Friday, May 18, 2007

Woman, Thy Name Is Frailty (Sorry, Will S)

I am not among those snobs who denigrate television. I regard my television the same way I view my microwave, Mp3 player, gas grill and stereo--tools to make life easier or more pleasant.

Having said that, my television viewing is limited, simply because I consider it a huge suck-hole for time--time I can put to better use by writing.

Apart from the 7 AM news and the 10 PM news, I confine my viewing to specific shows, which I faithfully watch EVERY week:

Tuesdays: NCIS, House, and Boston Legal
Wednesday: Criminal Minds
Saturday: SNL and Ebert and Roeper
Sunday: Meet the Press, The McLaughlin Group, Nature and Masterpiece Theater

I'm not a fan of reality shows or comedies. Both type of shows leave me cold although I have caught and enjoyed episodes of Earl and Two and a Half Men.

All this is a lead-up to a story in the May 5th edition of The New York Times (NYT) titled "The New Modern Woman, Ambitious and Feeble."

The article states that there's been "a turning point in the devolution of women’s roles in television comedy — the moment when competent-but-flaky hardened into basket case."

To support this contention, the NYT points to the women of Ally McBeal and Grey's Anatomy. The article claims "it is troubling that even in escapist fantasies, today’s heroines have to be weak, needy and oversexed to be liked by women and desired by men."

Let me say at the outset, I'm not a prude. For heaven's sake, I write erotic thrillers. An over-sexed heroine doesn't even register on my alarm scale. At the same time, after watching a couple of episodes of both shows--Ally McBeal and Grey's Anatomy--I crossed them off my viewing list.


Neurotic women annoy me. Self-absorbed drama queens send me screaming into the night. Watching a show where the female characters are dizzy, chatty, "ever confused and self-doubting" is not entertainment to me; it's torture.

The article also reminded me of a post I did last year about my history with the film Pretty Woman. Read it here.

To paraphrase, I agree with the Times: Self-deprecation should not be replaced with self-denigration.

1 comment:

Paula said...

I can't imagine that S&S will get away with this, Maya. It's like the record labels with their DRM. The world is going in the other direction. Publishers, and that includes record labels, will find that the more they try to maintain a stranglehold on their properties, the more they'll lose. (I realize that the two examples aren't exactly parallel because one pertains to the creator and the other to the consumer, but I think the basic idea is the same.)

There are too many ways to circumvent companies who do this these days. It seems to me that each instance of this kind of power grab only strengthens the independents.

What do you think?

Best regards,
Paula Berinstein