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Gay characters on TV

22nd August 2016
Gay characters on TV As already discussed, homosexuality has always been a topic that had been rarely, if ever discussed in Hollywood. TV shows tend to exploit the same gay stereotypes – some are there for mere comic relief or as a symbol of a doomed life.

David Fisher, Six Feet Under

If you wish to see a fuller exploration or a more grounded approach to gay life, Alan Ball is your man. Remember American Beauty? This writer created a TV show that was one of a kind and not only because of how it handled its gay characters. But that was a huge asset to it as well. Played by future Dexter, Michael C. Hall, David is the middle child in the Fisher family. Their mother is a control freak, therefore their father has to find ways to both fulfill his patriarchal duties and yet live a semi-full life that none of the family members know of. This pattern, although unbeknownst to all children, continues in David’s behavior. He’d rather get arrested, even become a church deacon and continuously deny he is in a long-term, very loving relationship with Keith, a policeman than facing the paralyzing fear of coming out. It takes the devastating blow of his lover abandoning him and having to attend to the funeral of a gay boy who died due to a hate crime (David is a funeral director) for him to finally come out. And that’s just the first season. Watch out for David vehemently explaining what a Prince Albert is to a mildly homophobic but mostly rather ignorant co-worker in the fourth season, showing that he’s clearly come a long way from a closeted and scared young man.

Jim Dangle, Reno 911

Lieutenant Jim Dangle is the most flamboyant officer ever depicted on a TV show. No wonder: Reno 911! exhibited so much coarseness and dare as normally only adult animated series do and get away with. Jim wears hot pants as a uniform to begin with, complete with sunglasses, slick highlighted hair and an attitude that puts all nelly queens to shame. He rides rollerblades (on duty) and is a devoted fan of Morrissey and if he wasn’t a police officer, he’d probably be in the adult business. His outfit is so iconic it has already become a costume party essential among fans. The show is highly recommended for anyone who appreciates clever, edgy and way over the top humor.

Matt Fielding, Melrose Place

Melrose Place was kind of a big thing in the history of television. A more adult version of Beverly Hills 90210, the show started off as a well-mannered chain of loosely based story lines of young professionals in L.A. but it only took one season to introduce some more controversial characters (and by controversial we are not referring to the character of Matt Fielding, the gay social worker; but freaky psychopaths, nymphomaniac doctors and frantically hysterical lovers) and what began as a fairy tale quickly unfolded into a nightmare with story lines so tangled and intricate basically no one was able to follow.

Matt Fielding, the shy although definitely assertive young gay man served the purpose of the harmless gay stereotype. No kiss. No hookup. Maybe a relationship, but then again, no intimacy shown on screen, only safe, sterile hugs for poor Matt while all the straight characters went practically crazy having passionate sex with each other each and every moment. A pretty discriminating premise to begin with, so no wonder his character was killed off after 5 seasons and a string of uneventful scenarios.

Craig Middlebrooks, Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is a hilarious mockumentary about the bumbling staff at the Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana. “Crazy Craig” was introduced relatively late, in season 6. Why the nickname you ask? BECAUSE HE HAS A MEDICAL CONDITION, IT’S CALLED CARING TOO MUCH AND IT’S INCURABLE! Yup, the guy can get you startled just by making very simple statements. He may have some issues but he is indeed caring though not necessarily gentle. Is it tough love? Well some characters found it tough to get to love Craig but parks dept’s reigning fashion, lifestyle and business queen Donna Meagle was the easiest for him to bond with. He is a stereotype, of course, unapologetic and unashamed and lashing out on everyone in order to get the message through (although his normal tone would also do the trick), but also a lovable addition to the equally lovely ensemble cast of the series.
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