Gays of our Lives: You, Me and Him

Shadowhunters (US)

As I said after watching last week’s episode, I pretty much hated everything. So much so that I’m not sure if I’ll watch this week’s episode. Some things bothered me more than others. And of course there was the one big thing.

I’m going to start with the Clary storyline. It’s no secret I’ve always hated the character. A lot of it has to do with the actress, who can’t play the complexity that Clary should have. Instead she comes off as a selfish, bubble headed twit who constantly gets herself in danger and has to be rescued. She did it again this past week and it’s so old. I’m tired of that plot point and so should the people around her.

And there’s Simon. Simon is one of my favorites and I loved his scenes with Maia. They were cute and funny and he’d finally met a nice girl who likes him. Of course he dumps her for Clary, who I’m sure will hook up with Simon and dump him as soon as she finds out Jace is not her brother. Speaking of which, I HATED those scenes with Jace and Simon. Jace is a jerk and he’s always been a jerk to Simon. I don’t know why Simon would listen to him. I know they were supposed to be funny, but it only showed what as ass Jace is.

Izzy has always been a woefully underused character. I guess they have to hold her back so Clary can be the lead heroine, but Izzy deserves to shine, not toil in the background. And she certainly should not be saddled with this awful out of character storyline. I don’t buy Izzy as a drug addict or for one second, mostly because it happened so quickly. The show drags out all the other stories, but this one happens out of the blue. It’s beneath her character and I hope it ends quickly.

Of course, my biggest issue with the show was Magnus and Alec. Boy, where do I start with how bad it was. Well, let’s begin with: why rush them into bed? They have been dragging out this relationship for over a year. They went on their first date last week.

I thought that Alec would want to rush into it because of the talk he and Magnus had about previous lovers but Magnus would make him realize he wasn’t ready and was willing to wait until the time was right for them both. From there some longing and desire and a few aborted attempts. The fans should have been anticipating the moment as much as they were. Alec being so aggressive and rushing into this was completely out of character.

And then were was the scene itself. Well, there was no scene. Alec shoved Magnus into the bedroom and that was it. I kept wanting for the show to go back to them, but it never did. You know what it reminded me of? Back on Dynasty when after about a half a season of angst, Steven Carrington and Luke Fuller had sex. Only you never saw it. Steven went into Luke’s apartment told Luke he wanted to be with him and they closed the door. That’s pretty much what they did to Magnus and Alec. Only this is 2017, not the early 80’s. You should have think we would have come a long way, but we haven’t.

It’s especially insulting and offensive since in the same episode we saw a naked Jace on top of another naked dayplayer in a very intimate scene. But we get barely a kiss for one of the show’s most popular couples that we have followed since the first episode? Does the show really think the fans don’t deserve more than that? Hell, even an afterglow scene would have been something. And when Jace and Clary finally have sex, do you think their scene will play out like that with Jace pushing Clary into a bedroom and the door closing? You think we won’t see any of their lovemaking? That shows just how wrong what the producers of this show did.

They promote the hell out of this couple, let them generate lots of attention and fans and then treat them like something to be hidden and ashamed of when the most important step in their relationship takes place. That is wrong, unforgivable and offensive. And for me, they may have lost a viewer. I’ve seen this too many times on too many shows. I’ll be damned if I keep supporting a show that has done it to me yet again.


Riverdale (U.S.)

Folks know that I was not thrilled with the writing for Kevin early on. I hated the BFF to the girls stuff and the chatter about fashion and generally being bitchy. It’s such a stereotype for TV gay teens and I’d like to get past that nonsense. Thankfully, they’ve toned Kevin down a bit and made him a bit more real and likable so I’m grateful for that. I liked the ‘meet cute’ with Joaquin, though I’m not sure if the show letting us think the gang banger was beating Kevin up when they were actually making out was a good directorial decision. Still, I like giving Kevin a love interest and there’s instant conflict between them. And it’s not at all about being gay.

Editor’s Note: Check out our interview with Riverdale’s Rob Raco who talks about Kevin/Joaquin and playing a gay character

Another thing I loved was Kevin’s very simple discussion with his father where his dad wanted him to find a nice boy. We needs scenes like that in this day and age. That’s very important. BTW, why are all the fathers in this town DILFs? Forget Archie and Jughead, I’d take their dad’s anyday. LOL!

And I really am thankful to the show for showing us that Archie and Miss Grundy’s relationship was icky, inappropriate and wrong. I didn’t expect that. Usually these ‘hot for teacher’ storylines are seen as sexy and salacious, but the show rightfully depicted Miss Grundy as a predator and Archie as a victim of her manipulation and abuse. And we saw that it wasn’t the first time she had preyed on a teenage boy. She’s a pedophile and the show wrote her as that. Because if the sexes had been reversed you can bet a male teacher sleeping with a female student would be seen as a sexual abuser. It should be here. But I have a feeling that Miss Grundy will be back though probably with a ginger baby…..

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About the Author

I watch a lot of television, probably too much. But can you really watch too much TV? I've yet to find out. Anyway, I especially love TV when they give us positive portrayals of gays, something that has gotten better but we're still fighting for. I've written about gays in television for many years first at the much missed After Elton, then New Now Next and now at TV Source. It's kind of a passion of mine and I look forward to sharing it with you.

10 comments

  1. People who disagree with you aren’t necessarily trolls (though I suppose they may be too lazy to pick a profile picture.) I did and do love the books. They’re ongoing and have added multiple queer relationships to the story — I have a sense you probably don’t know much about them beyond TMI, if you read that. I’ve read the books multiple times and watched every episode of the show, though admittedly I could never stomach more than a single viewing.

    When I talk about Magnus blackmailing Alec for sex I mean the episode in which Alec asks Magnus to be Isabelle’s lawyer and Magnus says he’ll do it if Alec has sex with him. Alec says no and Magnus accepts Alec’s bow and arrows instead, but that doesn’t erase the offer or make it less cringe-inducing.

    The representation in the books was written twelve years ago, unlike the representation in the show, which is current. What people want from representation actually does change. A character like Alec, a badass warrior who happens to be gay, was unheard of in YA in 2005. As the times have changed, representation in books has changed and Kieran and Mark (in the current Shadowhunters books, which you clearly have not read) are very different than Magnus and Alec. Mark’s is not a coming out story, probably because there have now been many, but at the time Alec was written, there had been very very few in YA fantasy.

    It’s quite funny you said that about bad fanfic since that’s always how I’ve thought of the show — after all, bad fanfic takes original characters written by someone else and twists them! The introduction of Lydia is something I’ve seen in so many bad TMI fics — oh no a bad lady comes between the boys! Oh, Magnus or Alec has to interrupt a wedding where the other one is getting married! Cliché city. :–>

    Look, you’re entirely entitled to your opinion. I understand that the show, despite its poor ratings, has an enthused fan base. I’m merely pointing out an undeniable truth which is that not all queer fans are going to agree with you because we are not all one person. You yourself have problems with the show, so does everyone else here on this article. As for the books, you can say every one of these people http://bit.ly/2l6oPO6 are lying, but it might perhaps be a better idea to agree to disagree than to discount so many legitimate GLBT voices?

  2. People who disagree with you aren’t necessarily trolls (though I suppose they may be too lazy to pick a profile picture.) I did and do love the books. They’re ongoing and have added multiple queer relationships to the story — I have a sense you probably don’t know much about them beyond TMI, if you read that. I’ve read the books multiple times and watched every episode of the show, though admittedly I could never stomach more than a single viewing.

    When I talk about Magnus blackmailing Alec for sex I mean the episode in which Alec asks Magnus to be Isabelle’s lawyer and Magnus says he’ll do it if Alec has sex with him. Alec says no and Magnus accepts Alec’s bow and arrows instead, but that doesn’t erase the offer or make it less unpleasant.

    The representation in the books was written twelve years ago, unlike the representation in the show, which is current. What people want from representation actually does change. A character like Alec, a badass warrior who happens to be gay, was unheard of in YA in 2005. As the times have changed, representation in books has changed and Kieran and Mark (in the current Shadowhunters books, which you clearly have not read) are very different than Magnus and Alec. Mark’s is not a coming out story, probably because there have now been many, but at the time Alec was written, there had been very very few in YA fantasy.

    It’s quite funny you said that about bad fanfic since that’s always how I’ve thought of the show — after all, bad fanfic takes original characters written by someone else and twists them! The introduction of Lydia is something I’ve seen in so many bad TMI fics — oh no a bad lady comes between the boys! :–>

    Look, you’re entirely entitled to your opinion. I understand that the show, despite poor ratings, has an enthused fan base. I’m merely pointing out an undeniable truth which is that not all queer fans are going to agree with you. You yourself have problems with the show, so does everyone else here on this article. As for the books, you can say every one of these people http://bit.ly/2l6oPO6 are lying, but it might perhaps be a better idea to agree to disagree than to discount so many GLBT voices?

  3. I’m sorry but when you say you loved the books but have a problem with the show AND say smth like “the part where Magnus tried to blackmail Alec[…]” it is obvious you are trolling or just have no idea what you are talking about. Magnus and Alec’s relationship in the books was the definition of a bad fanfiction and in no way the representation we need or asked for.

  4. As a queer reader/viewer, I’ve loved the books and found them a blessing. I hate the show and have hated its disrespectful, unpleasant, cringey representation of Magnus and Alec – the part where Magnus tried to blackmail Alec for sex, the entire gross Lydia plot line, the ongoing lack of interest in consent – from the beginning. Just a reminder LGBT readers are not a monolith. We don’t all share the same opinion and we’re clearly not all insulted by the same things. In the books Malec are a gorgeous interracial happy family with two kids and a great life. On the show . . . bleh.

  5. I’m done with Shadowhunters, the books were already an insult for the LGBT community but the show is now obviously following the same pattern. I was optimistic in the first season because the writers were doing a decent job but season 2 has been nothing but a disappointment. It isn’t helping that despite Malec and a few others characters this show has nothing to offer than the usual Mary Sue who saves everyone doing whatever she wants and never listening to anyone. Like seriously this redhead might be the most annoying character in the history of television.

  6. I’m trying to decide whether Shadowhunters is still worth watching. The handling of Magnus/Alec is deeply flawed. I’m skipping past most of Clary’s scenes, and that now includes my favorite Simon. Meanwhile, the Izzy/Raphael scene from last night were super-rapey and will taint all of their interactions going forward.

    I was disappointed that they ignored Aaron’s history with Jackson. The same with JP’s history before the past two or so years.

  7. Gay guys win fights on British soaps all the time. But soaps in general seem to like their women weak/crazy and their gays constantly victimized and relatively sexless. It won’t change until audiences make them change

  8. I am thoroughly enjoying the Rhys and David storyline. At least something is happening between them unlike with Iolo and Tyler (*yawn*). Right now the most gripping stories on PyC are Sioned turning Ed into a boot-licking worm, Sheryl’s alopecia and Jim’s weird-ass shrine to Courtney. And so what if Rhys caved so quickly. How could anyone not with Iestyn Arwel being – and I say this without hyperbole – the most beautiful man to have ever existed in the universe ever. Let the boys have their steamy behind-Dani’s-back fun. It doesn’t hurt that both actors bat for our team.

  9. I am so disgusted by Shadowhunters I can’t even hardly talk about it. They bait the fans of Magnus and Alec all over social media and then shortchange them constantly. And I agree that the double standard will be shown when Clary and Jace eventually get together.

  10. I had precisely the same thoughts about Emmerdale last week. Why couldn’t Emma have simply told Finn her concern that he wasn’t dealing with his father’s death earlier? We didn’t need all the drama with her demonizing – and framing – Kasim. She’s so transparent that I find it unbelievable that her sons (who have only known her for a couple of years) trust her blindly. It will be hard to redeem Finn as a character after this. Surely Kasim regrets ever coming to the village to meet the person who saved him in the accident.

    Also, I was thinking the same thing about Liv. Why wouldn’t she have to go live with her mother? Neither Chas nor Robert (nor Aaron, for that matter) has any legal responsibility for her.

    I agree that leaving won’t solve Lee’s problems, but I never liked how the show never had anyone close to him really try to help. Whitney is enough to drive anyone away, and now it looks like we’ll have to endure some kind of tryst between her and Mick. It makes good drama, I guess, but it really gives me the “ick.” It’s hard to deny they have a chemistry, though, that never existed between her and Lee.

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