WaPo Finds Gay Dilemma With NBC's 'Bionic Woman'

Writing for the September 9 Style & Arts section, Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Padget found a queer angle on an upcoming NBC action drama. The ratings-challenged network is remaking the 1970s "Bionic Woman" sci-fi series. It's a ratings gamble for the peacock network with any demographic, yet Padget seems to peg the success of the show on gay viewers, and finds a way to smack around former "Grey's Anatomy" co-star Isaiah Washington in the process:

What's a thoroughly postmodern gay to do when one of the iconic heroines of '70s television is relaunched on a network that eagerly embraces an actor who gets dumped from his hit show on another network after proving himself all too comfortable with a certain homophobic slur? Okay, fine, maybe you don't get the Bionic Woman idolization. Maybe you've never been on the receiving end of the "f" slur. (What are you, one of those nine out of 10 people who "scientific research" suggests isn't gay?) But unless you'd rather be contemplating lesser, tawdrier issues -- say, the public-restroom dating habits of a certain Republican senator -- stick with us here. NBC's new "Bionic Woman" series, premiering Sept. 26, was not without a certain amount of audience anxiety before Isaiah Washington even came into the picture.

It gets better, or worse, depending on if your eyes are rolling around in their sockets or you're trying hard to suppress a laugh:

Emotional connections to characters like the Bionic Woman can run deep for countless gay viewers who see isolation and repression reflected in heroes who must harbor secret identities and who can't show off their fabulousness in their everyday lives.

I have to hand it to Padget. He's giving fellow Post staffer Monica Hesse a run for her money when it comes to inane Style section articles.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters