Hey folks, it's Emily here, back with another dispatch from the frontlines of fandom. Today, we're diving into the heart of '9-1-1' and '9-1-1: Lone Star' — two shows that have captured our collective hearts for their unique blend of high-stakes emergency drama and intricate personal stories. More specifically, we're talking about two central relationships: Evan "Buck" Buckley and Eddie Diaz (Buddie) from '9-1-1', and Carlos Reyes and T.K. Strand (Tarlos) from '9-1-1: Lone Star'.
Let's set the scene: Buck and Eddie, our beloved "Buddie," two firefighters working at the LAFD, who've become an inseparable pair. We've seen their friendship develop into a deep bond that's almost impossible to ignore. Their shared experiences, mutual respect, and emotional intimacy all hint at the potential for something more. Then, we have Tarlos, the actual, on-screen queer couple from '9-1-1: Lone Star,' whose relationship has not just been accepted but also celebrated by viewers and creators alike.
So why is it that one couple is given free rein to express their love, while the other is mired in a morass of will-they-won't-they tension?
To answer that question, let's look at the two relationships side by side.
Tarlos is a breath of fresh air in the landscape of LGBTQ+ representation on TV. Their relationship is treated just like any other, devoid of the oversexualization or queer tragedy tropes often seen in media portrayals of queer relationships. It's been beautiful to see Carlos and T.K.'s relationship flourish, their affection for each other evident in every scene they share. From their initial flirtation, all the way through the trials and tribulations of their relationship, Tarlos represents a positive and normalized depiction of a gay couple, showing that love knows no bounds.
So, why can't we have the same with Buddie?
Look, we're not newbies here. We've been around the fandom block a few times and we've seen the drill: the longing glances, the emotional confessions, the profound bond that goes beyond friendship. It's clear that there's something special between Buck and Eddie. And it's not just us reading between the lines here. The cast and creators have hinted at it too, and yet, we're stuck in a cycle of subtext with no tangible progress.
But if Tarlos can work in the '9-1-1' universe, why can't Buddie? If '9-1-1: Lone Star' can openly portray a gay relationship, then its parent show '9-1-1' can surely do the same.
This isn't just about shipping Buddie for the sake of it. It's about recognizing the power of on-screen representation, the importance of seeing relationships that reflect the diverse experiences of the audience. It's about normalizing queer relationships in mainstream media, about proving that a queer love story can exist within a drama-centric show without detracting from its core plot.
In the end, we don't just want Buddie to succeed because we're fans of the couple. We want Buddie to succeed because we understand the importance of meaningful representation. We want it because a relationship like Buddie's, built on a deep bond of friendship, trust, and mutual respect, deserves to be explored to its fullest potential.
The fact that '9-1-1: Lone Star' can successfully depict a queer relationship like Tarlos proves that it's not only possible within this universe, but it's also embraced and celebrated by viewers. The opportunity to showcase an authentic representation of love is there for the taking, and honestly, '9-1-1', it's time to step up.
Let's think about some of the scenes that we've already been gifted in the Buddie narrative. The emotional hospital scene where Eddie trusts no one but Buck to look after Christopher? The way Eddie confessed his will naming Buck as Christopher's legal guardian, highlighting the implicit trust and love Eddie holds for Buck? The pure angst when Eddie was shot, and Buck's visceral reaction to the possibility of losing him?
These are the kinds of emotionally charged moments that '9-1-1: Lone Star' has used to successfully build the relationship between Carlos and T.K.
We've seen how well the audience has responded to the respectful, authentic portrayal of Tarlos in '9-1-1: Lone Star'. Their storyline is handled with the same commitment and depth as any straight couple on the show. And this isn't just good for representation - it makes for damn good television too. The chemistry, the slow-burn romance, the mutual respect - it's the kind of love story that viewers are eager to see, and it's proving to be a real strength of the show.
The same could be true for Buddie. There's a depth to their relationship, a complexity to their bond that would make their romantic evolution not just believable, but compelling. The potential for good storytelling is there, ripe for the picking. All that's needed is the will to move forward.
Here's hoping that the future holds more promise for Buddie. And hey, who knows? Maybe we'll get to see our beloved Buddie sharing a tender moment of love and acceptance just like Tarlos. A fandom can dream, right?
Until then, we'll be here, rooting for love in all its forms, and celebrating the small steps towards more inclusive storytelling. We've seen what '9-1-1: Lone Star' can do. Now, it's your turn, '9-1-1'. We're ready when you are.