Same sex experimentation is ‘in.’
Last Monday, NBC’s Heroes jumped in the same bandwagon as… well… everyone else with a “same-sex” kiss between Claire and her college room-mate. Secular media critics seem to agree that it’s a slumpbusting publicity stunt.
Media producers such as the money behind Heroes are realizing that it’s not just sex that sells… but two girls kissing sells even bigger! Threesomes? Even better!
Look at popular songs and music videos of late. Britney’s “3” (her song about a threesome) hit #1 two weeks ago. The music video of Black Eyed Peas’ #1 hit I Gotta Feeling featured several shots of girl on girl kissing. Cobra Starship’s Good Girls Go Bad (also in the top 10 a few weeks ago) ends with a girl on girl kiss. No need to go on- it’s everywhere on the music scene.
It’s not new to TV either. MTV’s Real Cancun not only had a threesome in one of their episodes, but also provided a front page teaser for the download so viewers could watch it again and again. Gossip Girl is trying to create buzz about their upcoming “threesome” in an episode on November 9th. MTV.com interviewed Gossip Girl’s Michelle Trachtenberg (sadly, I remember her from watching Ice Princess with my daughters) about the upcoming threesome and she says, “It’s worth waiting for.” The interview is sad, really. The interviewer asks her, “If you had to be in a threesome with two other characters in the show, who would be your pick?” Michelle replies, “All of them!” (in 10 days our Youth Culture Window page will be featuring an article about this new trend).
Heroes ratings have been dropping and they needed a boost. What better boost to create buzz in today’s world than some girl on girl action. And if you have any doubt about NBC’s intentions, then ask yourself, why is it that they released pictures of the kiss and tried to create buzz about it before the episode even aired? News sources talked about the possibility as early as July. In early October geek sites and numerous other news sources released photos of the kiss, referring to it as a “perfect ratings slumpbuster.” TV.com’s Tim Surette writes:
Let the show’s hottest female character make out with her female college roommate. Bam! Genius! And just so we don’t forget that the kiss is coming next week, they’ve released a still photo.
I would tend to agree with this perspective from the National Post:
Two weeks ago I suggested that Claire’s kiss with Gretchen was a transparent publicity stunt designed to bring salivating teenage geeks back to the show. At the time I thought, mistakenly, that the kiss was a one-off destined for the regularly emptied dustbin of television history.
Instead, it seems that Heroes’ writers have chosen to elongate this college experimentation cliché in order to dangle the possibility of future Hayden Panettiere lesbian love scenes in front of the aforementioned geeks, seemingly unaware that google and PVRs have long since made actually watching the show a requisite for seeing such action.
It’s not that all lesbian storylines are somehow inherently cynical, they’re not; it’s just that in this particular context the same-sex narrative is about as dramatically credible as the recent lesbian kiss in Megan Fox’s movie Jennifer’s Body. The Claire kiss even received a pre-show publicity blitz similar to one for Jennifer’s Body centred on the promise of a topless Sapphic scene featuring the Transformers starlette. That scene ended up being an unfulfilled promise (left on the cutting room floor), and the geeks saw right through it, kind of like how we can all see through this sad and vaguely offensive attempt to keep Heroes interesting.
I used to enjoy Heroes. The truth of the matter is, the show lost my interest long ago… and Claire’s kiss didn’t bring me back.