We talk about a lot of sophsticated topics on this site, like marketing, target audiences, and skewed demographics. But now and then, I feel an urge to remind myself just why I started this site. Let’s look at some of the shows and movies I’ve posted about, and ask the question I asked my screenwriting professors and film pros, right up to the moment I decided there was no hope of changing the industry from within.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent: why couldn’t Detective Goren have been a woman with a brilliant investigative mind and quirky personality? Do you really think the producers even considered it?
House: why couldn’t Dr. House be a brilliant, misanthropic, flexibly-principled woman who needs a cane to walk?
Wings: why couldn’t it have been the Hackett Sisters and their tiny airline, and the guy who runs the airport lunch counter?
Northern Exposure: why couldn’t it have been about Dr. Jo Fleischman, a Jewish doctor from New York transplanted by force to the near-wilderness of Alaska?
Stargate, the movie: okay, Jack O’Neill couldn’t have been a woman, because women still aren’t allowed to be Special Forces officers, but why couldn’t Daniel Jackson have been a brilliant female linguist and archeologist?
You can play this game with almost any show or movie.