21 August 2013

Fostering reality in fiction

I was wondering whether to put this post in my Culture Popper media-pop culture blog or here. But since it's a rainy day and I feel like blogging here, I decided to log it in here, primarily because it's something that tugs on personal heartstrings, that's why. Saka gusto ko eh, bakit ba? Charut!

Because of this forced hibernation due to the current typhoon bashing the country, I was able to focus on the 10-episode season of The Fosters which just concluded airing in the US. It was a bit hyped in gay media since the show features two moms in the story -- lesbian moms, I should add, one a policewoman and one a teacher -- who have one biological son (the cop's), two Latino male-female twins, and another teen girl from juvenile jail or something together with her preteen brother. And families like this exist in "more progressive" (than usual, perhaps) parts of the US, this time California. 
Yes, wordplay at its, um, most common: it's about foster kids, 
a house with foster kids, and one of the moms' last name is Foster. 
No, it ain't Jodie. Well, I like the orange motif hehe.  

The show was also a bit hyped because one of their executive producers is Jennifer Lopez. Yes, J to the Lo, can you believe it? She greenlighted this project and I'm glad that gave the show extra buzz. Sabagay gumanap na naman na lesbian ang lola mo dati sa isang flopchina na pelikula, but I digress...

Ay-ay-ay! Muchas gracias por la porgrama muy bonita mwah mwah. 
Me + latina women = himatay, but that's another story lol. Hashtag dykewoes.

And another favorite, Peter Paige, is also part of the producer team and I should add the writing tandem. For those who don't remember Peter Paige, a trip down queer memory lane, you queer kiddies...

Yes, it's Emmett Honeycutt, the flamboyant queer of them all in 
them folks series we all loved back in the early 2000s. 
He writes! He writes! And oh, watch out for a cameo of 
Ted din in the latter eps heehee.

I love the show because it's simple: it's just your typical weekly family drama with your typical family drama tweens/teens/parenting/couple issues, only this time, fiction turns to reality since the reality you're seeing is part of our reality, or a reality that's always sidelined in the media, in mainstream television at that -- lesbian family reality.

Nakakatuwa 'yung show. Diverse din siya, na siyang tunay naman. I mean come on, you have a story set in a part of California that's teeming with diversity so dapat lang may makita kang people of color, right? Like the mom is biracial (black mum white dad), and the twins are of Latino blood. So swak! Inaantay ko na lang may sumaling Pinoy sa cast o kahit sa barkada ng mga bata at patok na tayo. Unlike another LA-set story we know na haller sa dami ba naman ng lesbiyana sa Los Angeles eh maniniwala kang walang of Pinoy descent doon? Pakilala ko kaya kayo sa mga berks ko doon Ilene Chaiken what say you? Anyway that's another queer hang-up we will take on soon.

But back to this show. As a writer, I find the show simple enough to navigate for a 10-episode trial season basis. Just present typical issues any household could relate to (parenting woes to teen son having sex for the first time and unprotected at that) but add on a "modern" twist or up-to-date info (to provide or not to provide the morning after pill to the girl na ka-jugjug ni junior), add some typical outcast storyline (latest foster teen girl came from juvenile detention and everyone thinks she's the bad one) and you get your typical teen angst dose (bad one does a may-I-pagtatakip the overachiever daughter of the family who did a bad thing), add your usual "ampon angst" storyline for all eternity (foster kid twin gets emotionally blackmailed by biological mom na druggie druggie, what else), and of course your usual star-crossed lover plot point pati (biological son crush si foster kid pero bawal kundi ligwak ang parentals et al). 

Winner sa tagline: HOW DO YOU DEFINE FAMILY? 

It certainly ain't mainly through biology, honey! 
Alas, some women in my life don't get that. Hashtag hugot! LOL.

Ang dali, di ba? Naku, sinasabi ko sa 'yo, di papatok kay Ma'am Charo ito, sa sobrang simple! Kaya sige, hirapan natin. Ganitech: 'yung struggling parents ay parehong babae (na hindi mukhang lalaki pati) at oo mahal nila ang isa't isa at oo MAY SMACK-SMACK KISS SCENES at MAY ROMANTIC TOUCH-TOUCH SCENES sila na full of lesbian love!!! Not to mention they have romantic terms of endearment at may storylines talagang tackling their lives as true-blooded "ordinary" or "typical" homonormative (read: boring domesticated lolz!) lesbian people. Ito ang sinasabi kong reality: na nakakatuwang makita ang realidad naming mga babaeng nagmamahal ng kapwa babae sa TV show na umeere sa gabi, sa mainstream channels. Grabehhhh! Sa ganung ka-deprived kami sa ganitong mga show teh, nalulurkey na ako sa ganitong expressions of love sa isang simpleng TV show. Kasi mas madalas, mga bekiloublanco at mga bekilynjose lang ang mga nakikitang madalas sa ganito, both foreign and local (harang pa nga sa local eh, di ba mga MHL fan kabataks???). But to see this story, handled this sensitively with utmost writing care and all, patok pare, patok! 

Siyempre what's a queer show without definitive queer issues. Maganda ang handling ng pagtanggap/di pagtanggap ng parents mismo ng mga biyaning sa kani-kanilang pagkatao, tapos tapunan pa ng religion kyeme sa isang ep nung may naka-date ang boylet junakis nilang girl mula sa isang uber-Katoliko sagradong pamilya. Grabeeeeh patong-patong lang ang issues pero swak sa panahon at pati sa adbokasya. Nariyang may talk of marriage equality at kung paano nga tumumbalelong ang queer peeps sa Cali dahil sa Prop8. Tapos meron ding issue/diskurso ng "undocumented immigrants" chuvaness. Wagi lang. Aba sige lahat na teh, budburan! 'Yan ang innovative approach to the familiar -- thinking out of the box but still delivering within the confines of the proverbial box. Take that, execs na takot sa queer issues on primetime kaya napag-iwanan ng MHL lolz! Hugot isdatchu? LOLZ.

I'm glad the show got picked up for another season, or at least another 10 eps daw. I hope they make it soon. In the meantime, will watch another lez-peppered fiction show again, pagkatapos kong pagtiisan pagtripan itong The Real L Word season 3 ngayon naman. Anyway got lots to say about that show as well pero weh, saka na lang.

Basta, panoorin niyo muna ito. Happy naman. Kahit 10 eps lang. 


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