What do you do when you like a show, but you hate how it treats queers?
Meet Father Brown
I’ve been binging Father Brown on Netflix and I greatly enjoy the show. It’s a period drama of a Catholic priest solving crimes. And for that, it’s been great fun to watch. But it’s also killed three out of five queer females, and it’s five for five with them being evil.
I wasn’t planning to watch the show for the queers going in. It’s not like a show about a Catholic priest is high on my list of shows about the gay women, and when we ran into the first one, it was a surprise. Given the time period of the show, the 50s and 60s, it was handled with about as much care as I’ve come to expect. I know how messed up history is, after all. They had one lesbian, and she was infamous for being a hunter. Okay, one lesbian, and she was crazy but not because she was gay. I could live with that.
It Got Worse
But in the last season, the one that aired in 2017, the show became suddenly sensationalist. They killed off gay men and women, they had a whole plot about a lesbian love affair book (“Lucia and Lulu” – a book that has appeared in multiple seasons), and then the lesbians were evil. A few episodes later, one was mentally ill and murdered others because of it. In order to prevent her suicide, the object of her love pretended to have feelings, so the killer could get help.
At that moment, I was torn. On the one hand, I hate when straight women play with the hearts of lesbians. On the other hand, I’m grateful she did it to save a live. On the other other hand, the whole “she’s crazy and gay” angle could have been avoided.
It was a mess. I wasn’t happy at all. And while I still like the show, I find myself frustrated at the representation. I felt betrayed.
This feeling, this absentminded bigotry towards the queers is why I wanted to do this website. The casual negligence of throw-away queers, of them always being evil or dead, stands out in a show that is otherwise very supporting and welcoming.
While Father Brown never has their titular character speak ill of homosexuality, the silence speaks volumes, and makes it a show I have trouble enjoying.