This Far, But No Further: Questioning the "Bromance" Trope in Contemporary Film and Television
Joffe, Robyn Linsey
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In traditionally male-oriented genres of contemporary film and television, the bromance is a relationship that outwardly suggests an acceptance of homosexuality, but is instead actually dependent upon both men being heterosexual; the closeness between these male characters is played for laughs, and no one seriously considers the possibility that the relationship may become romantic. This problem is compounded by the recent popularity of queerbaiting audiences, both within the actual narratives and by those working behind the scenes. I use post-structuralist textual analysis and interviews, as well as the practice of seeing queerly, to examine how bromance relationships are constructed and represented onscreen in the Buddy Cop, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Superhero genres, and the effects of those representations on society. Media creators have the power to affect cultural change, but only if they stop using the idea that someone might be gay as a punchline.