same-sex love on robson arms

When I get home from work on the weekends, around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., I like to semi-watch TV before bed. I only like a few shows, and there's only a sliver of time between work and sleep, so if there's nothing on for me, it's annoying.

Recently there was one of those annoying schedule changes, so I can't find Futurama, Corner Gas, The Simpsons or Seinfeld when I need them. Almost all the cartoon shows I was watching (Sons of Butcher, Bromwell High) are off the air or on at 3:00 a.m. So for the first time, I tried an episode of Robson Arms.

For non-Canadian readers, the show takes place in an apartment building in Vancouver, and follows stories of the residents' lives. It's part comedy, part drama.

The only thing I knew about Robson Arms was that half the cast of Corner Gas appeared to be in it (turns out that was an exaggeration - the shows share two cast members), plus "Kids" Mark McKinney and Dave Foley. This was shortly after we moved to Canada and started watching Corner Gas, so I had the impression that a handful of actors rotated around all the Canadian TV shows. (It still sometimes seems that way!)

So the other night I actually watched (or half-watched) an episode for the first time. It featured a gay male couple with a large difference in age. They have some issues, one partner discovers he has cancer, and through this they re-discover their love for each other.

It was without a doubt the most normal and uncensored treatment of a same-sex relationship I've ever seen on a mainstream TV show. There was as much physical affection as you would see if the couple had been male and female. On the other hand, there was none of that over-dramatized sexuality still often used for female same-sex relationships. It was just there. Just normal.

That, of course, is what same-sex couples are in Canada. Completely unremarkable. But you don't always see the world reflected on mainstream TV.

I was wondering, when Robson Arms began, was this noted? Or were same-sex relationships on TV already so unremarkable here that no one even talked about it?

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