Friday, 23 April 2010

Why is being gay still so sensational?

I will admit that when it comes to gays I probably come from a fairly unique perspective. My uncle is gay and all through my childhood it was just accepted that he and his friends had boyfriends. He was always around and he's been a bigger influence in my life than my own father. In fact my earliest memory is him picking me up from playschool. His friends were welcomed and his boyfriends were treated like family.

I didn't even realise there was anything unusual about men dating other men until I was about 12.

But I'm getting off point. Today I saw this picture captioned


It's an awesome picture so I clicked to see the other captions and "he's gay" was the theme in about 50% of the other captions. Some were nice, some were nasty, but seriously, half the captions mentioned his being gay. I searched for other images of NPH on the site and the same thing happened, so it's not just because of the picture.

Why? So he's a gay man playing a straight character. He's not the first and he wont be the last. Have people never heard of Rock Hudson, Anthony Perkins or Richard Chamberlin? Seriously, this is not a new phenomenon. They're actors, playing other people. John Wayne wasn't really a cowboy and Michael C Hall isn't really a serial killer.

I get why the haters bring it up but will someone please tell me why even those who love him must continually bring up that he's gay? Am I so out of touch? Is being gay still really so sensational?

I mean please, when captioning Neil Patrick Harris there is tons of comedic material you can play with. Most of it much funnier and more more interesting that "ooh, he's gay". As much as I love Doogie Howser (and always will, impressions formed in childhood are hard to change) there is some good comedic material in that. Now he plays Barney Stinson, the catch phrase coining, walking joke who is the funniest thing about How I Met Your Mother. Not to mention Dr Horrible. Use your imaginations people.

It's such a shame that today's media frenzy means that people can't have a private life. I can completely understand why those in the public eye want to keep being gay quiet, because once you're "out" that seems to be all people are interested in. It doesn't matter how good you are at what you do, you'll always be the "the gay person who was really great at something" rather than just the person who was really great at something.

Anyway, let's finish on a high note. I wish more of my childhood hero's had turned out so normal and well adjusted.

neil patrick harris

Saturday, 3 April 2010

The New New Who

I am a geek. Sure, I generally hide it well but I am a geek at heart, on par with an MIT graduate according to one personality test I took.

Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that I'm a Dr Who fan but I have a sort love hate relationship with the newest incarnations of the Doctor.

Russell T Davies was a hack. His plots were full of holes and as his seasons progressed, he seemed to become more and more enamoured of his own prowess and indulged in writing some of the worse TV ever.

Christopher Eccleston's series was the best. RTD's head wast too big and Christopher Eccleston has enough gravitas that I could overlook the gaping plot holes in favour of some great acting. Even Billie Piper was good, I think being with Chris made her up her game.

David Tennant was a fun doctor, i liked him, but he didn't have the same prowess as Chris so I could forgive less, and of course the show started believing it's own hype and the problems got bigger. There are some stand outs in David's era, but not many. And as for Rose's character, oh sweetheart, what did they do to you? Once you were a kick ass companion, by the end you were a whiney, love sick brat travelling between dimensions for a man who left you behind (and did so again when you found him, albeit with a pale imitation of himself to keep you happy). We must placate the wimens, after all. It's not like a woman ever survived having a broken heart and moved on to live a good life.

And don't even get me started about what they did with Martha. Talk about missing an opportunity.

I was pleased when I heard that RTD was standing down and Stephen Moffat was taking over. I had liked most of his episodes in the past and was hopeful he would improve the show.

I was also pleased when he said he wouldn't be bringing back any old bad guys. To be honest, I'm getting a little tired of the Daleks or Cybermen being behind every other plot.

However, after viewing the pilot, my hopes are fading. Talk about self indulgent!

The first 10 minutes were just about having fun. They told us nothing about the characters or the new doctor and the humour was childish in the extreme. The plot points that were revealed in those 10 minutes could easily have been compressed into 60 seconds.

And so it continued for the rest of the episode, culminating with a preview of the rest of the series and who should show up prominently in that preview. The weeping angels, the Daleks AND the Cybermen. Now the weaping angels we've only seen once, i dont mind them coming back, but must the Daleks and Cybermen show up every frickin series! Use some imagination! There's a whole universe out there, why not show a little diversity!

And while we're on that subject, aliens who have human looking eyeballs as their... communicators? most likely aliens wouldn't look a thing like us, so why would they model their technology on human eyeballs? Human eyes aren't even that good, as eyes go, many other species have much better vision than we do.

My high hopes have been dashed.

Will i continue to watch? Probably. It is Dr Who, a staple of my childhood.

But I wasn't desperate to see this episode, I didn't watch it when it aired as I used to in season 1 of New Who. Who has been relegated from cant miss TV to filler TV, what I watch when there's nothing else on. It's just such a shame, it has so much potential that's being wasted.

But to end on a high(er) point, I think I like the new companion, however the marriage and slight romantic vibes are giving me pause. And after both Rose and Martha, can you blame me for being worried?