TV Drama

Caitlin Snow: It’s Time to Give ‘The Flash’s Overlooked Heroine Her Due

The Flash

The decision to continually depict Caitlin as afraid of herself and her abilities is unsettling. Women are almost always taught to fear their own power, instead of embracing it or attempting to understand it. It’s sad to see that pattern repeating on a show that has so few leading women in the first place. … Caitlin’s journey shouldn’t be about whether she might turn into a monster, it should be about her becoming whole.

‘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.

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.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: 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.

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’

House of Cards

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

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.

Bi Erasure in Film and TV: The Difficulty of Representing Bisexual People On-Screen

How to Get Away with Murder

As frustrating as our erasure and stereotyping is, however, I’d like to go beyond the question of “good” and “bad” representations of bisexual characters to ask this: exactly what it is about bisexuality which makes it so hard to represent on-screen? And why, when bisexuality is visible, is it so likely to collapse back into dominant stereotypes of bisexuality as either promiscuous or merely a phase?

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and Bisexual Representation

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

But the clearest example of the Buffyverse’s discomfort with bisexuality, in my opinion, appears in the character of Faith Lehane. … Despite what was at the time a groundbreaking portrayal of a loving lesbian relationship, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ still had many issues in its messaging surrounding queer sexualities, in particular bisexuality. In my opinion, a few material changes could have gone a long way in removing at least some of this negative messaging.

‘Supernatural’s Scariest Monster: Bisexual Erasure

Supernatural

I won’t spend too much time trying to convince you that one of the main characters, Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), is bisexual — or would be, if the writers and producers would allow him to be — and that the show is queerbaiting. … What I am arguing is that queer people do not need a character’s sexuality to be canonized in order to identify with that character and recognize literary tropes that are generally used to align characters with queerness.