anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)
[personal profile] anitabuchan
I realise everyone's probably bored of hearing about Torchwood Day 4, but I've been talking about this in various places and just getting more and more frustrated, with the result that this is now much longer than I meant.

First off all, I think it's just lazy writing. In real life, death is often meaningless and random. But Torchwood isn't real life. Torchwood is fiction, and in fiction events such as death should have meaning and do something to drive the plot forwards. But I'm not entirely sure what meaning Ianto's death had. Were they just trying to heap more grief on Jack? I don't think so - there's enough grief being piled on already, and reducing Ianto's character to a plot device is lazy.

Just trying to shock us? Again, lazy - killing off a character is normally an easy way to shock your audience, yes, but another way to do that is putting in a little more effort and coming up with a genuinely shocking storyline (and, IMO, I think the CoE storyline was dramatic enough with Ianto's death). Besides, Torchwood has a track record of killing off major characters, right from the first episode. It's less shocking, more repetitive.

But that's not the main reason I'm pissed.

Jack and Ianto had a bit of a relationship break-through in Day 4. Jack was starting to open up to Ianto. It seemed like their relationship was going places. Throughout CoE, we saw them teasing each other, working together, flirting, hugging and kissing. Sure, there were moments of tension, but they were in a relationship together.

But Daily Mail readers can calm down. Because one half of the gay couple is dead, and the other half is going to commit a crime that, although necessary to save the world, is utterly horrific, and the grief is going to almost destroy him.

Meanwhile, the happy heterosexual couple is going to have a baby! Isn't that nice?

The show started out with five main characters: a white pansexual man, two white bisexual men (I know Owen's bi-ness is debated, but he was happy enough to sleep with another man in ep 1), a Japanese heterosexual woman who once slept with another woman, and a white hetero woman.

Which is pretty great.

But by the end of CoE, the only one of them remaining will be the white heterosexual woman. I'm sure that Jack will be back for season 4. I'm also sure he'll be miserable and self-hating and far from happy.

I'm pissed because I thought Torchwood was supposed to be different. I thought it was going to be different from Buffy, where one lesbian was murdered and the other went evil. I didn't think it would be like House, where the bi girl slept with women while in her crazy destructive stage, only to settle down with a man when she got her life back together. I was sure it wouldn't be like Battlestar Galactica, where the lesbian discovered her lover was a Cylon and ordered her tortured and raped, and the gay man lost his leg, staged a mutiny, and was executed by a firing squad.

I thought Torchwood might be a show where we could see a gay couple being portrayed as normal. They could fight together against aliens and fairies and the odd cannibal. That was the show I wanted to watch.

This Torchwood? I'm not so bothered.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 04:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not watching tonight. I'll end up downloading it later but I'm praying for their viewing figures to suffer. It's not like they'll pay attention to anything else. Unfortunately I think plenty of people will be happy to see Ianto killed off. Fandom is only a small proportion of the total viewers, and doubtless there will be plenty who wouldn't watch a show featuring a gay relationship but who might watch now.

I'm just annoyed because this is a show with a gay writer/producer and a gay lead actor. Did they not think about this?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm reminded of John Barrowman's comments - that this season felt like a 'punishment'. I know he was referring to the number of episodes, but I wonder if Ianto's death might also have had something to do with it?

Sadly I think you might be right. I'm just gutted Torchwood can be added to the dead/evil cliche list.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe. I hope so, because I like Barrowman.

I think the move to BBC1 might have influenced the decision as well. Gay relationships are fine for BBC3, but not acceptable for a mainstream audience. But I'm probably just getting paranoid.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it's easy to start coming up with conspiracy theories. And I'm sure that none of the writers of any of these shows mean to be homophobic. They're just all contributing to a cliche which says only straight people can be happy.

I'm getting all angry again. Damn you! :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-12 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I think we can safely say that homophobic is one of the last things you can call the Torchwood writers! (If only all their fans were as good!) But it's just so depressing that, when I see a gay character on TV, I know there's a 90% chance of them dying/going evil.

And now I think we're just repeating ourselves. Let's talk about something nicer.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I must admit that I haven't given the sexual orientation of the characters you've mentioned and their respective fates much thought, but when you set it out like doesn't look too good, does it?

I have enjoyed the darker Torchwood but I know what you mean about lazy writing; you know that I'm not RTD's biggest fan and I can totally see him choosing to kill of Ianto while in some OTT 'impact' frenzy.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-10 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's the thing - the season of Torchwood has been by far the best. Apart from Ianto's death, I've really enjoyed it. And I think you may have summed up RTD's thoughts perfectly.

It's a fairly well-known trope, killing off all the gay and lesbian characters. It's just depressing that it's happened in Torchwood, of all shows.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-11 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"I'm pissed because I thought Torchwood was supposed to be different."
That's exactly my thoughts. That's why I can't get over it.
That's why a hypothetical S4 (even if I would still watch it), just wouldn't cut it for me.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-07-11 10:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't even know what they'd do in a season 4. Either Jack returns and it's one of the most depressing shows on TV, or it becomes the Gwen show. And it's not that I don't like Gwen, but...that's not the Torchwood I became a fan of.


anitabuchan: yellow shoes (Default)

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