Gang Related, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Menswear

Gang Related is the worst show I’ve ever seen.


I say this as someone who watches it every single week.  We’ll get to why in a minute, but it needs to be said that although previously, I thought Blue Bloods was the worst show I’d ever seen, Gang Related takes Blue Bloods racist, pro-police-state garbage to yet-unprecedented levels of awful. Justified’s boring-ness and complete waste of potential draws more of my ire than Blue Bloods, while the exceptionally frustrating Sons of Anarchy merely annoys me with it’s aggressive Kurt-Sutterness.

But Gang Related, which is basically The Shield-lite, makes me really, really angry.  I’m drawing comparisons to The Shield because that’s A) The Shield is the greatest show ever written and every other show, (including children’s programming) will be measured against it’s awesomeness and B) Scott Rosenbaum is the producer, so he brought this on himself.

 In the pilot (SPOILER ALERT: You Don’t Care) Ryan Lopez, who was raised by gangs (one might say he’s related to the gang) but also in the anti-gang unit (which responds to gangrelated crimes) watches his anti-gang partner get gunned down by a member of the gang Lopez is related to in a gang-related shooting (OMG DO YOU GET IT YET?!?).  Lopez doesn’t say anything when asked about the shooting and then spends the rest of the show roughing up various low-income minorities yelling “Who shot my partner?”  YOU KNOW WHO DID, YOU DUMB JERK.  YOU. KNOW.  

What can I say?  I make passes at men who wear glasses
What can I say? I make passes at men who wear glasses

 A few episodes later, Det. Knows-Who-Murdered-His-Partner steals a truck full of cocaine for the gang that he’s related to, punches Rza in the face and then walks around saying “Gee, wonder who took this cocaine while I wasn’t around!”  He is surrounded by equally-charmless assholes and Rza, who looks very handsome in his glasses.  Their captain murders a guy because, hey, why not, cops = good.  Detective Lady Cop tries to be Vic Mackey with tits, and there is Det. Asian Cop and Rza, who are okay for being Token Characters (TM), I guess.

Which brings us to Paul Carter, the Internal Affairs officer brought in to investigate Lopez’s partner’s shooting.


Paul Carter is the only reason I watch this terrible show.  First off, he is played by Jay Karnes, who is tall and handsome and speaks with an inflection that is simultaneously threatening and erotic.  I’ve always had a soft spot for The Shield’s Dutch Wagenbach and a bit of a crush on Burn Notice‘s Tyler Brennen, and Carter is the best of both.  

Secondarily, Carter is the only non-loathsome character in the show.  Rza had potential, but Carter is there to bring Detective Dickweed to justice for his partner’s shooting, which, by my estimation, makes him the hero.  

That is one DAMN fine suit, sir
That is one DAMN fine suit, sir

But third, and most importantly, are Carter’s suits.

I have never felt about menswear — or clothing in general — the way I feel about Carter’s three-piece suits.  They’re a thing of pure beauty.  The charcoal grey with the subtle chalk pinstripes in episode two was one thing, but then he brought his A-game the next week with another grey suit, this time with the faintest black check. And I had the weirdest thought as I sat there sweating and gawking at the TV.  “I want to bite the cuff of his jacket,” I thought to my idiot self.  “I want to eat that suit.”

(I may actually be Liz Lemon.  Tests are inconclusive.)

And the vests!  I’m an absolute sucker for a man in a vest.  It says, “I take my work seriously and my women more seriously.”  Blame Han Solo for that fetish, I guess. 

Don’t even get me started on Carter’s maroon tie from last Thursday’s “El Zorro y el Gallinero.”  I had to leave the room.  


I’ve always loved menswear and went through a considerable phase where I wore suit jackets, ties, even a three-piece pinstriped suit that I had lovingly tailored.  I had to tie my ex-boyfriend’s lone Yoda tie because he didn’t know how to and didn’t own any other ties, and I didn’t wear my own ties all Avril Lavigne style either.   

 I do own a fedora, yes, and it’s not one of those tiny MRA ones either.  I wear it with my skinny jeans, Betsey Johnson booties, a tee-shirt and a tailored jacket. I look fine.

There’s just something so wonderfully sexy about menswear that just doesn’t come from women’s suits.  If I had to chose between Glamour and Esquire, I’d pick Esquire every time, just to look at the fashion pages.  I love seeing women wearing men’s suits — like Diane Keaton in Annie Hall.  I love the playfulness of it, the subtle sexuality.

And really, is there anything sexier than a woman in a man’s dress shirt and not much else?  

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