You may be wondering what purpose is served by doing a current article concerning a TV show that is so ancient that it has long since disappeared from TV land to the extent that even local, late night, cable stations do not show it anymore. Now, it is understandable that our overseas affiliates might not have seen it yet, and are naturally curious as to what the big fuss is all about. CSI doesn't air in every overseas market, after all.
In case you missed it, you can download an advert and the entire episode: Here.
This would hardly be necessary, but there are all too many of you out there who just will not let it go. "Fur and Loathing" aired on 30 October, 2003 -- over three fucking years ago. Every last bit of WTF has been leached from this episode. The mundanes have long since forgotten all about it. Even had this particular episode really ripped into Furry, it would not now make one damn bit of difference. Even at the time, its real world impact on Furfans was minimal.
September 26, 2003 - 7:01 AM
See Also: 'Fur And Loathing' Episode Guide
If you think "Slaves of Las Vegas" had some of the weirdest sexual situations on prime-time television, you ain't seen nothing yet. In "Fur and Loathing", CSI: Crime Scene Investigation enters the world of "furries" and "plushies", people who have sex disguised as animals.
It all starts when a man called Bob Pitt is found dead at the side of a road dressed in a raccoon costume, according to CSI Files sources. Bob's somewhat unusual get-up leads Grissom and Catherine to this year's "Fur Con", an annual convention in which ordinary people put their lives as "skins" on hold to dress up as furry creatures. Having extracted blue fur from the vomit found near Bob's body, the CSIs are on the lookout for any furries who might be sporting a blue costume.
Grissom, in full scientist mode, thinks "Fur Con" is fascinating, but Catherine finds the whole experience too weird for words. It isn't long before they find a potential suspect, Miss Kitty, who is spotted slinking down the catwalk of the furry fashion show in her neon blue costume. Kitty refuses to take off her mask at the convention, so she's hauled back to the police department for questioning.
Fed up with interrogating a pussy cat, Captain Brass orders Miss Kitty -- who likes to be known as Sexy -- to take off her mask. But when the deputy does so, a quiet-spoken, middle-aged man named Bud Deaver is revealed. Rather embarrassed and withdrawn without the support of his feline alter ego, Bud says he and Bob Pitt (known in the furry world as Rocky Raccoon) were "skritching", or rubbing their faces up and down each other's fur.
But when Grissom finds Bob Pitt's semen on the Miss Kitty costume, Bud has to confess what really happened when the furries got intimate. And what goes on at those conventions has to be seen to be believed...
Please note that these plot details have not yet been confirmed by CBS, Bruckheimer films or Alliance Atlantis and until such time you should treat this information as you would any other rumour. Also, please be aware that these details come from an early draft of the script, and elements may change before the episode goes to air.
"Fur and Loathing" will likely air in late 2003.
-- Original Promo
Of course, at the time, concern expressed in This Furtopia Thread, or the CSI Forums was certainly understandable, even if a bit hysterical in tone. In 2003, CSI had been on the air for three years, and had already established its formula: find some out of the mainstream subculture, place them in a convention setting, someone is murdered, and along the way to solving the case, expose the lurid details of these weird people and their weird sex. So, yes, there was plenty of cause for concern. They featured the BDSM people, and even had an episode featuring a convention for dwarfs and midgets. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly complimentary.
Yes, the whole thing was intended to be a good deal more lurid. After all, the name of the fictional con, PAFCON (Plushies and Furries Convention) was a direct reference to the previous year's outrage: the infamous Plushies and Furries schlockumentary courtesy of MTV. In that promo piece, they refer to "furries" and "plushies", as if there really were something called "plushies" that had something to do with the fandom. That comes directly from MTV. However, along the way, thanks to the efforts of the SoCal Furs, the producers ordered up a last minute script rewrite. Dark Fox was brought in as a technical adviser, and he was successful in greatly moderating the script. This occurred too late for CBS to make the appropriate changes to the advertising and promotional clips. So how did Furry come off?
|Nasty Furbash Stereotype||CSI Showed|
|All Furries are socially inept lonely losers who never get out. On those rare occasions when we do venture forth, we terrify small children.||When Mr. Pitt's apartment is shown, it is filled with all sorts of raccoon knick-knacks. It looks a lot like the RL living spaces of RL Furries. (How many Fur-inclined mundanes and implicit Furries noticed that similarity?) We are also shown a shot of his calendar, where the investigators first learn of PAFCON. The calendar is filled with dates of other cons and local furmeets. It is obvious that he had an active social life.|
|All Furries are gay, bi, or trannies. ("By and large, Furries are bi and large" -- favorite slogan courtesy of Eric Blumrich.)||Mr. Pitt is straight.|
|Even straight Furries are "jailhouse gay" because they are too repulsive to women.||Mr. Pitt has a non-Furry girlfriend who accompanies him to PAFCON.|
|All fursuiters wear shitty costumes: after all, it doesn't matter how they look since having sex in them is the whole point anyway.||The investigators go out of their way to praise the high quality of Pitt's fursuit. Even though there were way too many fursuiters at PAFCON, and they were inaccurately portrayed as wearing them all the time to all con events, not a single one looked at all amateurish. Fursuit sex is never mentioned or implied.||Furries squick the mundanes with inappropriate sexual behaviours and excessive PDA||Made it perfectly clear that all the furpiles occurred in private, invitation only, room parties. No one was yiffing in the lobby or corridors.|
|Furries are unemployable, or at the very best, can find nothing more than minimum wage jobs as burger flippers. They room together to save every dime for the next Furcon.||The true identity of "Sexy Kitty" is revealed to be that of a respectable middle-aged gent whose "real life" career is as a lawyer.|
Other positive portrayals included that primer on Furry spirituality. This scene depicted a con panel, yet the lecture being delivered was really intended for the audience. The interplay between Catherine, representing the public-at-large, and Grissom, representing the fandom, accurately dealt with the normal WTF reaction of the PaL upon meeting Furry for the first time. I'd say that that certainly helped to enhance understanding. When the characters used Fur-speak, they used it correctly. As a result, Fur-speak has escaped the fandom. No more can you be certain that anyone using words like "yiff" or "spooge" are Furries. At least they are using it correctly. By the end of the episode, when Grissom utters the line destined for immortality, "Fur and loathing in Las Vegas", it is strongly implied that Grissom has become a Furry himself. The last thing we see is a figurine which Grissom bought at PAFCON sitting on his desk. This recalls all of Mr. Pitt's figurines in counterpoint.
Now, this episode of CSI had other storylets going on as well. Even if the Furry story line made up 25% of the entire episode, that comes to approximately fifteen minutes, or thirty half-minutes. What does a half-minute spot in Prime Time cost? If it's roughly $One Million that means that CBS gave the Furry fandom some $30,000,000 worth of free advertising! What more do you want? All this bitching, pissing, and moaning has got to stop. What an ungrateful bunch of assholes we look like! Given that all too many Furries have been giving the producers of CSI the backs of their paws for three years, where does the incentive come for some future production to ever work with us if some other producers want to do some Furry episode of some other TV show?
Posted - 10 Sep 2004 : 08:09:57
I am sadden that so many of those who are into Furry didn't like this episode. Look at it this way and from my viewpoint. I didn't know anything about what Furry was. Now thanks to CSI for at least showing me, I am checking out websites, looking for what being Furry is all about out of curiosity. I am interested in the fact that people dress up as animals and do whatever they do. I am into BDSM and I take the episodes with Lady Heather in them with a grain of salt and lick of sugar. There is no way that the producers of CSI could cram everything about a lifestyle or culture into a 1 hour drama. but what they put in there perks peoples attention and imaginations. That in itself is a good thing.
I see currently active Furfans to this day who would never have heard of the fandom were it not for "Fur and Loathing". Indeed, even such truly awful portrayals as the ER, "Fear of Commitment" episode, and even Plushies and Furries have brought in new affiliates. Indeed, not too long ago, I received this fanmail:
I finally discovered furry at last... when I saw that episode of Sex2k called "Plushies and Furries" on MTV, and even though a lot of furs hate the media's focus on the sexual aspects of furry, in a way it was what I most needed to see. I was so painfully overjoyed that I wasn't alone in the world! Seeing that stupid misrepresentation of the true breadth of furryness changed my life forever, much for the better. Furry is something I've quickly grown to care very deeply about.
Yes, even that one did some good. Those who are interested are going to discover the truth behind whatever bullshit they see on the idiot box, or read in some journalistically unethical periodical, or see on some furbash web site. Those who are not interested will continue to be not interested.
It was never that big a deal. So stop obsessing over it! This on-going bitching not only makes you look ignorant, but does far more harm as to how the mundanes perceive Furries than any TV show ever did.
It's past high time you let it go.