Fakity Fakeness

I'm intrigued by how many imposters are running around the world of television. There are three right now that I'm aware of. One on All My Children (fake and unstable Erica), one on Days of Our Lives (fake and unstable Rafe) and one on Camelot (fake and unstable Igraine). At first glance you'd think one of these things is not like the others as Camelot on Starz is a costume/historical drama but in the end isn't it really a soap opera like the other two?

Camelot has patricide! Secret children! Political maneuvering! Imposters! Lots of sex! Infidelity! All it's really missing are some falsified paternity tests, a little amnesia, some evil twins and a daytime slot and it would totally qualify as a soap opera. Sure it has magic, but at one point the devil came to Salem in Days of Our Lives and there was a vampire called Caleb on the ABC soap Port Charles, so it's not like the supernatural is an unheard of soap element. (And that's not even mentioning Dark Shadows, the gothic daytime drama that also ran on ABC.)

Camelot is of course the retelling of the story of King Arthur and all his famous compatriots; Merlin, Guinevere, Morgan. We still have the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere and one of his knights but in this case that knight is called Leontes, not Lancelot. (This may be the norm in some Camelot universes. I mostly know Arthur from reading T. H. White's The Once and Future King about a million years ago. That was a read I loved.)

Arthur also has to pull the sword from the stone, although in this case it's up at the top of a waterfall and the princeling has to climb to the top and pull it out while defying gravity. This is just one of many interesting new twists on the old story. I like the detail given as Arthur starts his new policies, which include a more equitable legal system. I don't like the same old same old Morgan is oh so evil routine, which we’ve seen a thousand times before. In this series she's not just evil with a little e, she's Evil with a capital E, which makes her kind of boring. She's obsessed with Arthur and is presented as a weaker, paler, more emotional shadow of her brother. (Sexist tropes aren't just boring and teeth grindingly annoying; they're lazy writing.) She has the ability to use magic but uses it to stalk her brother. Surely as a ruler with lots of people depending on her she has better things to do with her time. Some of her most interesting scenes have involved her dispensing justice to her people. It’s too bad the focus is on how awful she is when compared to her amazing brother.

Speaking of her brother, why are so many current television heroes creepy slacker types? I first noticed this while watching the awful BBC Robin Hood series. Arthur is super creepy in Camelot, but not nearly as creepy as Merlin, who must make mothers cross the street to avoid bringing their children near him.

But all that aside, the horses and costumes are nice. Is Camelot good? I can't really say. But it is a spectacle and sometimes that's enough. You can watch episode one of Camelot here: http://www.starz.com/Originals/Camelot/ScreeningRoom

I have one last thought, which contains triggers for victims of sexual assault. I wish that entertainment would address an aspect of impersonation that they always gloss over. By definition, anyone who has sex while impersonating someone is a rapist. When fake Rafe has sex with Sami she cannot consent because she doesn't know she is with a stranger. But when pop culture presents these scenarios they are either supposed to be funny or they’re just a plot point designed to increase drama. As if EJ hiring someone to rape Sami over a period of months isn't bad enough, a recent episode portrayed real Rafe as jealous because Sami "slept with" fake Rafe. You would think that as an FBI agent Rafe would know better but according to recent news items the FBI only views forced rape from a stranger as rape, which means the majority of rape isn't really rape in the eyes of the FBI. How's that for maddening?

I had a little more hope as I was watching All My Children as the fake Erica turned down the chance to rape Jack, but then my hopes were dashed when she made it apparent that it wasn’t that she was worried about Jack’s inability to consent; instead she wanted things to be more “romantic”. Pardon me while I throw up.

In other soap news if you’ve never watched now is the perfect time. Sadly, One Life to Live and All My Children have been cancelled after long runs. But on the plus side they are still going to go for a few more months so you can totally still watch and not have to worry about getting too wound up in them. Also you can be like me and just randomly pick someone to root for. Is someone throwing people off of roofs and stealing babies? Why not pick them as your favorite character? The whole show will be gone before anyone finds out that you’re letting your own evil twin have some fun cheering another awful person on.

Bonus Treat:
This week's bonus treat is an awesome comic about dog heaven. It perfectly sums up the mind of a dog, or at least my dog. http://feelafraidcomic.com/?p=368