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Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 01.27.15

RICK BLUE

The new woman is a man -- at least on Netflix

MONTREAL | There is so much that can be learned from Netflix. And I am not just referring to the documentaries.

For years now in dramatic TV series, writers have been creating crusty but benign, imperfect but fiercely moral male leading characters who struggle to balance their jobs as heroic protectors of society with the chaos of their personal lives.

They still write those characters. But now they are women.

Take Carrie [Claire Danes] in the American spy drama Homeland, for instance. She is a ballsy, hand-on CIA agent who is uncomfortable even just holding her own newborn baby because she just wants to get back into the action of her job. This woman is not an old-fashioned homebody. Maternal instinct? What's that?

But her story takes us from Washington to Islamabad through a compelling world of terrorism and intrigue. It is a world of moral relativity where one is never sure who the good guys are. Just like the recently released CIA report.

The only things that keep her sane are the pills she takes. But she proves again and again that she is tougher than most of the men with whom she works.

Then there is superintendent Stella Gibson of the British series The Fall, who is brought in to oversee a serial murder investigation in Belfast, Ireland.

In a back story we find out that the local police head she now has to work with has already had an affair with her in the past. In an emotional moment the poor schmuck confesses that he would have left his family and his job just to be with her. She looks at him coldly and says: "That would have been a mistake."

In another scene she sees a young buff police officer she fancies and asks to be introduced. She tells him her hotel room number. He shows up at 2 a.m. and they have an encounter. Encouraged, he makes an Instagram overture the next day. This only annoys her. Doesn't he understand it was just a one-night stand, and just go away?

Unlike the well known stereotype, this woman is very far away from looking for a relationship. And, interestingly, what do these men have in common? They were both married at the time. The bastards! Perfect partners for someone who only wants a one off.

In fact, as strong as these new female characters are, the male ones are correspondingly weak.

In the BBC buddy police drama, Scott and Bailey, Rachel Scott is a hard-living, hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking police officer who also goes out and picks up blokes for a quick shag.

We see her new husband at home breaking down into tears because she will not commit to their relationship. If these roles were reversed, the critics might well accuse the writers as being misogynistic. But there is something fascinating about seeing a woman behaving this way.

Her working partner, Janet Bailey, is more responsible than Rachel. But she, too, has to deal with a pouty, moody and needy husband. Eventually, she kicks him out and gets her mother to move in to look after her kids.

And to watch this series one would get the idea that not only is Manchester the crime capitol of Europe, but also that their police department is completely run by women. The head of the department is also woman whose husband is trying to get back with her after a messy divorced caused by his unfaithfulness.

Suffice it to say that all the men in their lives are much less than admirable. These women inhabit a world where men are either horrible killers they have to catch or unattractive mates they have to avoid.

If you are into reading subtitles, the great Swedish-Danish production of The Bridge also serves up a prime example of this new woman. The Swedish lead investigator is a woman who takes her shirt off in full view of her office mates to change her top just as a man would.

And when she is in the mood, she goes to a bar to find a stud. He wants to buy her a drink but she is not interested. She just wants to drag him back to her place so he can service her. Later there is no talk of relationships. Not even an exchange of phone numbers.

The writers here seem to delight in contrasting her with the Danish policeman she has been paired with for the murder investigation. He is an old-school, married-with-children guy who is constantly baffled by his Swedish counterpart.

Hey buddy, welcome to the future!

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue in the West Island Gazette
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