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pepper: Sam Carter the astronaut (Sam space)
So, LJ, eh? And I had the Redial recap written on time for the first time, too. I wanted to use this icon. Ah well.

In the meanwhile, I have been mostly getting my nostalgia on with Airwolf, for some reason. Okay, because I was looking at Rachel500's AO3 page and saw her Airwolf stories, and just... couldn't... resist.

I used to watch Airwolf when I was a teenager, and I remember the credit sequence being very exciting, and that the leading man spends a lot of time squinting moodily into the sun. Looking back at clips on YouTube, I suspect that Rachel500 has far improved upon it, when it comes to plot and character depth and story arc and, you know, general sense. I mean, don't get me wrong, I adore this kind of show - he has a cabin in the wilderness, by a lake! He regularly sits on the end of his dock and moodily serenades passing eagles with his cello (a Stradivarius, naturally)! Then they go blow shit up! Sometimes things go wrong, and there is HEARTBREAK, and then it's back to the dock! It's practically written for me. But IIRC, it was overall fairly unmemorable.

They still had the greatest character name in the history of names, though: Stringfellow Hawke. Ahahaha! *loves* Isn't it just great? And MacGyver thought 'Angus' was something to hide. With a name like that, you simply have to become a cello-playing pilot/secret agent with a tragic history and a stolen supersonic attack helicopter. There are no other career choices. Trufax.

---

Something in one of the Airwolf stories got me thinking, because Jack and String (*giggles*) are the same generation, or thereabouts. There's a certain lack of emphasis on birth control in those shows. Well, okay, not in Stargate (it's a different sort of show, and they don't do the casual fling thing so much), but think of MacGyver, and Airwolf, and shows of that type/time. There's always some kid who Might Be My Child. Even if it turns out not to be true, clearly the possibility was there. The characters have fairly casual affairs - being episodic shows, the love interest is usually gone the next week. They're often very PG, but looking at it with adult eyes, it looks like sex was had, even if all we see is kissing.

And, see, I'm not sure if it's me, or my generation, or what, but I can't quite get my head around the idea of simply forgetting birth control. Of just going around, having sex, without thinking about the consequences until the consequences literally knock on your door. Accidents, fine - the condom broke, she forgot to take her pill within the right timeframe (hell, that's one reason I'm not on the Pill - I'm bad enough when I have to take a short course of antibiotics), etc. And consciously deciding not to bother, I can also understand that - whether heat of the moment or not minding / half-hoping for a baby. But the whole 'I had sex with this chick and didn't think about birth control at all and now I'm ASTONISHED when some kid contacts me out of the blue and says I'm his father' thing? I just don't geddit. Or the female side, 'I had sex with this guy and never stopped to think that I might get pregnant until I'm throwing up every morning'. Never mind STDs, which as far as I can tell don't exist in TV Land.

The thing is, I don't know if it's a lie - something people claim to forget when actually they just don't care - or if it's genuinely something that people forget. I'm trying to work out how much I'm projecting my own worldview. I could never do it - I could consciously decide not to, but I couldn't actually forget. Even if I was drunk, it would be one of the very first things I thought about, the next morning, and there would be flailing, and morning-after pills, and Trying To Imagine How I'd Deal With The Consequences... it doesn't really bear thinking about. *g* And I don't know if that's because I grew up post-AIDs hitting the headlines (I still remember that terrifying awareness campaign with the giant tombstones), or because of my slightly OCD/practical/organised nature, or because it actually isn't likely.

Or maybe it's a combination of my age and gender. Are men who came of age in the sixties - like Mac and String and Jack - more likely to forget because they're less likely to have to deal with the consequences / just assume she's on the Pill / don't worry as much about STDs?

Jack, in fanfic, is usually written as fairly responsible (at least in the ones I've read) (and I'm not talking about badfic). That I find easy to believe - partly because of who he is, and partly because the series started in the late 90s. He knew Laira might get pregnant, frex (and, so I hear, RDA wanted a storyline where they had a daughter, which is rather adorable and I suspect related to Wylie's arrival the year before - it's a rather unlikely plotline for Stargate). I think Mac would be responsible in later seasons - saintly, even - although in the first season he's written as less so. I can see both characters being much more carefree in their younger years.

On a tangent, I don't think the shows actually conceived of the episodic love affairs as being 'casual'. They're written for a genre in which overarching stories aren't necessarily so important, except in the occasional linked story and (often) the start and end episodes of a season. Most episodes are written to be viewed as an independent story, so the audience can dip in and out. What is supposed to keep bringing the audience back is the repetition of a few key hooks, the things that make the characters who they are - and often Falling Desperately In Love And Then Tragically Losing Him/Her is one of those things, so it needs to happen once or twice a season. The love between Regular Character X and One-Off Character Y is true and important... that week.

But the overall effect, if you watch the whole thing, is that the characters are a bit flighty. *g* Hence fanfic. Tada!

Comments

holdouttrout: not your ordinary fish (Default)
[personal profile] holdouttrout wrote:
Jul. 28th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
I think dealing with contraceptives/etc just wasn't thrilling enough for TV. *g* I think that's also why a lot of fics leave it out.

And yes, episodic shows are strange creatures with many love interests!
thothmes: RDA & AT in costume, RDA looks angry.  Legend:  Make-up Sex in 10, 9,8,7... (Make-up Sex in 10)
[personal profile] thothmes wrote:
Jul. 28th, 2011 10:22 pm (UTC)
I think that many of the men who don't seem to think about contraception are actually the result of the fact that many Americans are very prudish about sex, and even the discussion of contraception was considered unacceptable in entertainment programs until the AIDs epidemic broke that barrier. Even then there are groups that find mention of contraception to be unacceptable in certain time slots, and they will not hesitate to write sponsors and complain if it occurs.

Or it could be that the men are piggish jerks when it comes to that area of their lives...

I think that fics don't deal with the issue much, because the example that TV sets would lead many to believe that such things would break the romantic moment, and that this would detract from the fic. I personally find it touching when he cares enough to be sure they are both responsible, and doesn't put the full burden on her!

I don't think that either my husband or I are capable of having sex without worrying about contraception. But then we have two planned children and two adopted children, and would never be able to consider an abortion unless the fetus was so deformed and damaged that it would not be viable beyond a few days, like an anecephalic clone.

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