I rather suspect that Michael C. Hall will forever be David Fisher to me and never Dexter (which is, I think, one of the reasons why I keep procrastinating on watching Dexter despite the fact that I think he's one of my favorite actors...which I don't know why since I've only seen him in a few eps of Dexter, you-tubed his wicked dance in Gamer, and this first season of SFU).

Anyway, I think what made me fall in love with this show was this right here:

You know, I think this is the first show (that I have seen) that has portrayed a homosexual relationship in such a "normal" (air-quotes because, seriously, "normal" is a social construction so I use the term very loosely) and natural and honest way. I know that Caprica did it too but not in the same way because Sam and his husband (boyfriend? I don't even know his name) because it was so on the outskirts of the story -- SFU really showed the self-destructive nature of shame and internalized bigotry -- David's discomfort, his yearning ache, his acute loneliness was so tangible and honest in a way that Caprica could never explore much less address.

The last two episodes of the season were particular amazing in that regard since it culminated with David overcoming his shame and coming out to his family, his church - with a beautiful message of love and shame...I just cheered inside and kind of gave a squeaky little fangirling awwwww on the outside (then rewound it and watched it again). And I'm not even religious and it hit me right in the heart.

Just...beautiful and fantastic.

But yeah -- it was nice to have a same-sex relationship portrayed in a non-stereotypical way. I like what Glee is trying (unsuccessfully) to do with their gay characters, but it still comes off as stereotypical and shallow. Same with Ugly Betty. This was very, very nice. Multi-faceted. Complex. Fascinating. Human.

I really like the way they portray relationships in general in this show -- I never felt like throttling any of the characters, which was refreshing. Honesty for a change!

Much to my surprise, I really like Brenda and Nate's relationship. To my greater surprise, I actually liked Nate (I'm not sure -- I thought he'd be the typical lady's man-joker-person-thing, but he's not). It's nice.

And let's not forget Rico (who kinda-sorta is one of my fave characters):

God, he's gorgeous. (He's even more gorgeous when he smiles.) I swear, when Freddie Rodríguez doesn't have a beard he is one of the cutest people ever. He was the best thing that ever happened to Ugly Betty and Grindhouse.

Though I have to say Rico lost a few cosmic bonus points when he waxed a little homophobic when David came out to him -- but then he was really nice to David and considered him family. I wonder if the show will explore that aspect of their relationship more or just leave it that...curious minds want to know.

But yeah. Lots of love for Rico - the bit about the baby episode had me close to tears a few times. He needs more screen time!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Skyline is not Worthy of a Review

Despite its flaws, Skyline was good for one thing:

A How-To Guide on How Not To Make A Sucky Science-Fiction Flick:

1. Do not make your characters unlikeable.

This includes axing the following tropes:

if characters have premarital sex, they will meet their final judgment in the gooey jaws of a freaky alien who wants to eat their brains.

That's just not cool, dudes. Complicated characters, people. Nobody's perfect, so why don't you just put down that stone like it's hot and burning your holier-than-thou palms off.

Also - don't kill off the token black character because he cheated (and because he's black). That just ain't cool either.

If you want to have shiny objects being displayed on the arms of rich, privileged men here's an idea: make sure they're not women. Because, last time I checked, they're people too. Women don't just have to wail the names of their lovers out when shit happens. Or cry. Or run around like hysterical idiots. They can pick up axes, too you know, and kick some major ass (which you at least acknowledged by throwing a bone to the female members of the audience -- but yeah, we saw right through it, didn't we ladies). Also -- the only survivor is a pregnant woman? We can fulfill more roles than that of the Mother. Jerks.

Also, homosexual couples are not the butts of jokes. So shut the fuck up with the jeers.

Science fiction looks ahead to the future. It does not reinforce the hetero-normative, white-centric, patriarchal standards of the current society without commentary.

2. Science Fiction also requires that some amount of technology be an issue within the story.

Rampaging aliens hellbent on destruction and BRAAAAIIIIINNNNNNSSSSSS do not count. Because, if it doesn't go beyond that, then it's just about as deep as an evaporated lake.

3. Story requires showing not telling, continuity, and character development.

Unlike the deceased members of earthling society, the audience does have their brain. They don't need to be told what they just saw happen on the screen.

Major dialogue fail, writers. Of epic, cringe-worthy proportions. I hope you're all ashamed of yourselves and made Fs on your coursework.

Continuity means that everything fits together and we don't have random things happening. Like night turning miraculously into day. Or people being unable to open doors like normal folks.

Character development would have meant that whiny-assed protagonists change into mature heroes. Or something. And no, possessing an alien by the end of the film doesn't count.

I got nothing else. I'm still reeling by how incompetent, incoherent, disappointing, lackluster, and awful the whole thing was.

People are better than this.

I wonder, back in the day, it used to be a conflict over art for art's sake or social reform or some other significant thing.

Now I think we're even beyond art for art's sake. I think we're more into "art" for the shininess -- the explosions, the boom, the spectacular visual effects that are hollow with a story to wear it -- sake of it all.

Of course, I shouldn't romanticize the past.

Chaucer used bathroom humor too.

Which, thankfully, Skyline did not. For that, it gets a silver star of the sticker variety.