TV failure of the week: Harry’s Law.
Let me preface this by saying I love Kathy Bates. I so wanted Harry’s Law (her latest TV show) to succeed. Mostly because of her, because she is different from what pop culture sells us. Her looks are unconventional, her career has been eclectic and interesting and there are not enough women on screen that deviate from the cookie cutter model. So I have been watching not just with interest but actually rooting for the show’s success.
No more. I am done making concessions.
At first I gave it the benefit of the doubt, in spite of my strong urge to run at the sight of “a bunch of wealthy and educated White people save the ghetto” narrative. I thought well, maybe it can go somewhere from here. And there’s Kathy Bates.
Then it got progressively worse with more non-original “White person redeems minorities” plots and subplots and I cringed so much. But I think I finally reached the tipping point: the trans* fail in the last episode sent me running for the hills.
The name calling, the misgendering, the alienation, the othering “¦ ugh. No, there are tons of other shows that already do that. And even though they tried to end in an uplifting moment when “White slightly dorky but successful” lawyer treats the woman in question with respect, the damage was done for me. Because all the other shit was left unchallenged and I cannot erase with one moment of semi-appropriate dialogue the other 40 minutes of rhetoric fail.
It looks like I will have to wait until better writers take an interest in Ms. Bates. But for now, I won’t be holding my breath.
Editor’s note – RLP generously shares content from her tumblr with us each week. You can find this post in its original context here.