Category Archives: About Gender Issues

WRITING: Adapting and Re-Imagining Characters (The Emma Frost Remix)

There have been a rash of reboots and reimaginings in the last few years, ranging from literary switchups like Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, to the glorious reimagining of shlocky 80’s sci-fi Battlestar Galactica, to successful movie-to-series transitions like MTV’s Teen Wolf. This is alongside media where it’s common within a work to completely reboot things creatively, such as comic book series where the head writer changes every few years. The ability to pick out the essential traits of characters people know intimately, and successfully reimagine the characters and world, is a really cool skill.

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TV: Boardwalk Empire and Power

I’ve just started watching Boardwalk Empire, and though I’ve got plenty left to watch – I’m six episodes in – I have a few thoughts on what I’ve watched…

(Spoilers for the first six episodes of Boardwalk Empire. In turn, I would request you don’t spoil me for anything after ep 1.6 in the comments. This is one show that, aside from one huge spoiler for the end of the second season, I’ve largely managed to stay unspoiled for.)

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TV: Womens’ Shows (On Game of Thrones and Its Many Awesome Ladies)

Once upon a time, ‘womens’ shows’ was a category of television considered with derision. Daytime soap operas, cooking shows, domestic dramas. Not high drama, full of swordfights, politics and intrigue. Not thoughtful, subtle dramas critiquing the past exploring the 1960’s advertising game.

Yet now, we have Mad Men and we have Game of Thrones.

(Spoilers for Game of Thrones‘ first season follow after the cut.)

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WRITING: Gender-Specific Adjectives

In a recent essay at Tiger Beatdown on why Doctor Who‘s Amy Pond is frustrating, Lindsay Miller offered this succint point: “Can we all take a moment here to agree, unequivocally, that “feisty” is the single most condescending adjective in the English language […]?” At that same site, s.e. smith asked what we mean when we talk about “strong female characters”. Both got me thinking about gender-specificity in adjectives, and what that means…

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Derivative Works IV: Taking Back the Culture

In previous Derivative Works pieces, I’ve written about how the stigmas regarding fanfiction are inaccurate, and how derivative works can use a majority-centric work to create a space for a minority. In that last essay, I wrote about how cover songs can ‘queer’ a mainstream song, giving queer voices a way to access a song friendly to them in a landscape that usually isn’t. I’d like to explore, for a moment, how fanfiction does something similar with other works; in this example, television.

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PERSONAL: The Daily Post Challenges

There’s been a recurring notice on my WordPress about The Daily Post, a blog that gives you a topic every day to post about. While I hardly have the dedication to doa so, I enjoy taking random topics and seeing what comes out, so I’m tackling some here. How many, I don’t yet know. Let’s see…

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Cultural Changes in TV: Contrasting Just Shoot Me and Ugly Betty (Nov. 2008)

In my first year at Ryerson (Nov. 2008), the term paper we were assigned to write was a compare-and-contrast research paper comparing two television shows, and what the differences between them showed about TV at the time. The paper was well-received, and I was recommended to keep a copy of it as a portfolio piece should I ever pursue writing about television, rather than writing television as I intend.

I’m rather proud of it. Like all ‘unpublished’ pieces, it is a work in progress that can always be tightened, rewritten and corrected. I’m sharing it with the world both as a piece that shows my analytical/historical interests in TV, as a portfolio piece, and as a way of opening it up to scrutiny in order to allow me to improve it for future use.

Keeping in mind that this was written in 2008, when Ugly Betty was in the midst of its second season, here goes…

* Note that the only modifications I’ve made to this draft since 2008 were to change ‘transgender people/persons’ to ‘transgendered people/persons’, as I believe that term is more respectful, and the addition of bullet points to one portion so that it reads better..

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