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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Timmy's down the bloody well!"
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August 02 2007

Give us more real women on TV. An article on positive women role-models, with a mention of Joss's work in the field. "Clearly this guy needs to write more TV shows." I heartily agree.

I don't think that anyone would disagree with the idea that Joss needs to write more for TV. But I can disagree with the "real=admirable" idea that I got from this. Ask me how!
Adding my voice to the lament. After BSG ends next year, there wont IMO be a single major female character on a single show, network or cable, that fits my "real woman" critera. That is, a character complete with strengths/weakness's/complexity/ambiguities and the whole range of what makes a charatcer, regardless of gender, three dimensional.
I can't imagine where a Buffy or Zoe would fit into today's increasingly retrograde depiction of women on TV.
But I can disagree with the "real=admirable" idea that I got from this. Ask me how!

Ulp *steals self* ... "How ?" ;).

I actually think TV doesn't fare too badly in most of the categories the author cites (female TV cops ? Bloody loads, as with Doctors etc.) though the author's issue seems not to be that female characters are missing from our screens but that the ones he/she likes are missing from that list. Which they're also allowed to say, obviously, it's an opinion piece.

I guess I don't think that real necessarily = admirable either, nor even, necessarily that interesting. I can take an element of soap in my procedurals for instance but I don't want to see all the character's personal problems, because, frankly, I can watch real life for that. The sort of 'real' that's actually the 'ring of truth' you get from a well drawn character is something else, you can create a very extreme, unreal character that still rings true because of writing and performance (House is my biggie here, in real life he'd have been struck off - and probably knocked out ;) - so many times it's untrue. Brennan from 'Bones' is probably his closest female equivalent - she's often naive about the world to an unbelievable extent for a woman - presumably - in her 30s but it usually rings true because of how she's written and played). Regarding real complexity, flaws and ambiguity, to be honest, men don't fare too well either - most TV shows create fairly generic male and female characters, it's what the networks seem to think sells best (or maybe just 'easiest').

(reminds me of an Ian Rankin book - he's one of the bestselling crime novelists in the UK - wherein he talks about policemen sometimes getting erections while reading rape case-files and them dealing with the guilt that ensues. Now that may well be a real trait of some policemen in their darkest moments, sure ain't admirable though)

edited for spelling and blatant sexism based on white male assumptions only considered when I noticed which site the blog was on ;)

[ edited by Saje on 2007-08-05 11:35 ]

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