My Grammys review.
An International Terrorist Brainwashed Jonathan Groff On This Week’s Looking And You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next
Not really tho, sorry this isn’t Scandal
Looking does not bore me. If you’re excepting me to go on a rant about how it is, there’s plenty of white people who’ve busied themselves with that at an almost gross circle jerk level of wanting to be the person who can trash the show the most. Is that what we’re looking for in terms of writing about television? I’m hardly an up with people kind of person, but I rarely go out of my way to rant about something that isn’t overtly racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.
A lot of people have said this show is about nothing. That’s it’s boring. For what it’s worth, I was absolutely riveted by the second episode. And I related to in a way I didn’t particularly expect to. To some, there wasn’t enough comic pay-off from Patrick lusting after an uncut Mexican cock. But for me, as a gay person of color? It was hilarious, kinda horrifying and even ultimately surprising because I managed to empathize with Patrick when I really shouldn’t have. And that’s when I realized that all of the cries of Looking's lack of diversity were all bullshit coming from people who hadn’t watched the show. Beside the show being LITERALLY filled with diversity, from women, to an Asian male, to two Hispanic leads and a black lead, this show is saying a lot more about race and class than any other HBO show since The Wire or The Sopranos. Girls added Donald Glover for an episode and he and Hannah had a fun time quoting Missy Elliot and that was the end of it. This show put its audience in the passenger’s seat of something that many gay POC go through every day. Let me explain.
As a gay POC, you are either constantly told you’re not attractive because you’re not white or you’re attractive because of someone’s weird fetish. White gays want submissive Asian bottoms. They want black guys with huge dicks. They want uncut Mexican dicks. They want hairy, dark, accented Middle Eastern men. The act of othering isn’t just a thing that gay people endure at the hands of straight people, it’s what happens when you’re gay and also not white.
There were hints that this was a subject Looking planned to deal with in its first episode. Patrick tells Dom about being hit on by Richie, but claims that Richie “isn’t his type.” Dom tells him to stop going after guys with MBAs or who are in med school and to stop caring what his mother thinks. We think, oh, this is just about him wanting someone who’s got something going on in their life. It’s more than that.
In “Looking for Uncut,” we find that Patrick has never had sex with an uncut guy before. Which means he either has a very small sexual history (even white guys can be uncut), or he’s largely only had sex with white guys. He finds Richie attractive, yeah, but a Mexican bouncer at a club? That’s not his type in terms of class and in terms of race. Richie’s not someone he can see himself having a real relationship with.
I was cringing the entire episode while Patrick became fixated on Richie’s dick instead of who he was as a person. He assumed a bouncer with an uncut dick wouldn’t be interested in a relationship. He just wanted a quick fuck. Every time Patrick pushed for them to get more intimate, Richie rejected his advances. He wanted to get to know Patrick, but Patrick assumed he already knew him. Then things blew up in the bedroom once they finally got there. Richie has probably endured enough guys wanting a hot cholo to fuck them, he wants something more and he thinks Patrick isn’t looking for that. Patrick is, but it’s not until his insecurities and casual racism are exposed to him that he can see things from Richie’s perspective.
It’s not that I think Patrick doesn’t view Richie as a human. He’s not that level of racist, he has Agustin as a best friend! But a lot of white people are comfortable with a close friend who’s a different race, but completely unable to deal with that same race when they’re confronted with someone who doesn’t know them or love them unconditionally.
I liked discovering this aspect of Patrick’s character. It rang true, but it was also doled out in tiny bits. This entire show is an experience, the milieu of daily life leading to something bigger. I’ve often compared this show to Mad Men (I’m not the only one either), another show that seemingly moves at a snail’s pace and ignores huge comic or dramatic pay offs to deepen what you know about the characters. If this show were a period piece, I don’t think it would have as many detractors. People would be dazzled by the costumes, the dialogue, the FEEL.
But this show has all of that, no one’s just looking close enough. Or maybe they are and they don’t like what they see.
NYPD Blue Ivy — What if Blue Ivy joined the NYPD? Follow @nypdblueivy
The dick of white acceptance must be really TOO bomb to resist. I mean, why else would Dat Phan go on Don “Who Was Driving The Underground Railroad” Lemon’s TV show and be like, “Naaaahhhhhhh, CBS, you don’t have to apologize for being all racist on this week’s How I Met Your Mother.” Racism that USA Today put in quotes as “racism” because, you know, racism is only serious when people are being mean to white families.
Anyway, I’ve digressed. This week the cast of How I Met Your Mother dressed up in fu manchu garb and people online were kinda, you know, upset with the yellow face of it all. Pointing out rightly that people get dragged for doing blackface, but shit, it’s okay to dress up like a Geisha! Katy Perry does it! Why not!
Except, Dat Phan, a comedian you probably heard of 15 years ago or whenever that NBC comedian reality show he was on aired after episodes of Veronica’s Closet, DISAGREES. And as an Asian, his opinion is the only one that matters. And he hopes that white people who were like, “man, these Asians getting testy!” agree with him and maybe put him on a TV show again. He could’ve hitched his wagon to a show that isn’t ending this year, but maybe someone at CBS’ casting office will be like, “thank you for giving us free reign to be racist, here’s a role on The Big Bang Theory.”
Some intern on The Don Lemon Show dug Dat Phan out of obscurity so that Lemon could as him how he feels about racism. They proceeded to side-step the entire conversation and instead talk about gun violence in our schools, because, huh?
THIS IS AN ACTUAL FUCKING QUOTE FROM DAT PHAN: ”A lot of my generation’s not going around shooting up schools. It’s the younger generation with censored cartoons that’s doing that.”
Oh, okay! Censoring cartoons leads to Columbine which means that we can’t censor racism. Even Lemon was like, people are too sensitive when you try and say nigga on TV. Forgetting the fact that people are only sensitive about white people using the word nigger and trying to equate it with cracker.
Then Lemon wraps up his interview finally getting back to the question and asking Dat Phan what he thinks about no diversity on shows like HIMYM in 2014. To which Dat responds, ”First of all, there were some Asian cast members.” Oh, yes, the extras! They are cast members, I guess, in how they’re not at all. Don, to my surprise, was thrown by this and was like, uh… they’re not real cast members. And then Dat Phan explained: ”They have to show the cast members portraying these roles.” You know, because there’s no Asians on the cast. Got it. It’s not anyone’s fault they had to be racist, because there weren’t any Asians on the cast to play these caricatures.
I’d like any Asian readers to please provide me with the equivalent of nigga please.
The Spanish-language title for I, Frankenstein is both accurate and awesome.
This is the first non-white season of The Bachelor and ABC, the network that always plays plucky music in their dramas to let you know a scene is funny, will do everything in their power to remind you that this groundbreaking season is setting records for the amount of rumbles it’s going to get into with the Sharks.
Obviously, you can only drink tequila.
TAKE A SIP WHENEVER
- Whenever someone mistakenly refers to Juan Pablo as “Juan Carlos”
- Whenever mariachi music plays to let us know this scene is caliente
- Whenever someone SAYS “caliente”
- Whenever Juan Pablo brings up Venezuela
- Whenever Juan Pablo pretends he calls football “soccer,” but only does so because the average audience watching The Bachelor doesn’t care what those maybe homosexual Europeans call their sports
TAKE A GULP WHENEVER
- Someone dramatically shouts “Chino!”
- Whenever Phil makes a comment about Gloria’s breasts
- Whenever Sofia Vergara’s breasts shoot bullets
- Whenever Penélope Cruz is really obvious about the fact that she hid Paco in the deep freezer
- Whenever Javier Bardem hits on Rebecca Hall and she is NOT pleased but Scarlett Johansson totally is
FINISH YOUR DRINK
- If Brandi calls Joyce “Jacqueline”
- When Brett sleeps with the young bullfighter
- When it’s 5,000 hours long but Steven Soderbergh is such a great director you don’t care
- When the cast breaks into a rendition of “Feliz Navidad”
Women aren’t sexual predator fodder on Elementary
*Spoilers for Elementary season 2 follow
Last year the phrase “rape culture” became mainstream. Rape culture involves the normalization and condoning of rape through victim blaming, trivialization and sexual objectification. It should come as no surprise that television procedurals often play a large part in perpetuation rape culture in America. Rape victims are often seen as needing uber-men to protect them from violent terrorizers, or femme fatales cook up rapes to ensnare innocent men. Statistically, the majority of rapes in America occur via perpetrators that victims already know. But to many Americans, rape needs to involve a woman being terrorized by a depraved madman while she’s writing her thesis on Willa Cather and wearing her Seventh-Day Adventist skirt.
Procedurals are usually littered with women being raped and tortured in their teasers before detectives ride in on their white (or morally grey) horses to save the day. This is the norm in most exploitative airport trash like Law & Order: SVU and The Following. But not on Elementary. The women in this series are armed and dangerous and more often than not, their choice of weapon is their brains.
I spent the week catching up on Elementary — one my favorite TV shows and the only other show besides The Good Wife worth paying attention to on CBS (it still surprises me every day that two of television’s best shows are on CBS, which also makes it hard to get friends to watch them) — and though season one already introduced us to female versions of Watson (Lucy Liu) and Moriarty (Natalie Dormer, Game of Thrones), I didn’t really take notice of how awesome this show’s representation of women is until I marathoned 12 episodes.
Episode 2, “Solve For X” deals with a female math whiz who offs a couple dudes not because she’s a woman scorned, but because they’re close to solving a math puzzle that she wants to money for. So they gotta go. Boss bitch Laura Benanti shows up in “Poison Pen” as a woman who admittedly was abused as a child which made me swivel my head a bit, until she’s revealed to have murdered her abusive father by poisoning him then getting plastic surgery and globe hopping to avoid capture. She’s also the one who steps up and goes to prison to save a young man from his own abusive father. Excellent role reversals went on in this episode.
It continues when the woman who came between Sherlock and his brother shows up and she’s working for the mob and running scams of her own. The Captain’s wife shows up this season too, almost attacked by a murderer (acting on orders of a calculating female archeologist) until she distracts him and plugs a couple bullets into his shoulder. Moriarty even returns in the twelfth episode, having a tête-à-tête
with Watson and then dispatching a couple of her lackeys for having the gall to kidnap her secret daughter.
I’ve yet to watch all of the BBC’s Sherlock, but a lot of purists and internet nerds also obsessed with the white antics of Doctor Who swear up and down it’s the better show. As expertly written and acted by the glorious Benedict Khanberbatch that show may be, I’m insanely grateful that it exists. We live in a world where stories like Sherlock Holmes will continue to be reimagined until the end of time. But the concept of a kick-ass Asian woman solving crimes as Watson — weirdly enough, the stereotype of Asians being smart only applies to school and working in finance, because in crime shows they’re always kung-fu masters* — and Sherlock’s number one nemesis being a woman who’s not a breathy, bosom-heaving femme fatale looking to conquer the world with her pussy are absolutely necessary additions to the television landscape.
The fact that the world they inhabit is also full of women who drive story; instead of acting as helpless victims that elicit tears from the audience when their aggressors are brought to justice, is all the more awesome.
*Except in the underrated masterpiece known as The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.
Her was still pretty good tho.