Monday, January 10, 2011

People are still writing these articles?

I usually like Salon, but I just read an article by Matt Zoller Seitz about Californication that was pretty dumb. The author calls the show an "atrocious masculine fantasy". The basic point is that because the show's main character is often sexist, that means it's a sexist show. It reminded me of a similar comment about House I read on a blog or something not too long ago.

Do serious adult literary/television/movie critics really still believe that characters should be paragons of virtue, or "role models"? Just because characters have flaws, that doesn't mean we're supposed to approve. We're not really supposed to "disapprove" either, exactly, because art isn't about approving and disapproving. It's about taking a look at people and their problems, looking for some kind of truth about human behavior. Sometimes truth comes in the form of ugliness. Does that mean we should pretend the ugliness doesn't exist? What's next, is someone going to remove the word "nigger" from Huckleberry Finn? Oh wait.

Californication really has a lot of heart, in addition to being funny. And it's full of smart women characters! It's a shame to see a reviewer apparently unable to see things beyond a superficial level.

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