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Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Common Theme in 2012 Television

With the end of the year upon us and so much of the media world taking vacations, the annual retrospectives are everywhere. At huffingpost.com, there was a look at "TV Tropes of 2012."
Tropes tend to spread quickly on TV. The networks are all hungry for ratings, watching each other like hawks to see what's working best for their competition. Because of this, certain plot devices, show constructs and character quirks can become ubiquitous cliches pretty fast.

Looking back on the year in TV tropes brings a few trends into focus. The networks got way too invested in their singing competition judges. Stunt-guest casting to create faux-TV reunions ran amok. The bow and arrow combined with poison to bring TV weaponry back to the 19th century. Women started proposing to men, and step-sibling incest became a thing.
Details...
Incest was all over TV this year. Most of it was of the step-sibling variety, like Deb temporarily falling in love with Dexter, Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodson getting married on "Gossip Girl" and Bobbi Kristina and Nick Gordon's brief engagement on "The Houstons." But there was also the darker, those-characters-are-actually-blood-relatives variety, led by Jaime and Cersei Lannister on "Game Of Thrones" and Gillian Darmody's sexual relationship with her son Jimmy -- that she then continued with his lookalike in "Boardwalk Empire" Season 3 after Jimmy died.
Unfortunately, coverage in articles such as this and depictions on television too often disparage consensual relationships between close relatives, whether they are related genetically or by affinity. I think I've said before that television should depict the reality of consanguineous sex and consanguinamorous relationships, including that there are positive experiences and lasting, happy relationships. Currently, a reality show featuring a truly consanguinamorous relationship would need to be produced where there aren't still ridiculous laws criminalizing such relationships. New Jersey is one such place. But any fictional show can include the subject. Yes, there will be the clutching of pearls and howls of protest from the bigots and sex-negative fossils, but so what? It's going to happen. Television has often been ahead of the curve when it comes to the state of civil rights and public opinion about civil rights on a national level, and shouldn't fall behind here. A skillful creative team and a distribution company with guts can take the lead and do this well.
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1 comment:

  1. We need more incest on TV, and I don't mean on 'Jerry Springer' or those type of shows. We need to show that the people who enjoy it are not freaks, they are regular people who have happpened to fall in love with a family member. We need to show that their story can be happy, and not end in misery or tragedy.

    -Liz

    ReplyDelete

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