Posing to Catch the Best Light, Our Hero Smirks: `Grab Her and Go. and Don't Be Gentle on My Account'
Lyttle, John, The Independent (London, England)
Thought for the day: inside every heterosexual male there's an evil, hair-pulling, face-scratching, rumour-mongering, name-calling, six-teated cow scheming to get out.
It's a brand new media moo-vement. But don't take my word for it. Begin by tuning into Sky One's, and now Channel 5's, soap opera Melrose Place and checking out Richard, Peter, Bobby and Billy . . . but mostly Michael. Michael's the Boy Bitch par excellence. What's a Boy Bitch? I thought you'd never ask. A Boy Bitch looks like a Real Man - actually, that's a lie (Boy Bitches live to lie). Genuine Boy Bitches, American branch, look like the sort of pretty but petulant pin-ups who take it up the butt in gay porn - what can I tell you, except that some weird stuff passes as straight these days - and they behave as if possessed by the unquiet spirit of Bette Davis in one of her bed moods, and bad movies.
I mean, Michael flounces, yes, flounces, sneers, preens, spreads gossip like low-fat margarine, is a right old slapper and conducts elaborate, sneaky vendettas against those who have injured his ego. Please - he once hired an actor to drive the woman who dumped him back into madness (hell hath no fury like a Boy Bitch scorned). Neither strong nor silent, Michael goes in for the sort of one-liners teenage girls usually practise in front of the mirror, which is obviously Michael's favourite place to be. Get this, honey - directing security guards to remove former pillow partner Kimberley from his presence, our hero poses in the nearest doorway, catching the best light (the man pedicures, OK?) and smirks, "That's the woman. Grab her and go. And don't be gentle on my account." It's hardly John Wayne. More Joan Collins. Well, hush my mouth - you can hardly blame him. If he and the rest of the male cast are Boy Bitches, it's partially defensive, because the women are not just allowed to be Mega Bitches, they're positively encouraged. This is also true of ITV's hit sudser Savannah and Sky's late, lamented Central Park West. Here the women have smaller breasts than the gym-built blokes, but they make do by flaunting bigger balls. Whether editing a monthly glossy and treating men as amusing trinkets, or casually blackmailing the boss into handing over half his riverboat casino, the ladies usurp male prerogative, no questions asked. Their roles thus reversed, the likes of Travis, "the handsomest straight guy in the state" (not to mention the most precious) are obliged to follow the route trail-blazed by gorgeous pieces of female ass and marry into major money. Travis is bitter and twisted, and so is Tom, another Boy Bitch with the annoying habit of ringing up rivals for a midnight gloat: "Poor, dear Veronica. I see that Edward still hasn't ushered you down the aisle. Better luck next man." Tell me, am I the only one who half-expects him to remove the ear-rings that are so metaphorically there every time he lifts the receiver? …