Posts Tagged ‘ableism’
Well, this is it. Dollhouse is over. It’s done. A lot, a lot of stuff happened in “Epitaph Two.” I don’t even know how to summarize it. “Epitaph Two” starts up where “Epitaph One” (the lost episode of season one) in the year 2020 when the tech has gone crazy and there are completely wiped people called “dumb shows” or imprinted people that attack everyone called “butchers.” Mag and Zone are following the mini-Caroline to haven when they meet up with “real” Caroline and Paul and find Topher (who has gone crazy). But Topher is close to developing tech that will restore everyone’s (as in the whole world, everyone) original identities. At haven they find Adelle, Prya (Sierra) and Prya and Tony’s (Victor) son, T. Tony brings his merry band of butcher-fighting tech heads. They all head off for Los Angeles to get to the Dollhouse where Topher can find the tech that he needs and Caroline, Prya, and Tony can be protected from the pulse that will restore everyone’s original identities.
So they get to Los Angeles and Paul is killed by an attack. Caroline doesn’t react then, but then loses it later because she didn’t tell Paul how she felt about him and now she’s all alone. And it turns out that Alpha has turned the dollhouse into a dollhouse again…and he’s friends with everyone! Topher ends up having to sacrifice himself for the sins of his tech because the bomb that activates the pulse has to be set off manually. And in the end, Caroline imprints herself with Paul (I think) so that they can be together in her head…it was kind of weird. And those who were imprinted and don’t want to go back to their original identities (Caroline, Prya, and Tony) are stuck underground in the dollhouse for a year waiting for the effect of the pulse to wear off. The end.
(Note: This summary is not totally complete because so much happened that I couldn’t really include everything or else it would get ridiculously long as opposed to just long.)
First of all, I liked that they brought most of the people back for the finale. We didn’t see Amy Acker (Claire/Dr. Saunders/Whiskey) or Miracle Laurie (Mellie/November). But we did see Alpha and Bennett come back (Bennett in an old video as she was killed a couple episodes ago). It felt nice (if that’s the right word) to see everyone together again, kind of.
But I didn’t really appreciate how people who were wiped were referred to as “dumb shows.” It was kind of ableist and offensive…and by “kind of,” I mean totally. But we already knew that Joss Whedon has a tendency to create ableist shows.
I just don’t really know what to say. It’s over and so much has happened that I don’t really know where to start. They brought a little bit of their original questioning of what makes a person back into this episode. With Prya and Caroline not wanting to return to their original identities, I thought that they were showing that Prya and Caroline, despite being imprinted, are real people. They have real memories and feelings. I thought this was kind of saying that memories are what make you a person. But Bennett, in her video, was bringing up the idea that “we are what we do, not what we have done or will do.” We are best defined why our actions in the now. But that still holds with the idea that people who are imprinted are still people.
And Eliza Dushku did a great job in this episode, especially when it came to showing emotion. Throughout the series, she has struggled with showing emotion. I know that as Actives, they aren’t really supposed to show a lot of emotion, but even when she was imprinted, I didn’t always buy the emotion that she was trying to get across. It usually felt a little forced. But tonight, especially in her reaction to Paul’s death, she did a great job. She was good at showing her sense of both loss and loneliness. And she was, of course, good at tacking control and kicking ass. But Eliza Dushku is usually pretty good at that…just look at Faith on Buffy.
And I like/am kind of frustrated by how Joss still left us with a major question: Right before Topher exploded, he looked at the “Remember” wall in the office and said “huh?” But then he (and everything around him) exploded so we have no idea what he saw. My idea is that since he was looking at the wall of people who had fallen in the fight or were imprints, I think he saw a picture of himself. But that’s just my idea. No one really knows.
And also, when did Dollhouse become an action movie? There were parts of the episode, mainly the big gun fight, that I thought were a little over the top and didn’t really fit with the series as a whole. I’m pretty sure it was just Joss living out his childhood fantasies.
As much as I did like the final episode of Dollhouse, I’m a little disappointed with how the series ended overall. In the end, the show was moving away from the themes of identity, consent, human trafficking, and personhood for a more of an action storyline of trying to bring down Rossum. I think, though, that this was a result of trying to wrap the show up earlier than they would have liked and they needed to have some sort of finality in the show. And bringing down Rossum and restoring everyone in the world to their original identities definitely had a sense of finality.
Sorry my review is kind of all over the place. So much happened in this episode and I’m still trying to process everything. And writing this post has helped me a little in processing and because of that, I think of a new idea and add a paragraph and it might feel out of place. But I think it makes sense for the most part, so that’s good at least.
Also check out meloukhia’s review up at this ain’t livin’.
What did everyone else think of the final episode of Dollhouse? Did you think that they did a good job of wrapping the show up? Did you have any problems or issues with the episode or show in general?
Bones is back! This week’s episode revolved around the case of a murdered UFO chaser and was full of alien speculation. The storyline outside of the case was mainly about Angela and Wendell. As we saw a while back, Angela and Wendell were starting a relationship, which they have now delved into deeper, yet they are still keeping it a secret…or so they think. But throughout the episode, they have to tell Hodgins about their relationship, which is sufficiently awkwards and makes Hodgins realize that he is still in love with Angela.
Ok, so while I think Angela and Wendell are cute together, I have some major problems with their relationship and the storyline around their relationship. First of all, I think Wendell is too young/immature for Angela. He just seems like this cute little puppy that Angela is playing with. This is most clearly demonstrated in a scene when Angela and Wendell are out to lunch with Hodgins. Hodgins makes coments about how they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable around them and they can hold hands, etc. So Wendell randomly kisses Angela, which she was not prepared for and did not appreciate. I did like that she made the comment that she didn’t like being kissed when it wasn’t about her. I thought that was a good touch.
The second major thing that I have a problem with about this storyline is the way that Sweets talked to Hodgins about it. Hodgins went to Sweets because he needed advice on how to deal with his feelings about Angela and Wendell. Sweets tells Hodgins that it sometimes feels like it’s ok to feel lonely when the object of your grieving is also lonely. So, now that Angela is in a relationship, Hodgins is starting to feel lonely again and grieving over their lost relationship. Ok, this makes sense to some extent. But did everyone just forget that Angela was in a relationship before this…with a woman? So, she wasn’t lonley for a good portion of time between her relationship with Hodgins and her relationship with Wendell. It just seemed to me like they didn’t take Angela’s relationship with the woman (I’m sorry, I don’t remember her name) seriously…like it wasn’t a real relationship, so Hodgins didn’t need to feel upset about it. Why not just address what the real problem is…that she’s in a relationship with Wendell, Hodgin’s friend.
Then there was the representation of people who believe in UFO’s as “crazy,” “idiots,” and “morons.” While I may not believe in UFO’s and I don’t always understand how other people could believe in UFO’s and aliens, I don’t think it’s completely appropriate to use ableist language in describing them. Brennan makes a comment at the end about a man being a moron, “figuratively, not literally,” because “it’s exciting to use insulting colloquialisms even when they aren’t accurate.” This is just basically a round about way of saying that she’s using ableist language and likes it. But Bones doesn’t always have the best track record with ableism and representing disabilities.
Well, anyways, as I hear, we have some “great” (depending on who you are and what you like about the show) situations to look forward to between Booth and Brennan and the rest of the season progresses. If you’ve read any of my other reviews of Bones, you know how I feel about this storyline.
A couple weeks ago I received a great email from a reader that posed many thoughtful questions. I want to start by addressing one of them here.
This reader brought up the fact that in one of my posts about Glee I stated tht I wasn’t sure if I would continue to watch the show if it weren’t for the musical numbers because of the amount of sexism, ableism, racism, etc. apparent in the show. So, when does the sexism of the show outweigh the positive or entertaining aspects of the show? How much sexism is too much?
Because of the society that we live in, there is at least some sexism (and other -isms) in all tv shows. And I watch a lot of television, so I “put up with” a lot of sexism. So why do I continue to watch all these shows even though there is apparent sexism in them?
First of all, I am interested in how pop culture reflects the values of society. So even though I enjoy these shows, I am always critiquing them — analyzing what they are saying about society.
But we still have to come to terms with the fact that I enjoy these shows — they are entertaining to me — despite the fact that they promote values that I disagree with. Of course there are some aspects of certain shows that promote feminism, but they are certainly in the minority and still have sexist aspects to them as well.
For example, Secret Life of the American Teenager goes back and forth between healthy and unhealthy attitudes towards teen (and adult, sometimes) sexuality. There is the teen who in one episode thinks that the fact that she had sex with her boyfriend whom she loves killed her father, then has a conversation about masterbation with her mother in another episode. And Bones can have a great portrayal of bisexuality in Angela and then can portray stereotypes in heterosexual male-female reationships (Bones and Booth). And there are some many other examples that I could go into.
But there are still many shows that I enjoy that have very few positive feminist aspects (How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.). When does the sexist factor outweigh the entertainment factor?
Honestly, I’m not quite sure. I think it depends on each person and each show. There are certainly a lot of shows that I don’t watch. And that might be becuase their sexism and oppressive norms outweight the entertainment…or that the premise of the show just doesn’t interest me. But I don’t really think there is a set line that can be used as a template for all shows.
I know this isn’t really an answer to the question. But I can speak to my personal preference in continuing ot watch shows.
First of all, I have a tendancy to get invested in characters and storylines. Shows that are good at storytelling tend to keep my interest. Also, characters that I can either identify with in some way or see as an escape from my life can keep me interested in the show. For example, I use Gossip Girl as an escape from my life because the lives of the characters are so different from mine…but I can still see some of my personality traits in some of the characters. If the show can’t keep me interested in the storyline and invested in the characters, then the sexism will start to outweigh the entertainment factor for me.
So…how much sexism is too much in television? I don’t know. It has to be considered with the storyline and characters of the show…at least for me. I might have a higher tolerance for shows that have apparent sexism than other people. But, like I said, even if the storyline and characters are enough to keep me interested in the show, I am still always critiquing and analyzing what the show is saying about society and the sexism, racism, ableism, etc. that is in the show.
I hate that this language is so ingrained into my own vocabulary. I am aware that I do it. I cringe most every time that the word comes out of my mouth. But most of the time, it just slips out — it’s something that has been part of my vocabulary so long that it’s just something that comes out. But that’s no excuse really. What word am I talking about? One that our society uses so often that many people don’t even think of it as an offensive or exclusionary word: lame.
I can’t tell you how many times throughout my life that I have used the phrase “that’s lame” or “don’t be lame” in my life. It’s been a part of my vocabulary since grade school. I wasn’t really aware of the exclusionary and offensive nature of the word until college. That’s when I made the connection between the word “lame” and it’s association to people with mental disabilities.
But my socialization to the world “lame” is no excuse for the continued use of it. I’m definitely more conscious of using it when I am typing because I have to think more about my word choice. But when I’m talking, “lame” still slips out every now and then. I am definitely more conscious of it now that I have developed my feminism and learned more about how forms of oppression interact with each other. I catch myself when I say it now. If I don’t catch myself before it comes out, I cringe after I say it and think “I can’t believe I just said that.” I definitely don’t say it as much as I used to. I’m more aware of it now. But it’s definitely still there.
This post is not meant as a way for me to get people to tell me “it’s ok as long as you are aware of what you are doing.” If I have learned anything from developing my feminism as well as becoming involved in the feminist blogging community, it is that no one is perfect. But these flaws have to be examined. And over the past couple days, I have been increasingly reminded that “ableism is not feminism.” I have to own up to my use of ableist language. I have to work towards eliminating ableist language from my vocabulary. But, I do not expect my admission to using ableist language and my word that I will work towards improving this will make it all better. It won’t.
While I’m not expecting people to tell me that I’m not at fault for using ableist language as long as I admit to is and work towards ending it, I do hope that this post will encourage other people to question the nature of the language they use and how it may be exlusionary or offensive.