Named for the film director Stanley Kubrick, who made at least eight movies where a major character has this facial expression. When some other show or film uses it, it’s frequently a homage to Kubrick. Generally it symbolizes that the character in question is either really, really pissed or really becoming deranged, and the person they’re looking at is really, really screwed. Other times—usually when combined with a smile—it means they’re feeling really, really clever. Either way, it’s really creepy and ominous. Although depending on the context, it can also be very Badass.
The 2015 edition of GLAAD’s annual report on the state of minorities on TV mostly looks like progress … But larger pools of diverse characters make it easier to spot cliches … One observation: It appears that what the website TV Tropes calls “the Depraved Bisexual” is only getting more common.
while gay and lesbian characters on TV increasingly are portrayed in a way that doesn’t make their sexuality into a large and dubious metaphor about their character, bisexuality often is portrayed as going hand-in-hand with moral flexibility. The tropes, as identified by GLAAD:
• bisexual characters who are depicted as untrustworthy, prone to infidelity, and/or lacking a sense of morality; • characters who use sex as a means of manipulation or who are lacking the ability to form genuine relationships; • associations with self-destructive behavior; • and treating a character’s attraction to more than one gender as a temporary plot device that is rarely addressed again.
Studies have revealed widespread stigma and disbelief facing people who identify as bisexual. Women are frequently seen as experimenting when they identify as bisexual; men have it arguably worse because they’re often seen as lying to themselves and others about just being gay. In both cases, the upshot is: untrustworthy…
As for why any of this matters, GLAAD’s Alexandra Bolles explains in the report,
“Though bisexual people make up the majority of the LGBT community, they are less likely than their gay and lesbian peers to be out to the people they love, because their identity is constantly misconstrued as either a form of confusion, a lie, or a contrived and hypersexualized means to an end. Perpetuating these tropes undermines the truth that bisexuality is real and that bi people deserve to be treated equally and fairly.”