Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who

this ain’t livin’: Feminism and Television: All the Credit, None of the Controversy

But these shows don’t actually have any main character who straight up says “I am a feminist.” In Veronica Mars, the feminists are actually depicted as laughable figures; they are straw feminists of the worst order, honestly. “Woman power” is used as a joke line on Buffy, and I don’t see Dr. Yang calling herself a feminist even though she’s kind of a personal feminist icon, for me. Where are all the feminists on these feminist shows?

FWD/Forward: Doctor Who and the Evil Wheelchair Users of Evil

As we can see, the trend with wheelchair-using characters in this show is that they’re evil and must die at the hands of our charming able-bodied hero.

this ain’t livin’: LGBTQ Representations On Television: Doctor Arizona Robbins

Doctor Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw), introduced in the fifth season of Grey’s Anatomy, is one of my favourite women on a show which already has a lot of awesome ladies (like Chandra Wilson as Doctor Miranda Bailey, Sara Ramirez as Doctor Callie Torres, and Sandra Oh as Doctor Christina Yang). She was brought on board in the wake of the blowback about the gaywashing of Doctor Hahn as a love interest for Dr. Torres, but she’s her own character, not just a love interest, and she’s extremely awesome. There’s a reason she’s referred to as a fan favourite.

this ain’t livin’: Yes, Actually, I Can Make An Informed Choice

And it’s a trend which bears some exploration, because I think that it says a lot about feminism and the issues within the feminist movement.

It’s the idea that certain women don’t know what’s good for them. These women need to be told in no uncertain words about how to take care of their bodies, how to live their lives, how to interact with medical professionals, how to make decisions about their medical care. And, by extension, how to handle their disabilities.

a shiny new coin: Farwell Ten, allons-y Eleven

If you’re a terribly geeky Whovian like myself (if you want proof of exactly how geeky a Whovian I am: as I type this I’m wrestling with my kitten Gallifrey who wants to type too) you’ve already watched David Tennant’s finale in the role he was born to play, despite it not having aired in your country yet. Welcome to the online world BBC, what did you expect? (Oh, and ABC: three months?! You’re a bunch of wankers.)

Bitch Blogs: Jennifer Hawkins poses nude, “flaws” and all

Australian beauty queen and model Jennifer Hawkins appears nude and un-Photoshopped on the February cover of Marie Claire magazine. According to Hawkins, the photo shoot is meant to inspire confidence in women and raise money for an eating disorder support organization. Though her heart may be in the right place, Hawkins’ cover shoot just is diong the opposite of what she intended.

fbomb: The Lovely Bones

I read the book The Lovely Bones a few years after it came out. I was about fourteen and I couldn’t remember having ever read a book where the protagonist reminded me so much of myself, or at least somebody with a voice I could relate to. The protagonist, Susie Salmon, was the same age as I was, but all the other fourteen year olds being portrayed in books that I had read were usually vapid (uh, The Clique books, anyone?). The character of Susie Salmon was smart, compassionate and observant.

Now that most tv shows are taking a break until after the holidays, I’m going to have to find something else to write about…which will be hard as I work everyday til Christmas.  But we’ll see what happens.  In the meantime, check out these awesome posts!

feministhemes.com: SyFy Original Alice

SyFy’s Alice takes it to a new level. Alice is now a young adult teaching karate classes and navigating the dating world. When her new boyfriend Jack gives her a special family ring, she finds herself falling through the looking glass into Wonderland. Here she sets out (with the help of the Hatter) to rescue Jack and escape back to her world. Although Hatter really wants to be Alice’s hero, she often ends up using her karate skills to help them escape and really holds her own throughout the movie. Hatter just wants to save Alice, but Alice is set on saving Jack (a nice twist on the “damsel in distress” trope).

FWD/Forward: Glee: The Halfway Point: The Introduction

One of the most common criticisms leveled against people who critique television is “relax, it’s just a television show.” This is frustrating and curious when it comes to Glee because many people are praising the show for “breaking boundaries” and “drawing attention to social issues.” Fans apparently want to have it both ways; they want to be able to defend the show on the grounds that it’s “just a television show” while patting themselves on the back for watching such a progressive, insightful, inspiring television series.

Hugo Schwyzer: Ten Firsts for Feminism in 2009

For the second straight year, let me offer my own entirely unofficial “ten great firsts for feminism in 2009? list.  These come in no particular order, and you’re welcome to add your own in the comments section (or at your own blogs).

Women & Hollywood: The Nancy Meyers Effect

But what Nancy Meyers does better than anyone is make these women relatable to other women, and those women go out and buy tickets to her films. That’s why she gets paid the very big bucks and has final cut of her films. (According to the article she makes $12 million a movie not including movie she makes on the grosses.) Of course I know that I won’t be able to write a play in the throes of a breakup and then have it produced on Broadway…but knowing that didn’t make me like the film (Something’s Gotta Give) any less. I think it made me like the film MORE because Diane Keaton’s character was so competent.

The Observer: It just feels scary…all the time

He’s been voted the best Doctor Who ever, but David Tennant’s rule as the Timelord is coming to an end. So how will he cope with life outside the Tardis? Johnny Davis, who has spent the past year trailing him, talks to Britain’s most popular actor.

Just because I love Doctor Who and David Tennant and I’m excited and sad at the same time to see his last episodes as The Doctor.

I hope everyone is having a good start to their week.  The weather has been pretty nice here lately, which is a nice change of pace as it rained almost the entire month of October.  Here are some of my favorite posts of the past couple of days.  I have decided to change the look of my link love posts to be more similar to the ones done by meloukhia nd FWD/Forward — I like how they do things, and hopefully you will too.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing and reading in the comments!

Gender Across Borders: Rihanna, “Russion Roulette,” and distortions of dating violence

But “Russian Roulette” is a more complicated song, and one that, in the end, does more to further popular understandings of abuse than songs like “Take a Bow.” As Rihanna noted in a recent interview on ABC, women in abusive relationships attempt to break up with their partners an average of seven, eight, or even nine times (depending on different estimates) before they actually leave for good. The song’s categorization of conflicting emotions (“I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving”) speaks more honestly to the complexities of abuse.

On the radio, I keep hearing things about this song being about suicide and then questioning if it should be played because it promotes the idea of suicide…and then they play the song right after that conversation.

Womanist Musings: Michelle Obama and Fashion: A Complicated Conversation

In a world in which Black women are still not seen as beautiful, the elevation of Michelle has done much to reinforce a more feminine identity. Black women have always struggled to have our womanhood validated.

I always find the media representation of Michelle Obama to be interesting, especially when they only talk about her fashion choices and not about the political contributions she has made.

FWD/Forward: Guest Post: Davros, Daleks, and Disability

What’s really promblematic about Davros is not (so much) that his “spiritual disfunction manifests as physical disfunction,” but that he diliberately creates the Daleks to be more disabled than he is. He deliberately erases their capability for empathy and compassion. He expects them to be obedient to his every command, and to be grateful to him, as their creator and their “father.” If Davros’s plans unfolded the way he dreamt them up, he’d be the most able-bodied (comparitively) “Emperor of Skaro.”

Bitch Blogs: Adventures in Feministory: What Women Can Be On Sesame Street

But at the risk of getting all Oscar the Grouch about the feel-good reminiscing, the thing that strikes me in watching this video on the eve of the show’s birthday is that, well, it probably wouldn’t be produced today. For all Sesame Street’s forward-thinking construction of a racially-mixed, intergenerational, monster-friendly city neighborhood, the show has repeatedly failed to foreground its females. (That sentence was brought to you by the letter F, by the way.) It’s astonishing to think that Sesame Street didn’t have a lead female Muppet until its 37th season, but the debut of Abby Cadabby in 2006 was a milestone for the show, finally offering a female character with as much personality (and, it must be said, as many marketing opportunities) as Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and Elmo.

tenth-doctor-who-785475I’ve recently started watching the British television series Doctor WhoDoctor Who originally ran from 1963 to 1989 as the longest running science-fiction show in the world.  It was revived in 2005 — I have been watching the revival.  I have not made it all the way through — I spent most of my weekend off from work catching up on the show and have made it to the beginning of season 3.  The show stars both Christopher Eccleston (season 1) and David Tennant (seasons 2+) as The Doctor, a mysterious Time Lord who travels through space and time with a companion defeating evil, usually of an extraterrestrial kind.  Rose Tyler was his companion for the first two seasons, and now, in the third season (where I am), Martha Jones is his companion after Rose got trapped in a parallel universe.

He travels in his spaceship, the TARDIS, which “disguises” itself as a 1950s police box.  The show takes us back in history to visit William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Queen Victoria; forward in time to witness the destruction of Earth and the creation of New Earth; and to alien planets where their lives are frequently threatened.

As I was spending most of my weekend watching this show, I kept thinking that I should write a post about Doctor Who.  But I didn’t really know what to write about.  I’m a sucker for sci-fi and for history, so this show has a great combination of both of these…not to mention British accents and cute men.  But I didn’t really know what to talk about besides from that.

I can’t say that I see the show as being particularly feminist.  The Doctor is the one who does everything, his companion (who is always — as far as I can tell — a woman, an attractive, young woman at that) is really just along for the ride.  Sure, Rose helped out a good deal, but she was usually the one that needed rescuing by The Doctor.  I can only think of one time, off the top of my head, that Rose actually saved The Doctor (I’m not far enough along in the episodes with Martha to know if she ever saves him).  I don’t think it would make The Doctor any less credible if he needed rescuing every once in a while.  They encounter societies, both in history and alien, that are incredible misogynistic.

Despite the fact that I wouldn’t classify the show as feminist, it is still greatly entertaining.  The dialogue is a great combination of history, sci-fi, and wit.  Of course, I don’t always get the cultural references as it is a British show and I live in the United States.  When David Tennant was first introduced as The Doctor (he can regenerate when he is close to death — his appearance changes, but he has all of the same memories), I was a little weary.  He seemed a little too goofy.  Christopher Eccleston had his goofy moments, but his demeanor was pretty serious.  David Tennant, on the other hand, tended to be goofy overall, but serious when he needed to be.  But as I made it through the second season, Tennant started to grow on me.  I’m enjoying his take on The Doctor now.  The relationship/love between Rose and The Doctor is more believable, for some reason, with this Doctor.  I could see it with Christopher Eccleston, but for some reason, it’s just more believable with Tennant.

Speaking of that, one thing that I don’t really like is that The Doctor and his companion always seem to fall in love.  I guess it helps if The Doctor is always a heterosexual man and the companion is always a heterosexual female, but it’s kind of annoying.  It’s very obvious that Rose and The Doctor were in love, there’s no question about that.  We are also introduced to one of The Doctor’s previous companions, Sarah Jane, and it is also pretty obvious that they either had a romantic relationship or were at least in love with each other.  Maybe it’s just such an intense relationship — seeing all that incredible stuff and traveling through space and time together — that makes them always fall in love.

Or maybe, it’s the fact that The Doctor always takes such a protective role regarding his companion.  It’s nice that he never leaves her behind and always rescues her, but his protectiveness gets a little out of control at times.  Even with the recent introduction as Martha as The Doctor’s companion, we can see that there is definitely the potential for a romantic relationship because of the intense protectiveness that we can see in The Doctor.  But what would a show be without sexual tension?

Overall, I think that this show is definitely worth a watch (just a helpful hint, it’s all available to watch online through Netflix), especially if you are a sci-fi fan.  But despite the emphasis on aliens, there is something about the show that I think would appeal to people who aren’t sci-fi fans.  It’s all about imagination and what might be possible.  It’s about morals, good triumphing over evil, and what it means to alter the course of history.  I’ll probably work up a more deeper analysis for when I catch up with the series, so keep an eye out!


Follow Me on Twitter