salienne: (Farscape not broken)
Rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, I don't know whether to be horrified at the gender politics of the show or...

Actually, no, that's about the only option there.

Sad part is, I'm still not sure how much "better" mainstream sci-fi has really gotten. There seem to be more (and more interesting) women, but condescending man = romance and lolmisogyny still seem fairly prevalent.

In other news, I just made soup. I may have overcooked it somewhat, but eh, I am proud of Never-Cooks-Ever Me.
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)
Peter remains an asshole.

Also, I officially ship Olivia/Astrid, and I feel like this is fic I need to write over the break. That, and Spoilers )
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?

Oh House...

Apr. 7th, 2009 04:37 pm
salienne: (Default)
So, I'm well aware that I haven't updated in ages, and I plan to make a substantial post (or at least put up some fanfic) at some upcoming point.

For right now, though, I will just say that the House episode left me sobbing, although I'm still not sure what the point of this particular plot twist was. Also, if the after-effects of this get dropped/forgotten in an episode or two, I will be angry, because the show needs better emotional continuity as it is.
salienne: (Pirate)
Oz=Made of Win.

Really crack!y, unhealthy, messed up win, yes, but win nevertheless. Just... as a writer, how do you manage to pull together so many plotlines and characters? Good plotlines and characters, that are insanely complex and awesome?

Though I am wishing I hadn't watched all those Keller/Beecher scenes beforehand. It pulls me out of the show, and it's all so much better in context. (And no, I'm not just watching it for the boys kissing. If I were, I would be sorely disappointed/disturbed.)

Now to go to sleep and wish that I didn't know the end to that cliffhanger because of me and my spoiler-peeking.

(Also, the fact that a good quarter of the cast of Oz is in Law and Order? So amusing.)
salienne: (Default)
So, just finished Life on Mars (in 3 days--no, I haven't done much besides watch tv on my computer, come to think of it).

And ya know, I am really rather fond of this show. Have a few issues with the ending because, depending on how you look at it, it's a bit squicky, but it's quite nice in some ways too. So... yay mixed feelings!

Just one question, though:

What the hell is it with the creepy little girl?

Two seasons and I still don't get it.

Oh, and I really need a John Simm icon.
salienne: (DW Just an Image)
Exit Wounds Thoughts..... dhpoaiehrponaebiuhsguihd!!!! )

...I'm gonna go be shell-shocked for a while longer now. And think about how DW is starting back up. And I might just need to be seasons 1 and 2 of Torchwood now.
salienne: (Aeryn)
...but the entire point is that "woman who is kind and meek and patient will be rewarded." Dear God, this girl is a freaking saint. She's unnatural. It's driving me nuts. @_@

Yet I'm still watching this made-for-tv version because it's pretty damn good and I adored the book when I read it. And it was written by the sister of the woman who wrote Wuthering Heights. And it is a wonderful story.

Jane is still driving me nuts, though. Oh how I prefer modern-day characterization.

EDIT: No, wait! She manages to have a crying fit and Rochester proposes in response!

And these people can't stage kiss. Like, at all. It's really entertaining.

EDIT 2: Okay, my initial complaint still stands, but hey, the guy gets screwed over in the end. Hoorah. @_@ Now I refuse to read into this because it's from the 1800's and I can excuse things, I really can. And the end made me grin, dammit!

Ah yes, and I am also back at Johns Hopkins, and I have class on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Monday, I've decided, will be writing day, and Tuesday will be writing and observing CBT training. Shame I can't do the fantasy writing workshop (mainly because of the CBT training), but since I'll do that anyway... *Shrugs*

Now to keep watching. And maybe watch some Doctor Who. And completely fail at getting to a normal sleeping schedule. XD
salienne: (Default)
Well, after a hella long time waiting, I just saw the last episode of "Miracles" (the show was canceled because people are so stupid; it was a really good show).

Now, my problem:

As an episode, "Paul is Dead" gets 9.5/10 (.5 deducted because of a lack of real answers and because the actress can't actually cry). This was an AWESOME episode, with great plot, great moments, great character relations, etc. etc.

But as a season finale, much less a SERIES finale, it gets a 6/10 (7/20 if we're just looking at it as a season finale, as we should've been). We get no real answers, though it looks like we might, and the "mythology", using X-Files terminology, just goes around in circles. There is NOTHING new here, and I called the ending during the first 10 minutes of the ep (though the episode obviously wanted you to, but still).

Bah... I would like this episode so much better if it were a real ending, or at LEAST gave us something new besides the final shot of the sheet...

Stupid canceling people.
salienne: (Default)
-- List 10 series
-- Have your friends guess your favorite characters from each one.
-- You can cross out the show/movie/book and put the character when someone guesses.

1. Doctor Who
2. Farscape
3. House
4. The Vampire Chronicles
5. Harry Potter
6. Angel
7. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
8. Law and Order: SVU
9. Fairly Odd Parents
10. The X-Files


salienne: (Default)

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