Women in Competition (How I Met Your Mother)

A couple of weeks ago, on this thread, I mentioned that men are constantly portrayed as competing for women in a way that makes the woman essentially irrelevant. We use game metaphors to describe the system, but the winner and loser–the agents of participation–are always just the men. The women, I said, are the ball, […]

Pushing Daisies: Three Plum Pie

I’m not a huge fan of romance on television. Mainly because it’s usually used as an excuse for someone involved to act like a moron (it tends to be the women), or it’s one character’s sole reason for existence (also usually the women), or it’s an excuse for fake drama when the relationship is “threatened”- […]

Alex: Wings’ biggest miss

Wings gave us some great women characters. Helen, who won’t take crap from anybody; Fay, a rare older woman who’s so cheerful you’d never suspect she can be totally evil; the mother of Joe and Brian, who abandoned them and never should have been a parent; and a number of women who passed through the […]

Uptown Girls

When I started watching Uptown Girls I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting any deep thoughts. Molly (Brittany Murphy) is the daughter of a late rock star who, after her inheritance is embezzled, winds up becoming the nanny to Ray (Dakota Fanning) a rather difficult child with some very set ideas. At first glance, it’s a […]

Everybody Loves Raymond – the sex talk

For those of you unfamiliar with Everybody Loves Raymond, I’d describe it as your typical updated 1950’s sitcom, featuring the patriarchy’s favorite kind of guy – a bumbling, buffoonish, insensate husband – and its favorite kind of woman, too – a wife who tolerates him for no reason other than she loves him. It’s a […]

Gilmore Girls, Part 3: The ugly

Worse than the periodic spinelessness of the title women, for me, have been the relationships of the secondary characters. Exhibit A: Lane and Zack. Zack acted like a complete ass, and Lane dumped him for good reason. He showed no sign of real remorse, he didn’t apologize, they hadn’t had a conversation about even getting […]

Gilmore Girls, Part 2: The Bad

How does a show whose eponymous purpose is to be about mother/daughter relationships become all about romance? I can understand and appreciate it, to some extent, since Rory’s show age means that both she and her single mom are at a point in their lives where romantic relationships are taking on a new importance. Rory […]