April 4th, 2010

Life on Mars (Sam smirks)

Evil clown turns my smile upside down...

This writer’s blog by Matthew Graham is really fascinating.

I think I understand now why Matt’s not altogether comfortable with the masses of gay porn written about Gene. Don’t get me wrong, he has never expressed anything negative, he just... avoids the topic a fair amount, and after series two aired said Sam/Annie was the love affair of Life on Mars. Where Ashley talks of homoerotic male bonding, central Sam/Gene love-stories and ‘jousting’, Matthew speaks of the metallic taste of chemistry between Gene and any. female. character. ever.

If Gene’s a character you’ve created out of thin air, naturally you’re going to feel a certain amount of ownership. He’s yours. You fed him and encouraged him to get bigger, polished his little loafers of a morning. But death of the author, he’s out in the world now, yada, yada. You can probably grow to accept that some members of your audience are going to view that character slightly differently to how you intended. So, privately, you think it’s a shame all members of that audience do are reduce him to sexual meat, but in public, you play up to it a little, because they’re your audience, you want them to like you.

But if Gene’s a character you’ve created based on a man you called your uncle? A man you obviously adored with childish enthusiasm and no small amount of misplaced God-worship, and you’re a nice but slightly ignorant white middle class boy, who’s left of centre, but not left of centre... I can see that your reaction would be a more vehement ‘No! You’re doing it wrong! Uncle Gene was straight, damn you, so straight. See all those women he leers after? See that chemistry? STRAIGHT! I cannot show you how straight he was. Why won’t you belieeeeeeve me?'

Hoist with one’s own petard, so to (incorrectly) speak. You created a “friendship” for your Uncle Gene 80% of your fans like to view as “extreme-friendship”. And this is unsettling.