I Have Opinions On Victorious

The puppet is racist.

I mean, okay, that’s a minor detail, but that puppet is 100% based on what the writers of this story think of as a ‘black voice’ and he’s allowed to be a complete asshole. They wanted a wise-cracking shithead who could say ‘contentious’ things that they would normally have put in the mouth of a Sassy Black Kid but steadily leached away the blackness that Rex had after the first episode to try and make it less racist than it was when they started it. As it is, Robbie goes from being a gonky awkward Jewish kid who has outbursts of cruel, selfish, or thoughtless opinions that he says in what he imagines a ‘black voice’ is to instead incarnating that opinion into a character.

What’s the more racist sequence of events? Robbie got the puppet, saw that it was black, and made it speak like he thought a black kid would, or, Robbie already had this racist voice affect and his parents thought that he should have an avatar for it, so they bought him a black puppet and then uh, quickly swapped it out for a less black puppet.

Trina doesn’t deserve the shit she gets. It’s not exactly a challenging take here, but Trina is obviously a girl who is punched out of the same template of Generic Hot Non-Threatening White-Tolerable Girl that all the other girls in the show have, and that makes it amazing when the series tries to frame her as a horrible ogre, whose presence revolts people who are romantically interested in girls.

It’s a really interesting example of how media tries to tell you how the things inside its universe work, rather than show you. Trina couldn’t be played by someone who was ugly, she had to be played by someone Completely Marketable. They couldn’t have her just be obnoxious or untalented and clueless, like the story could demonstrate, they had to also tack on the idea that there’s something fundamentally repellent about her, something ugly and fat about her.

Basically, everyone around her who piles into this seems to be part of an ongoing project to gaslight her, and whatever ending the story really gives her, she needs to get as far as she can away from her abusive parents and sister and have, like, a life, since evidence suggests she works really hard to be good at things, she’s just constantly undermined. Give her some space away from the people actively tormenting her and she’ll bloom.

Beck can go to hell.

It’s funny in hindsight how Beck is meant to be an attractive cool guy from the period, but now he comes across as an immense turd. He does cool things like being a pickup artist, he makes cool jokes like how he dislikes queer people, and he’s worldly and clever like in the way he’s randomly and needlessly transphobic about his aunt to a stranger who’s never met her.

Apparently the actor who played Beck is cool, and even points out that Beck crossdresses well. Which, you know what, cool, good for him.

Robbie is Fran Fine’s son.

In the last episode of The Nanny, Fran Fine has twins, a boy and a girl. Robbie has a sister, could easily be his twin. Why isn’t she going to the same school as him? Probably doesn’t want to. Lords knows her mother would support an alternate interest.

The biggest piece of evidence here is that we see Robbie’s grandmother is named Sylvia, and married to a man named Morty. Morty and Sylvia are the names of Fran’s parents as well, and to compare them to Robbie’s Grandmother? Well, they share a home aesthetic, relationship dynamic, performance style, sense of humour, voice, face and body and and oh, yeah, they’re played by the same actor, Renée Taylor.

This would also make Maxwell Sheffield Robbie’s father, and that would explain why Robbie’s sister doesn’t show up in the show, his father and mother don’t show up, and he keeps his school friends distant from that part of his life. Because if your dad is a successful Broadway Producer, you keep that out of your kids’ life if they’re in a performing arts school. Look at how invested Andre is in getting into various producers’ personal lives just for a shot at the Big Time (god, this is a terrible system for gathering talent, goddamn).

What about Mason Thornesmith? He’s played by the same actor as Mr Sheffield, who would be Robbie’s dad. Is it some sort of double-reverse bluff where Max makes up a fake identity he can use to fake support his son’s friends with a fake company? No, don’t be stupid. It’s obvious that Mason is doing something similar, changing his name to avoid association with his famous arts-producing twin brother, Maxwell, who you’d remember from the episode of The Nanny that I just made up.

The shipping setup in the show as presented is a really interesting one in part because the characters in the show are awkward, messy people working themselves out and that means that while the dynamics are wonky and the characters are mean and stupid and thoughtless to one another it’s largely because, well, they’re teenagers and they’re not paying attention to each other as adults or developing tools for respecting each other’s needs. Especially when they’re in an environment that can hardly be called safe (hi Beck), it makes sense that these characters in the shared social space of the school behave one way, and then in private, behave in another way that may make what they said before either seem like a lie or not.

There’s this term from Japan, toutoi, meaning ‘precious’ that has been since turned into Internet Slang and fed through the chan machine of ‘teetee.’ Teetee is a term you might hear in the context of vtubers referring to the virtual characters being flirtatious or thirsty or playfully romantic with one another, a bit like what you might hear called a ‘toy ship’ in the context of sites like TVTropes. That is, there’s a relationship here, but it’s also in that non-serious position you’d see like Boyfriend Girlfriend stuff in a school environment. The simulation of a serious relationship between people who only kind-of exist. Teetee is a really handy term for me in this space because when I say something like ‘Tori and Cat are gay’ I don’t mean that these characters are definitely having sex, or 100% strictly hard kinsey scale no-interest-in-mascs sapphic, but inasmuch as these characters exist in this space they’re definitely having some kind of Teetee relationship.

Anyway, Cat and Tori are gay.

Cat and Jade are probably also gay.

And Jade and Tori are probably going to end up gay.

The Cat and Tori thing is based on how in the Slap videos they seem to be constantly having slumber parties, grabbing and hugging each other and tumbling off-camera.

Jade and Cat, Jade literally refers to her as ‘like a pet,’ which uh, that’s not a super straight thing to volunteer, especially when it’s a girl you hand feed.

Jade and Tori? Well, this is based on the arc of the series. Tori wanted to kiss Jade’s boyfriend, but the second he’s not Jade’s boyfriend, she’s not interested, which could be seen as implying a realisation that she wants something else that was in that prior relationship. Jade’s development is mostly about not treating Tori like garbage (though oh boy she treats people like garbage). Tori is the child of light and Jade is her enemy from day 1 and the pair spend the whole show fighting back and forth via proxies. Tori gets everything she wants and Jade resists her at every opportunity. Jade treats Tori cruelly and teasingly, you know, like how she treats her boyfriend, which suggests that’s largely how she reacts to expressing any feelings.

Anyway, Cat has two hands, and I hope they all have fun when they’re all grown up as adults enough to not do things like get addicted to popcorn. Also the ship is apparently known as ‘Catorade’ which is excellent.

I have never watched Victorious and I’m never going to.

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