Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Television I Won't Be Watching

Gay, Straight or Taken on Lifetime.

I am so not watching this. I feel a little soiled just having seen the commercial on TV. A game show modeled on life, yes? A woman has to pick from three guys which one is gay, which one is already involved, and which one is available. The tag line is "In the game of love, do you know who is on your team?"

Ok, I've heard it plenty. All attractive, conversant, successful men are either gay or taken. If a woman is looking for an available guy, she has to sort them out of the pack.

My first thought is about what this says of gay men -- that they should be trying to "fool" a straight woman? I am well familiar that many gay men don't necessarily "act gay". Lots don't lisp, don't do air quotes or Z snaps, don't squeal, don't flounce, bounce, or sashay, can't even match socks, and could care less about which cracker goes with the foie gras. Yes, there is always an element of "awww gee" when a woman gets a crush on a gay guy, but unless he's closeted or in a huge "don't ask/don't tell" situation, I think it's up to a guy to make such things plain. That is, unless he is looking for a beard. Yuck.

Then there's the "unavailable" guy. What is the show saying here? That all men are dogs and even if they are in a relationship, a single woman is still a target? She has to be able to read the secret signs because he's going to accept her attention, use her for sex/ego boost, and then drop her on her ass? Again, I'm a full disclosure type. If you're taken -- and taken means you know perfectly well if you are dating around, the one woman you're sleeping with the most will get REALLY upset and boot you to the curb -- then you should either get yourself single or get out of the pool. Far be it from me to dictate that someone may not have sex with whom they choose (as long as it is mutual) but anything involving sneaking, deception or rationalization is not a good idea.

At the same time, I can sense that this show will be popular with all kinds of people who will try to "guess the orientation" and pick their favorite guy for "their team". Is it the next "Queer Eye"? I so hope not.

Let's face it. This is a show about classifying people by stereotypes. The woman is trying to match the men to her inner templates of "what gay guys do", "what taken guys do", "what single guys do". From the little I've seen on the site about the show, it appears to be in the guys' interests to fool her, to pretend to be her "ideal date" no matter his real situation or feelings.

Either way, I think it's all wrong.There's a certain undertone in this show that seems to say a gay guy might court a woman, or perhaps if he were to find the "right" woman, he'd "switch teams". There's also a more blatant idea that its ok for a guy in a relationship to try to score with another woman.

Yuck. Too much reality for my taste, or maybe too much of a particular kind of "reality".

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