Thursday, June 16, 2011

The death of sexy television

So maybe you can tell me what happened, or which are the wrong television shows I'm not watching, but whatever happened to romance, whatever happened to sexy?

Granted, Highlander is sort of overboard in that department, and I'd actually like to get a male perspective on this, because Duncan Macleod seems so... purposefully beefcake-y... I mention this show to women in a completely neutral way, and if they have a clue what I'm talking about they need no prompt for a near universal response: a fraction of a second of complete stillness followed by an indrawn breath followed by some variation of, "Dang, he's hot."

Now I suppose a feminist scold would insist that the guy "getting the girl" in each show is a bad thing and places the woman as a reward and we should avoid that. Are we avoiding that? Common wisdom is that there is more sex on television than ever before. Is there? And if there is, what has changed? Is it simply my imagination that in the 80's and 90's that "getting the girl" was fairly common in action/adventures, and not just in Highlander? I honestly can't think of any examples to support my thesis. It just *seems* like it must be so.

I mentioned that Christopher Chance in the show Human Target had female guest stars that provided a measure of sexual tension between them, but he never slept with them. In the show Justified the guy, Raylan Givens, sleeps with Ava and also with his ex-wife Winona, but I'm not so sure it counts. In A-Team Face was always making it with the ladies, though off-stage and implied. Colonel Hogan was also what we might call highly successful.

But, in contravention of my thesis, there was Riker, the slut. Nope, on second look... 1987 to 1994 for TNG supports my thesis... except that it was done so poorly that who would believe the passion? No one I know would ever become completely still for a fraction of a second, breath in and then proclaim "Oh, he is soooo hot."


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