salienne: (MLP Fluttershy Bunny)
Ponies subverts the "maiden in distress" narrative.

...I am way too gleeful about this. Also may or may not be addicted. shutup
salienne: (Default)
In which I film blog it up one final time.

Women in Television: Lovers, Mothers, and... Oh. Take 2.

As I wrote last semester, Fox's Fringe is a sci-fi procedural following the investigations of the FBI Fringe unit. Made up of Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), a half-mad scientist named Walter Bishop (John Noble), and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), Walter’s genius son with a history of petty crime, the Fringe team look into crimes of the strange and fantastic. Essentially, picture a quirkier X-Files, with parallel universes rather than aliens. Each of the three seasons has thus far twisted the show in an intriguing new direction, but while season 2 seemed to be where the show found its rhythm and established Olivia as a complex character and independent agent, season 3 has since fallen into tired and unoriginal gendered tropes.

While by no means a feminist utopia, seasons 1 and 2 of Fringe establish Olivia as a pivotal actor. )

ngl, this season of Fringe has been so monumentally disappointing I don't even know what to do with it. I mean, there was always this undercurrent of "Olivia is a WOMAN," but the complete reduction of her character to that one trait is such lazy writing. I'm a shipper for just about every canon pairing ever, and this season lost even me. If it weren't for the straight-up-sci-fi fangirl in me, I would've abandoned ship long ago.
salienne: (Default)
Girls and boys, and the daddy who got away

(A special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3)

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved her father very much. One sad day, her father went away never to return, leaving behind a very sad little girl who grew up into a very brave, very smart young woman who never stopped her missing her daddy. One day she stumbles into a strange new world and, in a quest for independence, a quest chasing after her father, she discovers him only to lose him again, and only to discover herself. In the end, she returns home.

This is the story, and it is repeated over and over again. Interestingly, two recent uses of this storyline occur in the Syfy channel’s Alice miniseries and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (AiW) film, both adaptations of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Although sexuality and Alice’s father barely figure in the original novels (if at all), they become vital components of both modern works, resulting in a female adulthood that revolves around a choice between men.


Syfy's 'Alice' can be considered a sequel to and modern reimagining of the original story. )

A/N: Another recent film that followed this storyline was Repo! The Genetic Opera. In this film, mother becomes even more repressive, with Shilo's home a literal tomb for Marnie, as well as a prison for Shilo. Meanwhile, her father is the gatekeeper to the outside world, and she has to lose him to become her own person and fully enter it herself. (There's even a song about it. It's not exactly subtle.)

That said, it's actually unique and, well, feminist in that she does not end up tied to a man at the end. Rather, the men she was torn between (Rotti and Nathan, two father figures) are dead, and the closest thing we have to a love interest (GraveRobber) doesn't even play a part, except to tell the viewer the story. Shilo is now her own person, rather than her own person + 1.

Now, Repo! is in no way actually feminist (e.g. 1 deleted scene sexualizes a female addict sleeping with her dealer for drugs), so I guess this goes to show you that you can't rely on just one framework to analyze any particular work.
salienne: (Default)
Glee Season 1: Violence, Rape, and the Problem of Gender

(A special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3)

Unless you have been living under a TV rock this past year, you have no doubt heard of Fox’s hit show, Glee. Part musical, part melodrama, part satire, Glee follows the daily lives of a high school Glee club and associated adults. Due to its reliance on stereotypes, Glee walks a fine line between progressivism and tired tropes, between reinforcing these stereotypes and pointing out their absurdity. While successful in some arenas (such as homophobia), this balance is particularly shaky when it comes to gender. Despite its seemingly progressive nature, Glee relies on traditional gender expectations to a dangerous extent, as evidenced by its use of romance, pregnancy, and even unacknowledged rape.


TRIGGER WARNING FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: To say much of Glee revolves around romance is a bit like saying the club sings songs sometimes. )


As should be evident by now, Glee is not exactly the fun progressive show it makes itself out to be. Nor can it even be considered “just” satire or comedy—the scene where Will finds out the truth of Terri’s pregnancy, for instance, is certainly not played for laughs. By hiding behind humor and common tropes, by writing as if the show exists in a vacuum of character interactions even as it draws on common stereotypes, Glee does a disservice to its viewers. Even as it condemns certain behaviors such as using homosexual slurs, it normalizes gender norms and violence against women. In this way, the show reinforces such behaviors even as it makes them invisible by never acknowledging its own usage of them.

A mainstream show holds a responsibility to be aware of the messages it sends out. Unfortunately, Glee does not even seem aware of its own gendered storylines and themes.
salienne: (Farscape not broken)
This summer, I wrote for a film blog at my school. The entries don't go up until this Fall, though, so I thought I'd cross-post them here.

So here we have it, everyone. Part 1 of
[ profile] salienne Rants About Gender in the Media:

Also, a special thanks to [ profile] wemblee for proofreading these and keeping me sane. <3

Women in Television: Lovers, Mothers, and… Oh.

The depiction of women in television tends to be problematic, to say the least. This is true from ensemble shows to one-character shows, from comedy to science-fiction. For purposes of brevity, I’m going to focus on three particular shows, each with a different format, topic, and genre: Stargate: Atlantis, House, and Fringe. These shows demonstrate not only the continued dominance of male characters but also the limits of gender presentation in television, especially as it relates to women.

For those of us who don’t frequent the SyFy Channel, Stargate: Atlantis (SGA) is a fairly good example of how science-fiction shows tend to treat women. )

So, what can we learn from these three shows, which, while certainly not representative of television as a whole, do demonstrate much of the breadth of female characters? For one, while still underrepresented, women do have a substantial presence on television. Slowly but surely, their interests and positions in structures of power seem to be increasing beyond loving, caring, and mothering.

That said, women’s characters remain anchored by “feminine” characteristics. Women remain love interests, nurturers, mothers first. And while there is nothing wrong with any particular woman having such characterization, the problem comes in when that is the extent of women’s representation. When men are always more interesting. When men have a greater breadth of things they can do, do do, are allowed to do.

Such inequality not only reinforces outdated stereotypes but it is also stale and boring. It leads to predictable plotlines, predictable television. And with the amount of television out there, who really wants to sit down and watch the same old thing over and over again?
salienne: (Default)
And I have to say, RTD is a damn good writer. Yes, I knew this before, but the whole story just fits together so well thematically, plot-wise, and from a character POV. It really reminds me of Moffat's GitF because of that. I love how the son subplot builds, as well as how seamlessly it goes from light-hearted comedy(ish) to tragedy. The ending had me bawling.

Very RTD.

Also, the characterizations of Ten and Casanova are very similar, and not only because of how DT plays them. Interesting, that.
salienne: (Default)
Lost in Austen

21st century girl swaps places with Elizabeth Bennet and falls in love with Mr. Darcy, who later returns her affections. Is it just me, or does that show read like bad fanfiction?

Except it apparently got really good critical reviews, so... it was done well?

Any of you guys see it? It aired on ITV a while ago, and I'm intrigued.

ETA: Why does the Doctor Who timeline make no sense? So Saxon is basically elected Prime Minister about 18 months after the downfall of Harriet Jones, meaning about 18 or 19 months after Christmas (TCI). This would make the election sometime around July.

However, since Winters is the President Elect, that would put it sometime between November and January.


ETA2: Also, how the hell does Lucy work on Harold Saxon's autobiography? He never wrote an autobiography! And since they met probably within 6 months of him coming to Earth, wouldn't that have been published already if she had been helping him with that? And why would he need her help if he'd already published the novel?

Ignoring that bit from the website, 'kay? 'Cos I'm gonna count that as a screw-up rather than discount Martha's description of his book as a "novel." Especially since I doubt even the Master would title his autobiography Kiss Me, Kill Me with a bright kiss-mark on the front while trying his damndest to get elected. (Okay, fine, I don't doubt it very much but still. Makes more sense if that's the mistake, rather than a mysterious second book that never gets mentioned in the episodes.)
salienne: (Default)
...Buffy really can't take responsibility when she screws up, can she? Like, at all. Her role in "Sanctuary" boils down to vengeance-starved bitch. And in the end, she just blames it on Faith.

Interesting character choice. Wish I could remember if there was ever any follow-through on it in the Angel arena (and not her going into self-destruct mode later on, as that was a lost-heaven thing).
salienne: (Lestat grow up and be stable)
Season 1 of Angel? Made of win. And Buffy/Angel? Totally pwns Buffy/Spike or Buffy/Riley (though, to be fair, I don't think anyone really liked Buffy/Riley).

Although Buffy/Spike/Angel? I could hear an argument for that.

Also, why is there not more Faith/Spike? They'd be dysfunctional in such a fun way. Also, hot.

(No, there were no brain cells involved in the creation of this lj post. All of those have gone melty with I-don't-wanna-write-this-paper-itis.)

ETA: What I find interesting is, Faith understands Angel better than Buffy ever could. Which, to me, is sort of fascinating.

Also, how freakin' vanilla must have his sex life with Buffy seemed compared to all the stuff he and Darla (and Spike and Drusilla and any combination thereof) got up to?
salienne: (DW Rose Ten words unsaid)
Who else here thinks that Chris Carter was full of crap when he claimed that Mulder and Scully weren't meant to be building up to anything couple-y when the show first started out? I mean, they're holding hands and, by episode 13, Mulder's stroking Scully's face to comfort her about her father dying. Yeah, that's a very best friend/work partner thing to do.

That said... X-Files=Win.
salienne: (DW wth?)
Keller is a terrible terrible terrible person.

Also, Season 4 Spoiler )

Thank you, that is all.
salienne: (Doctor Martha Jack)
...actually good!

I so can't wait for Martha now. And the Jack/Ianto kiss. And I actually really liked Gwen! And thought the Gwen/Jack worked (oh Jack, you can't-make-up-your-mind/player). And our dear Cap'n John Harper is such an ass...

*Wants to know who Gray is*

Dude, Torchwood is pretty badass now!

Sweet. XD

(Just saw "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" if you couldn't tell... great title. XD)
salienne: (Hope XF)
(not in any particular order, btw)

1. Farscape
2. The X-Files
3. Doctor Who
4. (Not sci-fi, but I HAVE to put it) House

It doesn't seem like much, really, but when you look at just how much there is of each, and how the Doctor Who season finale was so bloody SAD, and that I should REALLY be doing my college app.s right now... Bah @_@


Mar. 24th, 2006 10:34 pm
salienne: (Default)
X-Files and Farscape=the SUPERIOR sci-fi shows ^.^


salienne: (Default)

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