Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Gayest Thing on CBS Says 'Goodbye'

I haven't really followed Daytime Soaps since the 80's and the whole Luke and Laura thing on General Hospital. I remember watching their wedding with hundreds of other students in the TSC Student Center. We were all hooked.

Over the years, daytime soaps have often provided an important outlet for social issues. In fact, daytime TV tackled gay relationships (you should excuse the pun) long before Primetime ever did.

Recently, CBS announced the the cancellation, after 54 years (!), of their daytime serial As the World Turns, one of the first network shows to feature a gay couple, Luke (Van Hansis) and Noah (Jake Silberman). The characters' groundbreaking relationship barely caused a blip on the show's audience's radar. But God forbid that a sane, loving gay relationship should be portrayed on Prime Time TV. What would Middle America think?

Hmmm... Maybe they'd think "Oh, I get it. these guys really love each other. That's not so awful."

I have to ask myself why the networks have this double standard of sorts. It's OK if home-bound housewives see that homosexuality is normal and rational, but not their husbands and children who watch after 8 PM? That makes no sense at all.

Yes, it's sad that so many actors, writers and technicians will be left without jobs. Sadder still is the fact that there is one less TV show that depicts a loving gay relationship is disappearing from the airwaves. I know - it's simple economics. The daytime soap is a dinosaur. More money can be made from sleazy talk shows, pseudo-courtroom antics and blithering idiots in cheap Halloween costumes vying for prizes on which they can't afford the taxes. Still, it's a shame that a loving, honest relationship between two consenting same-sex adults can be shown between 10 AM and 3 PM, but not between 8 and 10 PM (except on exploitative cable soaps). No - Primetime audiences are still led to believe that gay people are only good enough to be portrayed comedic foils or evening soap villains.

And what about all the gay executives, writers, producers and actors who still find itnecessary to hide the truth about themselves? Sadly, they will continue to do so for fear that coming out will ruin their careers. This is the 21st Century, for God's sake. Weren't we all supposed to be enlightened by now? Shame on you Primetime Network TV. Shame, shame, shame.

And just to demonstrate what I'm talking about, here's a clip from As the World Turns:

And another from TV's only Network Primetime gay show, Will and Grace:

Quite a difference, eh? Not that W&G wasn't groundbreaking in it's own right... but it still managed to promote stereotypes in an effort to garner laughs. I thought that went out with Steppin Fetchit and Amos and Andy.

Another rant over. More nonsense, anon.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hold back your feelings!
I agree that gay execs, producers, writers etc., have not been brave enough to bring our stories forward.
Where is the movie version of my favorite novel ever, THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY?
It won the Pulitzer & it read like a movie... of course they will probably eliminate the gay story line!