So I’m going to do something a little different today. Mostly so far I’ve just talked about books, but I wanted to quickly chat at ya’ll about two of the tv shows that gave me the warm and fuzzies over the holidays this year. I’m probably not going to talk about tv a lot, I’ve stopped really watching it that often (though I have been shame binging a little bit of Supernatural lately. I know, I know, it’s awful. But they’re so handsome! And it’s part of my mission to sexually objectify as many men as possible to help even out the scales, so…you’re welcome, feminism), but both of these shows connected with me in a really particular way that doesn’t happen very often.
The first was the Christmas special of Sense8, which was a good reminder of all the things that I loved (and really didn’t love) about the first season of the show. I’ll be the first to admit that it has it’s fair share of problems. The writing can be gooey and cheesy and overdone. There’s some really jarring and weird tonal shifts, where sometimes it moves from a drama into something with an almost Animaniacs level of wackiness (does everybody remember the bazooka moment?). I also think that, even though the actors do their best with the material, and turn in some really solid performances, sometimes overacting is an issue (especially Lito. I know his character is supposed to be over the top, but sometimes the actor is a little over the top at being over the top, if you know what I mean). But I still love it. I can’t help it. It scratches itches that I didn’t even know that I had.
When I was watching through the first season I don’t think I really knew what was linking me into it. I mean, I’ve always got time for a new fantasy/sci-fi premise, especially if it is as optimistic and inclusive as this one, but usually when it’s this cheesy I’ll bail after an episode or three (or not. Supernatural. *Sigh*). But with Sense8 I just kept going, and I really enjoyed it, was even really moved by it occasionally, and after watching the Christmas Special I think I’ve figured out why. It was during one of the link-up scenes, where they’re all kind of dancing and having a good time, and two of the main male characters, Wulfgang (who’s essentially heterosexual) and somebody else, were dancing really closely together, that it hit me. It’s unselfconscious male intimacy. That’s the thing that this show gives me that I’m not really getting anywhere else. Other than that one time where CopDude has a bit of an “uhhh” moment after Lito tells him that they had sex, there’s no bro backslap, keep your dick at arms length, machismo bullshit. The men in this show touch each other, and love each other, in a way that you almost never see on TV. I didn’t even realize how hungry I was to see that aspect of my life reflected in my entertainment, and how little of it is out there, until I saw it in this show. Also, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a gay relationship on television that I found as convincing as Lito and his partner. I remember watching them in bed, not having sex but just talking and comforting one another, for the first time and going “YES! This is what it’s like.” If every bigot could just see how beautiful it is to watch two people this connected care for one another, maybe it would get a little harder for them to hate.
Before I move on to the next thing, I just want to quickly give Sense8 a shout out for being the only show to have an orgy scene that’s actually sexy. We’ve had a fair amount of them on tv in the last few years (because I guess it’s really edgy when more than two people have sex?) but most of the time they’re so lifeless and boring and pointless (*cough* Westworld *cough cough*). But in this show they’re vibrant and engaging and sexy. I was super into them.
The next show I’m going to talk about is Please Like Me, an Australian show created by and starring comedian Josh Thomas. This review won’t be as long, because from the moment I started watching this show I knew exactly why I loved it. You guys, it has real gay people in it! Real, live, actual gay people. Some of them are effeminate, and some of them are not, and none of them are cartoons, and it’s fucking brilliant. Do you know how rare that is? To see a gay person on television that isn’t a caricature? That you could look at and go “I dated a dude like that one time”? IT NEVER HAPPENS. And to top it all off the show is funny and honest and really touching at times. I could gush about this show for hours, but I’ll spare you all the brain space. Just go and watch it. It’s so, so good.
Anywhoodle! That’s all for now.
Heaps of love,
Very Biased Reviewer