Sunday, February 01, 2015

Day 32 of Feminist Joys: TV Shows

I am watching three TV shows these days, and they are all wonderful and feminist and I'm amazed to have three such shows at the same time! And all of them are something to do with crime. If this is your thing, check these out.

The Fall

Perhaps the most outrightly feminist of the three, The Fall is about a woman police officer who is on the trail of a serial killer. Gillian Anderson portrays a feminist detective who calls out misogyny when she sees it, whether in her colleagues or in serial killers. This show minces no words and provides some great moments of validation. There are some scenes of violence though, which are difficult to watch. Season 1 was really great; season 2, which I'm on now, seems less so.

Also, it has the amazing Archie Panjabi, who's in two of these three shows!


This is probably the most fun show of the three. I can't stand the misogyny and bromance of Sherlock, but Elementary plays with canon in delightful ways. The facial expressions and body language of Jonny Lee Miller, who plays Sherlock, are a delight. But what's best about the current season is how aware the show is of privilege and lack of it and how that plays into crime and victimhood. For instance, in the episode I was watching today, Holmes' assistant mentions, with some contempt, that the missing young woman she's investigating has probably run away from home. Holmes: "And nothing bad ever happens to runaways."

The show also touches on issues like drug addiction and rape in meaningful, profoundly empathic ways.

Season 1 of Elementary was fun, Season 2 was really really awful. I had given up and didn't think I'd watch Season 3. But it's better than anything they've done before: the episodes I've watched so far have been some of the best television I've ever seen.

The Good Wife

Okay, I'm a bit obsessive about this show. It's in it's sixth season, and I've watched the first four at least twice. It's got a great cast of characters, and raises interesting ethical issues. Mostly, it's also a lot of fun to watch.

The feminism on this show is much more privileged, since the titular character is a white middle or upper class woman who has to go back to work after 12 years of being a stay-at-home mom. She is a brilliant lawyer and rises to success really quickly. The show does give us some conversation on issues of race and class, but the protagonist is mostly quite removed from it all.

Honorable Mention: How to Get Away with Murder, which has a great cast of characters and is a lot of fun to watch.

Anyway. Do you watch or like any of these shows? Do you have any more I should be watching?

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