Jon's post--and specifically the picture of his (male) dog humping another (male) dog--reminded me of last night's Desperate Housewives and some questions it raised. Andrew, Bree's son, finally returns after being sent back to camp near the start of the season. And with blame for his mother for his father's death in his arsenal, he has no trouble deciding that he's above Bree's authority--so much so that he has Justin, his sometime paramour from last season, come over to spend the night.
Here's where the questions come in. Andrew explains his hatred toward his mother by saying that when his mom told him he would go to hell if he didn't change after he told her he " liked guys," he realized she would one day stop loving him and he decided to stop loving her first. This is an interesting mental process, certainly, but I doubt it's one with which many gay men relate. And yet it's happening on a show created and controlled by Marc Cherry, who has made no secret of his homosexuality or his strong relationship with his mother, who he credits with giving him the idea for the show.
This revelation is preceded by Andrew's attempt to kiss Justin, which Justin rebuffs for fear that Bree will walk in. He promises to make waiting until Bree is asleep worth Andrew's while--and then this concept is dropped. I know this is a very prurient question, but what happens between these two?
The question is important not only because I wanted to see two men making out on network TV, but because of the way Andrew constructs his talk about his sexuality. He doesn't say he told his mom he's gay--he says he told her he "likes guys." This is not the same thing. I've said before that I think bisexuality is often just a stop on the train to gay, but in this case it's important to know whether Cherry is espousing the same view. Andrew told the priest last year that he's not gay--he's just not going to stop fooling around with guys when the mood strikes him. But Justin appears to have real feelings, and not just carnal desires, for Andrew--feelings he expressed to Gabrielle last season. Is Andrew manipulating Justin? Will he go so far as to seek Justin's help as he tries to send his mother for a fall?
This, finally, is important because while there has been a flowering of gay characters on television in the last decade, the bloom is currently very much off the rose. A show with 27 million weekly viewers that features a gay or sort-of-gay character is one of TV's few windows onto gayness for most of America (by which I em>mean the "most of America" that doesn't subscribe to HBO or Showtime, didn't watch
I'm concerned, then, that Cherry is taking his grand opportunity to offer some sort of positive portrayal of homosexuality and not merely squandering it but turning it on its head to show same-sex attraction as part of a pathological personality. I realize that Cherry's mission is to make good TV, not to subtly change the hearts and minds of viewers. I realize that DH probably isn't on the must-DVR list of many folks who harbor great hostility against gays, as their churches have already warned them of its sinful nature. And I realize that the show has featured a great many screwed-up characters, only one of whom has shown interest in making it with a member of the same gender. But there's a difference between portraying Andrew as a gay guy who lies about his sexuality sometimes, hates his mom, and feels no remorse about killing an old woman with his car, and portraying him as a sorta-bi guy who pretends to be gay to get a little no-strings attached action from a guy who clearly wants more while engaging in the aforementioned other negative behavior. For the sake of tried-and-true gays everywhere, I hope Andrew is bi and playing on Justin's hopes. Making that cruelty another aspect of his pathology, rather than simply making him both the bad guy and the gay guy on the show, would enhance both the show's portrayal of gays (by playing up Justin's innocence at the hands of a lying manipulator) and the show's storyline. That's a win-win Cherry should grab with both hands.
If he does it after a scene where Andrew and Justin make out on camera, well, so much the better!