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This week the question of sex is approached as well as the ins and outs of Gender Reassignment Surgery. The latter is illustrated by the use of a jacket sleeve which proves very effective. While we don’t hear all of the gory details (due to Leo fainting) what we do hear is enough to give us a picture. Following on from the art gallery, Leo and Judy head to the bowling alley where the ugly side of being transgender begins to emerge.
Two men begin giving Judy and Leo some hassle once they’ve twigged that she’s transgender and it provides a much-needed reality check for the show. Being transgender isn’t all about the accepting family and accepting boyfriend. There’s a nasty side where insults like “Girlfriend, is that what you call it” and “freak” get bandied about.
Sure, Judy blends in fairly well, but she still gets hassle sometimes and it was so important for the series to show this. While Leo attempts to defend Judy, she proves quite capable of defending herself by punching one of the lads. While it was perhaps important to show that Judy is quite capable of defending herself, the punch smacked of transgender stereotyping.
Like the microphone announcement last week, it’s questionable whether most in the transgender community would actually punch anyone in such a confrontation. It kind of emasculated Leo, which wasn’t really required here.
The third episode of Boy Meets Girl shows a lot of growth from the show’s opener earlier this month.
The actors appear more settled in their characters, with Jamie (Leo’s brother) beginning to show real comedic promise. Up until now he’s perhaps been just on the right side of irritating but here, scared stiff of Judy’s man eater sister, he’s genuinely funny.
Pam continues to become quite an unlikable character, forever putting down Judy’s family. “It’s a wonder Judy’s turned out as normal as she has!” she exclaims after calling them nutters. It will be interesting what she makes of Judy once she knows the truth.
Boy Meets Girl & Casting Transgender Roles discussed on The Janice Forsyth Show
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Ultimately, Judy and Leo are a couple and this is no longer only her secret. As she acknowledges, previously she’s just come out and said it. She’s in a relationship now though and she soon realises that Leo’s feelings matter too in one of the only scenes that doesn’t quite sit right.
Ask anyone who is transgender if they would stand up in a pub, get on a microphone and announce that they were transgender and not many (if any) would. While it might be a sign of Judy’s desperation to get it out in the open, it doesn’t sit right that she would contemplate such drastic action.
That is the thing about Boy Meets Girl. While it is very good – and, as a TV show, of course every situation is going to be heightened a bit for comedic or dramatic effect – it does still make some jarring mistakes, whether it be a misjudged comment about Judy’s strong handshake or a stereotypical thing like the size of her feet.
This week’s episode might not be as strong as the opener, but it still pushes the story along nicely and also builds on character development. Janine Duvitski remains excellent as the delightfully batty Peggy, while Rebecca Root begins to grow into her own as Judy.