Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

mr and mr nash

Entertainment Weekly's | News: Alan Cumming will star in Steve Martin-produced gay detective series: If you think of memorable light-comic romantic detective duos, you may recall Mr. and Mrs. Charles in the ''Thin Man'' movies, or Mr. and Mrs. Hart on TV's ''Hart to Hart.'' Now comes a new variation: ''Mr. and Mr. Nash.'' Variety reports that Steve Martin and veteran sitcom production company Carsey-Werner-Mandabach are developing a series for ABC about a gay couple who solve murder mysteries as a sideline of their interior-decorating business. When they tell clients a window treatment is to die for, they're not kidding.

Would someone tell me why we're so damn popular lately? Granted, we do seem to be doing better in a nonmedia sense, at least in some ways (well, except in Nevada, where marriage is reserved for only one man and one woman at a time, 'cause they're all moral and nonheterosexual marriage would be a danger to the family! and that's why they have legal prostitution, too! it protects the family!). And now comes an actual drama (technically speaking) with homosexual lead characters, one of whom would possibly be played by an actual admitted bisexual-type person (and why is it that sexual difference is always either "admitted" or "confessed", anyway?).

You know, it's not that I object to the stereotypical sort of premise ... well, OK, I mildly object to the stereotypical premise, but only mildly. And let's face it; can you really see Alan Cumming as a massively macho kind of character?... nah, didn't think so.

I'm just wondering how far ABC is prepared to go with this. Given the title, it's clear that the characters are in a personal as well as a professional relationship; they do, after all, compare the series to "Hart to Hart". And the one thing about the Harts that I do remember is that they were always physically affectionate toward one another. I don't mean that we ever saw them making wild whoopee in the afternoon, or anything like that. It was an old married couple sort of intimacy, with kissing and hugging, and you never doubted that they both cared for and were physically attracted to one another. Even though they rarely did more than kiss each other, we occasionally saw them in bed together -- fully pajama-ed, of course, because that's what the wealthy folk do in that sort of light and airy show. And the one thing is, that's a place that the networks really haven't gone with their prime-time gays. As far as we can tell, for example, Will from "Will and Grace" might as well be a vestal virgin. Even Sean Hayes' character, for all that he's supposed to be the comic hyperslut ... we never actually see him doing much of anything. Way back when network television first tried to do such a thing with recurring characters on "thirtysomething", the most they were able to do was to show the characters in bed, and they weren't allowed to actually touch each other.

So it will be interesting to see what, exactly, the network is prepared to do with a couple that's meant to be a long-term, continuing couple.

I'm betting on arch eunuchs, myself.

Posted by iain at 12:55 PM in category



Is this where television is going? not enough worthless mind numbing garbage on television already? just like pouring a cup of water in the ocean.

Posted by signs of the apocolypse at September 21, 2003 12:00 PM

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