Hi there, Emily here. You might know me from the wilds of Tumblr back in the day. I've been simmering over this for a while now, and I reckon it's time to let off some steam.
Let's talk about Buddie, let's talk about Destiel, and let's talk about this maddening trend of queerbaiting on TV, specifically pointing my fingers at the popular Fox series, "9-1-1".
First, a bit of context. When I say 'Buddie', I'm referring to the friendship (or something more?) between Evan "Buck" Buckley and Eddie Diaz on "9-1-1". 'Destiel', on the other hand, is the pairing of Dean Winchester and Castiel on "Supernatural". The intense chemistry and emotional connection between these pairs are undeniable. And yet, both shows chose to dangle the potential of a deeper relationship in front of their viewers without ever truly delivering.
"Buddie" has been the heart of "9-1-1" from the early seasons. Buck and Eddie's relationship is a central theme of the show, with their bond evolving from colleagues to best friends, and even co-parents of sorts to Eddie's son, Christopher. The subtext and chemistry between them are palpable, with numerous intimate and emotionally-charged scenes that tease at something more profound.
This cycle of baiting and denying resonates with what we've already endured with Destiel on "Supernatural". Dean and Castiel's relationship had a similar progression: from allies to friends, and then to something that many fans believed was more than friendship. Dean and Castiel have shared so many tender, emotionally loaded moments over the years. Who could forget that heart-rending scene in "Despair", when Castiel confessed his love to Dean before being taken by the Empty?
But did we ever get a reciprocation of those feelings? A definitive answer? No, we didn't. We were queerbaited and left high and dry, yet again.
Now, you might be thinking, "Emily, why does it matter? They're just TV shows." But here's the thing – it does matter. Media shapes our perceptions, our culture, our understanding of relationships, and identity. When TV shows like "9-1-1" and "Supernatural" queerbait their audiences, they're trivializing LGBTQ+ relationships and experiences. They're implying that queer relationships are merely a plot device, something to toy with for views and intrigue.
And it's not only disrespectful, but it's also harmful. For many people, especially young ones, seeing their experiences and identities reflected on TV can be incredibly affirming and validating. Queerbaiting robs them of that. It teases them with the prospect of representation, only to yank it away.
Alright, enough of the anger, let's end on a hopeful note. Because change is possible, and it starts with us, the viewers. We can call out queerbaiting when we see it. We can demand better representation in our media. We can champion shows that do offer authentic representation and support creators who respect their audience.
The growing anger and disappointment over the handling of "Buddie" is indicative of the changing attitudes among audiences. We're no longer satisfied with subtext and implications. We want authenticity, we want representation that reflects the diversity of our experiences.
Let's talk about some specific moments between Buck and Eddie. Remember the finale of season 3, when Eddie gets shot? Buck's reaction is raw and intense, as is his desperation to save Eddie. This goes beyond mere friendship – it is indicative of deep emotional attachment. There's also the episode where Buck is the only one who can get through to a PTSD-afflicted Eddie, providing him with comfort and understanding that nobody else could offer.
These scenes and more have hinted at a profound emotional bond between the two, suggesting the potential for a romantic relationship. However, much like with Destiel, the showrunners have thus far chosen to keep things in the realm of subtext, denying the progression into text despite the clearly established emotional connection.
So why, despite the intense chemistry and emotional bond between Buck and Eddie, has "9-1-1" hesitated to push their relationship beyond platonic boundaries? Why is there still an apparent reluctance to portray two main male characters in a romantic relationship, when the foundation for such a relationship has clearly been laid?
It's not about forcing a relationship where there isn't one; it's about acknowledging what's already there. It's about respecting the emotional narratives that have been built up over the seasons, about giving the characters and their bonds the development and recognition they deserve.
It's infuriating and disheartening to see "Buddie" go down the same path as "Destiel", especially when we've come so far in terms of representation in media. But the fact that we're having these conversations, that we're voicing our discontent and demanding better – that's a step in the right direction.
Let's continue to push for meaningful representation. Let's continue to celebrate and uplift the shows and characters that do provide genuine LGBTQ+ representation. Let's not lose sight of the ultimate goal - a media landscape where queer relationships are not used as bait, but treated with the same respect and authenticity as any other.
In the end, whether or not Buck and Eddie ever cross the line from friends to lovers, whether or not "Buddie" becomes canon, they've already carved a place in our hearts. Their bond, their mutual respect and understanding, their unconditional support for each other – that's something to celebrate.
But it doesn't mean we should stop pushing for more. Because we, as viewers, as fans, as people who seek our experiences reflected in the media we consume, deserve better. We deserve more than subtext and queerbaiting. And we won't stop demanding it.
So, here's to "Buddie", to all the unexplored potential and the love left unsaid. And here's to us, for not settling, for demanding the representation we deserve. Let's keep the conversation going. Let's keep pushing for better.
Because we're worth it. And so are Buck and Eddie.