Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious: The Five Gay Men On British TV And (Golly!) A Dancing Black Man In Julian’s Country Church
Mic Wright’s Remotely Furious.
THERE’S only about five gay men in television. Or rather five gay men allowed to present things. Graham Norton and Alan Carr get to do jokes. Doctor Christian deals with people’s weird balls and pustulant pudendas. Gok Wan can throw misogyny around like glitter because he’s all about empowering girls, yeah? And the king of them is Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry can do smart on QI, emotional on documentaries about depression and smart arse about language on the radio with Fry’s English Delight. Stephen Fry is brilliant but he’s also ubiquitous. He is a living, breathing representation of how crushingly lazy TV commissioners are.
Stephen Fry: Out There was a good programme with a good intention – to highlight the spread of rabid homophobia across the world. The trouble was it didn’t actually tell the viewer much beyond what the average metropolitan liberal already knows. The Ugandan government hates gay people. There are people in the world who think gay men are evil and spread disease. There are places in the world where corrective rape is common and defended by the state. Stephen was appalled. We were appalled. We all got to feel better about ourselves and disgusted with the evils of homophobia. Now: here’s some awesome adverts for stuff you need.
Meanwhile on Downtown Abbey, the fetishisation of being a poor servant helping your beloved betters continues. In the aftermath of the rape that made the Daily Mail go into meltdown, Julian Fellowes is actually bothering to write some actual plot. And…get this! There’s a black guy. An actual black guy. He says black guy jazz club things and dances with Lady Rose. Can you even imagine! Black men and white women dancing together. Madness. That’s exciting fiction for Fellowes. He doesn’t often see black folk round his country estate.
In the category of Stuff You Should Actually Watch That Isn’t Written By An Out Of Touch Pseudo-Aristocrat, The Tunnel is down right wonderful. Now, of course, Guardianistas will moan and mither that it’s not as good as the original Danish-Swedish version (The Bridge). But for those of us who don’t get sexually aroused at the thought of Arran jumpers, The Tunnel does crime drama right with a headless corpse found half-way between Britain and France and antagonistic coppers from each side sent to investigate it. Not having to read subtitles is definitely a bonus. Sorry I’m such a goddamn philistine.
Finally, The Great British Bake Off continues in what I can only conclude must be Season 543 with Mel and Sue doing the same old shocking puns and contestants competing to make the most Diabetes-inducing delights. A woman made macaroons with stilton in the middle during the semi-finals. That’s not inventive, that’s downright insane. Just as cupcakes are a signifier of American cultural imperialism and just generally disgusting, The Great British Bake Off is a stultifying sign of the middle class domination of British television. Stephen Fry is the go-to presenter for just about everything, baking and overly fussy cooking is the solution to all our woes and burbling bollocks boxes like Katie Hopkins and Kirsty Allsop are consistently indulged. Just batter me to death with a rock cake, I fear I can take no more of this.