38

We all know that Hulu and Netflix are extraordinarily TRA friendly, with incredible pandering in recent shows toward trans orthodoxy. Trans characters are typically Too Pure For This World, and everyone who doesn't get it or suggests some alternative is a horrible bigot who deserves to be shunned and left firmly on the wrong side of history.

Have you seen anything recently that seemed a bit more skeptical, even if it might not have been intentional? I just started watching Flack with Anna Paquin, which is about a PR team that handles celebrity scandals. There's an episode where an aging comedian gets into a heckling contest with an audience member who is a TIM comedian, and the PR people try to educate him about trans issues by having him talk to activists. I DON'T think the showrunners intended this but the actor portraying the TIM comedian came across as SO narcissistic and opportunistic and entitled. When the poor little unpaid intern opened up to him about feeling left out in her office environment, he was like "You have the nerve to give a TRANSWOMAN a speech about feeling left out??"

The poor little unpaid intern is definitely the show's buttmonkey but she's 100% sympathetic, from the start. I feel like this moment highlighted just how easy it is to offend TIMs and made it a joke at the TIM's expense, even if the writers didn't intend it that way.

Have you seen any shows like this, especially recently?

We all know that Hulu and Netflix are extraordinarily TRA friendly, with incredible pandering in recent shows toward trans orthodoxy. Trans characters are typically Too Pure For This World, and everyone who doesn't get it or suggests some alternative is a horrible bigot who deserves to be shunned and left firmly on the wrong side of history. Have you seen anything recently that seemed a bit more skeptical, even if it might not have been intentional? I just started watching Flack with Anna Paquin, which is about a PR team that handles celebrity scandals. There's an episode where an aging comedian gets into a heckling contest with an audience member who is a TIM comedian, and the PR people try to educate him about trans issues by having him talk to activists. I DON'T think the showrunners intended this but the actor portraying the TIM comedian came across as SO narcissistic and opportunistic and entitled. When the poor little unpaid intern opened up to him about feeling left out in her office environment, he was like "You have the nerve to give a TRANSWOMAN a speech about feeling left out??" The poor little unpaid intern is definitely the show's buttmonkey but she's 100% sympathetic, from the start. I feel like this moment highlighted just how easy it is to offend TIMs and made it a joke at the TIM's expense, even if the writers didn't intend it that way. Have you seen any shows like this, especially recently?

42 comments

[–] Calais 0 points (+0|-0) Edited

Beforeigners.

It's been brought up on Ovarit before, but I'm going to mention it here because it's a good show. It's set in a world where people from different points in time (Stone Age, Viking Age, Victorian) have started appearing out of the blue and are being integrated into modern society. Notably, there's a group who call themselves 'transtemporal' and are composed of people who are not from the past, but are pretending to be. They are not taken seriously by the narrative, and the actual 'be-foreigner' character who comes into contact with them is furious at it. There's even a stylist who makes money off of 'styling people to become their authentic selves'.

To add to this, the show has a refreshingly well-written female lead who is very confident, but far from flawless. There are multiple female side characters and none of them are love interests.

[–] BristlingBo2 7 points (+7|-0) Edited

Recently rewatched New Girl and while there's a lot that can be said about the whole manic pixie dream girl aspect of it (and a lot of other things) there were at least two quite terfy moments. The one was when Jess has her period and really bad PMS and Winston claims to have PMS too. Nick shouts at him that he can't have PMS because he doesn't have a uterus.

The episode I saw last night had Schmidt yelling something like "Of course I understand women, I'm practically a woman on the inside" and everyone just looks at him like he's completely insane and it's definitely played as him being beyond ridiculous to say that.

Of course there's the other subplot about CeCe needing to start a family ASAP because her fertility is compromised.

What's interesting to me is often there are inadvertent terfy moments in a lot of shows. As in often things "slip through the cracks" so to speak when women are discussing experiences unique to women. The things they say would easily get them labelled a transphobe on Twitter (because the definition of terf seems to be "woman with an opinion I don't like) and it's interesting that the writers of the shows either don't know this in some cases, or are uncovering this problem because of how incompatible trans rights are with not only women's rights but simply the reality of having a female body and socialisation.

[–] Triselly 10 points (+10|-0)

The Fall with Gillian Anderson has a lot of explicitly radfem rhetoric - it's absolutely brilliant if you like crime drama!

To a weenie degree, I might say Workin Moms -the Canadian comedy? There's a few scenes where they brush up against rad fem sticking points -including men's rights movements, male violence etc. I like the show a lot - it is genuinely funny.

[–] radically_done 17 points (+17|-0)

Criminal Minds has openly talked about the links between kinks, including crossdressing, and violent offending. They have also talked a lot about male violence against women and sexual violence. I recall one episode where they caught a man who was wildly misogynistic so two of the female characters went into the interview room with him, ignored him and talked to each other about their own experiences with motherhood (including physical aspects of motherhood) and being female in order to make him squirm, and then when he tried to interrupt them one of them just said "Shush. The adults are talking" and went right back to her conversation with her friend.

It surprised me during my rewatch. There were a lot of surprisingly TERFy takes. Of course YMMV - many women are uncomfortable with the show for showing so much violence against women.

[–] UberBitchcraft 1 points (+1|-0)

I know exactly the scene you're talking about, with !<Emily and JJ interrogating the dude who brainwashed Morgan's cousin! >! (I used to be obsessed with the show, okay? 😂)

After personal events, some of it is harder for me to stomach though, so I stopped watching after season 12 I think?

I never realized how many times CM characters talk about that stuff lol. I also love Elle getting revenge on that one POS serial killer in the first season, so satisfying.

[–] OneStarWolf 9 points (+9|-0) Edited

So a low key terfy moment from the new Black Widow movie I watched tonight (I enjoyed it!).

Slightly spoilerly, nothing huge:

The main bad guy is obsessed with creating an army of explicitly all women to become black widow master assassins. He kidnaps and trains only girls (for a misogynistic reason, of course). But anyways, at the end they show off his Widow army and it’s allllll women :) Didn’t see a single TiM in the bunch. The villain definitely knew what a woman was, lol.

There was also a small scene underlining the oppression women as a sex have to suffer with in the world that I appreciated being pointed out.

[–] pennygadget 23 points (+23|-0)

The Punky Brewster sequel series.

There was an episode where Punky (who is grown-up and a mother in the new show) worries her youngest son might have gender identity issues because he's effeminate and spent a week wearing a sarong. Her teenage daughter tells her that she's being dumb and should just let the 9 year old boy be a kid without pathologizing his fashion choices! I was STUNNED! All the adults read about gender shit online and freaked out. But the teenage daughter just said "LOL chill. Its just a skirt!"

[–] worried19 1 points (+1|-0)

The Conners is also letting their GNC boy character remain a boy, at least for now.

https://roseanne.fandom.com/wiki/Mark_Healy_II

[–] pennygadget 3 points (+3|-0)

The Conners is also letting their GNC boy character remain a boy, at least for now.

With Roseanne gone, I don't trust them to stick to the effeminate boy being a boy for long...

[–] worried19 1 points (+1|-0)

Yeah, I don't trust any show these days until it's completed.

[–] OneStarWolf 15 points (+15|-0) Edited

Which is the correct response all adults should have (the teenager’s response, not the initial stupid parents)! Still blows my mind there are parents being celebrated for transing little Timmy at 3 years old because he touched a Barbie and used a pink crayon one time.

[–] catspyjamas1 15 points (+15|-0)

Arrested Development - Tobias' character of Mrs. Doubtfire and his constant confusion about clothing.

Futurama - essentially all the time (Gender-Bender). I'm especially fond of Bender entering the Bending Olympics for Fembots and the anthem he made up "hail, hail Robonia, a country i didn't make up"

[–] armwontset 2 points (+2|-0)

The bending olympics ep is one of my faves (love the Marx bros reference too). Also I would like to officially propose we refer to TIMs as Coilettes. ;p

[–] EvaDemeter 16 points (+16|-0)

Anything with Ellen Page before transition? Hard for everyone to not notice how much happier and healthier she looked....

I liked the trans character on Penny Dreadful (it's an outlandish show to begin with, no TIM would have a debut ball in the 1890s, anymore than anyone would be a werewolf, vampire etc), but always find it a little interesting that the trans character gets dumped for the possibly the most radfem character of all time who assembles an army of women. I hope that was relatively spoiler free.

Posted this ages ago also, but the Norwegian show (available on HBO in the US and likely elsewhere) Beforeigners about people thrown into modern day Oslo from 3 different historical time periods (stone age, Viking era and Victorian) has a bit on modern people who've decided that they're "transtemporal" and transition to try to and appear as the 'beforeigners". Which really ticks off our heroine, a Viking age police officer in modern day Norway. Not remotely accidental, but threw it in anyway.

[–] DonKarnage 1 points (+1|-0)

Penny Dreadful was/is one of my favorite shows, and I actually didn't mind the TiM too much. You're right that the coming out ball for him was a thing that would never have happened in that era, but I looked at it as something Dorian just did for shock value, because he loved being debauched and gaudy. The TiM wasn't too distracting, and I think they played him well; he was very blatantly jealous of Lily, and showed some jealousy towards Vanessa. He was decieful and full of himself, and he didn't last too long.

[–] Lilim 5 points (+5|-0) Edited

Oh Billie Piper is a powerhouse in Penny Dreadful. It’s my favourite interpretation of the character hands down. I literally got chills over some of her speeches.

[–] DonKarnage 1 points (+1|-0)

Absolutely!!!!! The way she delivered her lines when she gave those speeches. Chills up and down my spine, she was such a pleasure to watch whenever she was on screen. I loved her! I was really hoping that the spin-off was going to center her and maybe Victor, but I was disappointed when they said it was a new setting/characters.

[–] hypatia 10 points (+10|-0) Edited

I feel like there are probably some great older movies, from the first wave of feminist cinema (like 70s onward?) that could fall into this!

Like Alien is a sci-fi/horror allegory for unwanted pregnancy, for example.

There's also some girl-bossy stuff from the 90s that is probably pretty good! I'll start to think about it... Ace Ventura, Pet Detective has a classically transphobic story arc.

I haven't been watching a lot of recent tv. I'm near the end of Season 4 of the X-Files (never having seen it before), and that keeps me pretty busy.

[–] Constantine 28 points (+28|-0)

There were a couple moments that had me side-eyeing the newest season of Atypical on Netflix.

First, the fact that they didn’t trans either Casey or Izzie alone surprised me, given the current climate. Then they sent the characters to a “Gender and Sexualtiy Alliance” meeting, and Casey didn’t understand or care about everyone’s pronouns, and subtlety made fun of them later on and talked about how she didn’t really like or fit in with the group. Even so, no one in the group seemed trans, just GNC, which was refreshing since they’re supposed to be like sixteen.

Then, in an episode toward the end, Casey used a fictional story about a girl track runner as an analogy to her own life (I won’t spoil how). In the story, the girl was told she must really be a boy/man because she was so fast, but she insisted she wasn’t.

It’s Netflix, so it was all subtle and clearly no one’s going to directly challenge the trans narrative in a show on there. But taking it all together I was left wondering if the director is a crypto-TERF, lol. She’s a WOC and they seem to be less susceptible to this shit, so you never know. I’m probably just reading what I want into it, though.

That's really interesting. I just watched Bill and Ted Face the Music yesterday and I thought the actress who played Ted's daughter was so good, so I looked her up. Turns out it's the woman who plays Casey on Atypical and I was very disappointed to find out she is "nonbinary" in real life. I've never seen the show, so I'm happy to hear they didn't let that influence the character.

[–] Ghostofbelaabzug 20 points (+20|-0)

Difficult People had a TIM character who was just an awful person, so similar to what you're describing with Flack. He was a conspiracy theorist, he was always trying to catch people being "transphobic" so he could play the victim, he was just exhausting to everyone around him. Everyone on the show was meant to be terrible, but I thought the portrayal of the TIM was particularly unsympathetic.

Oh my god! I kind of can't believe they got away with that in the current climate (assuming this was in the last 10 or so years.) I'll check it out.

It's pretty recent, it ended in 2017. It's about two unsuccessful actors in their late 30s. It's very funny if you can tolerate a lot of insider jokes about Hollywood. They had a bunch of Kevin Spacey jokes that aired before his downfall, for example.

Load more (1 comment)