Scarlett’s First Award For A Perfectly Good Tough-As-Nails Female Really Being A Self-Serving Bitch Goes To”¦

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It’s a tie! Between Deanna Richardson from All Saints and Lauren Reed from Alias.

Hmmm, it just occurred to me that both actresses (Sibylla Budd and Melissa George respectively) are Australian. Man, we really got screwed over by that FTA.

On second thought, I give it to Reed. She and Richardson both start off as perfectly realistic, if somewhat ambitious, territorial characters, but Reed goes off the rails more spectacularly and causes more destruction. Because, you know, 99% of TV women can’t be realistic, ambition, territorial – flawed – characters without becoming either insane, soft or a self-serving bitch.

Spoiler alert for Alias
In Reed’s case, she’s married to Vaughn, the lead female’s ex, Sydney. Sydney disappeared at the end of season two, only to reappear in Hong Kong two years later (the beginning of season three), with no recollection of who she is and what she’s done in the last two years. The first person she speaks to is Vaughn, and she’s devastated to learn that her One True Love is married.

Enter Reed. She starts off, as they all do, as an intelligent woman who loves Vaughn, and is even at times concerned for Sydney’s welfare. She wants Syd out of the picture, but fair enough, because Syd’s always crapping on about Vaughn as her One True Love. She’s an intelligent, ambitious woman willing to defend her turf.

Except then she goes all pathologically self-serving on us. Turns out she’s freelancing for the bad guys while infiltrating the CIA. She’s shown in bed with Sark, having a good laugh at Vaughn’s expense. She manipulates Vaughn into staying with her, even after he’s rekindled his romance with Sydney.

And that’s something else that bothered me about season three. There is no ethical concern or consequence for Vaughn’s relationship with Sydney while he is married to Lauren. So Lauren cheated on him first, no sympathy for her, but he doesn’t know this at the time; he sleeps with Sydney without provocation. Unless being a man counts as provocation?

In the end, Lauren is caught out as a double-crossing, two-timing whore, and gets shot by Vaughn (in defence of Sydney, no less) by the end of season three. And she even tells Sydney where to find the missing pieces of her stolen life as an eleventh-hour redemption. (Excuse me while I go and vomit and long for the days when bitches remained bitches until their dying, bitter breaths.) But hey, good riddance to bad rubbish; now Sydney and Vaughn can Be Together Without Interference.

The storyline annoyed me not so much because they’d introduced another woman into the mix, but that other woman had started off being intelligent, aware of other people’s feelings and loving of her husband. And then she became a pathological self-serving bitch. In the space of a few episodes. The whole thing smacked of a character not properly thought out, or maybe enough shippers write to JJ Abrams to complain that he changed tack completely with Reed.

Hence, Scarlett’s First Award For A Perfectly Good Tough-As-Nails Female Really Being A Self-Serving Bitch Goes To Lauren Reed From Alias. Because I’m tired of kick-ass characters who disintegrate after a few episode. Because I’m tired of the idea that women are only useful as love interests and bitches (hey, I wonder if the entire of TV-land has one giant Madonna/whore complex).

Beta once said that she on her own is just a nagging voice; several writers are a demographic demanding change. I want change. I want to watch shows like All Saints and Alias confident the ambitious women aren’t going to turn into self-serving bitches. I want to watch shows like La Femme Nikita confident the female assassins won’t turn into softies. I want to watch show like The Practise confident the brilliant, eccentric female lawyers won’t turn into certifiable nutcases.

In other words, I want the same treatment given to women that writers have been giving to men since motion picture was invented.

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