This week’s episode of Raising the Bar was filled with comments about perception, rights and stereotypes with the episodes main case being a questionable assault ruling between three young black men and a gay man. (Clever scheduling for Pride week! Yay Pride!) Who was in the wrong was thrown around a lot, was it a hate crime, who started it etc. While I feel like the episode did a good job of showing all sides and exposing prejudices in almost all of the characters, along with the justice system I was caught on two big hang ups in what they did.
The camera kept panning over to their house gay character like we were all waiting for him to be truly appalled or to start crying or something. After a while the panning became a little too much. It was as if the show was saying ‘look! we have a gay man too!’ We’re sensitive and well rounded! Granted they countered it with good writing and actually gave Charlie some extra depth when it came down to how he felt about the verdict.
The biggest issue I had with the episode comes with the casting. Peter Paige is amazing. I love watching him in anything he does, this included. It had nothing to do with his acting, it comes down completely to the casting of him in this role. If your intent is to show prejudice and many angles of the case why would you pick one of the most well known gay actors? Not only known as a gay actor but known as a man who plays gay characters. Maybe I’m not making sense here. I am a big fan of Queer as Folk but why pick someone who will so quickly be connected to previous concepts and opinions about the topic at hand? The character was much different from Emmett Honeycutt but that correlation was immediate. I think the episode could have been more effective in its message with a lesser known actor in the role.
Issues aside, I’m really enjoying having RtB back. It’s everything it was before and more.