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May 1993


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Lisa Malcolm <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 3 May 1993 08:42:27 LCL
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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  This is a long posting, but as you may tell, I was glad to see someone
mention this show and this episode.  I had heard _Picket Fences_
mentioned often as a fine TV show and seeing it come up on someone's
list of favorites, combined with an ad I saw for the lesbian storyline
of last week's show, led me to watch it for the first time last week.
  My impression was that, as far as the issue of homosexuality goes, the
episode validated the gut reactions of the parents on the show - namely,
that coming out as a lesbian would make their daughter a social outcast
and her life miserable (this actually sank home because it was my own
mother's reaction to my coming out).  The fact that the daughter's
decision (excuse me for not knowing character names) to "choose" men, as
the show rather offensively referred to it; the fact that this was not
in the end celebrated joyously was a small consolation, but does reflect
the liberal reputation that the show seems to have.
   I actually thought the parallel storyline - of the woman cop who gets
passed over for promotion because of her sex - was handled better.  Her
lawsuit, although treated quickly like the episode in general, was a
nice plot surprise.  The scene in which the town mayor, defending the
need to discriminate if it protects the community, comes face to face
with the liberal judge who rules in favor of the woman cop was a good
   Overall, I think the fact that this was the first time I had seen the
show colored my viewing. (I also have a theory that one-hour programs do
not necessarily have an easier time depicting current social issues than
half-hour programs). I found the father character very heavy-handed and
unsympathetic and the show had to take for granted that I knew the
characters' histories together.
   I'm curious to hear impressions from folks who have been following
_Picket Fences_ regularly.
Lisa Malcolm