Most Implausible Plot Point – No One Cares When Zero Comes Out, Hit The Floor
HTF spent much of the show’s first couple of years with Zero and Jude in a closeted relationship, Zero afraid his career would be ruined if people learned a top basketball star was gay/bisexual. But when Jude made it clear he wouldn’t be in a secret love affair, Zero risked losing everything by openly declaring his sexuality and his love for Jude. It was a hot, long awaited moment on the show, but what came next was not only bad storytelling, but utterly implausible.
There were no ramifications of Zero coming out. Nobody on the team cared (made mostly of African-American men), his employers showed little concern and there was no push back from the press or the public. In fact, Zero became popular amongst the gay community (the only realistic part) and he became more wealthy with various endorsements. The show then quickly shoved aside that storyline into a boring plot about Zero looking for his long lost sister. But that storyline went nowhere when Zero suddenly changed his mind and the show dropped the whole story.
After spending so much time with Zero hiding who he was for it to all come to nothing was simply a waste of years of plot points. I guess the writers didn’t want to drag the fluffy, bubble gum show down by miring it with homophobia and bigotry, but they didn’t have to ignore it all together. They could have given us something and then moved on without getting too heavy.
I wished we lived in a world where a prominent sports figure could come out and no one would care. But we don’t live in that world, even in 2016. HTF did their own long term story an injustice by acting as if we do.
Honorable Mention: Finn and Kasim’s Relationship, Emmerdale
Best New Character – James Nightengale, Hollyoaks
Scheming, seductive, bitchy and sharp tongued pretty much describes James. But he’s actually more complex than that. He has a heart and is loyal to those he cares about, even if they don’t always deserve it. He’s very well written on a show where the writing is often questionable and Gregory Finnegan is a commanding and dominant presence in every scene in which he appears. The show has also given him a terrific love interest in the form of good guy John Paul McQueen and the two make a quirky and rootable couple.
The problem is that for James as a character and John Paul and James as a duo is that the show isn’t writing for them. James should be a leading player on this show, but instead he’s spent a lot of time without a story or being a supporting or side character. The same with JP, who has been a lead on this show for many years and now is given little to do. I get the sense the show isn’t sure what to do with him or John Paul and I wonder why. I can think of about a dozen storylines for them without even trying.
I wish Hollyoaks would.
Honorable Mention: Harry Doyle, Quantico
Best Love Scene – Even and Isak In The Hotel Room, Skam
I was a late comer to this show, but boy was I glad that I didn’t miss out. This is a compelling, provocative groundbreaking love story between two teenage boys. Sure, much of this is your basic coming out stuff, but there’s so much more to it than just that in that the show deals with topics and stories not often seen on television. But it’s not just that. The style and the mood and the cinematography of this show fits this show like a glove.
The show has not skimped on showing the romance and the passion of Even and Isak’s relationship and that was no more evident in that very passionate love scene in the hotel room late in the series. I’m sure those scenes raised a lot of eyebrows, among other things.
Honorable Mention: Connor and Oliver, How To Get Away With Murder
Most Boring Show – Days of Our Lives
I wonder why this show even bothered keeping Paul around for the past year, much less bringing back Sonny. What they are doing with them is not only boring, it’s starting to get a bit offensive. After Sonny left last year, Paul spent most of the time in the background first as a model to support Gabi’s story and then became a PI who most notably got kidnapped and brainwashed in a dumb story that went nowhere.
Then when Sonny returned, you might think that there would be some story and romance for those two. Instead, there hasn’t been much of either. While Paul and Sonny still have some chemistry, the show really doesn’t play it. There is no life, no energy, nothing to their sporadic scenes together. The romance is so chaste that a backrub is considered the height of passion. Paul and Sonny are ex-lovers with a messy background, but none of that comes across on screen. The show tells us there’s a lot of angst as why they aren’t together, but there’s really no reason for them not to date.
They’re both single, Will has been dead over a year and the show has said Will’s memory isn’t what is keeping them apart. So what is it? Who knows? The show hasn’t bothered to specify. The show recently brought back Paul’s ex Derrick with a few hints that they are dating, but Paul and Derrick rarely have a scene together, much less anything resembling a relationship.
I know the show wants us to think there’s a romantic triangle here, but there’s nothing romantic about it. You’ve got three good looking and sexy gay men not having sex and not showing much interest in getting laid. There’s a word for that. And it’s not a good one.
Honorable Mention: Shortland Street
Best Show – American Crime
I said at the start this year that the odds were this would capture the Best Show award for 2016. And I was right. American Crime centered on a groundbreaking storyline about two young gay men tied together when one of them accused the other of rape. The show spent the season telling this powerful, harrowing drama, mixing in subplots of class and race and economic injustice.
The acting across the board was majestic. Connor Jessup was heartbreaking as Taylor, whose despair and rage over what had been done to him lead to him committing an unspeakable act that changed his life forever. Joey Pollari’s Eric was also very good as the accused, who insisted what happened was not rape. Other performances from Regina King, Lily Taylor and Timothy Hutton were also wonderful. Special notice must be given to Felicity Huffman, who played Barbera, a horrible and despicable person that you simply could not stop watching.
The writing was solid as well, there wasn’t an episode that did not have at least one stand out or memorable scene. Some of them, like the scene in the diner with Connor and his mom after the shooting, still haunt me to this day.
I know a lot people didn’t like the ending in that we never found out what really happened the night Taylor claimed he was raped and both Taylor and Eric’s fates were left unanswered. But I didn’t mind it.
All season the show told us there were no easy answers, no happy endings and life goes on with not everything tied up in a bow. The ending reflected that. AC had a few flaws, some subplots didn’t work and the ‘special’ episode featuring real people came across as filler, but that didn’t detract from the overall excellence of the show. It truly was the best show I saw all year. Nothing even came close.
Honorable Mention: Eyewitness
And that’s it for 2016! I appreciate you readers for coming here each week to read my ramblings and I’ll see you next year. Gays Of Our Lives will return the first week in 2017! Happy Holidays!