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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Cautiously Optimistic

Transgender Teen Drama Coming To The CW

The CW, network for all your teen-angst, ripped abs, and model competition needs, is developing a drama about a transgender teen.

I’ll admit, The CW doesn’t have much to offer me these days. Dawson’s Creek is long gone and Arrow is the only show I watch on the network, but I might have to give this one a chance in the hopes they do something great with it.

The Hollywood Reporter says The CW is developing an hour-long drama:

Written by playwright-musician Kyle Jarrow, ZE revolves around a Texas teenager who announces that she is transgendered and will be living life as a boy. As his dysfunctional family spirals into identity crises of their own, he discovers that despite his appearance, he may be the most well-adjusted of them all.

Without knowing too many details at this point, I have to say the name of the show alone will help to spread awareness. Many won’t know it’s a gender neutral pronoun and its use could become more widespread.

ZE certainly won’t be the first television show to feature a transgender character but I think it might be the first to actually focus on one. While they’ve certainly got my attention, I’m now interested to know whether or not they’ll cast someone who is transgender in the role. Recently, Laverne Cox featured on Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Orange is the New Black, which has helped highlight her already existing transgender activism.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m cautiously optimistic. I know Cox talked about the importance of casting actual trans actors because otherwise it often becomes a platform for immature and offensive jokes.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I also think it would be a plus for when it comes time to promote the show. A trans actor could speak about the topic with more authority.

  • asobinas

    Eyes warily. I’m at least glad that the logline uses (mostly) correct pronouns, so I’ll also vaguely hope that it’s portrayed respectfully.

  • Harvey Throneless King Thornto

    Hit and Miss revolves are around a transgeneder(sexual?) man(to woman) a Hit(woman).

  • kat

    It would be hard to argue that Degrassi really “focuses” on any one character in particular but they have done a number of very interesting stories around Adam and his experiences as a transgendered teenager.

    Still I will be very curious if they actually cast a trans actor for the lead role. Would be a nice change from the usual.

  • Will Beaty

    Oh come on, Hollywood Reporter, I thought we were past putting the “-ed” on “transgender.” Oh well.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Leave them a quick comment. I know I did it once on this site without realizing it until someone pointed it out.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    What’s that on? I haven’t heard of it.

  • Steve R.

    starring bradley manning?

  • Anonymous

    Boys Don’t Cry: The Series.
    Won’t watch it, but I wish it well.

  • mr_subjunctive

    Netflix streaming has it now; originally on Sky Atlantic. Main character is played by Chloë Sevigny, not a transgendered actress, but it’s sympathetic and (I thought) mostly well-done.

    Wikipedia summary:

    Mia, a preoperative transsexual woman, works as a contract killer. She discovers that she fathered a son, Ryan, with her ex-girlfriend Wendy, who recently has died from cancer. Mia is named by the mother as guardian of the boy and his three half-siblings, who live in a rural farmhouse in Yorkshire. While continuing to work as an assassin, Mia learns to cope with being in a parental role.

  • alk

    I find it hard to believe this will manage to be both a respectful portrayal and a decent watch, given that most shows don’t even manage the latter, but I’ll keep an eye out for this one. I seriously doubt any teen drama on the planet could lure me in, but this is a good thing!

  • Lindsey Stock

    This seems like a good idea and it’s cool that they are taking a risk and choosing to air a show like this, but at the same time….CW. Well, I’ll stay cautiously optimistic and save my judgement for when I actually watch the show.

  • Mark Matson

    My daughter has been pushing for “they” as the gender-neutral pronoun. Apparently, “they” was used that way historically and lost the ability to mean a single person within the past 100 years or so.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    It’s still used to refer to a single person but it’s fallen out of use. I would love gender neutral alternatives to ‘sir’ and ‘miss/ma’am’ as I often work with the public.

  • Tenth Justice

    I, Tony Hawk, think this is a great idea.

  • Fisty

    I’ve seen it written, but is it pronounced Zee or Zeh? Cause I just think of Zee Germans when I see it.

  • Fisty

    My thoughts exactly. I’d love for one of their show ideas to end up being well done.

  • Anonymous

    It never really “lost” the singular meaning, but (to put it bluntly) Victorians loved to make up prescriptivist nonsense about grammar. Singular “they” is alive and well, whatever the grammar fascists would have us believe—Language Log keeps track of notable occurrences.

    (not really sure why they’d need a neutral pronoun for a show about a boy, anyway, but whatevs)

  • Anonymous

    Yikes, I sure hope not. :/

  • Anonymous

    If the series was realistic at all, the entire series would take place in a mental institution.

  • Dessa Brewington

    As a trans woman, I have no faith the CW will do this topic justice. But I will 180 if they cast a trans man in the role. But they won’t.

  • Anonymous

    Whaaat? So when the press copy is saying “She’s actually a boy, and he‘s the most normal person in his family” or whatever, they got the pronouns wrong twice? Wow.

  • Rose

    I actually hadn’t even noticed that, but yeah. It seems that’s the case. Huh…

  • Anonymous

    A gender neutral pronome as the title of a show about a totaly a NOT gender neutral trans* character ?


  • Anonymous

    I never knew that’s not considered acceptable. If you don’t mind me asking, why?

  • Anonymous

    The simplest way of explained is that having the -ed at the end usually implies an action; transgender is something you ARE, not something that happens to you. Similarly how you don’t say someone is “coloured,” a person is not transgenderED.

  • Anonymous

    I see, that makes perfect sense. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    As far as I’m aware, it’s from the GLAAD style guide, and not from any inherent offensiveness in adding an adjectival suffix. Not every trans person agrees with it, either.

    (The whole argument is a bit awful because it so frequently derails discussions of actual issues into grammar wank.)