Quasi-lesbian humor

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Perry, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Has anyone noticed an increase in the number of "pseudo-lesbian" references in prime-time sitcoms? Two recent examples:

    In Friends, Monica made a comment about the sight of a certain hot woman giving her an "erection."

    In last night's Yes, Dear, a bunch of people were watching a videotape of an alleged case of woman-to-man sexual harrassment, and one of the women said something like, "if a woman that hot was fondling me, I wouldn't mind." (And her husband responded that he didn't think he could love her any more than he did, until then.)

    As a straight male, I think these references are directed at me, as most would agree there is a near-universal fantasy element of lesbians to men (though not vice-versa with women to gay men). And I admit I enjoy the jokes, even if they are intended solely as a titillating device for my demographic rather than generic comedy that everyone would find funny.

    My question is, do you think these gratuitous references offend straight women? Or real lesbians? And are there examples (that I have missed) of ostensibly straight men in sitcoms who make references to being turned on by good-looking men? (I'm not talking about characters who are gay, such as on Will and Grace.)
     
  2. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    I've noticed the abundance of these kinds of jokes recently too, and wondered the same thing as you. [​IMG]

    I have seen some jokes made about "the opposite situation" (men and men) too, though I can't recall any specific examples.

    /Mike
     
  3. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    Buffy had a gag early this season where a woman question whether any of them have had sex and Xander and Spike glance at each other.
     
  4. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    My wife has called me a dyke-hag because I have quite a few friends who happen to be lesbians. Generally the ones I know have a great sense of humor as long as something is not mean spirited.It's hard to put anyone in a nice neat catagory so I can only speak for my friends.
    On the short lived "Norm MacDonald" he met a lesbian that looked like one of those 'porno lesbians'.
    My friend that I told to it thought it was pretty funny and was not offended.
    I am sure some are pissed off....but when 10 million people watch something; of course, how can you not?
     
  5. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    I would have to say the networks are still clumsily trying to capitalize on the current "homosexuality is 'in'" trend. That and explore (read exploit) yet another new "market" they've discovered..

    But that's just my cynisism talking..
     
  6. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    The fact of the matter is that many writers for today's sitcoms are gay. That has been known for a while. I doubt if any of them would be intentionally trying to insult their gender, any more than they insult heterosexual gender. Which is to say, they are both fair game. What are most sitcoms by the total deconstruction and mocking of the "game of love" and the silly things people do to get in relationships, get out of them, stay, etc. That is the "situation" in many sitcoms, no? I think gay stuff is just less taboo to joke about, which is a good thing.

    Phil
     
  7. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Call me cynical, but it's because "middle America" is more comfortable with lesbianism than it is with male homosexuality.
     
  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Hm, maybe it's different in Haight-Ashbury, but the lesbians here in Madison (and I'm friends with quite a few of them) are notorious for their complete lack of a sense of humor. That's fine, you just need to remember not to crack wise if you don't want to get a lot of blank looks.
     
  9. Brenton

    Brenton Screenwriter

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  10. doug zdanivsky

    doug zdanivsky Supporting Actor

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    There are all walks of life. Fat, skinny, black, white, gay, straight.. So to say REAL lesbians are ugly.. That's like saying all real california life-guards are ugly. [​IMG]

    That said, all the lesbians I have seen, personally, have been... never mind.. [​IMG]
     
  11. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    I've met a few attrative lesbians, if you like somewhat butch tomboys. (I do.) They are hardly the majority. If many lesbians looked like Felecia, I'm bettign there would be a lot more. Gay men on the other hand, for the most part, seem to take a lot of care in their appearance.
     
  12. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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  13. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  14. Phil Florian

    Phil Florian Screenwriter

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    To be more accurate, middle America is only comfortable with the "fantasized" version of romance, any romance. Very rarely do we all go see movies about average shmoes (and no, I don't mean hot models who wear dowdy clothes and glasses until their "inner" hottie is revealed). People like watching attractive people get together, not ugly mugs like the rest of us (present hotties excluded, of course). I know "real" lesbians who are amazingly hot and others I wouldn't date in a million years (if they swung that way). Just like straight folk. That said, man I like the new Willow on Slayerette action in Buffy. [​IMG]



    Phil
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    Friends has used lesbian jokes/situations for several series (e.g. Monica and Rachel getting back their apartment by having an extended kiss in front of Chandler and Joey was several series back). There are also consistent, sly references to Phoebe's sexual orientation (e.g. being mesmerised by Ross and Monica's female cousin, and the implication in the current series that she wasn't averse to a FFM threesome).

    I think it may be because lesbianism is more widely accepted than male homosexuality. Interesting fact: a recent and solidly-researched study by psychologists tested psychological and physical responses to pornography. They found that heterosexual women responded just as strongly to lesbian and straight sex porn. Heterosexual men responded to straight sex porn, but not male gay porn.

    I suspect the root of this is in culture. It's far more 'acceptable' for women to touch each other, kiss each other in a non-sexual way, etc than it is for men. Thus, the level of permitted intimacy between two women is greater than for two men from the start, and this might project into sexual tastes.
     
  16. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  17. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Phil is right, no matter if it's hetero- or homosexual releations on TV, it's always about gorgeous people. To complain that TV lesbians don't look like real lesbians is like complaining that Ross and Rachel don't look like the average schmoes.
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    And there is a certain comfort level with porno lesbian concept as well- as they are quick to lunge for the boy-parts when the man wanders into the scene.

    It kinda reminds me of a conversation I had with a group of bouncers that worked at a nightclub i managed years ago. Al these young, college aged, very macho guys- and they started talking about how "cool" it would be to "see their girlfriend with another chick".

    I asked if any if them had any interest in their girl being with another guy. I got cold glances and rolled eyes- and some even got pissed.

    It just reminded me how the whole porn presentation of homosexuality in females has really shaped our perceptions- these guys would be hurt and feel violated if their girlfriend shared a sexual moment with another man-- but they could totally accept and be encouraged if they shared that same intimacy with another woman. I's guess none of these guys every considered losing their girl to another girl. For them, the whole concept was strictly a show.

    Such is life i guess.
     
  19. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    And there are probably mor eregular gay male characters on tv than females. At least, IIRC.
     

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