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Author Topic: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"  (Read 4284 times)

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Offline Since1993

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"It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:11:07 pm »
http://www.poz.com/articles/dramedy_on_life_with_hiv_2676_25941.shtml?utm_source=mosttalked&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=opinion



"It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life With HIV"
by Christian Daniel Kiley (diagnosed in 2007)

In part....

"Shows are becoming more specialized, more esoteric—the talented television series auteur is a pretty cool guy these days. The climate is just right. So I’ll repeat myself: It’s about time someone tells a story about an HIV-positive protagonist. (Unsure/Positive!)

This would be a shift from the existing paradigm that we see in the current media landscape. We’ve all seen Philadelphia, Longtime Companion and, more recently, Dallas Buyers Club—and each of these stories ends with the death of the protagonist. HBO’s film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart is barely an exception because although the protagonist (basically an avatar for Kramer) lives, many of his friends still die; what’s more, the original play was published before Kramer’s own HIV diagnosis. Don’t get me wrong—I have the utmost respect for Kramer and his generation. But that version of the story has been told time and again. And the reality on the ground is different now. Thousands of HIV-positive people (at least in wealthy nations) are living normal lifespans. We’re having long-term relationships and getting married, and some of us are even finding ways to have kids. Not only is it time for a dramedy about an HIV-positive protagonist—in my humble opinion, it’s also time for that story to earn a wide audience."

Offline tednlou2

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 12:40:26 am »
Comedies usually stay away from illness.  Well, at least today's sitcoms.  I have heard "Maude" had the storyline, where she had breast cancer.  When Bea Arthur played "Dorothy" on "Golden Girls," they did a 2-parter, where she had chronic fatigue syndrome, but it was never mentioned again.  "Rose" battled a prescription drug addiction, but it was never mentioned again.  Those were very eye-rolling moments.  They were both fine before that, but suddenly had this problem for an episode and never mentioned again.

"ER" and "Grey's Anatomy" had characters with HIV, right?  I do agree it would be good for America to see characters doing okay to pretty darn good with HIV.  It is true that TV and movies have really only shown the death stories.  And, those stories needed to be told.  I think the only time "Will & Grace" discussed HIV was when "Grace" and one of her countless boyfriends said they got their HIV test.  "Jack" responded gays have been doing that "since Frankie went to Hollywood." 

Anyway, it would be interesting to see a show that revolved around a character with HIV.  The show couldn't totally be about HIV, I don't think.  I don't see the major networks doing a show like that.  Perhaps one of the cable channels.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I think a show like "House" would have done as well, if he had HIV.  Btw, I think I broke he record for the most quotes used in a post. 

Offline mecch

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 06:36:09 am »
Every "special interest" group has an editorialist who has some gripe with media representations. Or wants this or that in mainstream media.

I don't like entertainment that is created to treat a "special interest". But sure, why not, some HIV+ characters here or there, sure I'm all for it.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jeff G

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 08:50:03 am »
Maybe it can be a marvel comic type movie like maybe Super Infected Man . He can shoot HIV laser beams out of his eyes poop used hypodermic syringes when being chased .

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Offline Dan0

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 08:50:56 am »
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_HIV-positive_television_characters

I had assumed there were more main line characters in supporting roles than there actually were - and very few that reached more than an episode or were on 'regular' TV. Most were on cable. Huh. Then again, most of the series weren't that good (IMO).
"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

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10/2013 Stribild Still UD
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Offline leatherman

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 12:07:38 pm »
Quote
Thousands of HIV-positive people (at least in wealthy nations) are living normal lifespans. We’re having long-term relationships and getting married, and some of us are even finding ways to have kids. Not only is it time for a dramedy about an HIV-positive protagonist—in my humble opinion, it’s also time for that story to earn a wide audience.
so it would be a show about a regular life, but every night the main character would take a pill with dinner (if that episode even showed the characters having dinner), and the main character would have some anxiety just before getting lab results every 6 months.

snooze
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

Offline Since1993

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 12:47:38 pm »
An internet-type show like this might appeal to the HIV/AIDS community more than a mainstream audience.  Catch-22.  The community enforces advertising "undetectable" HIV as if it were "diabetes-like" to reduce stigma of the disease, yet this producer expects a mainstream television audience enforced with that concept to embrace a "diabetes-like" illness as though it were novel enough to captivate an audience.  If Mary Tyler Moore couldn't pull it off with diabetes, I don't think it will happen for HIV.  You can't have it both ways.  The unintended consequence of reducing stigma by removing the narrative of basic struggles those living with HIV/AIDS face fuels apathy. 

The reason why films like, "Philadelphia" (on Netflix), "Normal Heart" (on HBO), "How To Survive A Plague" (on Netflix) appeal to viewers is because it documents the reality millions have faced living with HIV/AIDS over the past 30 years.  Someone who is young and has only been positive since 2007 might not fully understand that.  Glamorizing a life with HIV/AIDS is not essentially responsible when there is a current upswing in HIV infections of young gay/bi men that continues to threaten the health of the gay community in the US.  HIV infection continues to threaten the health of millions world-wide.

It's really too early in my opinion, because the full impact of life-long antiretroviral treatments as it relates to quality of life is still not yet fully understood.  The long-term side effects of these medications such as increased A1C, cardiac issues, etc. isn't glamorous to live with.  Those living with HIV/AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of certain forms of cancer.  I'm sure a Dramedy cannot effectively tell this story in a manner that is realistic and respectful to those who have started with the AZT generation.

The current media paradigm as it relates to producing HIV/AIDS movies/documentaries is to remind people that people struggle living with HIV/AIDS in an effort to reduce apathy.  Making a dramedy about HIV would only serve to increase apathy in my opinion.

The only things closest that I can ever remember about anything HIV-related being produced as a dramedy was "Jeffrey" in 1995, right around the time ARV's were realized.  There were some very comical scenes, however it was correctly produced as a movie, not a series: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14IiOf62uGs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhOHvdiLaDI

That was followed up by, "It's My Party" in 1996, a love story (if you will) about someone with PML who decided to take his life with the "help" of his family and friends (not so comic).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48cviXgBSA0 (full movie)






« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 12:59:54 pm by Since1993 »

Offline Dan0

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2014, 03:18:25 pm »
so it would be a show about a regular life, but every night the main character would take a pill with dinner (if that episode even showed the characters having dinner), and the main character would have some anxiety just before getting lab results every 6 months.

snooze

And when you have a 'snoozer', what the providers would need to do is to make it less of a 'snooze'.  The way to do that?  SEX - SEX - and more SEX!  The pill, the sickness, the stigma, the challenges would all be second hand.  What would REALLY be important would be whether Gunther would disclose to Paul .... and whether Rick (who just slept with Gunther last week and found out from Steve his status) would out him. They couldn't help themselves because HIV is pretty boring. Jeez - come to think of it - it could do more harm than good!
"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD
04/2016 Genvoya UD

Offline leatherman

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2014, 05:21:27 pm »
The only things closest that I can ever remember about anything HIV-related being produced as a dramedy was "Jeffrey" in 1995, right around the time ARV's were realized.  There were some very comical scenes, however it was correctly produced as a movie, not a series: 
great movie! funny, real HIV transmission facts, poignant, disclosure issues, sero-discordant couple


Cptn Picard, Brian Hackett, and Jarod
(Patrick Stewart, Steven Weber, and the oh-so-very-hunky Michael T. Weiss)

as far as movies: An Early Frost (1985), the Trip (2002), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story (1997 TV Movie)

and there are boat loads of vids on youtube of people talking about "living with hiv"
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

Offline mecch

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 05:43:54 pm »
It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About The Luxe Life of Languorous Expats in Paris these days..... Oh, er, wait...
http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/whit-stillman-cosmopolitans

snoore

 :o  ::)


I read another review of The Cosmopolitans that did say there will be more and more niche series because of all the new production and diffusion models.  So every subculture can have its self-reflection.... 

I liked the pilot for Amazon's "Transparent" about a schlubby dad with grown kids who is transitioning... 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 05:58:27 pm by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline OneTampa

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 08:08:54 pm »
Call for clever chops writers.

 :) :)
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline idee

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2014, 01:50:51 am »
I don't think people really care. At least people not effected by HIV in any way. There has to be a reason for non-effected people to watch. HIV is a huge deal to us or those effected by it, but other people have their own battles.
I have learned this in my family and through the outside world. People are more interested in curing cancer or diabetes.
I also would not want to watch a show claiming to lift the stigma for myself and others when the creators get wealthy.

Offline Irish Eyes

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Re: "It's Time for a TV Dramedy Series About Life with HIV"
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2014, 02:24:07 am »
Shows like Helix, The Last Ship plus 1 or 2 others dealing with a fictitious virus brings awareness  and the ease of contracting a virus to the forefront.

Granted fiction is fiction but wouldn't be surprized if a storyline eventually turns to HIV.
10/30/13          Exposure
Mid-Nov-Jan    Seroconversion (7-8 rough wks)
12.26.2013      WB dx. HIV+
02.01.2014      OraQuick (result Negative?)
01.31.2014      VL 250700
02.03.2014      CD4  491  26%
02.26.2014      CD4  503  26%
03.05.2014      HLA B6701  not present
03.18.2014      VL 530873 (typical fluctuation)
03.21.2014      Start Stribild
04.14.2014      VL 104 after 24 doses
05.12.2014      VL 129 after 52 doses
06.10.2014      CD4 940 32%
06.11.2014      VL 87
07.22.2014      VL 20
09.23.2014      VL 43
11.26.2014      CD4 1350 33%
01.26.2015.     VL 27
01.26.2015      VL <20
06/03/2015      VL 28
06/03/2015      CD4 1135 42%
12/10/2015      VL 27
12/10/2015      CD4 1111 36% cd8+tcell 1058 34%
06/23/2016      VL 49
06/23/2016      CD4 1255 41% cd8+tcell 882 29%

 


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