TV comedy has a woman problem.
TV comedy has a woman problem. The representation of women in comedy in general is depressingly low, and it’s especially obvious on television, where most of the faces people see on screen are not only male, but white. In 2010, women’s site Jezebel called out The Daily Show for the lack of women on screen and in the writer’s room, arguing that while the show was progressive, groundbreaking, and hilarious in many ways, ultimately, the lack of women was a noticeable and profound slap in the face. The show’s female staffers responded publicly, but their response didn’t address the larger issue: why were so few of the show’s correspondents women?
Reign delivers dancing, frocks, and the glittering French court in spades.
The CW has jumped on the historical drama train with Reign, a highly fictionalised look at the early years of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots during her years at the French court. With three episodes under its belt, the series is already establishing itself as wildly historically inaccurate, yet strangely entertaining, in the sort of way that compels you to sneakily catch up when you realise there’s a new episode up.
When young women go through horrific things, and then come out the other side and speak of these things, it ought not to be refigured as salacious gossip, or confession narratives, or something to be judged.
It is not news that the way celebrity culture treats young female celebrities (and older female celebrities, for that matter) is icky. There is the constant hounding of singers and models trying to go about their grocery shopping. There are vicious rumours. There is the excessive and depersonalising adoration of the sweet young innocents – until they misstep, and then the celebrity gossip machine gorges itself upon the fall. I am given to think that sometimes the particular adoration of pre-fall female celebrities is set up in order to make their downfalls – however minor or major – seem all the more shocking and tragic. What’s really striking is the contrast between how celebrity culture deals with the “good girl gone bad” moments upon which it seizes as opposed to the real shocks, the real tragedies.
Amongst the supernatural shows on television this season comes an interesting entry: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, ABC’s spinoff of its hit Once Upon A Time. Unlike the original series, which draws upon myth, folklore, and fairy tales, this [...]
Amongst the supernatural shows on television this season comes an interesting entry: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, ABC’s spinoff of its hit Once Upon A Time. Unlike the original series, which draws upon myth, folklore, and fairy tales, this show is based at least in part on a more recent entry into the literary canon: Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a bizarre 19th century text littered with complicated allusions, surrounded by controversy, and yet utterly beguiling and fascinating.
Who will it be next week? Scheming Jews? Arab terrorists? Evil North Koreans? Chinese with takeover plans? Corrupt African dictators? I can hardly wait to see what comes up next on the ethnic smorgasboard of racist caricatures!
Last week on Agents of SHIELD: An angry Black man threatens to blow up a train station full of innocent people. This week: A mysterious explosive device is found inside an oddly young ‘Incan pyramid’ (it’s described as ‘almost 500 years old,’ ignoring the fact that, er, the Incan Empire was crushed by the Spanish about 500 years ago). Is it mysterious woo-woo Incan technology and an opportunity for a meeting with a Wise Native? No! It’s a secret Nazi plot! Or something. I confess, I started losing track over the course of the second episode of this outstandingly dull and amazingly racist series.
Intriguing that behaviour rewarded in a man should be punished and viewed as a negative when a woman engages in it, no?
Krissi Biasiello, the Masterchef contender everyone loved to hate, has finally been booted from the Fox reality drama, walking away from the dream of $250,000 in prize money and her own cookbook—and many fans are surprised she made it as far as she did. Aside from not necessarily having the strongest cooking skills, Biasiello became famous for her vicious attitude on screen, with her abrasive personality jarring many viewers as well as fellow contestants.
US television looks like it might be going bolder, darker, and just a tad more experimental this fall.
Autumn is rapidly approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, which means my favourite season is almost upon me. It’s not just the relief from the relentless heat and humidity that I’m looking forward to, but the release of new television with which to entertain me during long, dark nights in the cold. I’m nearly giddy with delight about some of the shows slated to take over the screen this fall, including some that look to be very, very good…and some that look to be very, very bad (Back in the Game, ABC; Believe NBC, and so many more—seriously, how many brooding detectives can fit in a primetime block?!).
A new world order that requires a new type of “to do” list. The type that–miracle of miracles–takes into account whatever happens to take my fancy.
This is a last for me.
I’m not good with coping with the magnitude of this occasion, though a phrase comes to mind–the one that is labeled, in bold and brilliant capitals: “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
Whenever a prominent transgender person hits the news, the US media seem to stumble.
Whenever a prominent transgender person hits the news, the US media seem to stumble. Not just on the respectful and humane treatment of the transgender community, as ample lascivious, gross, and exploitative features will attest, but on the simple matter of something that should be routine: names and pronouns.
No one is buying that you’re shocked by the latest revelations about the sordid life of Hugo Schwzyer.
[TW: Discussion of the abusive behavior of an attempted murderer and sexual predator.]
Dear Big White Upper-Middle Class Cis Heterosexual Media:
Let’s get this out of the way straight out of the gate: No one is buying that you’re shocked by the latest revelations about the sordid life of Hugo Schwzyer. No one. So let’s dispense with the handwringing. Flavia Dzodan, brownfemipower and many others have written beautifully about his history of racism and abuse of women. On twitter, @blackamazon has discussed how Hugo offered Big Feminism lucrative possibilities for expanding the feminist “brand” to include and profit from men. I am aware of all of these grievances, and I have watched Big Feminism ignore the critiques of women of color for nearly a decade now. There’s a lot of history here, and because Schwyzer has since deleted a lot of the offending material, we’ve preserved it in text and screenshots and cached posts and all kinds of things for years.
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