TV SHOWS: SHOULD WE FORGIVE AND FORGET? | FT. MY ASEXUAL RAGE + COMING OUT

Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with a tv discussion that I really meant to write some time last year but kind of forgot about, so sorry about that! But, I have a lot to talk about and many feelings to rant about, so hopefully, the power of my rage will make up for the delay??? Also, this might be a bit of a controversial topic so don’t hate me but today I’m delving into whether we should forgive tv shows for inappropriate/insulting content or dialogue & how we, as a society react to sexuality erasure in media.

And today I’m specifically focusing on Brooklyn Nine-Nine & Riverdale, which I know are two very popular tv shows with very intense fans!

*All sources will be linked

Riverdale Poster                                                                                                                                                Brooklyn Nine-Nine Poster

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Hi, I’m Ellyn, I’m 18 and asexual and I guess this is me coming out??? Cool, okay… yeah okay. So this is happening…

If you read my intro you already know what I’m talking about today but basically, I’m spilling some tea and letting my Ace rage out and discussing whether we should forgive shows for harmful content and/or erasing characters’ sexualities. It’s a big topic to tackle but hopefully, I’ll do it some kind of justice.

So… let’s start with the big Kahuna – Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Like so many others I’ve been a fan of Brooklyn NIne-Nine for a long time and I have praised it for years. But, sometime last year I decided to re-watch the show and I stumbled across a few things that really rubbed me the wrong way. The first time I watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine I was still basking in the fun style of humour and I also hadn’t yet realised I was Asexual so whenever the word was used in the show it didn’t really register with me. So imagine my surprise when I started my rewatch of the show and in the very beginning of the show, a show that mind you, is supposed to be forward-thinking and un-problematic, the main characters use the word asexual as an insult.

“Oh, and I’m sorry if we implied you’re both asexual nerds who can only be friends with service animals.” (2×18)

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Source 4

^^This is a line from Gina in season 2, episode 18

Basically, Gina uses Asexual as an insult, and I’ll be honest I’ve never seen her character the same way again. (I think it’s used as an insult again at some point but I’m not completely sure).

And, the last thing I want to talk about, concerning B99 is the fat shaming. I feel like this is a very common thing with tv, especially with shows with this kind of humour – for example, Parks and Recreation is a great show but fat-shaming is a big part of how one main character is treated.

So, Brooklyn Nine-Nine uses fat shaming all the time (Let’s be honest we would all view Hitchcock and Scully different if they had less body fat) but, in 1×04 an entire episode is dedicated to fat-shaming. It’s pretty much just one big joke directed at “bigger” or plus size people. You can read more about it here.

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Annnndd now we’re going to dive into sexuality erasure, specifically talking about Riverdale and the erasure of Jughead’s sexuality.

I’ll be honest I have yet to read and finish a Riverdale/Archie/Jughead comic and I haven’t seen any of the tv show (though I do intend to watch Sabrina eventually). Basically, Jughead is canonically asexual in the comics but when the CW decided to create the show “Riverdale” they opted not to keep him as an Ace character.

Image result for Jughead is asexual in the comics

Source 5 | Source 6

When the show first came out the show writer (Lundin) came out and said that Jughead is “not explicitly anything right now” because they were avoiding how queerbaity the show was and now I think the show is 3 seasons in and Jughead and Betty have had sex. So, it’s definitely asexuality erasure and there’s no question about it and from what I can tell, this is a trend in media – characters having aspects of their personality/character erased. For example, we have Hawkeye not being deaf in the MCU, something I will never get over.

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So should we forgive tv shows and media for sexuality erasure or using out sexualities as a punch line or should companies and producers/writers learn to see their full audience? Should producers/cast or writers be made to apologise for their actions and explain themselves or should they be allowed to “get away with it”?

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HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT FORGIVING TV SHOWS?

WHY DOES MEDIA STILL THINK SEXUALITY ERASURE IS OKAY?

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9 thoughts on “TV SHOWS: SHOULD WE FORGIVE AND FORGET? | FT. MY ASEXUAL RAGE + COMING OUT

  1. I think those “fun” comments Gina makes are borderline inappropriate most of the time.
    I don’t watch Riverdale because i didn’t like the first few episodes of S2, so i wasn’t aware what happened there. The whole Jughead thing flew right over my head tho (if it was mentioned in season 1)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’m not a riverdale fan for many reasons, the first being personal preference. as for B99, i don’t think they became such a progressive show until later seasons. the first season, i think it was more of a typical sitcom going for shock humor, which isn’t okay – but i think they’ve largely overcome that, minus the body shaming, and that makes me happy.

    very thoughtful and eloquent post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand that, I honestly don’t think I would enjoy it either – I’m not big on Sprouse and the show just looks cringey.
      I agree, I think it took B99 quite a while to find their “groove”. I definitely enjoy the later seasons and usually just skip the first 2.

      ❤❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Though I’m a fan of B99, I’ve always felt uncomfortable with Gina’s “bombs” if you will. But I can say that the show grew so much especially in the later seasons. It is awful that they made you feel that way. But from what I know of B99 is that they listen and their fans mean a lot to them, so I know your voice is being heard.

    As for Riverdale, that show is a mess. I’m genuinely surprised that it’s still going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m finding that over time and with more re-watches of the show, I tend to skip the earlier episodes and have also become more uncomfortable with Gina as a character – she’s kind of unfeeling and really rude so I sometimes don’t understand the attachment all the other characters have to her.

      Thank you for your comment, it definitely made me feel better about the show!

      (haha, yes, Riverdale looks like a hellfire!)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a huge B99 fan and I totally missed that line!
    The fatphobia in the show has always rubbed me up the wrong way but its so bloody hard to find sitcoms that aren’t offensive at all that I feel like I have to just settle for what I can get. Which sucks but I am glad we’re slowly going the right direction. I’m glad that ‘woke’ sitcoms are becoming a lot more popular so hopefully, fingers crossed it only gets better and less offensive in the future.

    Riverdale is such trash but i keep finding myself watching it and I hate myself for it. Especially because I was so pissed of that they just erased Jugheads Ace identity. I’m really keeping myself from watching it lately thankfully. I think it’s that whole watching a train-wreck thing where my brain just wants to see how much worse it can get ya know?

    I’m sorry that you had to experience aphobia in one of your fave shows, hopefully they’ll only continue on their track of being a more progressive show but I can understand why you would have a complicated relationship with it, as I do too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think a lot of people do!
      The fatphobia is just a gross display of bad humour – the show has a lot of inappropriate/immature humour but that’s usually funny, fatphobia is just insulting to a great part of the world. I completely agree, the show has done so much for other groups and communities that it’s hard to criticise it and not feel like a cow, but the earlier seasons really do have some inappropriate content.

      Riverdale honestly, even without the ace issue I don’t think I would watch it, because it just looks so bad??? Just murder and teenage angst, why does anyone want to watch that??? Haha, I get that, I think we all like to watch train wrecks, that’s why we get addicted to cooking shows so easily.

      Honestly, ace-phobia isn’t as common because people usually avoid ace-anything – but, of course, having a character say that you can’t be a person/happy without having sex just hurts but you kind of get used to it???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah exactly, fat jokes are such cheap jokes to me, like you really couldn’t have come up with anything else???

        It’s so bad! It’s one of those shows you hate watched just to make fun of ahah.

        Yeah I can understand that. It sucks that so much of our culture is carved around sex!

        Liked by 1 person

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