Monday, August 13, 2012

Ben And The Bunnies

SouthLAnd. Yep. Told you I was obsessed with this show.  So, I am going to talk about it some more today.  I will probably talk about it on a lot of days.  Sorry if this bores you, but I just can't help it.  The whole thing is just so much damn fun.

Officer Ben Sherman is one of the main characters on SouthLAnd.  He is played by Ben McKenzie.  Anything Ben McKenzie does is pretty much worth watching -- and not just because of his forearms, either. Anyway, Officer Sherman is a rookie, having typical rookie experiences.  There are things that shake him up, knock him down, rock his world.  Things that inflate his ego, too. So, with all this emotional drama taking place inside his soul, what better refuge could there be than the bunnies -- the badge bunnies.  Or, as my daughter called them, the badge "buddies" -- a term that I like better.  It just makes me grin.

What is a badge bunny, you may ask?  She is a hot, young (or maybe not-so-young, yet well-maintained) lady, who likes to give cops a good time.  Maybe she is hoping to get one for her very own, to have and to hold, for the rest of her life.  Or, maybe she is just being recreational about the whole thing.  One should not try to stereotype the bunnies.

Well, Officer Ben likes the bunnies and they like him.  All seems well and happy, especially when things are going his way on the job.  And even when things might not go his way, the bunnies put a smile on his face and a spring in his step.  As time goes on, though, and Ben is assaulted spiritually, mentally, and physically by what goes on in his very stressful job, we see a shift in his relationship with the bunnies.  He is still cavorting his way through his time off in the company of these beautiful gals, but he starts to look a little disturbed at times.  You just see it in his face. (And nobody, absolutely nobody, can nail an appropriate facial expression like Ben McKenzie.)  He starts to look a little tortured -- especially after he punches a teenaged girl in the nose while on a call, and a video of the whole thing ends up on the internet -- and he realizes that at least some of the bunnies are "turned on" by this incident, an incident of which he himself is not in the least bit proud.  We see a process going on that is a bit like something that might happen with alcohol.  The more Ben's soul and psyche are assaulted by the dark side of society, which he has to deal with each and every moment on the job, the more the badge bunnies become a self-medicating addiction, a coping mechanism. And this very good, idealistic young man sees himself behaving in ways of which he appears to be ashamed, and yet he almost can't help it.

What do I take away from all of this?  A couple of things.  Maybe Hollywood doesn't always promote "illicit" sexual behavior as much as I might have assumed.  Ben's "sewing of his wild oats" may be illustrated as just fun-loving behavior at times, but it is also shown as something that reflects the pain in his heart.  And this reminds me to be careful about judging people.  A person's situation, choices, and actions may just be, and probably are, more complicated than I might think.  And maybe a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on may be what someone actually needs from me.

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