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    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Blog for Radical Fun Day

    Our lovely and talented host for today's festivities, brownfemipower, starts things off with a bang, singing the praises of 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers', yes the musical!

    Radical fun, to me, means finding what's radical about what's fun. As my regular readers have no doubt noticed, some of what's most fun to me in life is seeing the radical possibilities of the poppy-est of pop culture, particularly television. Nothing in life gives me more pleasure than watching Queer as Folk, Weeds, Six Feet Under, The OC, Desperate Housewives, The Sopranos, The L Word, The West Wing, Star Trek, Nip/Tuck, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Roseanne, and seeing what lies beneath. Rejoicing in the briefest of queer moments, gender reversals and questioning, racial and ethnic commentary, and class conscious dialogue. I love it most in shows like Desperate Housewives, where the politics seethe a few layers down, and I imagine them filling the brains of all their viewers, subliminally, and changing the world. Some of the shows I mention are often horrible, but there's a radical hope in each of them for me.

    But beyond a political fine-tooth-comb-style-viewership, I watch for the romance and the drama. I watch to fall in love with people and with love and with passion.

    The pure youthful chemistry and energy and ennui of Seth, Summer, Marissa, and Ryan (and Anna, who was robbed from us too soon) - okay, I'll say it - it does make me feel alive. Sandy Cohen's triumphs over the corrupt Caleb Nichol, his fights for justice and truth and all that jazz, satisfy and energize me.

    Hearing Bartlett give the State of the Union, saying things that need to be said (even if they're said in a fantasy), watching the commitment of everyone in the fictional White House of The West Wing on their jobs 100 hours/week, giving themselves to the American people and to their President makes me want to work and give my all to something.

    Marcia Cross's portrayal of Bree van de Kamp is so painstakingly perfect and addictingly watchable that I only wish she were more of Desperate Housewives. Bree's meticulousness actually made me want to clean my apartment, which may have been a first.

    Watching the intolerable spoiled brattiness of the kids on The Real Housewives of Orange County and The Sopranos actually tames my jealousy, fills the chip on my shoulder, and makes me laugh.

    Star Trek makes me feel like a kid again, where all I want in life is to enter that world, to be aboard the Enterprise, talking Shakespeare with Picard and playing jazz with Riker, and poker with the whole gang. That longing I used to feel as a kid, usually with books, where I felt I might burst if I couldn't be a part of what I was experiencing from the outside.

    I have rarely felt grief so keenly as watching Nancy and her sons mourn Judah on Weeds. I have rarely understood family as much as watching Christian with the adorable Wilbur on Nip/Tuck. I have rarely grasped desire so firmly as watching Shane and Carmen on The L Word. I have rarely been as terrifed as I was for David when he was carjacked on Six Feet Under. I have rarely felt love more strongly than watching Brian and Justin experience it on Queer as Folk. And I have truly rarely been happier than when watching television.

    7 Comments:

    Blogger brownfemipower said...

    YES!!!! :-)

    I LOVE soap operas--I LOVE them!!! I have been following ABC soaps since i was a small kid--and nothing every devistated me more than when Another World got taken off the air.

    I know *exactly* what you mean--for me, i actually create alternative story lines and new characters--i think it's the story teller in me. you know??? :-)

    haha, I need to take off these damn heels, i'm on my fourth glass of wine, so heels just aren't cutting it anymore!!! wanna come with me to the next bar??? :-)

    10:49 AM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Let's definitely hit the next bar! I wore flip-flops so I can kick them off when we hit the dancefloor. :)

    I love daytime soaps as well, though I haven't seen them for years, sadly. I cut my teeth on "The Young and the Restless" and "General Hospital." My mother and grandma loved nothing more than their "stories".

    11:59 AM  
    Blogger Corinne said...

    living in the fantasy of west wing (esp. the early years) is bliss. oh if only i could actually vote for jed bartlett!

    12:58 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Oh yes. Sometimes it's just amazing to compare his fictional administration to our current one. My partner, A, thinks it's totally depressing, but I find I can really just ... escape. For awhile.

    BTW, Corrine, I'm glad you stopped by - turned me onto your great blog!

    1:44 PM  
    Blogger Corinne said...

    finding new fun blogs is the joy of these "let's all blog about something" days in my view... i'll be stopping back by to read more.

    4:07 PM  
    Blogger Sly Civilian said...

    oh...star trek. Next Generation was my favorite alternate universe when i was growing up.

    i liked DS9 and Voyager...but they weren't nearly as flat and "all's well that ends well" as TNG was. And honestly, when it comes to pure escapism, that's what i want.

    4:31 PM  
    Blogger EL said...

    Corrine,

    I totally agree. That's why I'm a blog-holiday-lover!


    Sly Civilian,

    I actually quite liked DS9. It had some great characters, mainly Quark and Dax *swoon*, but I hate Sisko. Ugh. The worst actor EVER. I spent half the show going, "Where's Picard?!"

    Never saw Voyager though.

    I think that TNG was actually often ridiculously corny, but I found it so very soothing and, yes, escapist.

    12:52 PM  

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