Tuesday, August 21, 2007


A KISS IS JUST A KISS?

As a result of ATWT's historical Nuke kiss on Friday, I've received several e-mails and private messages from viewers who don't like the Luke/Noah pairing but are afraid to say so for fear of being called homophobic on message boards for their opinion. According to these viewers, it's not the homosexual aspect of the Nuke pairing that they don't like, but simply that the characters involved are... uninvolving.

So I put the question to you: Is homophobia the only possible reason to dislike this story, or can you dislike Noah and Luke not because they're gay, but in spite of it? (For instance, some people dislike all teen stories, some people dislike all Snyders).

To that end, if you were indifferent to Ben and Jessica a few years back, was racism the reason, or could Ben and Jessica have simply been dull? (For the record, I thought Marshall Travers was much more interesting then Ben. Then again, I thought Marshall was more interesting than half the male cast at the time).

Over on GL, if you're rooting for Beth and Rick over Rick and Mel (or if you loathed ATWT's DJ and Margo flirtation), are you against interracial pairings or do you just think Rick and Margo belong with the original loves of their lives? If you shuddered at Lizzie and Remy's near hook-up a few weeks back was it because he's a big, hulking Black man and she's a tiny, blonde, or because they were on a dirty bathroom floor?

Are Matt/Vanessa detractors secretly ageist? Did people who preferred Mike with Katie instead of Pilar have it in for Hispanics? And all those anti-Simon Carjack fans -- obviously Australia haters!

But seriously: Is it possible to dislike -- or, for that matter, like -- a character outside of their dominant, politically correct trait?

Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!

12 comments:

Loger said...

For me, the story has been told very well. My only complaint has been that the pacing was off. It was so slow in the beginning with few Nuke appearances. Then suddenly Luke became smitten with Noah without ever having had a real conversation. Then Noah and Maddie hooked up. Then in the course of a day, Maddie went from thinking of Noah as a fling to possibly living with him.

Sometimes it felt like the story was an afterthought to the writers.

I would love to discuss the merits of the story without having to hear about someone's religious beliefs. I would expect people love, like, dislike, hate the story like any other based on its own merits. Bringing religion into a discussion about a show with a hooker, porn star, murderers, adulterers, etc just doesn't make any sense to me.

I am loving the story right now. I feel this is the only truly compelling story on ATWT. The rest feel like complete reruns - Paul falls off another cliff, Carly lands in quicksand again, Gwen and the baby, etc, etc. Nuke feels fresh and "the kiss" was the #2 video in all of YouTube over the weekend which shows that ATWT can create buzz when they tell compelling stories about realistic and DIVERSE characters.

Thanks to CBS and P&G for creating this international sensation.

PGP Classic Soaps said...

Hi, Roger -

Thank you for your informed, well-written post.

As a result of how intelligently you phrased your answer, I am even more curious to hear your opinion on the original question posed: Do you think it's possible for someone to not like the character of Luke not because he's gay, but just because they don't like the character of Luke? (For say, the same reason they dislike another character, be it his relationship with his mother, the fact that he once drank and drove or his choice in sweaters).

And why bring up what you assume are religious objections? Nothing was said about religion in the original post and, in fact, none of the e-mails I got mentioned it. People who object to the story on religious grounds are not the ones I was talking about. They have a specific reason for disliking Luke and Noah and it is because they are gay. My post was specifically about the exact opposite.

Chopper said...

Of course it's possible to just not like the characters - much like it's possible to be completely sick of seeing Gwen, yet again. Unfortunately just a short read of the CBS boards shows that a simple dislike of the characters is not what's being displayed here. The homophobic rhetoric being spewed there is, in a word, vile.

I have to concur with Loger. Discuss the merits of the story and the actors protraying it without bringing religious or political views into the mix.

For what it's worth, this storyline has brought me back to soaps after a 25 year absence. I'd like to think I'm part of a demographic you'd like to keep, and keep me you will if storylines like this are continuously developed.

My thanks to CBS and P&G as well!

diversity said...

Thanks to CBS and P&G for creating this much needed storyline.

Loger said...

Yes. I absolutely think you can not like Luke and/or Noah as characters. In my ideal world people would like or dislike them based on their personalities, character traits, and just how much they interest them and not because they are gay or not.

I like them both for very different reasons. Luke is a very smart young man who has dealt with a kidney transplant, being kidnapped by his father and some personal anguish and has thrived through it all. I love the fact that Noah likes old movies and has big dreams about being a director someday. And he has shown genuine concern for Luke and Maddie at various times which shows me he's a nice guy.

I honestly have not see anyone bashing anybody who has said they don't like Luke and/or Noah and stated their reasons. There are actually a number of very intelligent and enlightening posts around the internet where people are wonderfully accepting of each other's views.

I would love to hear everyone's take on it. The reason we post here and on message boards is to exchange our views about the characters and stories. To those people who are afraid to post, I say post away.

superherofan said...

In a word, yes. In fact, I think that's what a lot of people would like to focus on.

Personally, I think the post's premise is just an intellectual exercise for the most part, because

overwhelming, it is not the gays and the "PC police" that are drowning out discussion on the

storyline on message board after message board. It is the homophobes and their virtrolic reaction

that are making people feel unwelcome and making them shy away from actually discussing the storyline. I would rather discuss how the setup of their relationship was poorly written, how a person might think Jake is a bad actor, than hear the constant harranging of how disgusting the kiss was, how gays shouldn't be on their television screen, and, yes, a lot of tangentential Scripture quotes about how evil gay people are.

Oakdalian said...

Let's not kid ourselves. Of course, some form of bigotry may arise when a soap ventures outside its waspy comfort zone. Luke and Noah's tale has been written horribly. It wasn't until the week of the clench in Emma's kitchen that we could even suspect Noah was interested in Luke. He emphatically denied any interest in him, and clearly stated his heterosexuality, urging Luke to consider friendship. If Luke was truly burned by Kevin, why allow himself to have feelings for someone clearly not interested OR in the closet? Because this is the only romantic possibility he can settle for in Oakdale? Why would Noah decide to sleep with Maddie and date her, but suddenly kiss Luke where all 3 of them WORK? Then he says the whole thing was a joke! If Passanante wants to make Luke look like a fool, she's doing a great job. Where was the anger he should have had? It's not that these characters lacked screen time. The time they've gotten has been squandered on making them as silly as possible.

schiffeg68 said...

Yes it's possible. ALL couples have people that like the pairing or don't. Chemistry is in the eye of the beholder. Some will think a couple has it, and others will not.

No one should just assume that if someone doesn't like the Noah/Luke pairing, that it is because of homophobia!

Personally, I thought the kiss was non-offensive and surprisingly delivered very well. For me, it still remains to be seen if this couple will click though. But I'm enjoying it so far.

Esther said...

I like the points you bring up. I too liked Marshall over Ben cause Ben was fatally dull. Marshall spiced things up. I also agree with the Nuke storyline being paced a bit...off. But otherwise I'm enjoying it.

I do take offense with your calling Mel (never bought them as a couple) Rick's love of his life. As if! That's reserved for Mindy. ;) I could even buy the argument of it being Beth in some ways....but definitely not Mel.

LonePirate said...

The problems I have had with the Luke and Noah story were a result of poor writing during the first two months Noah was in Oakdale. The writers should never have paired him up with Maddie if he was destined to be Luke without giving the user some indication that Noah was bisexual, a homosexual in denial or simply unsure of his sexuality. We never saw any of that during the first two months as all we saw was Noah acting and thinking like he was completely and assuredly heterosexual.

Furthermore, Luke's attraction to Noah has never been explained. Is he attracted to him because he's good looking? Or is there some other reason? The viewer has no idea and the writers have written so few scenes between only Luke and Noah to flush out these reasons. Without understanding why Luke is attracted to Noah, it's very difficult to enjoy this storyline even without the added complications of Noah's questionable sexuality and his relationship with Maddie.

This story has plenty of potential but it has to be written honestly and it needs to be more even handed and less mysterious regarding the characters' motives and emotions.

karen said...

I've been on a couple of different message boards and read discussions that do address the merits of the story telling, character development, acting talent etc. I've read several posts that have been critical of the story and never seen anyone accuse that person of being homophobic.

I have also been on message boards where people have stated that they don't want to see a gay relationship on their soap - even in those cases I have read responses that have argued for the importance of seeing diverse people represented rather than bashed people for being closed minded.

All of that said, I don't think a story like Luke and Noah's can or should be discussed without putting it in the context of the lack of gay stories on daytime television. It is enormously important for viewers of all identies (gay, straight, asian american, black, women, men etc.) to see themselves represented and when you don't get to see people like you often or at all when a story like this breaks through it's impossible not to respond to the social context as well as the aesthetic. I think it's quite disingenous to imply that you can separate the two - what we consider quality is often unconsciously determined by our social beliefs and values.

I understand where your post is coming from, but I can't help but be troubled by the notion that somehow gay viewers and those viewers who want to see diverse stories are somehow practicing some sort of widespread discrimination against those who do not share their views. I think the story has inspired a group of people to be vocal in a way that makes other people uncomfortable. I for one have never been moved to post to a blog, but this story, and the intensity with which it's been written, viewed, and acted has inspired me to do so.

CandiceMack said...

I have no problems with the stories being told..its real life issues that goes on day and night..I dont understand why people are not accepting this when it is happening all around us.