Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Will and Grace to Cam and Mitchell (make up blog post)

I am a huge fan of Will & Grace and this article’s analysis of this show was very eye opening. I never realized how many elements of that show reinforce a heterosexual agenda. Raymond is totally correct in saying that Will and Grace are presented like a heterosexual couple. I mean, they try and have a baby together for heaven sakes! The other point about Jack being more gay than Will is also very true. While with Jack there is not possibility of his sexuality changing, with Will there is always a little bit of hope that he will magically be straight and him and Grace could be together.

Another point that I really liked in this article was the fact that we see homosexuality on comedies more than dramas. Raymond’s explanation for this is because comedies don’t promise “real life” like dramas do (100).  Another reason comedies are a good place for Raymond to focus is the fact that as “traditional families” become less and less prominent in culture, there is room from alternative definitions of family priming comedic television as a good platform for homosexual plot lines and characters.

This got me thinking of a more recent example of homosexual characters on TV – Cam and Mitchell of Modern Family. Similar to the problems with Will and Grace, Cam and Mitchell, while gay, almost act like a heterosexual couple. Mitchell is the breadwinning husband who goes out to work as a lawyer while his husband Cam stays at home with their child Lily. Mitchell is practical and level headed compared to his effeminate and wildly emotional counterpart. There is even an episode where Cam goes on a diet and has what could be comparable to PMS symptoms (emotional, irrational, moody).  I still haven’t decided if this coupling, and others like it, are done for laughs (it’s clearly hilarious when Cam, a huge man who loves football and grew up getting his hands dirty in the south, cries over the fact that his husband doesn’t like his bike shorts). Is it supposed to be ironic? Or this necessary in order for these characters to be accepted by a mass audience and by a television network?

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