- Uhm, I only just found this: Settlingly Ever After, a Liz/Wesley fic. From 30 Rock! (Wesley was maybe my favourite thing about a season I'm not particularly impressed with.) And it is excellent, but that's probably just because it's dollsome.
- I also just found Tiger Beatdown, a blog with the very appropriate tagline "lady business" (women! feminism! etc.). I came across it because I was reading about women on television (yes, this is what I do with my free time! WHAT AM I.), and the main writer Sady Doyle had some really fascinating stuff to say about Liz Lemon - I don't agree with all of it, but it's interesting, makes you think about things a little, and it's definitely well-written.
I wanted to know what she'd think of Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, and I poked around and found this. It's not just perfect, but it's also 80% of why I love Leslie and this show.
- Leslie Knope has a dinner-date with other ladies to celebrate them! She believes strongly in things and is very good at things (things that include hunting, yay, women!) and she doesn't shy away from making sure people know that of her. She is a little silly and overenthusiastic and a workaholic, but her friends and her coworkers love her, and we completely understand why. She's sweet and sometimes naive but tough and unrelenting. She is one part of the best-written female-female friendship I've seen on TV in a while, maybe ever. Her life does not revolve around men.
The best thing about all of it is that why Leslie is such a great female character is never something that's overt or too on-the-nose - there's something really naturally strong about her (in fact, about all the women on P&R), so it isn't something with an agenda, but something that the writers and actors really seem to believe in - and by that I mean that's it's not put in so much as it's inherent in everything that's said or done. And as much as they have flaws and do mildly crazy things, they're also people that we would genuinely want to hang out with or know - and not despite them being women, but partly because of it - because having all of the characteristics and interests they have and being a woman at the same time is maybe the best thing about them. And that's wonderful.
- I can't say we don't have strong female characters on TV right now. Buffy is kickass, Zoe Washburne is kickass, Kate Beckett is kickass, Olivia Dunham is kickass - all strong, both physically and mentally, all believably vulnerable, but intelligent and good fighters and people that people would want to be with. The thing is, can't you say they're part of a "warrior woman" stereotype? Strong, but with the emphasis on that strength, a little closed-off. The exception, maybe, could be CJ Cregg, but then she's a career-oriented woman in a field/workplace dominated by men and thriving on being able to be emotionally-detached. Noticeably they're all part of crime/drama/fight-heavy shows. (Quick note here: Sarah Walker may be a fighter, but she's pretty poorly-written and kind of a lousy role model, so she doesn't belong here.)
(If there's anyone else that's strong that I haven't mentioned, please point her out to me so I can watch that show.)
Women in comedies like this are so much harder to find - the women that are supposed to be the normal women (and with no real distinctive background - drug, abuse, etc.) - Liz Lemon, as addressed, Robin Scherbatsky (in the earlier seasons), Britta Perry, maybe even Rachel Berry. The problem with them is how the shows they're in treat them. Their feminine wants/desires are made fun of, or their decision to be individual and independent is ridiculed, or they're "one of the guys", and nearly always their biggest changes or decisions are influenced by love or a man. Male characters are also ridiculed/made fun of, of course, but it's never the masculine parts of them that they target, and then they're teased when they act like girls (is he crying? how is he such a wuss?)! Amidst things like that, Parks and Recreation is a relief. (And it's interesting that this show is run by two men.)
Obviously a lot of these characters/shows are written without considering these women and the ideas and connotations that come with them, but maybe that says even more about the way women are considered - that the kind of writing that follows them comes that naturally? And that's just sad.
God that got rambley. I'm sorry, this kind of thing is interesting to me. Also, it will help me for when I write a show or movie or book in the future with THE BEST WOMEN EVER. (/dreams)
- Simon Pegg, his sister, and Nick Frost used Twitter to do the best thing ever, and I love them so much for it. GENIUS. Why I love it as much as I do has to do with the fact that basically, there's no point. They're doing it for fun! One of them thought, "Hey, this would be fun", got the others, discussed some basic plan of execution, and did it. I LOVE IT.