erilyn: gabe and mikey's hips (teenwolf-fingerkiss)
[personal profile] erilyn
Yo, what are some good examples of queerbaiting / slashbaiting fans (eg shows/TPTB try to have their cake and eat it too, by appealing to fans who want to see non-heterosexual characters/couples/storylines, but without actually, you know, making it canon)?

Looking for both specific stuff within narrative or external (interviews/cons/promos etc), any help appreciated :)

Date: 2012-09-12 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
H50 springs to mind?

Date: 2012-09-12 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry, I should have been more specific, in that I was hoping for specifics (like moments/plots in episodes). H50 is definitely the sort of show I'm thinking about though, thanks!

Date: 2012-09-12 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ahahaha okay, so I actually have to have WATCHED the show, hmm? :D

Well, moviewise there's TF&F - the scene after the first race, the shirtless-sunbathing DVD extra, the bit where they're driving down the coast, the bit where Brian gives Dom his keys

also Toy Story - the bit where Woody says "not in front of Buzz!" when Bo Peep is trying to kiss him

Sentinel - there's gag reel footage of them kissing, plus the pet names, the melding animal spirits, the mouth-to-mouth recuscitation (both rumored antics behind the scenes and the actual scene itself as filmed)

X-Files - the Mulder-Krycek kiss

Merlin - Arthur drinking the poison to save Merlin, Merlin tossing and moaning while sweat-soaked in bed, magically aiding Arthur with a glowing ball of light held in his hand, Merlin getting jealous when Arthur is enchanted by a Seelie (and then again when he's enchanted by a troll)

Burn Notice - s03e04 when Michael and Sam are holding hands and sighing at each other and Fiona comes in and says "I leave you two alone for a moment..." (they don't let go of their hands, although they do deny it)

Psych - the episode where Shawn is shot and after he beats up the bad guy, he spasms and writhes and clings to Gus who is clutching him desperately and Juliet is saying to Gus "you've got this, right?" and leaving, the episode where Gus is in a bank that's taken hostage and Shawn tries to bolt inside after him, the episode where Shawn has an epiphany and tells Gus that of all the relationships in his life, theirs is the most solid and the longest-lasting, the episode where...okay, ALL THE EPISODES

Being Human - the pilot especially, when the real estate agent mistook them for a couple

Date: 2012-09-14 10:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you so much!

I've been much more focused on more recent media, I hadn't thought about XF, hmmm.

Date: 2012-09-12 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Possible specific examples from H50:

- in episode 1x20, Danny signs 'I love you' to Steve, i.e. finger pointing at himself, air heart, finger pointing at Steve. There was no further mention of this by any character.

- in episode 2x01, Danny and Steve have a conversation that is ostensibly about Danny wanting and failing to get his ex-wife back. But it's filmed in such a way - with extreme close ups of facial expressions in the car's rearview mirror - that it's hard to read as Steve just being a supportive platonic friend.

- and, from memory, the end of the S1 gag reel involves the two main actors (Alex and Scott) holding hands and running along a beach away from the camera!

Date: 2012-09-14 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! Though gag reels are an interesting item - given that they wouldn't know definitively that what they're doing will be seen by audience, does it count?

Date: 2012-09-14 10:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good point, in general. In this case, I actually just went and rewatched the end of that gag reel, and it's very definitely intended for audiences to see it. Skip to the last ten seconds and see for yourself:

Date: 2012-09-14 10:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Agreed :) Though when I think of them and slashbait, can't go past the bromance promo

Date: 2012-09-12 11:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Due South - specifically third season - Paul Gross wrote in quite a lot of slash bait after being made aware of slash fans.

Bullet Proof - queer baiting.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interesting, cause it's often referred to as a more modern issue, but fair point.

Date: 2012-09-12 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, for femmeslash, there's Rizzoli & Isles (in case you're unfamiliar with it, Jane and Maura are colleagues and best friends, and often discuss guys they're interested in / dating). Just from the first season, from memory:

- the pilot has Jane staying in the spare room at Maura's place; when Maura comes in to find Jane not sleeping, she lies down with her and Jane makes a joke about it being a lesbian come-on. They do share the bed that night, presumably platonically.

- episode 1x06 takes place within a lesbian bar and has epic not-very-subtext. There's a big discussion between Jane and Maura - in bed! - over what would make Jane turn gay (season tickets to some sports team were mentioned) and which of them would be 'the man'. And then there's an actualfax undercover-in-a-lesbian-bar scene with both of them involved. Amusing recap here, with that in-bed dialogue quoted on p.3:

Date: 2012-09-14 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've seen a lot of references to the incredible slashiness of R&I, but haven't actually seen any, but thanks for the tips about some specific stuff :)

Date: 2012-09-12 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Teen Wolf, obvs.

If you're open to movies, then I felt about half of the last RDJ Sherlock Holmes movie was slashbait, which was one of the reasons I disliked it so much. I can't remember that many specifics, though the several-minute-long conversation that they have whilst Holmes is in a dress and lipstick and Watson is lying between his upraised legs would be one of them.

Date: 2012-09-12 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, them dancing at the party, Holmes' obvious jealousy of Mary, and the bit just before Watson saved his life. Plus the interview with Eddie Izzard where RDJ gets "jealous" that Jude looks better in drag than he does, and Jude's *chinhands* look of adoration at RDJ.

Maybe it's just me, but since it was SO OBVIOUSLY SLASHBAIT, SLASHBAIT EVERYWHERE, OMG JUST LOOK AT TEH AWESOME GAY...I didn't mind it so much? I guess I mind it when it feels manipulative, like a secret that the producers only want a certain group of people to know--a dog whistle, maybe, where they want the viewing numbers of the women who are into slash as a trope, but they don't want to admit it and make it obvious or into "a gay show" so they make it as subtle and coded as possible. TS comes to mind as an example, they HATED the fact that all those women watched the show and it was pretty much for the interpersonal dynamic so they "fed the need" as little as they possibly could and still get away with it. The whole thing felt forced and unwilling. It means they want the viewers, but with plausible deniability.

As opposed to RDJ asking Jude to dance, or wearing full drag and wrestling around on the ground. RDJ and Jude Law are many things, but they are pretty obviously not interested in deniability. :) That whole movie was like GAY LOOK! WHEE! and big and open and unashamed and not afraid to actually *turn off* the viewers who *weren't* into slash.

Date: 2012-09-13 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Two characters acting in gay in every way except for actually being romantically involved with each other? That's pretty much my definition of slashbait.

And I'm afraid I have to disagree that the film is some kind of big middle finger to homophobes. The gayness is played for laughs or pathos. Have one of them try to kiss the other and then we can talk about the film being progressive.

I don't know, I get kind of emotional about this stuff. I feel like a lot of media gives queer-friendly viewers these teases of homosexuality because they want us to be into what they're making (and thus give them money), but god forbid they actually show a romantic relationship between two people of the same gender because OMG GAY. It's like the way there's often one black character in a group of television or movie friends. But only one. And that should be enough for you, viewers of colour. You want to make a movie that appeals to a queer-friendly audience? Make a movie with an actual LGBT character or two in it. Otherwise, I feel what they're doing is kind of a co-opting of queerness, a cultural appropriation, and it's increasingly something that makes me uncomfortable.

To loop this back around to slashbaiting in general, it's for these reasons I'm not keen on what Teen Wolf is doing with Derek and Stiles. They get a big pass from me, though, because the show has an actual gay character in Danny who has been shown (albiet briefly) to be in a gay relationship, and he's about as rounded as every other secondary character, and they've had scenes set in gay bars and gay dudes making out in the background of party scenes and whatnot. They treat homosexuality as normal on that show, and they never use gay panic humour. That's far more progressive to me than the shenanigans of having a paralysed Stiles fall on top of a paralysed Derek.
Edited Date: 2012-09-13 05:13 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-09-13 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What she said. Too much of the time it's "Pretend gay is HILARIOUS but real gay is R-rated and will scare the kiddies" kinda bullshit, which is actually Not Cool.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've found the show itself comparatively unproblematic in terms of slashbaiting, it's mostly just been stuff external to the show from showrunner and cast that has me concerned (eg my icon).

Date: 2012-09-14 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think...okay, this may not make sense, but...I agree with you that I don't like that it's a joke played for laughs, but I think a joke played for laughs is better than a secret shameful subtext that may never dare mention its name.

"Gay" is gaining the same kind of acceptance as a descriptor as "geeky" or "neat freak" or "strong and silent type" or, I don't know, "smart alec" as a way to describe (and have fun with/poke fun at) a character's presentation on a show. I don't think that's GOOD, absolutely not. But in the grand scheme of things, I do think it's BETTER. It's a step in the right direction. And when it comes to civil rights and these sorts of media depictions reflecting the culture that created them, I hate it but I'm an incrementalist. In ten years, twenty years, thirty years, gay has already gone from taboo to subtext to minor characters to major characters to entire shows to major storylines. In another ten, twenty, thirty years there will be more and more Real Gay People Leading Real Complex Gay Lives and less and less slashbaiting (or, to put it a slightly different and somewhat more positive way, Look How Harmless Gay Is! And How Hilarious! Do You REALLY Have A Problem With It? Didn't Think So).

To sum: do I like that RDJ and JL played the drag scene for laughs? Not really. Although I'm somewhat mollified by a) they played the dance scene absolutely [cough] straightfaced, and b) so did the entire rest of the ballroom. But do I like a drag scene played for laughs more than Starsky and Hutch-levels of emotional constipation where the homoerotic subtext was treated by TPTB as a rather shameful reason that people watched the show, where TPTB couldn't afford to lose it but they couldn't bear to openly acknowledge it? Yes. Definitely.

Date: 2012-09-13 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sorry, reading that back, it sounds like I'm cranky at you. I'm cranky at slashbaiting. You, I like. (:

Date: 2012-09-14 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee! I wasn't worried, bb. :D

Date: 2012-09-14 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's an interesting thing, where we each draw the line between what's acceptable and what's offensive in this area.

Date: 2012-09-12 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fun question. Off the top of my head:

Supernatural...with, surprisingly, a lot the Wincest, which just makes it extra special?

"Do they know we're brothers?" "I don't think they CARE!" When talking about Wincest fic, in the show...cause oh SPN, when you do meta, you do it with that extra special dose of CRACK!

All times they check into motels and people assume they're a couple.

And Misha Collins, at numerous conventions, often goes out of his way to bring stuff up. With him and Dean, him and Balthazar.

They have Crowley and Bobby actually kiss for a contract.

I'm sure I'm missing a million examples cause SPN, you be rather nuts! ^__-

SG-1 and SGA very occasionally did. SG-1, in ep 200, which had tons of meta references, included the bit with Jack and Daniel standing at the alter, waiting for Sam and Daniel going "y'know, if she doesn't show up, they're gonna think you and I are..."

SGA had the kiss between Rodney and Carson.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And SG1 didn't bother me at all with that moment in 200, I adored the whole episode and thought it was all done in a wonderful spirit and sense of laughing with fandom, not at fandom (unlike their 100th episode and various crap from TPTB there).

Date: 2012-09-12 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
BBC Sherlock. In S01E01 there's the whole thing where John thinks Sherlock is gay and might be into him, and then they really laid it on thick in S2 -- there's a scene where John's gf dumps him and tells him he's already the best bf in London, only to Sherlock. So there's a ton of subtext in the show that's pretty obviously been written in deliberately, especially in season 2 when they knew that that was how people had reacted to the show. However, on the other hand you have Benedict Cumberbatch (who plays Sherlock) in particular, but also the show creators vehemently denying that Sherlock is or could be gay and putting all kinds of different spins on his sexualty, most of which I back-buttoned away from very quickly as being rage-inducing.
Edited Date: 2012-09-12 04:11 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-09-14 10:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I agree, I think Sherlock (along with SPN) are probably my picks for most egregious examples.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, I thought of another one: Common Law. Half my f-list went nuts for it when it came out (it just had the first season during the summer). I enjoyed it in parts, but the whole PREMISE is slashbaiting: two hot cop partners end up in couple's counselling because they can't get along on the job. There are MANY MANY instances of people assuming they are gay and a couple, and they don't shy from the subtext the rest of the time. But then they add on a ton of gay panic humour on top, so like, the guys are all O NOES when they are forced to stand right up in each other's personal space, because NO HOMO, dude. Oh, how I didn't laugh at all.

Date: 2012-09-14 11:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've seen very mixed reactions to Common Law, so haven't got around to checking it out, but if they're resorting to that, I'm not gonna bother anytime soon.

Date: 2012-09-12 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Remember the SPN Paley festival panel waaaay back in 2006, when the boys were talking about how they were cast? Jared claimed that Jensen thought he was too hot for them to play brothers, and later when Bob Singer was talking about their chemistry, Jared leaned over with puckered lips and Jensen did the "not now" thing. I don't know if it strictly counts as baiting considering how new the show was, but it's an early example of RPS awareness from a non-musical source.

Date: 2012-09-12 09:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, Starsky & Hutch. All of it. Although I can make a list of the more obvious episodes if you like.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's an interesting nomination. Would you put it in the same category is more modern shows, given it'd have been much much harder to put anything non-subtext to screen in those days?

Date: 2012-09-14 10:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Definitely. The showrunners were well aware of the pairing's gay icon status, and there were a few episodes deliberately addressing political issues of the time and a fair amount of nudge-nudge-wink-wink stuff happening all over the place.

I'd say it was probably easier to get the subtext on screen, not harder, because the community was still pretty underground and they could get away with more. A lot of stuff is played for laughs, but it's still there regardless.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'd agree it'd be easier to have subtext, but given I'd think of it being pretty fucking hard for them to have any textual queerness (given the times), would you judge them by same standards as current shows, in terms of queerbaiting?

My viewing of S&H is patchy - was there much gay panic-style humour in their subtext?

Actually, a major piece of queerbait that pisses me off occurred to me - Ryan from High School Musical.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, okay, a lot of the things I'm thinking of are situations that lend themselves to queer interpretation rather than queerbaiting as we know it. But there's an episode that deals with the murder of a gay cop that's pretty interesting, and the one that has the two of them going on vacation together, and the one where a woman tries to come between them and they choose their relationship over her, and the many episodes where one of them is deathly ill and the other frantically tries to find a cure before time runs out, and the one ... well, you get the idea. There's a lot of emphasis on the two of them against the world, and the one time either of them has a serious girlfriend, she has a terminal illness and she demands that the other one looks after him when she's gone.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Both The Professionals and Starsky and Hutch were referred to as Prime TIme Homos during their first run.

David McCullum was not allowed female companions in MUNCLE due to it upsetting female fans, but he was allowed interaction with Nappy.

Date: 2012-09-14 10:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I guess I was thinking of it being more about modern media, in that people are sick of subtext/jokes instead of getting textual queer characters/relationships (when that wouldn't have really been an option for producers with older stuff). But that's why I'm asking the question, to see how others are using it :)

Date: 2012-09-14 11:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think Due South was the first time I saw it done deliberately.

An argument could be made for the first Star Trek movie - this simple feeling - but Due South was done tongue in cheek and deliberately.


erilyn: gabe and mikey's hips (Default)

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