Before you judge me, hear me out and make sure you've checked out this awful sitcom I'm referencing.
ABC has some new TV show staring old drunk James Caan, it's called 'Back in the Game'. I don't think it's doing particularly well in the ratings but I've come across it three times now. It's apparently about an older, retired baseball manager who comes to coach his grandson's little league baseball team while living with him an his daughter, a single mom. Of course, lots of zany 'hilarity' ensues but it's one of the B-characters, clearly written-in as the minstrel sideshow/comic relief that I find troubling.
He's a little boy, obviously gay, who is a walking, talking stereotype of every straight person's 1970s/1980s idea of gay men, only this one comes in pint size.
The little guy likes to spread his fingers wide and hold them to his upper chest as he says things like "OMG, I can't stop eating this candy, SOMEBODY remind me to call my TRAINER!"... he says this as a flaming fey while the other boys, apparently tolerant of him physically, look at one another and roll their eyes.
It goes on and on and on. The little nelly hooks up the grandson with the little girl he fancies, playing a gay matchmaker, careful never to suggest any little boy he may like, (that would be, you know, too icky. We need him to be a funny fag, not a human with feelings). He's precocious and acts well beyond his years would suggest.
Yes, there are flamboyant little boys out there, but not EVERY gay man or boy is/was a flamer. Some of us played baseball and football, some of us even liked divas and such but would never act/want to act like a drag queen in front of our friends.
It's really disgusting. They could have easily written-in a gay kid without it being a stereotype, but they needed the minstrel show.
I caught the series opener. James Caan is the most annoying part of it; however..... I can see your point, OP The fey/gay kid IS a bit over the top, if they toned it down a bit, he'd be less likely to give folks "the icks." I'm actually surprised the kid is written like that. Why be so in the viewers' faces, with what they had to know would be a very controversial character? Maybe they were waiting for public reactions, and would alter to suit? I suppose we have to admire their guts in having such a character? I wonder what the test groups thought of it? All that aside, I don't see this show making it.
Another thread that tells more about the posters than the subject of the thread.
How so, r2?
My R2, you're quite the lofty, sanctimonious one aren't ya?
And how does a thread of ONE reply "tells more about the posters than the subject of the thread"? I suppose you'll now spew something of self loathing etc. etc. etc.?
Go on, we're waiting.. All two of us.
Me thinks that this gay kid hits a little too close to home for some of you girleenas, which is why you're upset.
I've been watching and the gay kid has calmed down a bit, sort of like Sue Heck's first boyfriend on The Middle. And no one mocks him or teases him about it, either.
I'm more concerned with a TV-PG rated show and the pervasive off-color language -- douche, bitch, sexual references, etc., every episode.
My nine year old daughter plays little league and wants to watch the show, so we do, but I try to distract her if something unsavory is coming up.
Me thinks people who use "me thinks" while trying to be lofty exposes them as the simpletons they are.
That said, I was a gay kid once also, and I didn't act the way many gay kids are stereotyped on television. So why and how is it somehow unacceptable that I would be offended by this tired stereotype?
Yeah, some gay kids are feminine. But others aren't. Yet, gay men have always been stereotyped as feminine, whispy, nelly types as well as gay children and yes, that's offensive to me.
There was a way to present the kid as possibly or even definitely gay without making him the Step-n-FetchIt of gay sitcom characters.
So sorry that offends you R5. You likely also have issues with gay guys who don't swoon over Lady Bunny and Liza and who like sports, right?
Calmed down a bit?
Did you see the Halloween episode? He was complaining that the year before the local bullies broke the candelabra to his Liberace costume!!!!
What was he doing before? Inviting the little league to the downtown glory hole?
[quote]Yeah, some gay kids are feminine. But others aren't. Yet, gay men have always been stereotyped as feminine, whispy, nelly types as well as gay children and yes, that's offensive to me.
Why is it offensive to you? Who are seeking approval from?
Is he as flaming as Will Truman's nephew?
Has the kid revealed whether or not he's a bottom?
That would be comedy gold!
MTV's Awkward has an insufferable gay character called Clark who wins the title of Winter Princess and calls everyone sweetie. Things are moving backwards as far as nuanced gay characters in mainstream shows are concerned.
I don't watch this show but I do like the concept of including "queeny" boy characters on TV. It reinforces that we are born this way.
[quote]insufferable gay character.
I love it. Such hate here. 1/4 posters on Datalounge are closeted in some facet of their life.
Isn't James Caan a rightwinger?
The younger brother on Ugly Betty was that flaming. And he came out as gay on the show. The concept is not new.
[quote]I do like the concept of including "queeny" boy characters on TV. It reinforces that we are born this way.
I'm gay and I wasn't born that way. Why not speak for yourself and expect everyone be free from stereotypes instead of attempting to insist every gay male or female is your idea of what "born this way" is, R13?
It's your own insecurities that keep wanting to insist we're all supposed to have flames shooting out our asses.
R16, the kid on Ugly Betty was feminine but hardly the stereotype gays have been portrayed as being lately.
That kid was a good example of how it should have been done.
Yeah, R18, it's one thing to be organically femme, quite another to be Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly, Rip Taylor, and Snagglepuss all rolled into one.
There are two other boys on the team who are also gay, but are so normal-acting that you'll never notice who they are. Happy now?
There truly IS a "ick" factor to that overly exaggerated feminization of a male character whether it is on a television program or in real life. It screams "NOTICE ME!!!".
R21, thank goodness that never happens here on the DL.
[quote]Me thinks that this gay kid hits a little too close to home for some of you girleenas, which is why you're upset.
I happen to be a straight-acting gay guy, dumbass!
He wasn't Betty's younger brother, he was her nephew. And while the character was very broad at times (fashion savvy! theatre obsessed!) there was an essential sweetness to him and the way his family supported him.
At the time, it was groundbreaking for a network show to depict a self-aware gay kid.
The thing is, without these gay characters on sit-coms you'd be complaining that there are no visible gays on TV. OK, Southland had a gay cop character who was masculine and mostly closeted, if that's any better.
R17, when did you choose to be gay? Was it the male on male molestation? The absentee father? The domineering mother? Something else environmentally related?
OP is a self-loathing queen.
Fancy and flaming is endearing to straight people. This is a tv show. All of the characters are exaggerated for entertainment value. Try not to take it so damn personal for fucks sake.
This thread is being trolled by a rabid drag queen who considers all non-fey gay men and non-butch gay women "self loathers".
The nephew on "Ugly Betty" seemed more fey than the kid on James Caan's new show.
There is also a gay male character on "The Middle", IIRC he's a cheerleader and the best friend of Patricia Heaton's daughter on the show. He's very over-the-top.
"Troll" is just a cheap insult used to silence dissent, R29. And attacking gay men for not being John Wayne wannabes is the epitome of self-hatred.
More stereotypical than Glee's Kurt? How can it be?
r32, believe me, it can.
It's only a stereotype if you're homophobic.
R34, see this poll. The number of closeted people here is astounding and should give you some insight as to why people here are homophobic.
This thread is trolled by closeted gay men who are terrified by the notion that someone might realize they're gay.
[quote]straight-acting gay guy.
Do Jewish people ever use the phrase, "Christian-acting Jewish guy"?
This show will probably be canceled anyway (not because of the stereotypes, but because of low ratings. It's tanking)
Are there any non-stereotypical gay characters on tv these days? Happy Endings had Max, but it's gone now.
There will be a lot of this happening now. It actually started with Will and Grace, and then came Modern Family. But now that we are finally "equal" the stereotypes will become rampant.. We are the new "step-and-fetch-it" crew. All done in what will be termed "good fun." However, the people who already "don't like us" will use this as fodder to further fuel their hatred. Then, there will be those who will say: "awww, look at the homos, aren't they cute?!"
Gay men who just sort of blend into the crowd with everyone else,
(probably most of us,)will be considered "no fun".
It's a bit disconcerting.
Well, the kid is British, and his mom is thrilled that he's gay, and he's an integral part of the team, so there's that.
Love, love, love Maggie Lawson. Kid playing her son is very non-TV cloying. He kissed a bully in the pilot, FWIW.
Not groundbreaking TV, but like Lawson enough to watch this. Can't take the notion that anyone would be offended seriously - LOL!
"step and fetch it," r40? Lol. Get educated and read a book sometime, toots.
R37, yes, it's called "schmuck".
No, R42, he meant St. Olaf's famous dance team, Adolph Stepp and Olga Fetchik.
Shameless has a non-stereotypical gay teen played by Cameron Monaghan and the guys his character has been with have been closeted, but not stereotypical.
R37: We just call them "assimilationists."
Oscar, the accountant on "The Office," was gay and pretty non-stereotypical without being self-consciously so, but that show's gone.
An ABC sitcom with a stereotypically gay kid? Impossible!
Society and media have enough representations of gay males as feminine, weak, girly, and campy. If you are a gay men who is like that, you see yourself in media all the time. There is a lack of representations of gay and bisexual males as completely masculine, mainstream, and one of the guys/bros. If you are a mainstream masculine bi/gay dude, you rarely see yourself represented in media. This imbalance is unhealthy.
But why is it always one of the two extremes? The non-flaming ones are so painfully self-conscious about their perceived masculinity, it's embarrassing. It's like we have a choice between being shown as like the Village People or like Chris Colfer on speed. Some people have a blend of masculine and feminine traits.
We are talking about TV, r50, not Ibsen drama. TV (and its ilk) rely on broad caricatures. It is not difficult to see why sit-coms would (lazily) rely on the nance stereotype.
After nearly a decade and a half of high-quality cable TV drama, that "it's just TV" excuse no longer holds water. TV needs to be held to the same standards as Ibsen.
Sometimes I feel a little sorry for the kids who have to play these roles. Kids are pretty immature at that age, and the actors must get a lot of teasing/bullying (unless things have changed a lot since I was a kid.)
[quote]There is a lack of representations of gay and bisexual males as completely masculine, mainstream, and one of the guys/bros.
Meanwhile...40% of homeless youth are LGBT kids. Why not focus on something like that? Something meaningful, instead of this stupid, ridiculous, pointless, "I am desperate for approval by straight society" bullshit on how gay men act. And, most gay men, closeted or out are feminine anyways. I don't know who you think you're fooling. "Masculine" gay men ping further than Pluto.
I've seen a lot of gays in real life who act like that, if they didn't exist the stereotype wouldn't exist.
The highest quality cable TV drama cannot come close to matching up to Ibsen, r52. You clearly have baby taste and watch far too much television. Read a book sometime to supplement your infantile diet of mass culture.
I feel the same way about other so-called "stereotypes," R55. Personality traits that exist in reality should be fair game for depiction in any media.
What would you suggest, R57? What are these other personality traits?
 I've noticed that a lot of gays don't react kindly to gay men who are perceived to be 100% straight by both gays and non-gays (those guys may be a minority, but they do exist).
As soon as those guys come out of the closet they go from being considered hot and desireable forbidden fruit, to being laughed at for being 'just another queen'. Other gay men also contribute to the emasculasation/ assxualisation of gays, it's not just the straights.
I also sense that straight women dislike masculine gays, they love the flamboyant and girly ones, but as soon as they come across a gay man they find really hot, the whole 'woman scorned' attitude comes into play.
Is Maggie Lawson still on "Psych" too or is that show over? Did she split with James Roday?
I missed both "Psych" and "White Collar" last season.
As for the gay character on this show, TV is filled with stereotypes, to name a few: the fat schlubby grumpy husband with the hot vivacious wife (if she gains any weight, the fat fug husband goes ballistic), the spoiled bitchy female teen daughter who is superficial and dumb, the horny jock son, the old grandparnets with no filters and many more.
It's really not a big deal if a gay person is a stereotype on a few TV shows, gay people aren't stereotyped on all TV shows.
That truly and only is found on Datalounge, R59. I do not see that vitriol and hate exhibited by gay men in real life. And, most people who post here, are closeted.
Any character on a TV comedy who is not a straight and white will be portrayed in some form of stereotype. There are so few non white, non straight characters in sitcoms just being different is the easy laugh for the writers. How could a gay character be funny if he's not stereotyped? Same holds true to the very few Asians or Lations? The only characters that sitcoms are now afraid to stereotype are African Americans.
[quote]The only characters that sitcoms are now afraid to stereotype are African Americans.
Because for years the only roles black actors could get were maids, butlers, slaves, and comic relief. Then things got a little better when they got cast as prostitutes and criminals. Then they moved up a little more as the jive talking, hustlers. Now, we're always cast as the upstanding public official, judge, doctor, lawyer or wise best friend.
Here's the thing, I hate those Tyler Perry comedies and all that over the top mugging and Jesus shit, but I hated it because I was worried how it would reflect on ME. Then one day I woke up and realized that it doesn't matter. If people want to think that I'm some over the top Jesus praying, talking in movie theaters, bad tipping, loud talking stereotype, then so be it. People are going to think what people are going to think. You can't control others' thoughts.
OP just needs to admit that he hates queeny characters because he doesn't want the world to think that "he's one of those gays". Guess what, it doesn't matter. A feminine gay man, boy or something in between is still gay. That behavior is not bad nor less than the behavior of a so-called straight acting gay man.
When you come to grips with your own sexuality and who you are are as a person, what others think or say... just doesn't matter.
"... but I try to distract her if something unsavory is coming up".
With your unique impression of Niecy Nash?
Loved your comment r63, you're too smart for DL.
I don't see what the big deal is. Be happy for representation at all. The more gay roles show up in any movie or TV show, the more visibility, the better for everyone. Obviously we don't want anything indicating abuse is okay, but bitching because the role is too femmy? Seriously? YOU have the problem with acceptance and making space for all types of people. Hollywood at least works, in its schlocky way, to be inclusive, to slowly change public perception. Even if gay roles are used as a means for laughs, it's still increased visibility.
And those "femmy" little boys are the ones who could use a little help. They are the ones who can't hide who they are and who are often targets for bullying, so OP grow up.
I am shocked at the number of people that don't think this is a big deal. I haven't seen the show, but I doubt the OP is lying.
Not surprisingly, the show has been cancelled. Nobody made a big deal about it because they weren't watching.