A year ago, right after the start of Glee's first season, I complained in this space that the show was riddled with stereotypes. These days I haven't much better to say about the show, other than that, from my perspective the writing has gotten even lazier, which I didn't think was possible. This week's Britney Spears episode, for example, didn't even have a nominal plot, just a disconnected sequence of novocaine-induced hallucinations. Increasingly the show is just an excuse to connect musical interludes, and as people more learned in the field of music have remarked, the interludes are less and less good as time goes on. (I admit I loved the football version of "Single Ladies," but it's been a long time since the show did anything near that inventive.)
I'm hardly the only person who complains about Glee, of course. It seems to be something of a lightning rod for people's complaints, particularly about diversity in television. The reason for this is somewhat immediately obvious; Glee presents itself as being a show about misfits. It's taking up the banner for every kid who hates the social structure of their high school, whose clothes were mocked, who liked the wrong things (like music), or who were just, in the extraordinarily cruel way of teenage thinking, not the right kind of person, because they had a wheelchair, they were pregnant, they were black. For the people for whom any of these things were true, that's a narrative that's pretty close to your heart, and when people go to reproduce it in popular culture, to speak for what it felt like to be excluded and rejected—well, you feel a special ownership over that, I think. At least, I still do, though I'm now more than a decade away from that time in my life.
Yesterday CNN broke the story that O'Keefe had tried to punk them just like he punk'd all those evil advocates for the poor, only this time he failed miserably. O'Keefe told CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau that he wanted to meet with her in person to discuss an interview for a feature CNN is doing on young conservatives. But Boudreau was intercepted by Izzy Santa, O'Keefe's colleague over at the dramatically named Project Veritas, who told Boudreau all about O'Keefe's boneheaded plan to get her on his boat and…do something.
Those of you who have cable may have seen a new product advertised recently: the Trojan Tri-Phoria. Now, TV ads for vibrators aren't exactly headline news (in fact, we ran a charticle on vibrator commercials in our Buzz issue last year), but this new sex toy ad is airing during cable primetime shows like The Daily Show, and some networks (VH1, Spike) are running it during the day as well. Sex toy ads! In the daytime! What do we make of this? Let's watch the ad and find out:
One of the weird things about writing about television these days is that very few people watch it "live" anymore, which is to say follow it from week to week while it airs. So if you haven't already seen it, allow me to suggest that you Netflix a 2005 HBO series called The Comeback. This was Lisa Kudrow's first post-Friends foray, and it only lasted a year—apparently HBO would rather forget that it existed altogether as it isn't even listed on their website.
The storyline of the series was very simple: Valerie Cherish (Kudrow) had one successful sitcom role in the 1990s, and is now, some years later trying to stage a comeback with a linked sitcom and reality show. The sitcom, called "Room and Bored," pairs Valerie with a cast of nubile twentysomethings whose older landlord and aunt she plays, including a young ingenue named Juna Millken (Malin Akerman), who Valerie immediately tries to mentor.
The "real" show, the one we watch, is a tad meta: It is presented as an extended version of the footage being taped for the reality show. This draws out a fragmented performance from Kudrow, who is usually playing a Valerie aware that she's performing Valerie for the reality show (someone's making some noise about performativity in my ear), but occasionally she slips, forgets what she's doing. And the Valerie that comes through in those moments is less smiley, less calculating—more desperate.
Well, fats and nonfats, it's time for me to get my fat ass on a horse somehow and ride into the sunset. I hope you enjoyed this blog, or at least learned something from it. It would be great if you now have a better understanding of fat acceptance/size acceptance and how to treat fat people (as humans, of course). I'd love if the fats reading this feel more empowered now than before this blog began. Lofty goals, maybe, but I'd like to think we reached them.
What do you know about Puerto Rican feminists? Not enough, right? Me either, which is why this week's Feministory features a crucial feminist of the United States' often overlooked Commonwealth, Puerto Rico.
I imagine you'veheard by now that last week's fifth season premiere of 30 Rock contained a rape joke. The particular scene people are talking about is one in which Pete (Scott Adsit) is telling Liz about how relaxed he's become since Jenna (Jane Krakowski) became a producer: "This morning I made love to my wife. And she was still asleep, so I didn't have to be gentle." We are provided with a visual. Quoth Liz: "That is one of the most upsetting things I have ever imagined." Pete: "Oh yeah?" And we get another visual.
Let's get one thing out of the way: whatever this little moment was, it was certainly about a "rape." I wish this went without saying, but of course if you click on some of the links in this post you will find people (usually male people) in comments sections saying hey, butt out, this is what happens in long-term marriages all the time! I didn't realize it was such a turn-on to have sex with people who are literally unconscious but apparently some people are into that. In any event, sad to say, like many rapists who don't think they are rapists because they are really very nice people and pay their taxes and have never lurked in dark alleyways in major urban areas, the salient question in any analysis of whether rape has occurred is whether or not your partner has consented to sex. Unconscious people can't consent because they are unconscious. Tautological, I know, but there you have it. So, hence, rape.
Sorry, y'all, but this blog has got two posts left! So you're not rid of me yet. I wanted to explore a subject related to FA that Alyx brought up in the comments on the last post—how do we determine what isn't fat? Where do we draw the line? And what exactly does "average" mean?