Last week, the TV network ABC aired the pilot of a new crossdressing sitcom called Work It. The sitcom was heavily criticized by LGBT groups long before that for how it apparently portrayed transgender people. Well, I watched the show and, although it wasn’t exactly good, it wasn’t that bad either. Perhaps my expectations were so low that I was inevitably going to react that way.
Two stereotypical straight guys are unemployed and having a hard time finding work and making ends meet. So one of them concludes that he’d find a job if he was a woman, dresses up and promptly finds a job. Trying to keep this a secret (even from his partner) he soon tells his best buddy who ends up doing the same thing. The comedy, as was to be predicted, relies entirely on the classic male/female clichés we all have coming out of our ears.
Given the plot above, you can imagine I was not expecting anything funny at all. But surprisingly there are one or two pretty funny moments if you can get through all the predictable jokes. I was very disappointed by the costumes though. The crossdressers didn’t even look remotely convincing and nobody would ever believe they were anything but men in drag. That really spoiled all the scenes where they were dressed up and hanging out with the girls – which was what most of the show is about. Perhaps that will improve if the show progresses but for now it’s quite a deal breaker.The bottom line is, the pilot wasn’t very good at all, but it was about crossdressing and that alone makes it somewhat interesting. If they do continue the show, then I’m hopeful they’ll improve and perhaps turn it into a good show. For now, my verdict is: Watching the pilot of Work It will not quite be the most humungous waste of time in your life and you might even laugh once or twice.
The LGBT community has protested vehemently against the airing of this show saying that it fails to portray transgender people in a positive light and reinforces stereotypes. Well, I don’t share this criticism. Firstly, the show isn’t about transgender people and they’re not even mentioned once. It’s about straight average guys who are kind of forced to crossdress and fake a female identity. Now the average person watching the show might not know the difference between a straight crossdresser and a transgender person but that is not the producers’ responsibility to set straight. It’s a sitcom and not a documentary. Also, I don’t see why TV producers should have to show transgender people in a positive light. They’re not advertisers or activists for transgender issues and as long as they don’t portray them in a negative way (which they haven’t), then there’s nothing to complain about.In general, I find this kind of attempt to control the media and the entertainment industry by silencing anything that might be interpreted as offensive quite disturbing. There’s been quite a lot of this in recent years. Imagine a world in which broadcasts are only made if everybody approves.
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