Equality of the sexes. Seriously.

Personally I love silly shows. The kind of shows where the creators don’t take it all too seriously. If no one’s trying to sell me a moral of the story, I’m happy. There’s this old show called “˜Silk Stalkings’ and I must admit I adore it. It’s about two homicide detectives in Palm Beach who investigate the murders of the rich and beautiful. Bikini-clad young widows tend to throw themselves at the handsome detective and dashing young pool boys at the other handsome detective.

There’s a lot of silliness in “˜Silk Stalkings’ but that’s not what this site’s about. What really struck me as awesome about Silk is the relationship between the two main characters. Sergeants Rita Lance (Mitzi Kapture) and Chris Lorenzo (Rob Estes) are equals. Not just in name, but actual equals. They were promoted the same day even, so neither has seniority. They are obviously each other’s one true love. But in stead of one pining for the other we see two people acknowledging the other’s very attractive and agreeing that they’re not going there.

If you’re keeping score you will find Rita’s more often the damsel in distress than Chris. This I contribute to her taking more risks. When there’s a serial killer on the loose who preys on a certain kind of woman, Rita will always suggest that she go undercover as perfect bait.
The undercover cases are always great fun. They’re a little ridiculous. There’s one example where Chris goes undercover as a stripper/gigolo and to make his cover believable Rita has to come in and pretend to be a customer so they can pretend to have sex while someone watches them to asses Chris’s gigolo skills. As you do. They both get the most outrageously silly assignments in the name of law enforcement and they joke and giggle about them right along with the viewer.

What strikes me is the respect they have for one another. They care for each other as best friends. They know their own and their partner’s strengths and weaknesses, they joke together and talk cases through together. They trust each the other implicitly. They even have the same nickname for each other.

I can’t think of another mixed gender duo that was actually about both the partners equally. If there is one I am willing to bet that the bloke gets first place in the credits. Not so in “˜Silk Stalkings’, there they rotate the two leads so that if they get first place in one episode, they get second place in the next.

Of course they had to go an ruin it all in the last couple of episodes with these characters. In about four episodes there was love, sex, pregnancy*, marriage and death. While in theory I have nothing against that, it’s the execution of it that annoys me to no end. Suddenly, because she’s a pregnant wife, Rita is fragile and in need of saving. The bad guys grab her while she’s on her way home with the groceries (!) and Chris has to come save her. He saves her at the cost of his own life and she doesn’t do a THING. Marriage and pregnancy in this case, were character killing diseases. Still, they got it right for a while there.

* Kapture was VERY pregnant way before this, everyone was just pretending she wasn’t. This is called acting. It was hilarious to watch.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    At the risk of sounding like a big negative party pooper… it sounds like geez, they really blew it in those last few episodes, didn’t they? Kind of turns all that equality into a big tease, all leading up to the only true TV resolution for any couple: love, sex, marriage, pregnancy and death, as you put it.

    Still, sounds like it was truly something special before that.

  2. Maartje says

    But that’s ALWAYS the case. The X-files, Moonlighting, Lois&Clark they all started sucking once the leads got together. Then TPTB say that it’s because of the lack of sexual tension. I think it may have something to do with the complete character transplants they suddenly give out.

  3. says

    I can’t think of another mixed gender duo that was actually about both the partners equally.

    “Hunter” came pretty close, I think. They didn’t even have sexual tension as a plot point. Hunter and McCall were just partners.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    Ooooh, Ragtime, that’s a good catch! I don’t know if I saw that show to the end, but as far as I recall, you’re exactly right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.