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June 5th, 2008

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02:15 pm - Odd and potentially hopeful TV
A few days ago, teaotter and I watched the premier of the new USA network show In Plain Sight. It was deeply odd, and I neither us know if we liked it, but we are going to give the next episode a try. The show is about a US Marshall working with the witness protection program. The protagonist is a fairly standard gonzo tough rebel cop-on-the edge type who has an impressively dysfunctional family and a fairly casual romantic relationship based on sex and their romantic partner doing them all manner of favors. In addition, this character is casually sexist and racist in a manner very typical of other such characters, except that the racism and sexism is made significantly more obvious than is usual in such shows and is also shown to be both problematic and foolish.

So far, there's, nothing too ground-breaking here, except that the cop in question is an attractive woman, the sexism in question is largely (but far from exclusively) misandry and her romance is with a hipsanic man who looks like he fell of the cover of a romance novel. The cast is seriously multi-racial, including a potential romantic interest with a handsome black cop. The show also featured scenes, the like of which I've never seen on TV, including both the protagonist walking into a men's room to talk to a possible suspect, mocking his appearance and hitting him in the genitals with a bar of soap and later attempting to find the location of another suspect by pretending to be a woman he met in a bar and doing this utterly bizarre and astoundingly over the top phone-sex scene.

It's a show filled with racism and sexism written by people who are clearly doing their best to not be racism and sexist, but to reflect the fact that the US is rife with both. It rare to be able to say that I've never seen anything remotely like this on TV, but that's the case here. I'll make up my mind about the show after the next episode or two, because in this episode the writing and acting were both significantly uneven. However, it's definitely a fascinating cultural artifact.

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