My fellow critic Sean T. Collins has been championing the hell out of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” on Twitter, so I finally pulled it up yesterday and had a listen. It’s a really fun pop song with the same kind of emotional ambiguity as Miley Cyrus’s flawless “See You Again.” And the video contains a nice little surprise:
I think we can now safely say it’s a mini-trope to have a girl interested in a boy only to find out he’s gay, and to handle with it surprise and general good humor. That’s the basis for the introduction of Kevin Keller in Archie Comics, and it feels like a small sitcom staple. It’s a nice little illustration of the complexities of modern dating. And while it would be easy in these situations to portray gay men as competition for women, I think the best depictions tend not to do this. Here, the guy who turns out to be gay isn’t taking another fellow Carly Rae has a crush on away from her—he’s just into one of her bandmates, who is surprised, but not visibly grossed-out or hostile even though he’s pretty clearly not interested. And in the Archie world, Kevin’s coming out opens up a new possibility: instead of becoming another object of romantic competition between Betty and Veronica, he gets to become their friend.