The body is no longer a Lacanian reflected ideal, it is a biological mess that often exists beyond anyone’s control. The effect of this convention is two-fold–a bait and switch of expectations but also the creation of a sense of biological sameness: man or woman, everybody poops. By placing the body in a biological space instead of a symbolic one, physical comedy is questioning the visual tendencies of subconscious desire.
White men are background players in the world of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ (and, of those who do appear, there’s scarcely a one who isn’t either comically inept or flat-out evil). As the lyrics of the theme song state, “White dudes hold the record for creepy crimes, but females are strong as hell, unbreakable. They alive, dammit!” The show is fundamentally about the collective trauma of growing up female in a woman-hating world.
The expectations for girls in film and television are incredibly mixed. It is naïve to say that girls nowadays are just expected to be a sexy sidekick or afterthought. With more strong female roles popping up in bigger budget films such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, there is the expectation that girls should also be intelligent and incredibly clever (while also being visually pleasing). I love Harry Potter and The Hunger Games for giving women these intense and interesting character traits. However, I remember thinking after I saw/read the series, “Wow, I’m not nearly as clever as Hermione and could never be as brave as Katniss.” There isn’t really a place for the all-around average girl. The first two examples of strong female protagonists that I could think of are in fantasy franchises. Are real female characters really that difficult to come up with? Real female characters are often created with good intentions but tend not to work on a larger scale.
Written by Max Thornton. If you care at all about popular culture and feminism, you may have noticed that last Thursday seven years of television history came to an end. 30 Rock had a complicated relationship with feminism. Linda Holmes of NPR’s Monkey See wrote an excellent article on the difference between what […]
Women and Minorities Snubbed by TV Academy’s Hall of Fame by Chris Beachum via Gold Derby Lena Dunham and Democratic Nudity by Ta-Nehisi Coates via The Atlantic Diablo Cody on the Challenge of Directing While Raising a Toddler, and Women in Film (Q&A) by Jordan Zakarin via The Hollywood Reporter The Liz Lemon Effect by […]
The rosterof newtelevision shows premiering each year in the fall ought to be an exciting time for any TV fan. Unfortunately, I am a jaded, cynical curmudgeon, burned by my previous experiences in the field of new fall shows, and I read the previews with dread roiling in the pit of my stomach. In our […]
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) in 30 Rock This post written by Peggy Cooke was originally published at Abortion Gang and is cross-posted with permission. I have had a love-hate relationship with 30 Rock almost since the show’s inception. I love it purely because it is smart and hilarious, and the Liz Lemon character is such […]
The 2011 Emmy Awards aired Sunday, September 18th Glee! by Cali Loria Having a character on TV who does not fit into the mold of being a perfect Westernized ideal of beauty would, in someone else’s hands, be refreshing. Glee, however, focuses on the extremes of women, enjoying the overt and campy hyperbolization of its […]
Tina Fey as “Liz Lemon” in 30 Rock Liz Lemon, the protagonist created and portrayed by Tina Fey on NBC’s 30 Rock, is one of television’s most recognizable and loved characters for her outlandish antics and so-real-it-hurts single-line commentaries on women and society. On the surface, Liz charms the audience with her awkward girl-next-door looks, […]
“I’m prepared to do a nipple slip if you need it.” –Jenna Maroney, played by Jane Krakowski Female comedic duos never go out of style. First, there was Lucy and Ethel, followed by Mary and Rhoda, then Roseanne and Jackie. What makes these comedy pairings so successful is that no matter how different each woman […]
Something to break up the long, hot summer: the 2011 Primetime Emmy nominations are out. Here is a selection of the women nominated for acting. Stay tuned for an analysis of female nominees behind the camera. For the entire list of nominees, visit the official Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website. Lead Actress in […]