DO your favourite old TV shows give you a twinge of unease about the stereotypes and sexual objectification? Definitely avoid watching these with an actual woke young person.
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
Erin Gray as Colonel Deering had to be sewn into her extremely tight catsuit, so this rather generic sci-fi series could be seen as a tad sexist. Certainly your woke young friend will find it appalling, although they may find themselves looking up clips on the internet to be appalled by in the privacy of their own bedroom.
At times Bodie and Doyle are just depressingly sexist poon hounds. However, their abnormally close relationship – spending all their free time together, a shared love of phallic firearms – was deeply homoerotic, so it’s actually as woke as watching all the BBC’s Pride coverage.
The Adventures of Rupert Bear
The worst kind of reactionary propaganda. Mrs Bear (hasn’t she got a name?) is trapped in domestic servitude by the patriarchy (Mr Bear) who maintains the oppressive male hegemony. Every character is white, apart from Bill, and he’s a badger. Worst of all, there is no trigger warning for the episode with Raggety, the f**king terrifying wood troll. And they showed it to kids?
Woke types won’t like criticising ‘the only gay in the village’ because Matt Lucas is gay. You can even make a case for Lou and Andy, the bogus disabled guy and his carer, because the joke is really the taboo subject. Then along comes the David Walliams’ blackface character Desiree, who looks like something out of actual Nazi propaganda. Definitely avoid the later series, which is no great loss unless you’re a fan of repetition and total shit.
Didn’t quite deserve its reputation for sexism and casual racism, although lines like ‘Cor, that Sheila has got some lunch on her!’ haven’t aged well. Or indeed comprehensibly. Do large breasts = lunch, like breastfeeding? Weird. Whatever the outdated attitudes of Jack Regan and George Carter, they’re of their time and you can’t change that any more than you can make Henry VIII introduce a continental-style system of proportional representation.
Women in the original series were confusing; they could be wide-eyed receptacles for exposition, screaming bimbos, or more than a match for the Doctor, with Jo Grant randomly switching between all three. And that’s before you even get onto Leela, the strong female character/cracking bit of stuff in a leather leotard. The lack of racial diversity is more damning, with Noel Clarke not showing up until 2005. However, woke viewers can’t complain – ‘NuWho’ massively overcompensated for these failings, so now it’s a dog’s dinner of token gay aliens, unconvincing female authority figures and too many Northerners.
You have to admit Fawlty Towers tended to have its cake and eat it. Yes, we’re laughing at Basil’s attitudes, but we’re also having a good laugh at lines like ‘You invaded Poland!’. However it’s genuinely funny and just a sitcom. There are far worse acts of prejudice and cruelty for woke people to fight against. Like Love Thy Neighbour.