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Why Whitechapel is the best exploration of sexual identity I've ever seen

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screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-3-27-55-pm.png

 

Has anyone else seen this British police procedural? 

 

There's a lot going on with the sexual identity of the main character.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-3-27-36-pm.png

 

 

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screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-3-27-55-pm.png

 

Has anyone else seen this British police procedural? 

 

There's a lot going on with the sexual identity of the main character.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-3-27-36-pm.png

 

 

Will it be available on PBS?

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Will it be available on PBS?

 

I'm not sure Ray. It might have already been shown on PBS, but sometimes these programs are rerun. 

 

It originally aired in Britain from 2009 to 2013. All of the episodes are currently on Amazon Prime. 

 

I'm just starting the fourth and final season. Hopefully I'll be able to fully articulate what's going on with the main inspector character. I've never seen a show like this before, or a character with such complexity in terms of sexual identity-- and it's all the more remarkable because he has no physical relationships with other people. 

 

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-5-14-54-pm.png

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I still have four more episodes then I will be done watching this great series. 

 

I will just do a random stream of consciousness type post here to explain why the sexual identity plot works so well in Whitechapel. If I miss anything, I will add to it later. Here goes:

 

*****

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.32.

 

Inspector Chandler is the lead, and there are several men and women who work in his precinct. Chandler is in his 30s. From the very beginning, he shows signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. The others automatically assume he's gay, and it's not until later in the first season when he even addresses the rumors, denying he is. At the same time there is a constable who works under him named Kent. 

 

We gradually learn about all the other men and women in the precinct-- namely, their personal lives and who they are involved with romantically. Kent is never given a love interest. Chandler finally is pushed on a date in the second season. There is a scene where he goes to the woman's home, and he can't take the fact that she doesn't clean. It's too messy for him and he leaves. Earlier in the episode we've seen Kent cleaning at the precinct. After the failed date, Chandler goes back and cleans. 

 

In the third season, he starts seeing a counselor. She is helping on a case and ends up helping him personally. He tries to date her but she's killed. Before she has been murdered, she gives him a rubber band to put on his wrist. He starts using it after her death and snaps it when he is about to lose control over various situations. We also have episodes where he keeps going into the men's room to put on brand new clean shirts.

 

In season 4, where I am now, he has to keep turning off leaky faucets. A coworker asks why he's not married or in a relationship, and he says he does not think that is for him. 

 

All throughout the series, there are scenes where he is eyeing Kent, the young constable. At one point, he begins to realize that Kent has feelings for him. My favorite scene is back in the second season where he takes Kent to a street corner, the sight of an old murder. It's like a weird date for them, just the two of them exploring the street corner. He seems very loving towards Kent, but he is Kent's boss. Meanwhile, he feels compelled to go on "real" dates with women that always go nowhere.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.39.

 

There are other great scenes when Chandler & Kent are in the precinct with others going over evidence. If Kent is talking or checking his notes, Chandler looks at him as if Kent is his. I wonder how much of this is scripted and how much is the main actor adding into it and improvising. Very little of this is ever spoken. It goes on for all four seasons.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.40.

 

The reason I think this is so great is because it's not done like one of these heavy-handed "coming out" storylines. In fact, they never get physical, they never get together. And they are not agonizing over who they are or what they want. It's just part of the overall dynamics, of how they relate to each other on the job, which I find to be a much more realistic portrayal of men who may be in the closet.

 

Also, all the obsessive compulsive stuff Chandler exhibits more than suggests he is kind of emotionally unstable. So even if he and Kent were to ever have a physical relationship, it will have its own set of issues separate from the sexuality angle. Kent seems to have flashes of jealousy when Chandler is working with women in the precinct. So he would have his own issues, too. None of it is about sex. It's about people who are struggling to connect with what's human in them.

 

It's just such a great series on so many levels.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.28.

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I still have four more episodes then I will be done watching this great series. 

 

I will just do a random stream of consciousness type post here to explain why the sexual identity plot works so well in Whitechapel. If I miss anything, I will add to it later. Here goes:

 

*****

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.32.

 

Inspector Chandler is the lead, and there are several men and women who work in his precinct. Chandler is in his 30s. From the very beginning, he shows signs of obsessive compulsive disorder. The others automatically assume he's gay, and it's not until later in the first season when he even addresses the rumors, denying he is. At the same time there is a constable who works under him named Kent. 

 

We gradually learn about all the other men and women in the precinct-- namely, their personal lives and who they are involved with romantically. Kent is never given a love interest. Chandler finally is pushed on a date in the second season. There is a scene where he goes to the woman's home, and he can't take the fact that she doesn't clean. It's too messy for him and he leaves. Earlier in the episode we've seen Kent cleaning at the precinct. After the failed date, Chandler goes back and cleans. 

 

In the third season, he starts seeing a counselor. She is helping on a case and ends up helping him personally. He tries to date her but she's killed. Before she has been murdered, she gives him a rubber band to put on his wrist. He starts using it after her death and snaps it when he is about to lose control over various situations. We also have episodes where he keeps going into the men's room to put on brand new clean shirts.

 

In season 4, where I am now, he has to keep turning off leaky faucets. A coworker asks why he's not married or in a relationship, and he says he does not think that is for him. 

 

All throughout the series, there are scenes where he is eyeing Kent, the young constable. At one point, he begins to realize that Kent has feelings for him. My favorite scene is back in the second season where he takes Kent to a street corner, the sight of an old murder. It's like a weird date for them, just the two of them exploring the street corner. He seems very loving towards Kent, but he is Kent's boss. Meanwhile, he feels compelled to go on "real" dates with women that always go nowhere.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.39.

 

There are other great scenes when Chandler & Kent are in the precinct with others going over evidence. If Kent is talking or checking his notes, Chandler looks at him as if Kent is his. I wonder how much of this is scripted and how much is the main actor adding into it and improvising. Very little of this is ever spoken. It goes on for all four seasons.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.40.

 

The reason I think this is so great is because it's not done like one of these heavy-handed "coming out" storylines. In fact, they never get physical, they never get together. And they are not agonizing over who they are or what they want. It's just part of the overall dynamics, of how they relate to each other on the job, which I find to be a much more realistic portrayal of men who may be in the closet.

 

Also, all the obsessive compulsive stuff Chandler exhibits more than suggests he is kind of emotionally unstable. So even if he and Kent were to ever have a physical relationship, it will have its own set of issues separate from the sexuality angle. Kent seems to have flashes of jealousy when Chandler is working with women in the precinct. So he would have his own issues, too. None of it is about sex. It's about people who are struggling to connect with what's human in them.

 

It's just such a great series on so many levels.

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-15%2Bat%2B12.28.

Jarrod -

 

"Whitechapel" does sound like a fascinating series.

 

I like the dynamic - two men who are working together and interested in each other - as human beings first.

 

Sometimes, that sort of interest is so much stronger than a mere sexual attraction.

 

And, of course, that sexual attraction could come later - and, of course, be so much stronger.

 

By the way, is Kent ever interested in a woman?

 

And who plays Chandler and Kent? 

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Jarrod -

 

"Whitechapel" does sound like a fascinating series.

 

I like the dynamic - two men who are working together and interested in each other - as human beings first.

 

Sometimes, that sort of interest is so much stronger than a mere sexual attraction.

 

And, of course, that sexual attraction could come later - and, of course, be so much stronger.

 

By the way, is Kent ever interested in a woman?

 

And who plays Chandler and Kent? 

 

Kent is never shown registering interest in any female. Another coworker, a very straight guy who sleeps around a lot, shows an interest in Kent's sister during the fourth season-- but in the same way Kent seems possessive of Chandler he is very possessive of his sis and doesn't want her to get hurt.

 

I forgot to mention in my 'analysis' yesterday that sometimes there are scenes that almost trick us as viewers. There's one episode where someone is trying to encourage Chandler to walk over to the other side of the room and strike up a conversation with a sexy female. But when Chandler looks over, it's not a close-up of her, it's a medium shot with her standing next to Kent. So obviously when Chandler looks over he's seeing Kent as much as the pretty gal. 

 

In another episode there is a party at the home of one of the coppers. The guy and his wife just had a baby. Kent is holding the baby and hands it to Chandler. And for a fleeting few seconds, you see this very tender moment between the two guys with the baby, suggesting they could someday be their own family unit. 

 

In an earlier episode, they all go undercover at some nightclub. There is neon lighting and a smoke-filled haze. It's a rare episode in that they are dressed very casually, since they are supposed to appear like they are soaking up the night life, in order to nail a killer. The other members of the force are dancing with partners on the dance floor. But neither Chandler nor Kent have a partner. Chandler looks over at Kent and sees the word 'perv' in black marker on Kent's forehead. It's never explained how the word got on Kent's forehead; it's probably a figment of Chandler's imagination. But this is where Chandler realizes Kent is probably gay. And even after he comes to this realization, he doesn't really take his eyes off Kent. 

 

The actors are Rupert Penry-Jones as Chandler, the star of Whitechapel. And Sam Stockman plays Kent; he's sixth-billed.

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Kent is never shown registering interest in any female. Another coworker, a very straight guy who sleeps around a lot, shows an interest in Kent's sister during the fourth season-- but in the same way Kent seems possessive of Chandler he is very possessive of his sis and doesn't want her to get hurt.

 

I forgot to mention in my 'analysis' yesterday that sometimes there are scenes that almost trick us as viewers. There's one episode where someone is trying to encourage Chandler to walk over to the other side of the room and strike up a conversation with a sexy female. But when Chandler looks over, it's not a close-up of her, it's a medium shot with her standing next to Kent. So obviously when Chandler looks over he's seeing Kent as much as the pretty gal. 

 

In another episode there is a party at the home of one of the coppers. The guy and his wife just had a baby. Kent is holding the baby and hands it to Chandler. And for a fleeting few seconds, you see this very tender moment between the two guys with the baby, suggesting they could someday be their own family unit. 

 

In an earlier episode, they all go undercover at some nightclub. There is neon lighting and a smoke-filled haze. It's a rare episode in that they are dressed very casually, since they are supposed to appear like they are soaking up the night life, in order to nail a killer. The other members of the force are dancing with partners on the dance floor. But neither Chandler nor Kent have a partner. Chandler looks over at Kent and sees the word 'perv' in black marker on Kent's forehead. It's never explained how the word got on Kent's forehead; it's probably a figment of Chandler's imagination. But this is where Chandler realizes Kent is probably gay. And even after he comes to this realization, he doesn't really take his eyes off Kent. 

 

The actors are Rupert Penry-Jones as Chandler, the star of Whitechapel. And Sam Stockman plays Kent; he's sixth-billed.

You lucky guy, you sound like you are having the time of your life!

 

Maybe I can get this one as a DVD boxed set.

 

I will investigate.

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You lucky guy, you sound like you are having the time of your life!

 

Maybe I can get this one as a DVD boxed set.

 

I will investigate.

 

 

 

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You lucky guy, you sound like you are having the time of your life!

 

Maybe I can get this one as a DVD boxed set.

 

I will investigate.

 

Let me know if you find it/watch it.

 

It was cancelled after the fourth season with various loose ends. I would suspect that's why Chandler & Kent never act on anything or get together because the writers were probably not there yet in the overall storytelling and saving it for a later season. But I think it plays better with them not being physical-- because it's more about a gradual awakening going on, with these two very troubled souls, forging a connection in a work environment that would not really encourage it or allow it to happen.

 

There's a lot of fan fiction online with people speculating about them and what would have happened beyond the fourth season. As I said before, they have different hang-ups and their hang-ups are not really about their sexual identities; that is almost parallel to the other conflicts playing out. 

 

One reason I probably enjoy watching the Chandler - Kent interactions so much in this series is because I've had relationships like this in my own life, ones that didn't go anywhere, but it was clear on some level it could have and possibly should have. In fact, I have one relationship right now that has been going this way since 2007. 

 

I haven't seen Grantchester yet.

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Jarrod -

 

If "Whitechapel" has already been cancelled, then, it might not be available as a DVD boxed set. 

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Jarrod -

 

If "Whitechapel" has already been cancelled, then, it might not be available as a DVD boxed set. 

 

It's on DVD, the individual seasons. I've seen it being sold on Amazon. And there is also a boxed set. The British shows don't do as many episodes per season as the American ones do. I believe there is a total of 18 episodes from the four seasons.

 

If you can stream on your TV or computer, each episode sells for $1.99. So for under $36 you can own all the episodes that way.

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