Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Passion of Mr. Gaeta

Like so many gay nerds, I devotedly watched the last season of Battlestar Galactica. Let me tell you, as a queer boy, I feel cheated. No, I am not just complaining that Apollo didn’t have another towel scene (Although . . .). Nor am I complaining about the fairly predictable ending (The Galactica crew, more or less, are the progenitors of our contemporary world who settled on earth 150,000 years ago – Gee, did they just phone it in?).

Instead, I am less-than-impressed by the show’s consistent ineptness around queer sexuality. For the record, I don’t count Baltar’s pajama-less pillow fights with the female “three” and “six” as queer. I think of that as soft-core hetero porn.

BSG apologists might stop reading now. Tune in next time at CoG when we will be discussing how to combat black mold and soap scum with grace and dignity.

For those whose first association with Battlestar Galactica still involves the soft, shiny, feathered hair of Dirk Benedict, allow me to update you. The “reimagined” Battlestar Galactica (BSG to its friends, Mr. Galactica, if you're nasty) has actually been a critical and commercial success. During its four seasons on the air, it did not fear treading into contemporary political quagmires like abortion, the Iraq war, or religious zealotry. The topic that was just too hot to handle, however, was queer sexuality (If I am really honest, BSG also had an uneven hand around questions of race, even with its racially diverse cast (including a Chicano lead!) – but that is different entry).

Way back in 2006, the gay fans asked Ron Moore, the executive producer of BSG, why such a savvy and thoughtful show totally ignored queer sex and sexuality. “It's a fair question,” he responded at the time, “I think homosexuality definitely exists in the world of Galactica, but I frankly haven't found a way to portray it yet. It's a texture that I'd like to introduce into the series without doing ‘the gay episode.’”

Yeah, because the last thing that you would want to do is create a sensationalized queer character for a one-off story line. I mean, it’s not like you would give us a maniacal lesbian incarnation of Captain Bly, would you? Surely, BSG would treat queer sexuality as part of daily life and not add a queer character just so that she could be immediately killed off by her ex-lover, right?

Oh, except that was exactly BSG’s decision. Yes, in response to gay people’s complaints that we weren’t represented in the BSG universe, they handed us the psycho-killer-lesbian-from-outer-space miniseries two years ago. In that train wreck, lesbian Admiral Cain (who unknowingly had an affair with a cylon) was the antithesis to the gruff, but kindly, hetero patriarch of the show, Commander Adama. If Adama was reasonable, Cain was psychotic. If Adama sought humanity's survival, Cain lived for revenge. If Adama balanced his military power with the civil government, Cain wanted a tyrannical dictatorship. In the end, the lesbian had to go -- Shot no less by the former cylon lover who she was torturing for information. As I recall, we were not amused.

This last season, BSG decided to up the ante by outing (Well, "sort of" outing – More on that in a minute) the long-suspected queer character Lt. Felix Gaeta. Yes, he was [sort of] out of the closet just in time for him to be executed for treason. So, when BSG did acquiesce by giving us queer characters, those characters always had to die, die, die. And who says that science fiction is hostile to queer people?

If the apologists are still reading (and, really, I implore you to stop), they are probably saying, “But, GayProf, you just don’t get it. See, it’s an alternate universe where sexuality doesn’t matter and our narrow identity labels don’t apply. The BSG crew has fluidity in their sexuality. They are beyond our hangups around sexuality.”

Nice try – If it didn’t matter in the BSG universe, then why didn’t we see men hooking up with other men week after week? Why weren’t women pilots taking time out of their busy day for a little womanly love? If sexuality was so fluid in this fictional universe, then why were none (o) of the main human characters ever in bed with somebody of the same sex?

Now, it’s true that I’ve never been trapped on a doomed space voyage for years on end; however, I imagine that sexual experimentation probably would help pass the time. Goddess knows that we saw every possible combination of hetero sex on the show.

And that brings us to the “sort of” outing of Mr. Gaeta. How do we know that Gaeta was queer? Well, you would have to have watched the special “webisodes” entitled “Face of the Enemy” for that information. Wait – Are you not part of the 1.4 percent of the viewing public who bothers watching webisodes of their favorite shows? Oh, gee, then you wouldn’t really know he was queer. For never once, not at all, did the actual televised show make any direct reference to his sexuality – Ever. In fact, “Face of the Enemy” was filmed long after production on BSG had ended – Leaving open the question about whether the cast was even aware there was a queer story line.

So, what did we learn from the webisodes? Well, Mr. Gaeta was having a relationship with the male Lt. Louis Hoshi. He also had a previous relationship with a female cylon “eight” who used information from him to execute scores of innocent humans. If one were inclined, one could suggest an argument about this representation as anti-bisexual (Though I am content to leave it as anti-queer). Gaeta, while an idealist, always ended up on the wrong side of every issue (And, let me point out again, he was shot -- for treason (Oh, and did I mention that he had already been shot once before and lost a leg? And some people say that sci-fi encourages queer bashing.))

BSG Apologist: “Aren’t you forgetting Lt. Hoshi, Gaeta’s lover? I mean, he got to be Admiral of the fleet! How do you account for that, GayProf?”

Oh, no, I haven’t forgotten Lt. Hoshi, though everybody who isn’t queer probably has. I am certain that the number one question on everybody’s mind when he was made Admiral was, “Who is that guy?” I won’t linger over the fact that he resigned the admiral position, claiming that he was much happier to be a lieutenant who took orders rather than gave them (Way to empower queer people with authority!). What I will note is that nothing on the televised show would have given the regular viewer any knowledge about Hoshi’s sexuality. In fact, did Hoshi even have more that twenty lines of dialog in the entire four seasons BSG was on the air?

I have started to think that there is a new way that purveyors of popular culture are dealing with queer discontent. Queer activists and regular gay viewers are becoming more adamant that our favorite programs acknowledge our existence. Yet, producers of sci-fi just aren’t that interested in rocking the [hetero] boat. To quote Ron Moore, this time discussing his queerless Star Trek days, “The truth is that it was not really a priority for any of us on the staff.” Hey, you can’t get more honest than that.

It isn't their priority, but they can't avoid queer demands entirely, so they have created the “open secret” approach to sexuality. Rather than include queer characters as full equals with their hetero peers, we are given side characters whose queer sexuality is only “unofficial” or known in the “expanded lore.” We can see this, for instance, in Harry Potter’s Dumbledore. The most powerful wizard in those books was only vaguely hinted at being queer when he had a deep friendship with another wizard (Who turned out to be a psychopathic killer – ahem). Yet, none of the books say anything explicitly about Dumbledore’s desires for a same-sex romantic relationship (Unlike the hetero characters, who almost all end up happily partnered). The only way we “know” Dumbledore’s sexuality is through J. K. Rowling’s later claim that she intended for him to be gay all along. Apparently it slipped her mind to include that little tidbit in the actual text.

We can see a similar pattern in ScFi’s other highly ranked show Eureka. The producers like to claim that Eureka represents a type of utopia where race, gender, and sexuality just don’t matter. For a town where such things don’t matter, apparently there is only one gay man to be found. Vincent, the town’s chef, is popularly discussed as gay, but (to my knowledge) never explicitly so in the show beyond slight hints. Certainly, he never is in a relationship. It’s just another “open secret” where his sexuality is known, but never needs to be explored on screen. And, of course, he is the most minor character in the cast. In fact, I couldn't even find a picture of him to include here. So, here is Apollo naked instead. I think it is an ad for mink coats or something:

Popular media has consented to allowing queer characters to exist, but only if their sexuality never has to be seen as equivalent to the hetero characters' relationships. If we are quiet and closeted, in other words, we are just fine. If you are a pushy queer, like that bossy Cain woman, expect the worst.

This is a pretty half-assed approach to queer liberation. Covert representations of queer characters are better than no representation at all, I suppose. The problem with such “open secrets,” though, is that they reenforce the closet more than they tear it down. To find out about these queer characters’ sexualities, one has to do more sleuthing than Angela Lansbury. Queer sexuality becomes information only for those “in the know.” Keeping that information out of the canonical representations implicitly upholds the notion that queer sexuality is something that needs to be guarded against lest that it scare the horses or offend the general public. Eve Sedgewick reminded us many years ago that closetedness is a performance “by the speech act of silence.” Well, BSG’s silence around queer Gaeta and Hoshi’s sexuality was deafening. Apparently in space, nobody hears you come out.

In what seems like a desperate bid to keep the queers watching, Ron Moore has now promised that there will be gay characters on his new show Caprica. This time he really, really means it. Maybe he does, but I'm not holding my breath.

Throughout BSG, we never saw any actual romantic intimacy between the male characters. To my mind, it’s still a sad day when television has no problem showing a robot disembowel a human or the near heterosexual rape of a young woman, but can’t stomach showing two men kiss each other out of affection.


Lyle said...

Great post, well put.

A few couple disagreements... regarding Gaeta's orientation, a common take is that the eight definitely saw him as gay from the line where she says he wasn't attracted to her but to the idea of hope that came with her offer to help some New Capricans. When I saw how the line was delivered I agree, but that makes it sound like Gaeta was sexually confused in a way that doesn't match with the idea that it's no big deal... or that the BSG team didn't have a clue what they were doing with Gaeta.

Also, FWIW, it's not Ron Moore who has promised that Caprica would include a gay character but Jane Espenson who has an odd role on the show that basically sounds like showrunner-except-when-Moore-wants-something. That makes me mildly more hopeful since Espenson usually comes off a little more clued-in than Moore on LG matters.

One thing making things worse with BSG was that outing Gaeta was an afterthought. The webisodes weren't planned until after the season was written and, reportedly, Gaeta's boyfriend was supposed to be Narcho until the actor was unavailable... so all that subtext to the Gaeta/Hoshi scenes in the mutinty storyline and the gay guy becoming admiral are all accidental. (IIRC while Narcho appears in the mutiny storyline, he doesn't have any scenes with Gaeta.)

Overall, I think the issue is, again, privilege. The default for a character is straight so all the relationships on the show are opposite-sex ones and writing a same-sex couple requires a lot of thought and debate... because writing a same-sex couple the way you'd write an opposite sex one is so challenging.

(Hm, late thought, if they really wanted to put out the idea of sexual orientation being no big deal, why not reveal that Tyrol was engaged to Anders, instead of Tory, on Cylon earth. That, at least, would have had some impact, even if the relationship -- if it were anything like what we saw of Tory -- would have also been invisible.)

jeremy said...

BSG sucked after season 2's resolution 2 episodes into season 3. If there were still any sort of audience for the show I might agree to your points. As it stands, there are only a few who watch the show and to quibble over a minority's representation really only illuminates the writers' shortcomings not any sort of legacy to future generations.
If this show had the cultural impact of, say, Star Wars, I might be concerned with stereotypical representations of gays. As it stands, the show is a quickly fading cult phenomenon which had moments of genius but ultimately became a space opera which collapsed under the weight of its own love for itself.

Leon Koh said...

thanks for your lovely post.. nice for a read..


Steven said...

British television is doing much better. The Torchwood/Dr. Who universe is pretty good on queer issues. In Torchwood only one of the main characters is entirely straight, and probably the most romantically and sexually charged relationship is male-male!

tornwordo said...

I watched the original, and petitioned for it to remain on the air. I think it was the 8th grade. When they brought it back, I thought, "Fuck you, you had your chance."

Apparently a lot of people liked the new version, but I never gave it a glance.

Alan said...

I am a BSG apologist, and loved the show unreservedly, but you're right on this one.

Moore cut his writers teeth in the Star Trek universe, where everyone is happy with who they are, and they're all straight, and no one ever goes to the bathroom. So, I was never surprised that he couldn't find his way out of that.

Fortunately there's plenty of television sci-fi out there that has been much more reasonable about LGBT characters (eg. Buffy, for one.)

I gave up on expecting LGBT characters on Galactica after seeing Razor. The whole: "It is REVEALED! Admiral Cain is a big ol' dyke ... brought to you by Quiznos" thing pretty much sealed the deal.

No gay people on LOST either, BTW. No gay people on Heros, but then Heros sucks. No gay people so far on Dollhouse. No gay people on Fringe.

And sci-fi is supposed to be about imagining new attitudes? Um ... yeah. right.

susurro said...

I blame the whole thing on Katee Sackhoff's hair.

When she had short hair, she was a soft butch goddess that made hetero fans twitter with unspoken intrigue and rage (yes, she got hate mail) without being able to put their fingers on it (that was not a pun). As Sackhoff herself responded to fears she too seemed to secretly share, she began to talk at length in interviews about her long hair and how "girly" she was and how much she hated having to cut it. At one point, when she was off making crap SciFi Saturday movies and Lifetime movies, she said accusatorily "I will never cut my hair for Battlestar again." The more she bucked (ok that was a pun) the more overtly heterosexual her character became; gone were the days of the super pilot badass, replaced with ridiculous domestic love traingles and self-abusing sexual romps that ultimately degenerated into blinding stupidity.

With her weekly visual representation thoroughly banished all we had was fleeting homosocial moments with Kara's hubby and his male rebels (vanquished when he joined the crew and basically got written out), massively weak window dressing with Adama and his second, and so on . . . For brief shining moment it looked like Xena would save the day, but the decommissioned her and only after they had appropriately involved in her in what you note was soft porn for the straight people.

The whole thing is rather disappointing from a queer perspective and good on you for writing it. Hopefully you won't get linked by one of the huge fan sites and get to play delete the whackamole like I do at mine.

one disagreement - the end of the show did follow the original in that they were the progenitors of Earth; this was later screwed up by the miniseries in which Galactica arrives on an early 80s earth and sparks an alien scare. (And now I have out dorked you . . . ugh)

GayProf said...

Lyle: I have heard many people debate the meaning of Gaeta's relationships with both the cylon and Hoshi. The notion that he was bisexual was plausible. The notion that he was sexually confused was plausible. The problem is, though, that BSG never bothered us to give us insight into that aspect of his character (And, I might add, only showed him naked with the woman cylon, not his male lover). So, as queer folk, we are left to fill in the gaps on our own.

Jeremy: I tend to agree that BSG peaked with the occupation episodes. Razor marked a steep decline. I also agree that the producers allowed the praise to go to their head. One got the impression that they started to imagine the show as a religion rather than as an hour of entertainment.

Leon: Thanks for reading.

Steven: It's true -- Torchwood is far superior. Now, if only the Doctor would have a permanent male companion.

Torn: Well, if it makes you feel any better, they have announced plans to remake Galactica yet again -- This time as a major motion picture. So even the "new" version is going to be replaced.

Alan: You're just jealous that you didn't have a corporate sponsor for your own homosexuality like Cain did.

Susurro: Like queer characters, BSG also kinda lost their way with all the women characters. Starbuck spent all of this past season in an existential crisis; the president basically gave up; and the remainder became obsessed with children. BSG tended to be high on possibility, but sloppy in execution.

susurro said...

you know I'm going to call you out for excluding my references to lesbian window dressing in your definition of queer right?

But yes, women also went under the self-important bus. (And I maintain the trial was just an extended audition tape for Bamber's new stint on Law and Order with Freema)

baron-scarpia said...

Do these producers and writers not know any gay people? Hey! There's an entire audience here that would give you their undying devotion if you made one of your heroes gay! I mean, it's not as if you're going to get a big following from the fundamentalists if you don't.

Honestly, when Captain Jack came along to Doctor Who, you could hear the cries of delight up and down Britain. And it didn't seem to do Doctor Who's ratings much damage.

If one were inclined, one could suggest an argument about this representation as anti-bisexual (Though I am content to leave it as anti-queer).

Hey, I'll take what I can get.

- Baron Scarpia, the bisexual

jcm said...

gayprof: please do give us your take on the racial political shortcomings of bsg (starting, or maybe ending, with the notion that human beings evolved on earth from white colonizers of africa 150,000 years ago?).

Andrey said...

Thanks for articulating my thoughts on queerness on battlestar. Now instead of writing this as a facebook note I can just link to your page.

Also will you marry me?

Chad said...

I never watched BSG and given that generally that sub-genre of sci-fi rarely appeals to me, I probably won't anytime in the foreseeable future, but I read your analysis anyway since debates over representations of gay characters always interest me.

I wonder if American showrunners are often kept in check by fear of audience reaction. After all, the American sci-fi audience seems or at least is widely believed to be disproportionately socially conservative; even the fan base of my guilty pleasure, "One Life To Live", seems more open to explorations of gay relationships, despite stereotypes about daytime soap viewers. Perhaps it's just that the views of reactionary fans are echoed beyond proportion with the Internet, but it does seem, whenever an openly gay character is introduced in a popular sci-fi/fantasy genre, cries of "shoving homosexuality down our throats" (the most unfortunately and ironically phrased reaction) or "stopping the plot for a PSA!" (which I noticed showed up in Moore's interview) become omnipresent (I'm thinking especially of the American reaction to Captain Jack kissing the Doctor, or DC's introduction of a lesbian Batwoman).

But while I generally agreed with you, I did want to pick at this old bone of contention:

The only way we “know” Dumbledore’s sexuality is through J. K. Rowling’s later claim that she intended for him to be gay all along. Apparently it slipped her mind to include that little tidbit in the actual text.

I sort of agree, but to be fair to Rowling - and this is something that never seems to come up in discussions of Dumbledore's "outing" - she does deserve credit for how she handled the ramifications of Harry's relationship with Dumbledore and her critique of the sensationalizing of relationships between members of the same sex, especially when those relationships transcend spheres of age and power and the deliberate confusion between "homosexual" and "pedophile" that still take place today. A running thread through the seventh book was how the wizard media had been defaming Dumbledore using knowledge of his sexuality, specifically by hinting strongly that Dumbledore had sexually exploited Harry in some way, which I thought was conveyed in an all but explicit way.

Still, I can agree that the media commentary there might have been better conveyed if matters had been made a bit more explicit and the less said about the orgy of heteronormativity at the end the better.

Jonathan said...

When I watched "The Face of the Enemy" webisodes, I interpreted Gaeta as manipulative moreso than gay, even though the attention was focused on his kiss and "relationship" with Hoshi. As I recall, Hoshi brought Gaeta some pain medication -- was Gaeta playing on Hoshi's attraction?

There was another queer character on BSG (during the build-up to "The Hub"). Remember the kiss between Natalie Six and another Six on the rebel basestar? (That was just before Natalie Six killed her "sister").

Finally, I never had much hope for BSG's handling of queer characters after the season 2 (?) episode about the issue of abortion. Roslin's argument went along the lines of outlawing abortion because the birth of every child was important in order for the human race to survive. Following that episode, I figured BSG would address queer characters as a threat to relationships and sexual encounters that favor human reproduction.

Frank said...

I agree with everything that you say, GayProf: the lack of queerness on BSG was a disappointment. Though, frankly, considering the epic levels of dysfunction the heteros displayed in their relationships, in some ways I'm glad they didn't touch gay ones, really. *LOL* Anyway, I'm still nursing my "WTF did they do? WHY, RDM?!? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?" at that finale. The first hour plus literally had me in goosebumps and the second... almost crying. They did exactly what I all along DIDN'T want them to do (though without time travel, have them come to Earth and be our ancestors) and added some barely-ambiguous-enough-to-have-alternate-interpretations God talk (and I'd been looking forward to resolving HeadBaltar and HeadSix's nature, though not so much with the THEY'RE ACTUALLY ANGELS thing) and anti-robotic/technology stuff.

And the lack of another towel scene was absolutely criminal.

Atari_Age said...

While I loved the show up to - and especially - including the finale, I completely agree on the gay element.

Frankly, I would have rather they had simply not brought up the gay topic anywhere then have them do what they did.

Basically it was clumsy and, yeah, left the few people tagged gay as villains. While I think that *that* part was not intentional, it only highlights the pointlessness of what they did re: anyone gay.

Really, either go all the way or don't bother.

I could have lived fine without any gay issues mentioned (or inferred) at all on BSG. It wasn't required. If, otoh, they'd done something *real* and *honest* and substantial, it could have been great.

As it was, I'm glad it was practically non-existent - hopefully no one will even remember the attempts, because they sucked.

One day - one day someone will get this right.

Steven said...

Despite not being a BSG watcher, you make some valid points that I think can be pointed to many other shows as well.

GayProf said...

Susurro2: Mama always said, "Queer is as queer does."

Baron-Scarpia: It could be a "bi" representation or not (See Lyle's take above). The multiple problems with it is that we just don't know because the producers felt no need to contextualize any of it.

JCM: Well, that would be a good starting point -- Then there is the fact that human characters played by African Americans were often the supposedly more religious and spiritual. And, while I haven't done an official count, it seems that people of color more often ended up dead than their white counterparts (Except Adama and Athena).

Andrey: Of course I'll marry you -- Assuming it is legal in your locality.

Chad: Rowling is clearly a friend to the queer folk. It's also better in mind to have Dumbledore gay in extended lore than not at all; however, it would have been even better had queer characters been treated the same as their hetero counterparts in those texts. Even the best of friends need challenging.

Jonathan: The decision to allow the cylons, especially the "sixes," more latitude with queer content seemed problematic to me. After all, they start off by already being "not human." And then, of course, by making it the sixes, it plays into the hetero fantasies of lesbianism.

Frank: Really, it's all about the towel.

Atari: I don't know -- It's an age old question: Is clunky, bad representation better than no representation at all? It's hard to say -- But in the case of BSG, which was able to tackle other complicated issues, it seemed disappointing to discover that their imagination and experiences around queer issues was totally lacking.

Steven: I think that the "open secret" is emerging as a trend.

Liz said...

Another Torchwood fan here, and I appreciate it all the more because it's not a cable-only phenomenon. I mean, if Torchwood can show on BBC1 (which is where the next season will be aired, at least according to Wikipedia), surely the Sci-Fi channel can suck it up and show men kissing? I saw Torchwood for the first time at a friend's house in the UK - it was just on in the background while we were chatting - and it was kind of sad how I was happy-but-a-bit-shocked to glance at the screen and see the two male leads making out. I guess I had bought in a bit too much to the idea that there would be some kind of viewer backlash. And really, there wasn't.

Homer said...

Another aspect of BSG- every single major female character and most of the minor ones on the show died (some over and over again). Every single one. What's up with that?

They should have made Tory another killer lesbian, and thrown in a sub-plot that she killed her lover Callie, that would have made things more interesting.

Sometimes I feel we are back in the 1950s where every homosexual character killed him/herself at the end of the book (e.g., Return to Peyton Place).

Mel said...

Is it any wonder I don't really watch TV anymore? On the other hand, Netflix has allowed me to watch the new Dr. Who, and Torchwood is on the way once I get my David (of whose eyes the darling Mr. Tennant's remind me) caught up to speed.

Patrick said...

Yes. What you said.

I find it a bit amusing how many writers and producers say that queers are no big deal in the worlds they create, yet somehow the end result is we get ignored still. The claim seems to be we're somehow 'past all that' with l/g/b/t people and issues. 'Post-gay' perhaps. Funny how that ends up looking exactly like good old heterosexism.

ChristopherM said...

Like Alan, I'm a BSG apologist who agrees with you. I loved the show, but the way they treated us remains a disappointment.

On a side note, Adam Gertler? You're really stalking Adam Gertler? Oh Gay Prof...I count on you to have better taste than that. He's the George Stephanopoulous of Food Netwook, that person you look at among professionals and wonder how on earth they got that job.

Mike said...

"LOST" had one gay character, so far. The kidnapper of Walt, the ironically-named Mr. Friendly as played by M.C. Gainey. Again, the gay character is a villain.

Of course, a show so character rich as "Lost" has had over 100 speaking roles so far. Not one major character, and only one of our dozens of prominent secondary characters is gay. (I'm just glad that creepy Ben is decidedly straight.)

GayProf said...

Liz: I have been a bit astounded by both the willingness of Torchwood to be so queer explicit and also its popularity. Maybe I should move to the UK. . .

Homer: Wow -- I hadn't realized that about the women characters. That's actually quite disturbing.

Mel: Alas, Tenant is leaving and being replaced by some hipster.

I don't deal with change well.

Patrick: I totally agree -- Many people have confused apathy with a commitment to real social change. "Not minding gay people" is not a progressive position.

ChristopherM: Do you know how hard it is to come with a new guy to stalk every week for four years? Cut me some slack.

Mike: Gee, out of 100 people you would think that statistically three or four (at least) would have been gay. And how nice to know that Lost still likes their gay villains.

David said...

As a LOST apologist, Mr. Friendly isn't really a villain in the classic sense. In fact, he is one of the nicer "others." He was kind to Kate when they captured her, and is shown with his partner in a "flash-forward" and they appear to have an affectionate and kind relationship.

Laverne said...

Count me among the old-timers; I've never watched this new version of BSG.

However, Torchwood is one of the few shows of my adult life I became enamoured of. I think its appeal is that it takes the relationships (hetero/homo/bi/whatever) in stride. There's no big deal to them, they just are. That show also doesn't take itself too seriously, so one can sit back and enjoy. Whatever one's sexual orientation.

jp said...

I didn't really need for anyone on this show to be gay, so much as I needed them to explain and wrap up the Starbuck storyline. Didn't happen.

Also not impressed by the fact that Baltar was having sex with an Angel for 4 years. Writers copout.

But if I really feel the need to watch gay people on my TV, I'll just tune into Bravo. Or CNN.

susurro said...

originally there was much talk and support for the new Dr. to be a woman, then the producers felt explaining the gender shift would be too hard for audiences to follow . . .you know b/c a man transitioning into a woman is nothing we have ever seen before . . .

I'm waiting for my advanced peek at Torchwood: Children of Earth as we speak. :D

Robin said...

Hello. Linked over here from Hathor Legacy.

I have to admit, the lack of gay characters on BSG has irked me from the beginning. In fact, it got to the point that I was scanning the background in scenes with a lot of people in them in hopes of spotting anything remotely resembling what I was getting from my British shows. (Three cheers for the Whoniverse!) Heck, even Bones and Dollhouse have shown bi and gay characters who aren't evil in recent months.

Their treatment of women started out just fine, but somewhere along the way they started going downhill. Yes, characters of both genders had big problems, but the men managed to come back from them more often than not. I mean, Baltar made it through the finale and was doing just fine. If anyone should've gone out in a redeeming blaze of self-sacrifice it's him. Instead he escaped punishment once again.

I did watch "Face of the Enemy", but like you I was sorely disappointed. We were promised gay boys, dammit. And all we get is a peck? After that I had to pull out my Torchwood DVDs and remind my fangirlish heart how it's done. (Is it June yet?) And the less said about Cain/Gina the better. Ugh.

Robin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin said...

Oh, and I found you some pictures of Christopher Gauthier (Vincent from Eureka). They're over here:

You're right, though, they are hard to find on the interwebs. I'm hoping it's because the actor is so busy that it's difficult to make him stand still and not because the character is so seldom used.

[Deleted the first attempt due to my formatting fail.]

Notorious Ph.D. said...

Yeah, after watching the webisodes (nerd alert!) I had hoped that there would be a bit more there -- maybe some references around Hoshi, even. But if you watched the last half-season *without* the webisodes, you never would have known.

susurro said...

thought you might find this funny:

"Top Ten BSG Spin Offs We'll Never See"

(enjoy summer "break")

Anonymous said...

Re: Dumbledore

While it is absolutely true that Dumbledore is never outed in the canon, that he apparently did the whole celibate thing following his one boyfriend, JK Rowling was fairly even-handed in treating all of the school staff in this manner.

McGonagall. Slughorn. Trelawney. Flitwick. Hooch. Sprout. Pomfrey. Filch. We are given absolutely no information on these characters' lives outside of school/Order of the Phoenix. Rowling herself has said that some of the professors? ARE MARRIED. But not one teacher has been revealed to be married.

So while it is unfortunate that this facet of Dumbledore wasn't explored...I still have no idea if McGonagall was getting it on Flitwick, so even-steven.

Liam Carnahan said...

Great post. It came in handy when writing a post for my blog grading gay characters on TV. You make some really nice points here, and I completely know what you mean when you said you felt cheated. Here's my post, I linked it to yours.

Also would love to talk to you about blogging and gayness and how they work together. If you have the time and would like to chat send me an email at