He's going to be straightironed, of course
May 7, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

No, if we thought there might perhaps, just maybe, be even a little safe psuedo-subversion of the straightironing with a secondary character, if we thought there might be some hints of homosexual dalliance on the side, or at least a little homoerotic tension to be shipped or slashed with a flighty sprite, a Renaissance Robin to his Batman, that avenue is closed off pretty quickly. NO! shouts the Slash Nazi. NO SLASH FOR YOU! NO SLASH FOR YOU! -- Hal Duncan is not impressed by the way Leonardo Da Vinci's sexuality is handled in the new Starz/BBC Da Vinci's Demons television series and is impressively rude in saying so.

Hal Duncan is especially annoyed in the way in which the villains of the series, aggressively heterosexual men like the duke of Milan, are remade as extra monstrous by showing them as predatory sodomites (his term):
Because, yeah, see, the peepee in the poop-chute... that's all about the power. The buttseks is to make that bottom boi your bitch. The assfuck is assertion, dominance, emasculation of the innocent young brave whose buttocks we are clearly to imagine being penetrated, violated, pwned in the pounding. This is the semiotics of sodomy--in the mind of the cuntfucker at least. And such semiotics is useful. TV is a medium in which concision is of the essence, in which a character must be established in seconds, in a single signifying action that sets them with utter certainty. And so here the Duke of Milan must be established as a man of vice. And so here that base nature is signified by his shameless strutting sneering sodomy. Duke Galeazzo or Baron Harkonen, in this monstrum of degeneracy we see every fucking bullshit predatory pervert in the history of homophobic fiction.

posted by MartinWisse (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Especially disappointing since it premiered right after the series finale of Spartacus, which featured Nagron.
posted by kmz at 10:24 AM on May 7, 2013

He seems to make the mistake of assuming that this show's writers care whatsoever about historical accuracy.
posted by GuyZero at 10:29 AM on May 7, 2013

Just checking... "Cuntfucker" is another way the kidz are saying "straight" these days? And that would leave hetero women...where, exactly? Down with prejudice and discrimination! (Unless, um, we're writing it.) Yeah!
posted by billiebee at 10:30 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wow...that show sounds pretty damn homophobic. The straightening of Leonardo is less offensive than the villain=gay bit. I thought I was pissed off at the portrayal of Edward II in Braveheart; glad I don't have to watch this crap, feeling really sorry for those who do.

Don't get the Spartacus hate, though; Kirk Douglas was great and Kubrick brilliant (as always).
posted by jb at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2013

(Yeah, I know Edward II was gay in real life, but he was also tall, athletic and popular, until he started giving too many favours to Gaveston).
posted by jb at 10:49 AM on May 7, 2013

Yeah - dude lost me at c****fuckers. And yes, I get his point, I am an gay guy. But as an Asian guy, I am also pretty sick of the lack of accruate portayals of Chinese people in the media - but I am not going start calling my white friends Chink Lovers cause they hangout with Asians.
posted by helmutdog at 10:49 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Esp. jarring considering Leonardo was most likely kinda asexual/grossed out by the whole thing. The one accusation of sodomy against him was from a public box anyone could drop an accusation into.

Also it's a terrible show that is made terribly and has terrible things in it - made doubly worse by, as kmz says, the pulpy, porn-y gay love story finale of Spatacus.
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2013

NO! shouts the Slash Nazi. NO SLASH FOR YOU! NO SLASH FOR YOU!

Yes, because the absence of non-hetero relationships in a show or even hinting subtext has always stopped fans of slash
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:13 AM on May 7, 2013 [5 favorites]

trying to deny slash just makes it stronger.

Exhibit A: Supernatural.
posted by The Whelk at 11:24 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Do you eat snails?
posted by damo at 11:51 AM on May 7, 2013

One does not simply ... deny slash.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:17 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was kind of miffed that a TV show about DaVinci would shy away dealing with the possibility of his homosexuality. But when you put it that way, maybe the producers have the right idea.
posted by straight at 3:00 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

It really is a terrible show, from what I've seen, and this just makes it that much more ridiculous.

Just checking... "Cuntfucker" is another way the kidz are saying "straight" these days?

Egads, I hope not. Maybe the sudden popularity of "cunt punt" has everyone jumping on the c-wagon.
posted by homunculus at 4:38 PM on May 7, 2013

Okay, I am very unimpressed with this show based on the description, and I had been interested in it before. But it also makes me not want to check out Hal Duncan's work.

I tend to expect historical sexuality not to necessarily look like modern concepts of sexuality. But that's probably well beyond what we should expect in terms of historical accuracy from historical soap operas. Except for the part where The Tudors did some interesting stuff with it in S1 with Tallis, if I recall correctly.
posted by immlass at 5:20 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't see why these sorts of historical programs need to bring sex into it at all.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:02 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah it's totally anachronistic.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:14 PM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm really out of the loop, I was reading the summary as if the show was a reboot of Da Vinci's Inquest.
posted by detachd at 1:14 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

io9 has a recap of the latest episode: Leonardo counters sodomy charges with beastiality on Da Vinci's Demons
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on May 11, 2013

So last night I watched an episode all the way through for the first time since the pilot. You know how sometimes a TV show feels like the writers and producers must be laughing at the audience for watching this bullshit which they are somehow getting paid to make? Yeah.
posted by homunculus at 4:25 PM on May 18, 2013

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