Episode 24: Ladies, Am I Right?

Rachel and Leeman share germs and discuss the way women are depicted in various media. (Also Leeman still struggles to interpret the settings on the microphone)

Topics Discussed and/or Spoiled

Miskatonic Musings, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Jodorowsky’s Dune, The Star Wars, Genndy Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars, Heir to the Empire, Courtship of Princess Leiah, The Vorkosigan Saga, Miss Representation, Cleanflix, The Bechdel Test, Ironman 3, Pacific Rim, Superman, The Heat, Gilmore Girls, Hannibal, Pushing Daisies, The Smurfette Principle, Firefly, Orange is the New Black, Twilight, Hunger Games, Once Upon a Time, Xena, Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine, Buffy, Farscape, Veronica Mars, Game of Thrones, Lost, Gleeroes, Sherlock, House of Cards, and…. Bernie?

Our outro is Debs and Errol’s “Gaming With You”

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9 Responses to Episode 24: Ladies, Am I Right?

  1. Rachel Kolar says:

    Hey guys, I finally have time and opportunity to do a response to your show1 I think a lot of it comes down to not having Smurfette- if you have only one woman, that woman will be looked at representative of all women. Because I’m a parent, I’m going to use the children’s show yo gabba gabba as an example (Stare into your future, Kesslers!). In the show, there a re two female gabbas. Tudy is a more rough and tumble, active, tomboy type and Foofa is a the pink, quiet girly girl. Because there are two, they can just be there own selves not Smurfette, and any girl viewers have a variety of charcters to identify with. speaking of varieties of female characters…

    Leeman how can you not have mentioned how great Avatar is in this and all regards! It’s female characters both heroic and antagonistic are rich, complex, and unique. It’s seriously one of the best shows ever made, period. I was planning to recommend it in your death podcast as a series that really, carefully explores the moral decision to kill a bad guy. In building up to the final confrontation between the Avatar and the big bad (is this spoilery? I don’t think it’s spoilery.) the heroes fully acknowledge the humanity of the big bad and wrestle with the choice to kill him or not.

  2. Tom Kolar says:

    This is a web series focused on video game design, but they’ve got a lot of great insight into storytelling in general, and this was some good thoughts on female characters.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1qndga6SNU

  3. Rachel Kolar says:

    Re: good depictions of women in movies: Brave comes to mind, as does my girlfriend Ellen Ripley. (Every time I see Aliens, I love Ripley a little more.) My brother doesn’t like Brave because he doesn’t think the father is a strong enough character and because he thinks the father plays into too many negative stereotypes about buffoonish dads. Really? The only major character of your sex plays into some stereotypes you don’t like and is shoved off to the sidelines because the story is about the characters of the opposite sex? How could that POSSIBLY feel?

    I had about ten thousand thoughts about this podcast when I first heard it and was going to do a really, really long reply, but that was about two weeks ago and I didn’t have time to sit down and do a decent-sized reply until now (GAZE UPON YOUR FUTURE!), so I’ve completely forgotten everything I was going to say. You might get annoying little comments trickling in from me as I remember what I was thinking when I first heard it.

    • Rachel Kolar says:

      Oh! One thought I remembered and have been meaning to post is that my Freaks and Geeks lady chains gave me my very own version of the Bechdel Test. One of the things that drives me craziest with Freaks and Geeks is that, while Lindsey is a girl, she seems to consciously avoid female friendships because Judd Apatow wants to get his feminist cred by having a female main character but really only wants to write about male friendships. Lindsey is friends with the freaks, but they’re all guys except Kim Kelly, who’s only a girl because she’s Daniel’s girlfriend. Kim herself doesn’t seem to have any girl friends except Rashida Jones’ character (whose name escapes me), and she only shows up so Daniel can cheat on Kim with her. Cindy the cheerleader is a recurring female character, but only so Sam can have a crush on her. Lindsey’s mom is a recurring female character, but, well, she’s Lindsey’s mom. And on, and on, and on. Any time a female character shows up, it’s only for the male characters to crush on her.

      And thus, the Kolar test! Is there more than one named female character whose gender you can change in the first episode or two in which she appears without it having any serious effect on the plot? (There has to be more than one, because otherwise she runs the risk of being Smurfette, and first episode or two clause is important, because if it’s a crazy Whedon-esque romantic entanglement show, then every female character is eventually going to get paired with every male character.)

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