A Surprising Gay Gem in “Hit the Floor”?
Hit the Floor
I didn’t know about Hit the Floor until the show debuted its gay pairing near the end of Season 2 this year. The way the show portrayed Jude and Zero’s relationship is something a lot of people will enjoy. Not only that, the show has enough excitement that you’ll forget you started to watch it because of the gay pairing.
I would’ve talked about this show sooner but I wanted to see how things worked out with Jude and Zero. It’s sad that there are TV shows that include gay characters only to serve in the background. However, Hit the Floor isn’t one of those shows. Jude (Brent Antonello) and Zero (Adam Senn) are well developed characters, and their sexuality isn’t their only defining characteristic. The show didn’t declare them gay the moment they stepped on screen. Instead the show decided to surprise the audience with a kiss shared between the two male characters. Now, that’s how I like my ‘gay character’ reveal. It reminded me of how Penny Dreadful did the same thing when Ethan and Dorian hooked up.
More TV shows need to treat their characters in the same manner. How many shows do we know promote straight characters by mentioning their sexuality to the world? But when a gay character is involved there’s always a declaration about his or her sexuality. We all remember how Danny was promoted as the gay character in Teen Wolf, followed by Ethan, and then Mason. Why wasn’t Liam announced as the new ‘straight’ character that will join Scott’s pack in Season 4?
It’s because being straight is still considered a norm. If a character’s sexuality isn’t announced before the start of a new show or season, viewers automatically think he or she is straight. That’s why I enjoyed Jude and Zero. Their sexuality wasn’t talked about until episode 9 of Season 2. It was a nice surprise for viewers who thought the two men were straight from the beginning.
The show has also done justice to the pairing. Jude and Zero haven’t been pushed into the background, and are actually part of the main plot. Their scenes of intimacy are also on par with similar scenes involving the straight characters of the show. The biggest treat is the fact that their relationship is actually being used as a way to make them grow.
The relationship that starts out as ‘messing-around-for-fun’ changes into something real in the finale of Season 2. Jude and Zero are two sides of the same coin, and that’s why they are perfect together. Jude starts out as someone who tries to reach out to people hoping they would reach back. Even his father disowns him when he finds out about his sexuality. However, as the season progresses, Jude starts to become more sure of himself and what he wants in life. His relationship with Zero makes him realize his self-worth.
Zero is a character who is always thinking of succeeding in life. While Jude likes to take things as they come, Zero is always thinking about the future. He manipulates people to get what he wants. He also doesn’t do relationships. However, Jude starts to penetrate the shell and sees Zero for who he really is. Jude’s the only person Zero has told his real name to. With the way things ended in the finale, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jude becomes the reason Zero starts to open up more in Season 3. I’m also looking forward to how Zero defines himself in the future. Is he gay? Is he bisexual? Or like Jude said ‘whatever’!
James LaRosa of ‘Hit the Floor’ and John Logan of ‘Penny Dreadful’ have handled the gay storylines in the most impressive manners in their relatively new TV shows. It’s clear that these creators, who are gay themselves, want to make a difference on our TV screens. The only odd one out is Jeff Davis.
When it comes to LGBT representation in Teen Wolf, Jeff doesn’t even try. All of the gay characters that have popped up on his show have served no major purpose whatsoever, and get a line or two to speak every season. Most of the gay stuff that does come up in the show is used for comedic effect, and it’s something I find quite disrespectful.
I remember when Teen Wolf was considered as ‘THE’ show where no homophobia existed. However, looking at the way gay characters have been treated, it’s obvious that the only reason there isn’t any homophobia in Beacon Hills is because there aren’t any homosexuals living there. The show does nothing for the betterment of LGBT portrayal on television.
Hit the Floor has proved it can handle a gay storyline the same way it handles all the straight ones. Not only is the show gay inclusive, it’s also quite diverse. The main female lead along with half of the cast are POC, and that’s something TV shows still need more of.
‘Hit the Floor’ is definitely on the right path to be included in my list of best LGBT inclusive shows. The show doesn’t treat the gay storyline as a big deal and you will actually find yourself liking the show for other reason as well.
Have you watched ‘Hit the Floor’? What are your thoughts regarding Jude and Zero? Let us know!
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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