Saturday, February 16, 2013

Straight white male fantasy web series "Compulsive Love"

Lots and lots and lots of women  feel compelled to have sex with this guy
- in male fantasy land. I feel compelled to offer him a piece of Cheddar.

I didn't have to be told that the people responsible for "Compulsive Love" were a bunch of straight white men. The casting of the series made that crystal clear.

 However, I was also empirically correct.

Only in straight white man fantasy land does a scrawny, wimpy rat-faced man with a high-pitched voice have lots of sexual adventures with lots of women, without having to pay them.

I ended up watching the trailer because I have 62 mutual Facebook friends with one of the people responsible for this. I couldn't actually watch  an episode because they're all locked (behind a pay wall, I assume) but I'm guessing I would be as appalled by an episode as I am by the trailer purely based on the casting alone. The trailer shows rat face in sexual situations with more than one woman, which is unbelievable - hell I can't imagine even one woman wanting him - which automatically lets me know that this web series is most emphatically not aimed at straight women. And presumably they are not prostitutes since he spouts something about love at the beginning of the trailer. If they were prostitutes and he just kept falling in love with prostitutes - that I could believe.

This is why gay male and straight female playwrights should be wary of working with any project dominated by straight men, especially as directors. They are completely resistant to casting the male object of desire using an actor who is actually hot.

I worked with two straight white male directors and can testify to this. Oliver Butler directed a play of mine ten years ago, and although I was impressed by much of his work as a director, I was very disappointed by his casting choice for the male lead in my play. The character was supposed to be a very hot guy and instead Butler cast a very average-looking guy. Because as far as straight men are concerned, any male actor, as long as he isn't actually physically deformed, is good enough to play a hot guy.

And then there was the dread Edward Einhorn who, in addition to being a litigious and ego-inflated asshole, also tried to cast a seriously effeminate man as the title character in my TAM LIN. And I don't just mean the actor was effeminate in real life - that would have been OK - I mean he was incapable of acting non-effeminate in the role. A role in which he was the object of desire for a mortal woman and the Queen of the Faeries in mediaeval Scotland.

Einhorn seemed actually surprised when I vetoed his casting choice. Although maybe that was due to Einhorn's utter contempt for the creative rights of playwrights as much as anything else.

More evidence: I read somewhere that the Mad Men series creator Matthew Weiner was reluctant to cast Jon Hamm in the lead because - get this - he was too attractive.

Being "too attractive" is of course never an issue when casting female actors. At least not for the straight white men who still completely dominate the media.

Obviously the straight white men responsible for "Compulsive Love" had the same initial impulse as Weiner when it came to casting their lead, but unlike Weiner, were unable to get over themselves. Because if they put a hot man in the lead, it would have ceased to be the fantasy world they prefer; women might have wanted to watch the series, and that would have given it girl cooties and made it less kewl; and it would remind the series creators of the uncomfortable fact that in real life women prefer to have sex with hot men.

Compulsive Love is being promoted as a "romantic comedy" and as I noted a couple of days ago, the genre was destroyed when it became dominated by people who don't actually like women.