Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Remains of the Day (03/21)

Facebook: Cute to see grown-up Jimmy and Kristy McNichol pop up in my feed this morning, the day after I happened to watch a very special episode of "Family" where Willie's childhood best friend (deftly played by Brian Byers) comes out of the closet after getting arrested in a gay bar. (Shocker: Kristy's character takes the news much better than anyone else!) The series was a favorite of my mother's, inspiring one of her first microaggressions on me: "Willie reminds me of your brother Billy and you remind me of Buddy," she informed me at age 8 -- like I was ever that butch! The 1976 episode :"Rites of Friendship") wasn't particularly homophobic even for its day -- level-headed Mom thought Willie was behaving horribly for pulling away from his pal -- although I was surprised that the moral of the story seemed to be that ALL boys have homosexual feelings when they're young but most grow out of them. (HUH?)  (Tip: You can watch it on YouTube HERE.)

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Jaradon said...

I remember watching that Family episode- recently I revisited two other infamous gay shows from "Marcus Welby MD" - "The Outrage" in which a boy is assaulted by his male teacher- but the show goes out of its way to make the attacker not look gay and handsome Patrick Wayne shows up as helpful cop. In " The Other Martin Loring" a closeted gay man is told by Dr Welby that he is not really gay he just needs therapy ?! Both episodes can be seen on You Tube

Jack said...

I saw "the gay episode" of Family when it aired when I was a teenager, living in a conservative Midwest town. I had thought at the time that all gay men were drag queens. (So I couldn't possibly be gay because I wasn't into that). In the Family episode, Willie's gay friend is an all-American jock type, which made me have to rethink my "gay theory." Kind of a mindfuck for me.

Jaradon said...

"Family" was considered quality television for a reason and that gay episode has aged very well. The gay episode that really affected me was "Lou Grant" about a closeted gay police officer