So last night I had a dream where this pirate was stealing a bunch of movie props and among the props there were two other pirates dressed differently than the other ones and there were these weird spears that the spear head was like a foot wide and a foot and a half long and one of the two picked one up and said, “Look at these oars!” in that weird voice sitcoms use for gay guys. They both had the same voice and the other one said, “Those aren’t oars!” to which the first one responds, “Whatever!” as the second one reaches down 50 feet over the side of the boat and paddles the water with his hands, making the boat take off immediately at like 30mph.
The television series “Modern Family” touches on several stereotypes and archetypes. While slightly overplayed my favorite archetype in this series is the mismatched Gay Duo Cam and Mitch. Cam who is on the right plays a more flamboyant gay who wears bright colors and can quickly make a Barbara Streisand reference. Mitch on the left plays a more “normal” gay dude who has a level head and holds a successful job. Pop culture Sitcom creators want to incorporate gay characters to bring comic relief into a show. The fact that sitcom creators rely on gay characters for comic relief then leads to the stereotype that has moved through decades of film and pop culture. “Stuart Halls notions of “encoding” and “decoding” are useful here. For Hall, encoding refers to the messages deliberately included in cultural products by their makers; decoding refers to the messages cultural consumers glean from these products-not necessary encoded ones.” (Gibson, p. 305) The application of a mismatched gay duo is encoded by film makers with a certain message but is then decoded by viewers in their point of views. The archetype of a mismatch gay duo gives viewers the idea that all gay couples need to have one “normal” gay and one flamboyant gay in every gay relationship. Unless someone is a gay man the only quick and easily accessible information about gay relationships are gathered by tv series that have gay men on set. Unless someone is willing to join a class like Queer Cultures or take an initiative to dive into the history of Queer Cultures their only source on information can be derived from TV shows like Modern Family. While I must agree the archetype of a mismatched gay duo brings color to the stage it is also one that pop culture will soon be overplayed.