Just Throw Some Gay At It
Last week, GLAAD released the results of its annual survey of gay-friendly programming. CBS, TBS, USA and A&E all failed.
CBS has responded proactively and will be adding at least three gay characters to their shows. That's aces and all, but two of the shows featuring these shiny new gays will be Rules of Engagement and $#!* Mt Dad Says. Granted, I have obviously not yet seen Dollar Sign-Number-Exclamation Point-Asterisk My Dad Says, but my understanding is that it involves an Archie Bunker-esque father who will be the primary source of comedy, so a recurring gay character will most likely serve as father fodder, even though in theory audiences are supposed to be laughing at the father's hatefulness, not with.
What I have seen is Rules of Engagement. If you haven't seen it, it is exactly one-third of a decent sitcom. The other two thirds are laugh cancer. So token lesbian's only hope is that she will be a part of the good third, the one featuring Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price, as they hire a lesbian surrogate. But most likely, her presence will serve as a series of cartoon ahh-OOOGAH eyes for David Spade's insanely obnoxious character. Much like I assume SMDS will have it, audiences are *supposed to* be laughing at David Spade's obnoxiousness, not with.
I don't have a lot of trust in the "laughing withs" so if the "laughing ats" are the majority, and ROE's place as a lead-in to Two and a Half Men tells me it is, is that really in keeping with the spirit GLAAD intended this? Is it better to have gay characters solely for the purpose of William Shatner to be hilariously homophobic and David Spade to make hot lesbian jokes than to have none at all?
And not that I'm giving CBS any extra credit for having an incredibly minority-free network here, but doesn't NPH bump them up at least a letter grade? Utilizing the most beloved gay figure on the planet as one of their biggest draws seems like it would mean something.
(source: TV Guide)