don’t get me wrong, i am thrilled to see pretty much almost anything on the tv that represents a person similar to myself, ie a fat older dyke who is nothing if not weird.
In fact I think i fell pretty comfortable saying that I am even weirder and older and fatter than Abby, the star of work in progress. Although I don’t have OCD I do have a smorgasbord of repressed mental health issues and a long history of painful life interactions based on my appearance and orientation.
ok but it wouldn't be real dyke tv if there wasn’t gonna be at least one cranky old dyke to criticize it, (sorry you might only get that if you are in the club).
So here goes:
Is Chris supposed to be a real person? Ok i get that it is very cool and with it an all having a transman love interest for Abby, but the Chris character just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, why is he so in love with Abby? Why is he so endlessly accepting and pretty much always cheerful, in fact, a person with a not widely demonstrated array of emotions? according to the last episode i watched he is taking Paxil, that’s an antidepressant right? is he depressed? What are his motivations, wants, needs, opinions, etc? Why is this character so flat? Is he taking testosterone? cause that is kind of important as i understand for anyone who is transitioning. I feel like Chris is being under-served by the writers
What’s with their sex life and why is that funny?
Ok, it’s kind of funny, and expected, that Abby would have all these hang ups in bed. The beginning of their sex life is represented by Abby showing up with various injuries representing how spastic she is during sex, such as eye patches, arm slings, etc. I guess this is a funny ongoing bit as long as you don’t see these characters as real people. I guess I just am hoping for something better, its a really interesting proposition, a love affair between a butch dyke and a very young transman, but it just ends up being about Abby hurting herself, a lot. Come on writers, if you can’t do better find somebody who could contribute to making this a more nuanced depiction of the situation, please.
and, once again, where is Chris in all this? does he really just find this all so adorable, or is he just a prop for Abby’s shtick?
Racism doesn't exist in this world
in the last episode i watched, Abby’s dad married an African American woman with two grown sons. one scene at the wedding depicts Abby doing her usual series of one liners with one of the sons. There is no acknowledgement of any form of issues around race, racism internalized or otherwise. there is no awkwardness, no foot in mouth moments. ok i wasnt expecting curb your enthusiasm, and i get that Abby was apparently in a relationship with a Black woman (which we get pretty crappy representations of)but once again, I call lazy writing.
Its like the elephant in the room that isn't in the room.
Not only is racism erased, any sort of tension based on blending adult children is completely off the table. these folks are all just so hip that they don’t even have to address any of these issues, apparently. anyone who has either been in a biracial couple, tried to integrate families, or done both, will call bullshit on this scene, based once again on the lack of nuance. i was left with the uncomfortable feeling that it’s racist to ignore any possibility of racism, or any sort of tension, in this situation. call me a snowflake but that’s how i read it.
and, now that i think about it, the same goes for the sexual relationship that this series is pretty much based on. everyone just accepts, with just a few snarky comments, that Abby is dating a trans person. This is a red light for me; what lesbian community in the sky or alternative dimension are these folks inhabiting? Can you imagine, if you are in the club (as loosely organized and completely chaotic as it is) a similar reaction?
ok so now its two for two, trans issues and racial issues: ignored and or under represented.
well i could go on, but i have a creeping feeling that i have already lost any sympathetic readers at this point. I know, i ask way too much. but…i just feel uncomfortable, i just feel somehow like the rug got pulled out from under me, no doubt my expectations for something like this are way off the charts. this frail concept piece can in no way support my years of waiting for something that represents at least parts of my life.
the L word just didn’t cut it.