On Television

‘Penny Dreadful’: Departure from Heroine

Penny Dreadful finale

We do not see the warrior that we have come to know and love, for her ability to not just fight battles, but to align others to fight against their darkest selves and moments for a better world. … Her death becomes a part of their story and creates an allegory of her character; she is not a woman anymore, but a figure to them, something they now own.

‘Fleabag’ and Finding Comedy in Life After Losing a Best Friend

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A particular focus in women-driven TV comedy is the importance of female friendship. … ‘Fleabag’ breaks from this pattern by exploring the effects of losing a best friend, and continuing to live in the world without her. Fleabag talks to us like we’re her new best friend because she can no longer talk to her real one. That the series is so funny while telling a tragic story about a very sad woman speaks to the power of comedy in addressing such difficult topics.

‘Gilmore Girls’: Rory Gilmore Is an Entitled Millennial

Gilmore Girls

That’s because she’s never had to hustle; everything has been handed to her. She only watched her mother struggle to raise her on her own, and even then it’s established that Lorelai went to great pains not to expose Rory to her struggles. … Despite her flaws, I relate to Rory because she displays all my — and my generation’s — worst characteristics.

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 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

Penny Dreadful

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’

Secrets & Liars

[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.”