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October 18 2007

Chicks in Charge. "They're fearless femmes, courageous but compassionate. Modern-day women warriors are kicking tail all over TV this year".

A Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about leading women on television this season and some of the shows which paved the way, including our favorite blond vampire slayer.

[ edited by Damon (zeitgeist)
-period at the end of the link title pretty please!- on 2007-10-18 05:23 ]

I do wish they would stop dissin the original Bionic Woman. One reason I liked the show was because unlike the 6 Million Dollar Man who had no problem accepting what was done to him, she did. Her character had dimensions. She wasn't sure about herself or what she was doing. Much like the Bionic Woman now.
And yes, Buffy running in heels never struck me as a likely event.
I can't believe they left out James Cameron's Dark Angel!
They also left out The X-Files (Dana Scully), Angel (Cordy and Fred), Bones (Temperance) and Futurama (Leela). And there should have been mention of Veronica Mars.
Is anyone else worried because all the female warriors this season have to be either superpowered, and undermined, or not superpowered, but undermined. Even my new favorite show (Life) has the main character's partner get disabled by drugs.
"The number of television shows featuring tough, intelligent females in all roles has skyrocketed..." Tough, intelligent males still greatly outnumber the women. Apparently, just a few new shows can set off skyrockets (as opposed to what other kind of rockets?)

"... the women on today's shows embrace their femininity without flaunting their sexuality." I gag whenever I read about "embracing femininity." Does that mean I'm supposed to wear nail polish? Be maternal? When the new Bionic Woman wears heels for a dangerous mission, does that mean she's being strong but feminine?

The article also says the new women don't "have perfect or skinny bodies that aren't realistic." Huh, these are gorgeous, slender women. By giving them superpowers, the shows can have strong women without letting them have any weight or muscles.
"The women on today's shows embrace their femininity without flaunting their sexuality."

Huhh?? Right there with you Suzie, with the gagging.

And where the hell are the women of Battlestar Galactia in this article? Must be something about the "flaunting their sexuality" thing. As well as the diversity in looks, age and body type.
One reason I liked the show was because unlike the 6 Million Dollar Man who had no problem accepting what was done to him, she did.

In the film(s) before the TV show he was actually pretty pissed off and initially had a very [new] 'Bionic Woman' attitude about being forced into missions etc. (he was also, significantly, a civilian test-pilot in these) - the book also touched on the same issues (as well as the "Frankenstein" aspects). Once it became a series though, he went back to being a USAF pilot and the character became a bit less rebellious and a bit more accepting and by-the-book (as you'd expect of a career military officer as opposed to Jaime Sommers' tennis player or, now, bar worker).

It'll be interesting to see if they ever introduce a bionic man onto the show though, even as an enemy-of-the-week (assuming it lasts long enough to get the chance).

When the new Bionic Woman wears heels for a dangerous mission, does that mean she's being strong but feminine?

I think it means she has bionic ankles and so can get away with it. Don't try it at home though kids ;).

Even my new favorite show (Life) has the main character's partner get disabled by drugs.

Hmm, dunno. Cops that are recovering alcoholics/drug addicts etc. are so common they're almost a cliché. Couldn't this just be a case of gender blindness ?

(and in "Journeyman" the lead is a recovering gambling addict and his boss is a recovering alcoholic - both men. "Life" itself has a damaged male lead, albeit maybe less overt, psychological damage so I think addictions and so on are just a writer's "go-to" for character depth - a slightly obvious one IMO but that's another matter)
@Suzie "skyrockets (as opposed to what other kind of rockets?)"

Having built model rockets I can tell you there is such a thing as "ground rockets." They start off as regular rockets but are quickly followed by swearing, shouting at the dog, and collection of the debris trail.

More seriously, I agree with you and Shey. Why does the "Strong Woman Character" have to be cast as the "Strong Supermodel Character"? sigh. Though Saje's bionic ankles explanation is hilarious!
"The women on today's shows embrace their femininity without flaunting their sexuality."

I took this to mean they get to be women without having to be sexpots. I remember watching Charlie's Angels as a girl; most of the Angels were boobshells, er, bombshells. They used their "feminine wiles" as much as or more than any ability to kick ass. Looked at from this perspective I see the current portrayal of strong women as a huge step up. We have more freedom today to self-define what it means to be a woman, whether that means glam like ChipSix or gritty like Starbuck, or anything in between.

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