VH1’s Hindsight , which aired its first episode this week, is funny, romantic, and an absolute blast of fresh air in a TV year heavily dominated by legal dramas, procedurals, and comic-book adaptations. Forty-something Becca (the effortlessly charismatic/adorable Laura Ramsey – what else has she been in??) has a slightly successful, very ordinary life, but she can’t escape the feeling that she’s let herself down, and on the eve of her second wedding, finds herself questioning all her life choices. When an elevator malfunctions, she finds herself cast back in time to 1995, to the day of her first wedding. Instead of working a low-level management position and marrying a kind but stodgy lawyer, she’s a 20-something who still wears motorcycle jackets and is about to marry first love Sean (Craig Horner), a free-spirited Australian artist. Female characters take central stage – Becca’s best friend Lolly delivers a quirk a minute, quotes Sixteen Candles, and knows her inside and out. It’s fast-paced, refreshing, and lovable.
Tag Archives: female characters
Airhead, Meg Cabot
HATED this book. One of the most sexist narratives I’ve ever read, and from a woman, to boot.
Emerson Watts is comfortable in her own skin. She loves video games, medical documentaries, and hanging out with her equally nerdy best friend Christopher, whom she only wishes would see her as a girl instead of his asexual buddy. Until a bizarre accident makes her a participant in a brain transplant meant to save her life, in which she’s given the body – and forced to take over the identity – of a world-famous teen supermodel.
Leaving the sheer bloody ludicrousness of the plot aside, the message this book is sending – to teen girls no less – is that it’s not okay or enough to just have interests and be yourself and have nerdy interests (interests which in real life would make you totally hot to a lot of guys, something the book was conspicuously silent on – do you know how many guys would love a woman who plays video games? A LOT). You can’t *just* be smart and have hobbies and your own personality – you must ALSO have the body of a supermodel and a smile that turns virtually every guy who sees into jelly.
Because at the end of the day, why settle for being yourself? When you can be smart, nerdy, AND hot? Thus fulfilling every male fantasy ever??? Seriously if Cabot had created a female character with men in mind she couldn’t have done a better job. Em in this novel becomes the teenage epitome of Gillian Flynn’s accurately-sketched, terrible Cool Girl in Gone Girl. The representation of Male Desire and its supremacy in culture and in narrative.
I HATED this novel with every fiber of my literature-loving, chick-lit-loving, feminist body. Excuse me while I go read some Kafka, *anything,* to get this taste out of my mouth.
P.S. Emerson – or rather her body – expires when a TV falls on her. I’m not making this stuff up, folks.
P.P.S. The fact that there are two more books in this series makes me want to enlist The Bride (see Kill Bill if you haven’t seen it yet y’all) to track Cabot down and put the fear of woman into her so she never writes such a book again. I’ve read and liked/loved a lot of Cabot. This, is unworthy of her.
I started my first Jo Nesbø, who is probably the greatest Nordic crime fiction writer alive now that Mankkell is no longer writing and Stieg Larsson is dead. Thus far it is very broody and suffused with a tone of depression that matches what the main character Harry Hole is experiencing, but the prose is slowly drawing me in, particularly this gem.
“A young woman in the front row stood up unbidden, but without offering a smile. She was very attractive. Attractive without trying, thought Harry. Thin, almost wispy hair hung lifelessly down both sides of her face, which was finely chiseled and pale and wore the same serious, weary features Harry had seen on other stunning women who had become so used to being observed that they had stopped liking or disliking it. Katrine Bratt was dressed in a blue suit that underlined her feminity, but the thick black tights below the hem of her skirt and her practical winter boots invalidated any possible suspicions that she was playing it. She let her eyes run over the gathering, as if she had risen to see them and not vice versa.”
–The Snowman, Jo Nesbø
Bring on the chills.
Captain America: Winter Soldier was one of the better movies I’ve seen in a while, and easily one of the best superhero movies. I’m particularly loving this article from EW about the Black Widow/Cap relationship. “Which is why it feels weird to take up “Who Will Black Widow Hook Up With?” as a talking point. The answer could totally be “no one,” and that’s fine. But I don’t think I’m the only one who felt the Cap-Widow chemistry in Winter Soldier. There’s a nice bit of mutual dislocation in their characters: He’s a man out of time; she’s a woman without a past. (She’s from Russia, question mark?) He’s pure pre-’60s sincerity, she’s pure post-’90s cynicism. (Evans and Johansson even have an onscreen past: Friends in The Perfect Score, dating in The Nanny Diaries.)” RT
Colin Firth gives a very funny and endearing appearance on The Tonight Show in which he talks about learning to do a somersault. RT
Bill Morris at The Millions writes eloquently about the rise of second novels. “Of course, second novels don’t always flop — or drive their creators away from fiction-writing. Oliver Twist, Pride and Prejudice, Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, and John Updike’s Rabbit, Run are just a few of the many second novels that were warmly received upon publication and have enjoyed a long shelf life. But until about a year ago, I regarded such stalwarts as the exceptions that proved the rule. Then a curious thing happened. I came upon a newly published second novel that knocked me out. Then another. And another. In all of these cases, the second novel was not merely a respectable step up from a promising debut. The debuts themselves were highly accomplished, critically acclaimed books; the second novels were even more ambitious, capacious, and assured.” RT
TWC Central on The Mindy Project. “Ms. Kaling may have been something of an annoying caricature on The Office, but on The Mindy Project she has written herself a plum role – and become a role model. Her Dr. Mindy Lahiri is based on her late mother, who was also a doctor, and like her mother is a smart, well-educated professional. She is both self-conscious of her weight and other body issues, but also remains proud of her curves, her color and her culture. Her character, like the woman herself, is not the cookie-cutter cuddly cutie pie so often found on sitcoms. She is smart, yet makes many bad decisions, mostly by following her heart rather than her head, and that is just another reason why so many viewers love Dr. Lahiri – and Ms. Kaling herself.”RT
Badass Digest on why women’s journeys in film are always different than men’s – “Socially speaking, we’ve been trained to believe that women are less prone to make mistakes, but there’s this tricky double standard in which we blame them for the ills that befall a man (if a marriage or relationship dissolves)” RT
Pajiba’s Courtney Enlow snark-destroys Chris Brown, and does it good. “And then he starts talking about his class about violence against women. Oh guys. He has some thoughts on it.” RT
Via The Rabbit Room, this looks like an unexpectedly lovely/worthy Kickstarter Project – “Almost ten years ago I put my three kids to bed, told Jamie for the millionth time about my desire to write a novel, and with her blessing dug out my sketch pad to draw the first map of Aerwiar. I turned off the television (this is key) and sat in the recliner with my high school art supplies, eager to tell a story. As with any adventure, had I known how much work and time it would have taken, I might not have had the guts to start. I drew the coastline of Skree on the left, then for some reason on the right I drew another coastline and named the continent Dang.” RT
Everything Tenenbaum. “On Tuesday, New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz will release his sumptuous coffee-table book, The Wes Anderson Collection. The book delves deeply into each of Anderson’s seven films, dissecting every angle and influence with commentary, illustrations, and photography. Every chapter is anchored by a lengthy conversation between Anderson and Seitz about the making of each film.” RT