On Television

Elektra Natchios (‘Daredevil’) Is the Most Underrated Character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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In a world where female characters in television are hated for minor flaws (compared to that of their spouses, anyways), I think it’s fantastic that Daredevil asks us to root for this woman whose flaws are on par with many other male anti-heroes. … This is yet another example why women and people of color need to tell their own stories. If Elodie Yung hadn’t fought for and included more layers to Elektra, she could very well have been a one-dimensional villain, a negative to female characters of color rather than a positive.

Why Lorelai Gilmore from ‘Gilmore Girls’ Is a “Cool Girl”

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The Cool Girl is positioned as being so because she’s not like other women. You’ll notice that apart from Sookie St. James, Rory, and the select few townswomen that put the Gilmore Girls on a pedestal, Lorelai doesn’t play nice with other women. In fact, I would go as far as to say she disdains them.

Why, as an Intersectional Feminist, I Can’t Get Behind the TV Land ‘Heathers’ Reboot

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The television reboot will give marginalized people power that they don’t have in real life. As a result, they cast cis straight white people as the oppressed underclass. This misrepresentation of the real world will ultimately work to reinforce the fallacious idea that marginalized groups are “taking over” and gaining power over white, cis, straight, or otherwise privileged people. … I am not at all against a ‘Heathers’ reboot, but I want one that is progressive and intersectional, one that expands on the feminism of the original rather than scaling it back.

‘Grey’s Antomy’: Dr. Arizona Robbins, PTSD, and the Exploitation of Trauma for Shock Value

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Dr. Arizona Robbins’ (Jessica Capshaw) leg injury, amputation, and subsequent PTSD in seasons 9 and 10 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ was depicted for shock value and entertainment. As a result, the narrative surrounding Arizona’s recovery is insufficient and flawed, ignoring the extent of the real mental health challenges she faces, ultimately blaming Arizona for her inability to completely recover mentally and emotionally from the trauma she experiences.

Privilege Undermines Disney’s ‘Gargoyles’ Attempts to Explore Oppression

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Yet ‘Gargoyles’ is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. … ‘Gargoyles,’ with its “protecting a world that hates and fears them and has been fairly successful in enacting their global genocide” premise, seeks to be about marginalized peoples. At the same time, it consistently centers and prioritizes the lives of the privileged over those of the oppressed, and places the burden of obtaining justice on the latter.

‘Parks and Recreation’: Leslie Knope’s Problem with Women

Parks and Rec

For Leslie, feminism means, rather simplistically, that she admires women who are in power, believing that gender should be no barrier for achievement. Unfortunately, despite Leslie’s determination to highlight her dedication to furthering the feminist cause, her understanding is not only crude and rather rudimentary, but can, frequently, be damaging. Her identification as a feminist is, much like Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon on ’30 Rock,’ hugely lacking in intersectionality. This is even more frustrating considering that three of the four female cast members are women of color.

The Ironically Iconic ‘Wonder Woman’

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With D.C. superheroine Wonder Woman recently named UN honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls and her forthcoming feature film building hype, her profile could hardly be higher as a feminist symbol. Yet Wonder Woman, who the U.N. hopes will focus attention on women’s “participation and leadership,” is an image entirely created by men. She represents, ironically enough, male domination of the struggle against male domination. … Far from a step forward, ‘Wonder Woman’ is worse than more simply offensive chauvinism, because it insidiously exploits the female audience’s desire to identify with Wonder Woman’s empowerment.

The Villainization of Claire Underwood on ‘House of Cards’

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Much of what makes besmirching Claire Underwood villainous is also what I can’t help but find admirable about her  —  and at first, this made me question myself. … But then I thought, perhaps, it could be possible that we’ve vilified every aspect of Claire Underwood because our culture is inherently threatened by her. She’s the personification of what a patriarchal society is most fearful of… Claire Underwood has to be a villain because we aren’t ready for a world where she’s a heroine.

The Rise of Women with Mental Illness in TV Series

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, UnReal, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

With the sleeper success of ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,’ the increased focus on Kimmy Schmidt’s PTSD this season on ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ and Rachel Goldberg’s mental illness on ‘UnREAL,’ there seems to be a rise in depictions of mental health — in particular, women’s mental health — on television.

A Feminist Guide to Horror: Torture Porn TV

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Small screen torture porn, at least in the cases of ‘American Horror Story’ and ‘Penny Dreadful,’ seems to be serving rather to take our fear of sex and women out of the dark and into the light, giving us an opportunity to vicariously take women apart and show them as disgusting as a substantial portion of our society fears we might be.

Interview with First-Time Web Series Creators Ilana Rubin and Lana Schwartz on Comedy Thriller ‘Secrets & Liars’

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[Web series are] “the best opportunity we have to express our voices, because we can use any type of format we want. I think it’d be great to see more shows that represent different viewpoints and experiences than are typically seen in comedy…” “The internet has been great for creators to get their voices heard! … I think having a diverse writer’s room isn’t just essential but should be mandatory.”

‘Best of Enemies’: When Politics Was All About Men

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Out queer writer Gore Vidal was prescient in discussing the danger of self-labeled “conservative” Republicans (“reactionary” has always been a better term for them). In 1968, as part of network news coverage of the political conventions Vidal debated William F. Buckley, the loathsome “conservative” stalwart… In their debates, Vidal describes Buckley’s rhetoric as “always to the right and almost always in the wrong.” The debates are the focus of Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s documentary ‘Best of Enemies.’