My TV

10 August 2009

Kathy Gets Serious

By // TV

The DVR is an amazing device. It allows us to record multiple shows to watch on our own time and convenience. Now, as great as the DVR is, sometimes it has it’s flaws. For instance, inexplicably it decided not to record an episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Luckily Bravo loves to replay it’s shows a million times each week (trust me, I’m not complaining) and I finally caught up on my favorite summer series!

To my surprise Kathy did something which she hasn’t succeeded in doing since the episode where she releases her father’s ashes: she made me cry….a lot.

In “Norma Gay” Kathy takes on Proposition 8 (you know that famous CA prop which made gay marriage illegal). Kathy managed to maintain a bit of her comic nature but the entire episode was directed at activism. She visits a local GLBT shelter in California and finds a group of youths who she educates and rallies together. Most shocking was the fact that the vast majority of these youths had never heard of Matthew Shepard (the gay teen who was brutally beaten to death). Kathy shows the kids a video depicting Matthew’s story and the clear effect it has on the group is immediately showcased. She takes them to Sacramento and partakes in a march against Prop 8.

In another segment, Kathy goes door-to-door in Pasadena to try and gain support for gay marriage. Another crazy revelation is discovered when several of the Prop 8 voters express their confusion over whether yes on 8 meant yes or no on gay marriage. It’s mind blowing to discover that the tricky wording of the proposition is still confusing people to this day (a yes on 8 is actually a no on gay marriage and vice versa).

The water works really started when Kathy and the youth meet a couple who have been together for nine years. One man is losing his ability to walk but does not have health insurance and his partner’s company refuses to allow coverage. Kathy manages to bring a current and important issue to light by showing that this couple is the prime example for why a union is not enough. In a witty comparison to Sally Field’s Norma Ray, Kathy explains that unions were good enough for Rae, but Norma Gay wants marriage.

Episodes like these make you realize why Kathy keeps getting Emmy nods (and wins) for her amazing series. Not only does she continue to bring the laughs week after week but occasionally she takes a break from comedy and kills the audience with her serious issues.

Kathy inspired the 8 teens who were living in the shelter to lead a life of activism, and sadly she kind of inspired me to. It shouldn’t take a celebrity to be the voice of reason and stir people to action, but it sure as hell doesn’t hurt.

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