Temper, meet brick wall.....

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gay Characters on Soap Operas - A need for Happily Ever-afters

For the most part, I don't know how many of you watch Soap Operas. And usually, I don't. But as a MM writer and an Ally, I kept hearing about all these LGBT breakthroughs of LGBT characters on these shows and about three months ago, I found this wonderful habit on youtube. You see, fans of the MM storylines, will get the shows, take out all the MM parts and put them together in their own little episodes. This is great for when you don't want the other BS stories, you can just watch what you want!

While I am super excited that more MM characters are hitting primetime and day time,  I've noticed a rather disturbing trend in Soap Operas within North America, Australia and New Zealand. You see, they will put MM characters in the shows but they will then proceed to torture the hell out of them.

Let me first point out that yes, there are a few that end happily. I think this is where I say stop reading here because there might be some spoilers.

Don't care? Let's go!

Happy ending - Kyle Lewis and Oliver Fish from One Life To Live. Let's get over the fact for a second that they named this dude Fish. This show knew how to write a
Oliver Fish & Kyle Lewis
good MM storyline. Sure, the characters had their drama and ups and downs but it was beautiful. The downside to this was, the characters were written out of the show because apparently they brought the show's ratings down. I don't believe that for a second because if you check their vids on youtube, they are in the millions.

The story line sent all kinds of emotions through me-fear, anger, happiness, confusion, more anger, more fear, a little more anger then a blissful awww moment that makes me go back repeatedly just to watch the storyline again and again. It was well written, the actors were amazing, and the feels were real people! They were so real I cry every time I watch it.

Then there was Syed and Christian. First of all let me say I may be a tad biased because this is the first mainstream interracial gay couple I've seen on a soap opera. I mean, yes, there was Chad and Vincent on Passions but Vincent went crazy and tried to whack a bunch of people. Syed and Christian hails from Eastenders and I am in love! You see, Christian is this sexy as hell, stud that is openly gay and Syed, well he was so far in the closet that I am not sure how Christian's light found
Syed and Christian
him. Then add religious obligations, familial obligations, Syed's own demons, a girlfriend who seemed a little nutty, a child he didn't realize was coming, a few fires, an explosion, a roof collapse, gay bashing - and omg the rollercoaster my poor heart went on I damn near died.

At one point I found myself thinking "if these two ends up alone or without each other I'm gonna burn things!" Thankfully, the writers were kind. I mean after all the hell they went through, the tears, the anger, the back and forth until Christian was like "I'm done, Syed." I don't think I cried more than with these two. In the end, they wound up together and went off to travel the world together then moved back to England to live close to Syed's baby girl who, by the way, is a constant visitor to their place to see her daddies!

So yes there are a few ones that were well written that ended in a way that made me satisfied.

Let's begin the downward spiral with Ste Hay of Hollyoaks. Lord have mercy where do I even start? I didn't start watching this show from the beginning of Ste's relationship because lord knows my heart
Ste Hay
cannot handle it all.  This kid has been through all manner of evil that, if he was in real life, he would be dead. His character was introduced in 2006 and lawd-ha-mercy...The first time I saw him was because he was dating the town's resident fuck-up John Paul McQueen (and don't even get me started on his life. He fell in love with an in the closet Priest who finally comes out then winds up dead - I'm not sure if it was suicide or if the crazy guy going around pushing pregnant women down the stairs killed him but Kieron (the priest) is dead). Ste has two kids (yes, with a woman) who seems to be evil as hell because every chance she gets to torture him, she does. So, let's run through some of the issues - Drug addiction, custody of his babies, dear death (more than twice), domestic violence, abusive childhood, and in the upcoming season, he's about to go to court to try keeping his kids--again because the writers are bastards. He's been with Noah, John Paul, Doug, Harry...and these are just the ones I know about right now. Even fans on youtube are getting fed up. I just spent the last hour or so having an in depth conversation with a couple of them and they are tired. While we understand bad things happen, you'd have to watch this show to see what we mean. At this point enough is enough!

Aaron Livesy  - This guy is in Emmerdale. Lord, where do I start. I've gone back and watch from he began acting out. He was the pain in the ass for the village, always getting into trouble until he met Jackson. Jackson was the sweetest, funniest, gorgeous-iest, nerdiest man ever and I adored him hard. He finally got Aaron out of the closet and BAM! Car accident left him paralyze from the neck down.
Aaron Livesy
He winds up going through assisted suicide because he didn't want to live that way. Aaron was totally gutted! Then to add insult to his misery turns out he was raped as a baby (by his own FATHER) and he's been keeping that on his mind, his mother is a crazy and nosy but she means well, he was arrested and charged for murder so he was in jail a bunch of times, then when they began dealing with the father thing, turned out he has a half sister who turned into a little shit even though he tries to protect her the best he can. In all of that he meets Robert and they HATED each other--Turns out Robert was in the closet and the two begins the tug and war to get Robert to either stay in or come out. Rich people with money are now involved (Robert's family), car accident, fights, lies, betrayal - He is happy right now but from what I can see, right now we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And I would go through Christian and Ollie from Verbotene Liebe - but how much time you got? And they still didn't wind up together.

There are more but who has that kind of time?

The point of this blog post isn't to be long and dragged out. It is to show a trend that breaks my heart. Yes, we'll put gay men in our mainstream soap operas but then we're going to screw them every chance we get. Their happiness is not possible - what kind of shit is that? If you go into Dutch or Portuguese soaps, the characters go through hell and sometimes they go through the whole storyline without a kiss due to censorship but in the end they're happy. Like Lucas from GTST - he went through HELL. Abuse, cheating, fights, betrayal, gay bashing...Then finally he winds up with Menno and *sigh*
Menno & Lucas - GTST

It breaks my heart because I keep watching these shows and these men rarely ever get their happily ever afters. It's like these writers are trying to tell young, gay men that sure, it's okay to be who you are, just know you won't ever be happy. It's really sad and I really wish there was something I could do to help change that. But when it comes to screenplays I have ZERO skills. *sigh*

At the end of the day, those with power control it all. The casting and writing of these shows are no different. It sucks that gay men are portrayed in the light they have and not being given a chance to prove that no, gay doesn't mean a life of doom. I really hope these writers would reconsider and try putting a little more light and a bit more fairytale within the lines of these shows. We need that--why? There are young gay people out there who have no friends and family. They watch these shows expecting a little hope and all they can see is Ste Hay finally being happy only to be stuck in rubble, talking to his fiancée who, incidentally is already dead and he just doesn't know it yet, or John Paul McQueen who thinks, finally he's found a good man in Kieron who winds up dead. Or Ben Mitchel (Eastenders) who figures YES! Paul is the one! Only to have himself and Paul kidnapped and beaten so bad that Paul winds up dead, or Christian and Ollie who fought through so much to be together for YEARS (I am not kidding) only to wind up apart. Or poor Aaron Livesey--

We need more happily ever afters. We do.

Remmy D

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Now at Dreamspinner Press

Now at Dreamspinner Press
"This story is about two grown ass gay men that each have a little doubt for one reason or another if their relationship will work. The story is conveyed well and kept completely on the adult playing field, I loved it! When these two get going in the bedroom it is passionate and sensual."--TSM