Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teeth Gnashing Over "Torchwood"

Yesterday, I spent seven hours of my life watching the "Children of Earth" marathon. It was good. In fact, it was far better than I'd expected. I especially liked the wry humor and moral ambiguity of the lead character.

However, what got my dander up throughout these Season Three episodes was the ongoing implication that Captain Jack Harkness and that Anita Blake clone (where's my barf bag?) had more of a thing for each other than Harkness and his male lover had.

Look at the poster. That says it all. Stick the chick between the dicks and give her some guns. GAH! To cinch it, the gay-for-you boyfriend was effing killed off!

Why is it that every television series or movie in every genre (contemp drama, comedy, paranormal, sci fi, historical) always ends up having some damned undercurrent of sexual tension and romantic promise between the male and female protagonists? That threadbare plot element is so bloody tiresome! What made it even more offensive in this case was the fact the female lead was married and pregnant, yet still acted like a swoony, angsty teenager over Harkness -- even in front of his boyfriend and her own damned husband! WTF?

"Torchwood" initially promised a genuine break from conventional TV fare. Its take on alien hunters (a generally overused trope) was often unique and entertaining. But the most refreshing aspect of the series was the "omnisexual" hero who seemed to have a distinct preference for men. Yeehah! thought I. British television producers sure have bigger balls and imaginations than their American counterparts, who've been in a vaginas-and-violence rut for decades.

However, it's starting to look as if the Brits are no different.

I have no clue about the future of "Torchwood." I'm not a regular follower of the show. But if it does return, I'll certainly NOT be watching should the producers pull yet another gag-worthy hero-heroine pairing.


Adele Dubois said...

Great post. Very thought-provoking and insightful. I agree with you that the (faux) sexual tension between the male and female protagonists on most television shows gets ridiculous. Some of the characters are so unlovable that making them sex symbols becomes laughable. Guess it's true (at least on TV) that men and women can't be friends.

Best--Adele Dubois

K. Z. Snow said...

Welcome, Adele! You made a great point about male and female lead characters simply remaining friends--no tension, no cutesy-flirty interaction, no "will they or won't they."

How refreshing that would be!

Jeanne said...


I was disappointed as well by that subplot. AND, you notice that you don't really see Jack kiss Ianto at the end when he's in his arms in the actual story; only in the previously on "Torchwood" intro.
I don't remember reading whether or not Torchwood will be back with more adventures - 6 bit series - but I doubt it. Jack was Torchwood and since he's not involved any longer - how could he be when he did what he did to the little boy? - how could he come back.
Now, to be fair, there actually always was an undercurrent between Gwen and Jack.
But Ianto...oh, my sweet Ianto. I wept copious tears.
Gotta watch the new 6 bit series Being Human on BBCAmerica, KZ.
They have a Jewish werewolf!!!