Too Earnest

The sometimes serious, but generally frivolous, musings of a city girl now living in the woods.

Open Letter to Peter Lenkov

I wrote this on the CBS feedback page, because while I love–LOVE!–H50, I am feeling, suddenly, like they are gay-baiting a little, hopefully unintentionally. So I wrote this:

Dear Peter Lenkov, Roberto Orci and all the writers at Hawaii Five-O,

First, let me say that I love Hawaii Five-O. When it was announced a few years ago that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were going to star in a remake of H50, I was stoked. I mean I love those actors, and loved their former shows. So I watched the pilot and was hooked. I mean, Danny clocked Steve right in the pilot! Thus began a beautiful friendship, no? You have managed that rarest of TV treats, something that is fun and character driven in equal measures. Not to mention that you have interwoven beautiful scenery (human and otherwise) and good escapist fun in the form of a case of the week. It is so fun. Thank you.

But back to that bromance, for a moment, shall we? Danny and Steve have one of the best, most amusing relationships on TV. I love watching them (and the rest of the ohana) have fun and take care of each other; it is rare on TV and in the rest of popular culture that we see men caring for one another and rarer still that we see them do it in rather sweet ways. But here it gets murky, because you know the fan following they have, and you seem to love to nod to fans who want them to be something more. (And when I say fans, I don’t just mean fan fiction writers; after all EW called it a slow-burn romance.) In this season alone you have managed to allude to their “relationship” with an acknowledgement of their marriage, a pretty obvious butt grab and in the next episode, the boys are going to cuddle. Cuddle! And let’s not forget when Danny asked what Steve was wearing last season. So it seems y’all like to poke a little fun.

This is all good, really. It is fun. I laugh, all the fangirls laugh, and the COTW gets solved in 36 minutes. All in all it makes for a great formula for good TV. And I don’t expect Danny and Steve to get together as a couple (though it would be great) because it would be really out of character, gratuitous touching aside. Here’s the thing, though: it seems you enjoy the subtext and Danny and Steve’s almost coupledom, and further, make writing and plotting decisions that let them be nearly-gay. However, when I think back on it, there hasn’t been an (out) GLBT character on the show, much less a queer couple. Now I haven’t reviewed all the episodes, so of course I could be off track a little, but I can’t remember when the victim was gay, or if one of the kids who always  seem to be terrorized on Oahu had two mommies or even if someone in the Kelly/Kalakaua clan is queer.

I would like to think this is all just an oversight, and that one of these days, we will see the GLBT community represented on H50. I would like to think that perhaps you have pushed for it, and letting the boys have some marriage jokes is your way of getting there. But I thought I would tell you that it is starting to feel like you are actually making fun of us, your GLBT viewers and the GLBT community in general. It’s like you are having fun with the idea of same-sex relationships, but not actually interested in showing real life. And I must say, it is starting to feel like you are taking advantage of how much we would like to see ourselves represented on TV. We so enjoy Danny and Steve because it seems like a step closer to positive representation, but on reflection, it mostly seems like you might be ignoring us, instead.

If Danny and Steve aren’t going to get together, couldn’t one of the cases involve, even incidentally, GLBT people? Crimes happen to us, to you know?


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This entry was posted on November 6, 2012 by and tagged , , .
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