HBO’s cliched attempt at making pimping cool

Equal opportunity pimpin'?

Equal opportunity pimpin'?

With women being lured to foreign countries for a life of prostitution, children abducted for both sex & labor, and men trafficked for profit, are we really supposed to be buy into HBO’s new show about a white guy who becomes a gigolo?

This latest attempt to use the unlikely-candidate-for-life-of-crime narrative, to me, signals this particular genre jumping the shark. From Breaking Bad to Weeds to Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco is always worth watching, I must admit), this idea that there are some people we don’t expect to commit crimes, but it’s cool when they do, is seriously played out. Double X reviews: I concur.

But to then ask viewers, or web cruisers, to participate in pimping the main character of the HBO show HUNG merely continues the sad recuperation of pimping (i.e. the exploitation of another person for financial gain) evident in pop culture artefacts, such as Pimp My Ride or the hipster valorization of Iceberg Slim novels.

And don’t try to give me that, “Pimping doesn’t mean pimping. Pimping is a way of life.” I barely buy Katt Williams’ definition of pimping and I like him, so don’t even try it. But enjoy a little edumacation from Katt anyway…

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1 Comment

Filed under feminism, mainstream media, TV, work

One response to “HBO’s cliched attempt at making pimping cool

  1. jke4

    Good point, 4everuppity. I guess as a trend it sort of falls under the umbrella ‘Discrepancy TV’, since in every instance we’re supposed to be bowled over by the difference between our expectations and the characters presented to us. (Come to think of it, the whole SuBo insanity fell under that umbrella too: ‘Someone who doesn’t look like Mariah Carey can still sing!! Who knew?’) And as you point out, the idea of pimping is supposed to be oh-so-amusing, and to have nothing to do with the reality of things like trafficking.

    Lately I’ve been feeling like things I’m NOT supposed to be offended by is getting longer by the day–Bruno, anyone?–and more than rivals any supposed PC list that ever existed. Maybe we need a phrase for this particular cultural straightjacket–the one that says that if you have to abandon your principles anytime someone tries to make you laugh, and if you don’t, you’re some kind of humorless loser. Compulsory hipness? Amusement enforcement?

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