Thank you, Bryan Safi of That’s Gay, for helping to point out the utter ridiculousness of one the television industry’s long-standing trends, one which has driven me batshit for a decade now: sure as New England snow, sweeps week and season premieres bring out a new round of straight girls kissing other girls for a quick ratings boost. That little ploy has looooong since stopped being especially effective — if it ever was in the first place — and really? It only makes your show seem desperate and kinda sad.
Don’t get me wrong: I like watching women kissing as much as anybody else who enjoys watching that sort of thing. But, to borrow and butcher a phrase from a friend of mine, it’s more that I like watching sexy people kiss as much as anything else, regardless of the genders of the people involved. And I like to see passion and desire in those kisses, not chaste oh-god-can-we-please-get-this-over-with lip-locking, which is what we get more often than not with these crass ratings-grab stunts.
That’s how you know Heroes has officially lost whatever relevance it might have had, by the way: there’s gonna be an “OMG Hayden Panettiere Kissin’ Girlz!!!1!” element to her story this fall. If I thought we were going to see a reasonably well-handled story with actual character development about Claire realizing she has feelings for another woman and how she deals with it, that would be one thing…I mean, that’s how Buffy handled the beginnings of the Willow-Tara relationship. But I think we all know that ain’t gonna be what happens. Instead, we’ll get a slew of ads about why we should watch the shocking! season premiere of Heroes! We won’t believe what! Happens!! Next!!!
This isn’t 1998, TV. C’mon. You want to shock me? Throw some dudes snogging my way. Let’s see you exploit men the way you’ve been exploiting women for years. Yeah, that’s right: I’m not gonna be happy until I see a couple of men kissing on TV. And I mean really kissing, none of this tight-lipped-just-kinda-pressing-our-mouths-together horseshit you pull with your sweeps week temporary lesbians. I want one of your top-tier network shows to feature passionate, open-mouthed tongue wrestling between two hot dudes, and I want you to promote the hell out of it for weeks before the show airs. It’s only fair.
Oh, and I don’t mean gay guys, either — it’s almost always straight women kissing other straight women or, perhaps, women of dubious sexuality, so to be fair I want the same thing for guys. If I want to see gay men enjoying each other, I can see that on cable — that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I want to see is Dr. House and Dr. Wilson succumb to the moment and go at it like horny teenagers. I want to see Sylar sucking some guy’s powers out through his tonsils instead of going through his brain. I want to see Jack and Sawyer having a serious Brokeback moment. I want to see Barney Stinson decide that his life full of chasing women has gotten boring, so he takes up chasing men instead.
C’mon, TV. It’s time. For fuck’s sake, you barely allowed any kissing between men on Will and Grace, a show about gay men. Spend the next few years making a big deal out of dudes smooching the way you have with women for the last ten, and maybe then we can all just get the hell over it and get to the point where people kissing whoever they want isn’t so shocking! anymore.