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He also continued to want to date her after she came out, he even liked her more and more as the episode went on and he learned more about her.
But that doesn’t make up for the rest of what happens.
Similarly, just because Paula wasn’t called a man or a slur, doesn’t mean the show treated her well.
It still wanted us to laugh at her, be shocked by her and to view the entire situation of a straight man dating a trans woman as something funny enough to be the premise of a sitcom episode.
, Jon Cryer’s character, Alan, met, slept with and started dating a new character, Paula.
Paula, played by cis actress Paula Marshall, also happens to be a trans woman, and that is one of the driving narratives of this episode.
We already know that from the extensive conversation Alan and Paula had and the several jokes characters made about her surgery.I will admit, there were some positive things about Paula’s storyline.Alan didn’t completely freak out when she told him, in fact his response was one of the better responses I’ve seen on TV.While both CBS and this show have been notoriously problematic in the past (and other CBS shows have specifically failed in their portrayal of trans women), this episode received praise for its “respectful” portrayal of a relationship between a trans woman and a straight man.However, even conceding the fact that “not once was (Paula) called a man, nor were any transphobic slurs used at any point during the episode,” this episode was still filled to the brim with insulting “jokes” and problematic lines directed at the expense of not only the character of Paula, but all trans women who might see, or even hear about, the show.
I think it’s important to point out that Alan’s very first interaction with Paula was predicated on him pointing out several times that he’s straight.