English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: feminism Page 1 of 5

Fresh off the Meaning of TV

For my final post, I figured I’d review what I thought the show was trying to tell us overall. I began my blog talking about the themes of the show, and progressed to talk about the role of gender in the show. Because I did these heavy- hitting topics towards the beginning of my blog, I feel that it could be useful to revisit now that I’ve seen more and been able to have a clearer idea of how these review topics have influenced the overall meaning of the show.

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look back at it

The show revolved around central abstracts like feminism, gender roles, family dynamics, and immigration.  The show was first aired in primetime in the slot directly following Modern Family, a telling fact which I missed in earlier reviews. This shows the audience that they were targeting as set up by the viewers of Modern Family and can indicate the style the show follows. Both shows are a little sarcastic, comedic, family-friendly sitcoms with adult twists here and there to keep it interesting for the adult viewers. They are overall family friendly but make a point to revolve around key social issues like homosexual marriage, mixed families, immigration, women’s roles, and more. This pattern holds their target audience and is extended through the show’s presence on the online streaming network Hulu. The show wants to have its audience but make its point too.

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yes, you can be both fully Asian and fully American

Fresh off the Boat normalizes and brings down to earth characters which challenge the norm. The main female lead is very much in control of her family and leads her husband in many ways, being a strong-willed yet feminine and sweet character. The father is an Asian-American immigrant who is pursuing the American Dream. These characters border on satirizing the norms of American culture and bring to light the ‘melting pot’ aspect of American culture in a positive and endearing way. This results in not only a huge following but also a meaningful one which reflects that these ideas will have an effect on mainstream culture with its audience.

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Let’s get a zoom in on her face!

What must begin must end at some point, and sadly, this blog must end, but not without a final exhilarating post regarding the at-times cliched and at-times unique cinematography of episode 5 of season 1 (Dogs Playing Poker), which is such a broad topic that merely the location of cameras themselves and cuts between the aforementioned cameras will be mentioned.

What is most notable is the use of cameras; rather than merely sticking with either a single-camera setup or a multi-camera setup, Switched At Birth uses both, depending on the scenario. For example, for personal scenes, a partially-single-camera setup is used, with only a handful of fixed camera (used to intersperse shots) and one mobile camera (used as the primary camera). By doing so, greater attention is focused onto the main characters, as less time is spent intermingling between recurring characters and main characters.

However, in comparison, for more stilted scenes, such as, for example, Ty and Bay’s family dinner with Bay’s parents, a more appropriate multi-camera setup is used in order to lower editing costs and, more importantly, emphasize that a scene, unlike personal scenes, is merely conversational. For instance, the family dinner scene rarely, if ever, zooms into a character’s face (due to the scene generally holding the intent of awkward chatter) and generally maintains a distance from characters (in order to further emphasize the non-fluidity of the dinner banter, mirroring the mental distance faced by Ty and Bay when attempting to speak to her parents).

1x05 - Dogs Playing Poker - Switched At Birth Image ...

This scene, due to being conversational, generally involves a multi-camera setup.

However, the use of both setups, in fact, emphasizes the uniqueness between the light-hearted chatter of adolescent gossip and speech, where the movement of the camera nearly mimics the excitement of the students, and Daphne’s relation to her mother, which is generally supportive and relaxed, as opposed to the rigid and formal monologues given by Bay’s detached parents.

Who/What is normal?

For the fifth and the last Blog Entry, I am focusing on the writing of the “Normal”, the twentieth episode of season 1 of New Girl. It was written by Luvh Rakhe. He also wrote It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005) and A.P Bio (2018).

In this episode Jess brings her boyfriend Russell to the loft to meet her roommates. Her roommates and her boyfriend were awkward at first but then after talking for a while, they started bonding while playing True American, a drinking game. The next morning, Nick accidentally hurts Russell with the prototype of his idea for real apps. Russell leaves the house and Jess becomes disappointed.

The dialogue here is mainly the conversations between the characters. There is not much of a self-talk. This is important because it allows the viewers to make interpretation on the feelings of each characters and analyze it by themselves.

There were external references when Jess says act cool to her roommates. They think of what cool means to each of them and what they would do when Russell is in their house. After a couple of minutes, Jess says to them to act normal. The silences in this episode is to move from one scene to another. It is also used right before they started True American. This increased the tension of the game.

Jess, her roommates, and Russell playing True American.

I believe this episode stands out because it has a good sequence of introduction, development, turn and conclusion. At first there is a new person introduced in the relationship between Jess and her roommates. And then they get to know each other by playing True American. There is a turn when Nick accidentally hurts Russell, leading to Jess and Russell fighting and lastly, the conclusion where Jess and Russell make up. I think it is an intriguing way to engage the viewers by increasing the tension between the characters.

My Final Farewell Before Being Fresh Off the Blog

Alright, yay! Last blog post! Party time! My journey with Fresh Off the Boat is finally coming to an end. Looking back, I am going to be honest. I did not like the show to begin with, and I still do not like the show now. However, it is a good show. I see that. It is just not my sense of humor, but it is well made and touches on real issues going on in the world today in a subtle way.

However, I feel like it’s only gone downhill. I love analyzing themes in shows and the deeper messages and the commentary on society. All shows do this (even the funny ones), but Fresh Off the Boat has lost its touch. They started the season really strong discussing topics such as stereotypes and gender roles. Now I have no idea what the show is talking about.

I saved my choice blog post topic for last, and I always had the intention of writing about theme for this one because it’s so interesting for me to discuss. But if I’m being honest, it hasn’t been interesting at all in the last few episodes. I watched 3 episodes today (I’m last minute I know) with the hopes of something worth talking about coming up and I got nothing.

The first episode I watched was about a gay man who came to visit who thought he had dated Louis Huang and had dated Jessica Huang as a cover for his sexuality. There’s nothing there so I try to search for some significant theme in the Huang family children. Eddie is unable to think of a science fair project, so he tries to get infected by his brothers’ chicken pox to avoid working and fails. In the end he learned so much about chicken pox by accident that he did his project on that with the help of his brothers. So, yay for comradery, but what’s the message. Learn about things you are passionate about? Even though he doesn’t actually care, and it was a ploy to do his work?

This is the Wham Halloween costume of Louis and the visiting college friend. It was too good to not include.

Fresh Off the Boat is doing good things in terms of putting a spotlight on important topics, but I don’t think that just because a show is lost in the middle of the season it should give up on delivering an important message. The writers don’t even have to come up with new themes and messages every episode – just thread the same ones throughout the entirety of the show. But, hey, I have to cut them some slack; I am basing this off of half of their first season. Maybe there’s more to discover if I keep watching?

Cinematic Crash

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Image of the plane crash from Scandal S1E

Good evening, people. I am signing on just one more time. In my last blog post, I plan to revisit cinematic elements in the Scandal show, but in episode 5, “Crash and Burn”. The cinematographers capitalize on portions of the show where characters face tragedy and crises. Specifically, the cinematographic tactics used when Olivia and her team see the plane crash site and when they listen to the black box recording of the crash.

This episode begins with the disappearance of Pope and Associates’ client, Amanda Tanner. The team goes into a frenzy and cameras switch quickly between their faces as they scramble around. The show then suddenly cuts to Quinn and Harrison stumbling down a hillside to discover the horror of a deadly plane crash. The cameras flash horrific images of burned plane pieces, smoking fabrics, scattered clothes, and even dismembered body parts. Then, it pans back to the shocked faces of Quinn and Harrison. Dramatic music plays in the background and there is a grim filter on the lens as it blinks between these somber pictures. I believe Rhimes and her directors wanted Scandal viewers to feel the gravity of the situation just as Quinn and Harrison were experiencing. Olivia and her client, the husband of the plane’s pilot, visit the site later, and the somber mood is amplified by the client’s explanation that the red flags symbolized parts of passengers bodies. The cameras then proceed to pan around the crash site to demonstrate the hundreds of red flags scattered throughout the smothering plane pieces and all along the ground.

However, I think the most cinematographically intense scene occurs when Olivia and her team must listen to the black box recording of the crash. The pilots start out just conversing between each other in a friendly manner and the camera remains zoomed out at a long distance from the team while they listen. But, as the action picks up and the crewmembers become increasingly stressed, the camera starts focusing in closely on the facial expressions of Olivia’s team. Eventually, the camera starts cutting faster and faster between their horrified faces as the recording on the box intensifies. Finally, after all this action has built up, the camera stops on Olivia’s face, which fills the entire frame, at the exact moment that the plane crashes and the audio cuts out. Thus, viewers are left with her intense look filling the screen and it is completely silent. This very dramatic sequence of cinematographic elements increases the heart rate and suspense of viewers as they watch and listen carefully to this scene, just as the team’s heart rate and suspense rose when they listened to the black box recording.

Therefore, I believe in this episode of Scandal,  the cinematographers desire to use their filmographic art to connect the viewers to the emotions and experiences of Olivia and her team.

Murphy Brown, Off Screen

Last night I was procrastinating and catching up on the recent episodes of Saturday Night Live (indubitably not as good as the old seasons, sorry Pete Davidson). The episode with Jonah Hill came on and his monologue was his induction into the five timers club. Among the the notable figures in the club was the one and only Candice Bergen. Watching this 1980s boundary pushing feminist queen on my TV outside of her Murphy Brown role inspired me to base this blog post on the impact and outside life of Candice Bergen and her show Murphy Brown.

As we read in Stealing The Show, Murphy Brown was on TV in an era where people still tuned in to watch episodes as they were premiered because the era of streaming and Netflix had yet to begin. An iconic moment occurred after Candice Bergen’s single character gave birth and became a single mother (an episode which 70 million people watched) and Vice President Dan Quayle cited her as a poor role model who was “mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.” Murphy Brown impacted American society, and during a time where “family values” were trying to fight the success LGBT and abortion rights groups had won in the previous years. (Now that these rights have come under fire again with the current U.S leaders Mike Pence and Trump, Candice Bergen has returned to her role).

The political climate in the 1980s to modern day continue to be shockingly similar. According to Time’s magazine, A day after the Murphy Brown reboot was announced Republican Senate candidate Courtland Sykes proclaimed that “I don’t want [my daughters] to grow up into career-obsessed banshees who forego home life and children and the happiness of family to become nail-biting manophobic hell-bent feminist she-devils.” Before, a comment life this would clearly be about Murphy Brown, however modern day TV has bless us with a plethora of stereotype defying women that this statement can refer to anyone.

Murphy Brown received 8 Emmy nominations and won 5. The shows 11 seasons were so impactful that Candice Bergen was even offered a job as a journalist on 60 minutes. The show had such an impact when it was originally on, it will be interesting to see what the new seasons bring.  

Murphy Brown reboot

The Boat Stops Here – Handling Racism in “Fresh off the Boat”

“Fresh off the Boat” is one of the only running shows on TV to feature an Asian family as its lead cast of characters. However, the plights of the children shown (first generation immigrants) are not entirely unique to those of Asian descent. I quickly realized how many plot points were shared between episodes of “Fresh off the Boat” and “One Day at a Time,” a show about the life of a working-class Cuban family. There were two storylines that I particularly noticed: when Eddie and Alex both wanted to buy new shoes for school but were denied the chance by their mother, and more importantly when both Eddie and Alex beat up kids who called them racial slurs. The fact that two shows decided to address this problem shows that it is a serious issue that needs addressing, especially at a time where hate crimes are on the rise. So for my free entry blog, I wanted to take a look at how “Fresh off the Boat” handles the issue of responding to racism addresses.

In the aforementioned episode (in fact, the very first episode of the show), Eddie punches a classmate who called him a slur. To Eddie’s surprise, we see his family defend him against his punishment from the school. In contrast, Alex is chastised by his mother for fighting his classmate, emphasizing the idea of “by fighting back, they win.” So, which show was right? Defend yourself, or come back with words? Unfortunately, this debate isn’t entirely wrapped up in “Fresh off the Boat.” Writers generally stayed away from the addressing of direct racism in future episodes, except for some minor cases where characters would assume something about the Huangs based on stereotypes.

Eddie’s parents defending him against his principle.

However, another commonality between these two episodes was a direct response to the overall racism: both kids wanted to suppress their culture as a result. Alex wanted his family to stop singing their support for him in Spanish; Eddie wanted to only eat American food at lunch. Luckily, both episodes end on triumphant notes, with both characters choosing not to hide their roots, but to embrace them. This is important: the shows do not force the viewer to hear that you should respond to racism with love. However, they make two important points on handling racism: first, the self-suppression of culture is never an appropriate response to racist comments. Second, it is always important to stand up against the racist (even though throwing punches is not necessarily the best means of doing so). I found this very first episode of Fresh off the Boat to be very moving, which is why I decided to return to it for my last blog entry. The shows both tackle racism in different ways, but they do have one thing in common: they show that no matter what, racism cannot be allowed to win.

Casual Misogyny in A Feminist Masterpiece

Murphy Brown is an iconic feminist piece which introduced a strong female character only allowed unedited on to TV because of a writers strike. The creator (Diane English) was female and the writers room shared some of this diversity. The show’s credit lists no writers, however the top four credited are half female and half male with female writers Diane English and Korby Siamis and male writers Steven Peterman and Gary Dontzig.  

The writing itself is even paced and witty, revolving around a recurring cast of characters who continuously build jokes off each other based off their history and the episode’s events. Because of these connections, the writers are able to fit in multiple running jokes which help develop the individuals. The humorous writing is often creative however, it adds many cliches into the mix. Much of the jokes rely on situational humor, with the majority of their landings depending on how the actors physically display the joke rather than just on the writing, a technique that Murphy Brown’s Candice Bergen kills.

Despite its feminist history, Murphy Brown is not without it flaws. The show has a surprising amount of misogynistic and inappropriate humor. At one point in season 1 episode 18, the young producer Miles makes a comment about how his life is hard because he had to turn down a date with “do-anything-for-a-promotion Lisa”, a joke that would not fly in the modern-day era of the Me-Too movement. The same episode sees other uncomfortable workplace jokes such as a coworker suggestively telling Murphy that he “hoped to see [her] in [her] cowgirl outfit” as well as a comment by the same producer asking if Murphy was upset about being slandered because it was “the 18th already” (a hint towards her time of the month which the men of the office creepily knew). This instance is quick and laughable for the 1980’s audience it was geared towards, however when paralleled by Parks and Recreation (2009-2015) the show makes a point to show how inappropriate this is and focuses an entire episode around it.

While the writing of Murphy Brown is lighthearted, easy to follow, and orchestrated by many women it continues to have misogynistic issues which may reflect the norms of the time.

2018 Murphy Brown remake

The Mothers of Fresh Off The Boat

So I’ve avoided discussing gender in Fresh Off the Boat. I wanted to give the show a chance to defend itself – but I’m low on topics so the time has arrived. Now I have to give a bit of a disclaimer – this show is a satire. It plays off stereotypes for comedy, so it should be expected that some of those are going to seep into gender.

For starters, In terms of screen time, there is only one lead female roll and that is Jessica Huang. The grandma rarely gets screen time and has very few lines. It is only for comedic sake, but it still rings true that females don’t get much time. In this particular episode they got far more time than usual, because it followed the story line of Jessica instead of Eddie.

In this episode in particular the topic focuses on Eddie Huang’s crush on an older girl. All she cared about was dropping out of school to go to beauty school… ok. This is problematic. But they don’t portray all women like this. The only female main roll is the mom, Jessica Huang. She is obsessed with being the best at everything and encourages her kids to be the same. Her determination is so strong that she temporarily quits her efforts to become a realtor because she is worried she will not be the best realtor in the district. So we have a strong female lead. She’s determined to work her hardest and refuses to even be associated with stay at home moms, because she wants to be associated with the image of a powerful working woman. The side characters are stuck in the past. We have the previously mentioned crush. In addition, we have a huge culture of stay at home moms that the show features who are aggressively conservative and look down upon working mothers (bad) but the show frames them in a way that is clear that they are looked down upon for not supporting fellow women (good). In this episode in particular one of the moms tries to encourage Jessica to work hard to accomplish her dreams, while playing the role of a very stereotypical mom.

this is a look into the stereotypical moms on the show

Although the show presents gender through stereotypes, it endorses women being proud of who they are, and supporting other women. In the end that’s the whole message of the show, be who you are.

A Friendship Between Two Broads

Broad City is objectively a unique comedy series, especially under the category of female-centered television shows. The uniqueness of the show stems from a variety of characteristics, but the show’s most defined characteristic is its implementation and representation of gender throughout each episode. Yes, Broad City is centered on the lives of two female millennial city-dwellers, Abbi and Ilana, but the show is much more than that.

Generally, the show includes a wide spread of gender throughout each episode, notably through male side characters as well as gender-fluid characters (RuPaul’s cameo in Season 4). Also, the show intersects gender with many other representational axes such as race, class, and sexual orientation. Ilana’s friend with benefits, Lincoln, is black, and her roommate is a gay Hispanic man named Jaime. Also, Ilana herself does engage sexually with both men and women, so the millennial, open-minded, unbiased representation of characters definitely shines through. Despite all these characteristics, the show does place a predominant focus on the women of the show, specifically the two female leads in Abbi and Ilana. The inclusion of the peripheral characters is mainly to bolster Abbi and Ilana’s story-lines, and the intent of the show is to portray a unique and non-stereotypical female experience.

Cast of Broad City, (left to right), Lincoln, Ilana, Jaime, Abbi

With the premiere episode of Season 4, titled “Sliding Doors,” the viewers are exposed to a more direct development of gender representation, particularly in the basis of female friendships. The opening episode is about the crazy story of how Abbi and Ilana met as young adults in New York. Ilana witnessed Abbi struggling to get into the subway, so she helped Abbi by swiping her in. However, they both missed the train, so they were basically stuck together. Although they met by chance, Abbi and Ilana do not take that for granted, and it was ultimately their decision to develop this new friendship. Television shows usually depict women as competitive or opposites of one another, and female friendships tend to be more one-sided. Broad City shatters this stereotype, however, by blossoming the friendship between Abbi and Ilana in a more authentic way in the Season 4 premiere. Abbi and Ilana recognize each other’s quirks upon first meeting, and they are willing to mutually interact and help each other out. For example, they both enjoy lighting one up from time to time, and their sense of humor plays off each other. This embracing of each other’s personality emulates a sense of relatability with the viewers that is otherwise lacking in other TV shows.

When Abbi and Ilana first met (“Sliding Doors”)

Therefore, the basis of female friendships plays into the representation of gender in Broad City because it helps to portray women in a different light. Without the stereotypes of envy and competitiveness being shown, female friendships like Abbi’s and Ilana’s are strong, embracing, and supportive of each other no matter what, making Broad City a much more refreshing show.  

Second Chances in Jessica Jones

Theme is very tricky in Jessica Jones. There is no underlining theme that applies to every episode or the whole series as a whole. However, there are certain episodes that have a theme that pushes the whole episode.

Today, I am going to analyze episode 8 of Jessica Jones. First of all, I need to give context about Kilgrave. He has the ability to command people with his voice, and he has used it to kill countless people and ruin countless lives. Jessica, the main protagonist, is living with Kilgrave, so he doesn’t kill any innocent people. In the middle of the episode, Jessica takes Kilgrave and makes him save two children from an abusive father. This makes Kilgrave and the entire audience think the theme is that “people deserve second chances”.

However, the show surprises the audience by having Jessica drug Kilgrave and lock him up at the end of the episode. This hits the audience hard and establishes the new theme of “doing good deeds doesn’t remove your past crimes”. All of the viewers thought that Jessica was going to teach Kilgrave to use his powers for good and be a superhero, but they shut that down very fast at the end.

Kilgrave trapped in cell

This theme helps relate to the show as a whole. It shows that no matter what good deeds Kilgrave does in the present, it doesn’t excuse all of his past murders and crimes. This also helps relate the show to modern law. You could save 1000 people after killing one person, but you would still go to jail for murder and be remembered as a murderer.

This creates a question about how are people redeemable. I believe some people should get second chances after doing a mistake. They should get the ability to redeem themselves and make good in the world. However, there is a certain point beyond return. People like Kilgrave, who have ruined and killed dozens of lives, do not deserve a second chance. It is hard to tell where the line should be drawn between a second chance and not, but some people deserve another chance to make the world a better place.

Examining the Role of Women in the Labour Force According to the Ideals of Fresh Off the Boat

Within this episode, Jessica attempts to leave her life as a stay-at-home mom behind and join the workforce as a realtor. However, after her first attempt at the realtor licensing exam, she realizes that re-entering the workforce will be a much tougher nut to crack than she originally believed. One of the main challenges Jessica struggles with is her inability to accept the fact that she was a stay-at-home mom and has to cope with the struggles of others like her who have difficulty entering the work force. The difficulty within switching between the roles of motherhood to worker have long been a key issue in the battle for women’s equality within the labor market.

Jessica often aims to be the best at what she does, but she gives up easily when she faces opposition.

As the episode continues Jessica pretends to have earned her realtor license so as not to lose the respect of her husband, family, and friends and struggles with the concept of heavy competition within the workforce and her desire to avoid the label of stay-at-home mother. After hiding from her family and friends to pretend to be working she realizes that she will only be fulfilled once she has begun to work and is able to compete with the other realtors in the area.

Naturally this transition is one that must be balanced while Jessica maintains her duties around the home. It is her responsibility to both maintain her children’s grades and academic standing as well as to cook and clean around the house, which places a large amount of strain on Jessica. Due to her desire to work hard and to be better than everyone else however, she is able to overcome these barriers and maintain a healthy work-life balance that is often strained when beginning a new career. This episode highlights the difficult transition of women into the labour force as well as the rough odds of a woman being successful in the labor force when burdened by a family.

Power of the Uterus

If this were review topic six, six would have been our lucky number. Season six, episode six, Orange is the New Black creators sure know how to make women powerful.

When you have a show about lesbian mastermind criminals under the supervision of officers that are female which are under directors that are also female, you have a sort of power struggle. Even though it is just one gender, the gender is broken into different dynamics. For example in the first two minutes of the episode we are shown four characters: Daddy, Daya, Barb, and the blonde girl (acts as the messenger and one of Barbs servants). Usually in shows, the male presence dominates the female presence however there are no males so we are conflicted with who is in power here. Ultimately Barb is the head of the entire C block because of the superiority she gained when she first entered max. Then we have daddy, the butch lesbian with more manly attributes than the rest and obviously the dominant sexually, which makes her struggle to earn power understanding. Then we have Daya and the blonde girl which are on slightly different levels because of the feelings Daddy has for Daya.

Daddy and Daya showing the simplest affection at the beginning of the episode

Regardless of the position of the prisoners, we still have the position of the prison guards who execute their dominance for more reasons than one and MCC corporate staff that but heads when dominance is taking place.

Let’s examine the interaction between Linda and Natalie. It is obvious that there is a mutual dislike between the two of them and for obvious reasons *cough cough Joe* however one does dominate the other and maybe it is that Natalie does not respect Linda’s position because she lacks the ability to do her job efficiently that they bud heads. However in this dynamic between the two women, the superior seems to be the submissive woman in this interaction.

This display of power within the gender is interestingly depicted by the writers of the episode. There are some many types of girls that it gets confusing who is dominating and who is submissive and why this is taking place. There is no perfect way to set up a sort of “food chain” of power however in scenes it is obvious who is powerful and who isn’t. Without regards to any men, I think that Orange is the New Black efficiently depicts some badass women that can stand alone without the presence of male dominance.

Gender Representation in Crazy Ex Girlfriend

For a show that is largely focused on two female characters, Crazy Ex Girlfriend sure does have a lot of men. This may seem like an obvious conclusion, as the show is mostly about the romantic travails of the straight female main character, but the abundance of male characters isn’t just limited to Rebecca’s boyfriends. In Rebecca’s work, the only character that has any depth and storyline (aside from Paula, who doesn’t really count since she is the other main character of Crazy Ex Girlfriend) is her male boss, Darryl. While Darryl is bisexual, making him a type of male character that doesn’t get enough representation, the females of the office consist of neurotic Karen, whose defining trait is that she talks too much about her personal hygiene, and Mrs. Hernandez, who is literally mute. Neither of those women get any real character development or insight, whereas Tim, one of the most bland annoying white men ever seen on the silver screen, gets a whole subplot related to his deep dark secret of being an illegal (Canadian) immigrant. Most of Rebecca’s friends are men as well: While she does eventually strike up a real friendship with her neighbor Heather, she spends most of the first couple of seasons attempting to be friends with White Josh, Greg, Hector, as well as two other bros that are so bland I can’t even remember their names as I write this.

This discrepancy isn’t limited to Rebecca’s life, either. Though two mothers are introduced (Mrs. Bunch and Mrs. Chan), and Rebecca’s mother gets one hell of a mother-daughter episode, the parental figures with the most real impact are the fathers. Greg’s father is the reason why Greg stays in West Covina, gives him relationship advice, and ultimately provides him with the means to escape California. Never an explosive figure like Mrs. Bunch, Mr. Serrano is nevertheless a constant presence whose character has more influence on the outcomes of the show. In contrast, Rebecca’s father Mr. Bunch manages to have more of an influence and development than his ex wife though having just a fraction of her screen time (which is already limited). Through flashbacks, we learn about the complicated father figure he was and how his influence continues to sway Rebecca into so many decisions throughout the course of the show. Both father figures certainly fare much better than poor Mrs. Chan, who is reduced to a traditional mother who loves the idea of her son moving back in, and who can always be counted on to do the cooking for family events. In the end, through her role as a conduit from Rebecca to Josh, it is how she is influenced by the main characters than her influence on them that really defines Mrs. Chan.

I find myself left with the question, why does Crazy Ex Girlfriend fall so short in female representation after breaking so many feminist boundaries?

“Oh my goodness, I get a line that isn’t about Josh or cooking??”

Women Rocking at Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy, with no hesitation, knows how to break and make up your heart (at the same time) in a blink of an eye. In other words, you never know what to expect. However, although this may be true 99 percent of the times, there is one enormous exception: Gender representation in the show.

Grey’s Anatomy is a series that encourages inclusion of all gender and sexual orientation. With this, both men and women are represented as equally important. Nevertheless, it is vital to highlight that female to tend to be reinforce as a strong and dominant gender throughout the entire series. An example of this can be seen on the fact that almost all head of surgical departments are women (Arizona Robbins- head of pediatrics, Meredith Grey- Head of general surgery, Maggy Pierce- Head of cardiothoracic surgery, Miranda Bailey- Chief), and most of the scenes are focus on what goes around the life of each of this characters (meaning that yes, female gender does receive a bit more of representation in the show).

Meredith Grey- happy and successful (the mirror image of how all women should feel about theirselves) 

Additionally, the now 15 entire seasons show, has always been centered in Meredith Grey, the protagonist. This is important as little by little we’ve seen the rite of passage she has gone through to become a strong and “bad-ass” women. Since the beginning, Meredith felt that she was under the shadow of her famous mother and her successful lover, however, the producers have made a great job of allowing her to see that she is actually the sun of her own life and that she’s capable of everything, which is something all women should learn from and act upon it.

In general, not only Grey’s Anatomy, but Shonda Rhymes as a whole, does a great job in exhibiting female gender as strong, important, and powerful as male. Knowing this, we shall not take this representation slightly, we should reflect on it and try to act based on the things we’ve learned from it.

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