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The Freedom to Feel :
by Denise

As I was neck deep into season 4, I had an epiphany. I am a fickle fan. Yes, that's right, a fickle fan. Say that ten times fast! I have hated each of the characters at some point during the last four seasons. In season one, it was Melanie. She was always so cruel to Brian. Even when he was struggling with the responsibility of deciding whether Teddy lived or died, she found some way to make it his fault. As if that wasn't enough to make me loathe her, she cheated on Lindsay. She betrayed the mother of her infant child. Yup, I'd say that I hated her for most of that season. Also in season one, I had a "falling out" with Emmett. My spunky little ball of energy decided that he wanted to be straight. It wasn't so much that he felt being gay was wrong, it was that he hurt his friends in the process. I knew that his HIV scare had really affected him, but the fact that he lashed out at Michael and Ted just wasn't cool in my book.

In season two, I was angry at Debbie. She claimed to be the most open minded person ever born. That is, until she found out that Michael was in love with a man who had HIV. I could see why she was disapproving. I'm sure that it was heart wrenching having to deal with the fact that her son was being exposed to the same disease that was killing her brother. I just thought that is was unreasonable for her to not see that sometimes you have to take the good with the bad. She of all people should have realized that someone with HIV was no less deserving of love and respect, than a healthy person.

Next in line is season three, my Ted hating phase. He took my little Emmett's heart broke it. He was in such emotional pain, that he fell into the open jaws of crystal meth. In his downward spiral, he decided to drag his loving partner down with him. He hurt Emmett over and over again. He even convinced him to do a little "Tina" with him. Lucky for everybody, Em came to his senses and refused to do it again. I understood how Ted got into that whole mess. I even felt bad for the guy. He was a victim of a political agenda. What I didn't understand, and refused to accept, was the fact that he was trying to lead Emmett down the same drug induced path. It wasn’t good enough that he was ruining his own life, he had to destroy his lover in the process.

Even though season four isn't quite over yet, it's safe to say that Michael was the target of my hatred this year. He was the cause of this season's Brian/Justin breakup. Although it didn't last more than one episode, it all could have been avoided if Michael had just kept his big mouth shut. When Justin came to him about Brian having cancer, Michael gave a lecture about honoring Brian's wishes. He convinced Justin that if Brian wanted it to be a secret, then they would just have to pretend that they didn't know. Justin was hurting and needed a friend. Instead, he got a back-stabbing, blabber-mouth who ran to Brian the first chance he got. He wanted to be the first one that Brian confided in, when it should have been his partner.

Now, I know what you must be thinking... What about Brian and Justin? Sorry folks, in my eyes they can do no wrong. Even in season three, when Justin left Brian for Ethan, I found no fault in my two boys. I directed all of my anger on that violin playing weasel. I'm sure the situation is perceived differently by a lot of people. Brian wasn't attentive to Justin's needs, Justin didn't appreciate Brian's unique way of loving him...blah blah blah. I understand that, that is just not the way I see it. I have unconditional love for Brian and Justin. Under all that angst, they have a love most of us only dream about. As for the rest of the characters, I am about as fickle as they come. I love them one week, but hate them the next. Only in "TV land" are we allowed to feel this way. We are given the chance to embrace our hostilities...to hate someone for irrational reasons, and love every minute of it. In the real world, we are forced to sit down and look at the big picture. We have to dig deep, and understand that a person's immediate actions don't necessarily reflect on who they really are. It isn't acceptable to be fickle about your friends and family. So, next time you sit down to watch the show, be fickle, be catty, be mean, be unreasonable! Relish the fact that for forty-five minutes, you have the power to be the judge and jury. You get to decide who's in the wrong, and who deserves the get out of jail free card. For a short amount of time, there is just no wrong way to react. You are free to let your emotions take over… no apologies, no regrets.

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