Today, we’ll be exploring the themes present in “Killjoys”. Since you’re back, I expect that you have a genuine interest in “Killjoys” and have already watched it. I’ll try to minimize the number of spoilers, but if you are still worried you may consider watching the first 5 episodes before reading on.
In August 2015, the showrunner of the Killjoys series Michelle Lovretta interviewed with Veronica Scott of USA Today – Happy Ever After. In the interview, Michelle points out one of the major themes that ran through season 1 of Killjoys – a “non-sexual relationship” between characters of different genders. In fact, the sexual relationship of main characters with others of opposite sex have become somewhat defining of television shows since the 2000s. This includes major hits such as Jane the Virgin, Game of Thrones and The Good Place, which have featured sexual relationships between characters of opposite gender (or sometimes the same) as one of the storylines, for some being the entire driving force of the show.
Main Characters Dutch and D’avin of Killjoys
Michelle’s Killjoys certainly proves that sexual relationship between characters within a TV show isn’t the key to a successful series. Adopting a non-sexual relationship theme, the relationship between Dutch and Johnny, as well as D’avin who joins later on, is more of a brother and sister relationship. They certainly do not have any sexual affection towards each other (please don’t argue the relationship between Johnny and Lucy is), and none of their action and the decisions they make can be attributed it. Instead, the whole season is progressed by the values of each character, both similar and different, such as families, friends and loyalty. The departure from using sexual relationships as a storyline and adopting a non-sexual relationship theme brings out the brotherhood and sisterhood in the series together with the added benefit of making the motives of characters appear much brighter. At the same time, this usage of the theme of non-sexual relationship criticises the overgeneralisation of sexual relationship in pop culture while providing an alternative for the audience.
Lucy in Killjoys
Furthermore, the successful adoption of a non-sexual relationship theme demonstrates romance isn’t essential for TV shows to grasp the attention of its audience. Instead, one without could still have the same elements of action, sympathy and arguments while being more easily understandable and relatable. This provides the audience with a completely different experience, probably one that the general population would easily connect and relate to. After all, not everyone has experienced or like romance, while on the contrary, everyone has experienced some kind of brotherhood/sisterhood.
This brings us to what this theme of non-sexual relationship contributes. While it certainly makes us reflect how pop culture has been overusing sexual-relationship to capture audiences’ attention, it also brings out the decisions we as human beings often must make; what is more important? Family? Friend? Loyalty? Responsibilities …… In case you need a reminder, life is not always a choice between who do you love or choosing between a sexual relationship or something else.
Liszewski, Bridget. “KILLJOYS’ MICHELLE LOVRETTA WRITES WHAT SHE LOVES”. Thetvjunkies.Com, 2016, https://www.thetvjunkies.com/killjoys-michelle-lovretta-writes-what-she-loves/. Accessed 11 Sept 2018.
Sara-goodwin. “Interview: Killjoys’ Tamsen McDonough Talks Fan Experiences, Playing a Spaceship & Being Part of the MCU.” The Mary Sue, The Mary Sue, 1 Nov. 2016, www.themarysue.com/interview-killjoys-tamsen-mcdonough/. Accessed 12 Sept 2018.
Scott, Veronica. “Interview: Michelle Lovretta, Creator of SyFy’s ‘Killjoys’.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 29 June 2016, happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2015/08/20/veronica-scott-killjoys-michelle-lovretta-interview/. Accessed 11 Sept 2018.