telophase: (Default)
I've been reading the replies with interest on last night's question about the Bechdel Test, on DW and LJ. To remind you, I asked:
So...if two women who are having a conversation are detectives and the conversation they're having is about a male suspect and is non-personal, does that count as passing or not? Still theoretical as the two detectives in question then started discussing a male colleague, but the question occurred to me.
We're of course arguing over technicalities, as I'm sure all of us would agree that if the only time a show passes the Bechdel test is when two female detectives are impersonally discussing a male suspect, then it really doesn't pass overall.

It's made me think about how I see the Bechdel test, and I don't think that just "discussing a man" works for me - it's that the characters or the conversation need to be in some way defined by their relationship to that man. For example, if two women are discussing politics and complaining about a male U.S. President's stand on a particular policy, then I'm perfectly fine with that, as neither the conversation nor the characters are seriously affected by whether the president is male or female.

But in the case of one conversation in New Tricks, we have a female detective questioning a female witness about the male victim of a cold case ... and the witness is the victim's daughter, and the conversation is about her rocky relationship with him, which may or may not be a possible motive for murder. I very much does not pass the Bechdel test for me, even though this would be a normal occurrence in the detective's working day, because the point of the conversation is exploring that relationship.

Anyway, on a slight tangent, still loving New Tricks, which is why I'm thinking thinky thoughts about it and want you guys to watch it also. We saw the first two eps of Series 4 last night, and I very much love that one of the leads is a strong, independent woman, and I could only love it more if it had another strong, independent woman as a main, or at least recurring and vitally important, character. I do like that the younger members of the police force we see are a lot more diverse in gender and ethnicity, and I can accept that the older members are more heavily white and male, because that would be a natural reflection of the Old Guard aging and moving up through the ranks. There are a couple of places where the show has technically passed the Bechdel test, but I'm quite aware that overall, it doesn't, and that it would be a better show if it did. But it's not egregious to me, and I can enjoy it while at the same time criticizing it.

I'm sure I have more thinky thoughts, but I also have a cold and my brain is getting very tired and I need to reserve some of it for actual work, so I will stop for now.

New Tricks

May. 9th, 2010 10:19 pm
telophase: (Near - que?)
Still watching New Tricks, the Brit cop show about a cold-cases unit made up of three cranky retired detectives and the woman detective superintendent who herds them around. Series 1 and 2 are the only ones out in the States right now, but we had a hunch, and talked a little with a Friend who Knows These Things, and discovered that yes indeed, if we purchase Region 2 DVDs and rip them, they play just fine on the PS3. So we've just finished Series 3. :)

I still recommend the show, if you like character-based shows whose charm relies on the leads playing off each other. Still doesn't pass the Bechdel Test so far (well, so far all the conversations between women involve crimes and male possible criminals ... although there's one scene in Series 2, I think, where two women are interacting and not talking at all, much less talking about a man*), but Amanda Redfern holds her own as the ringleader of the bunch, and how much do I love that (a) she's allowed to look older than 30 and (b) she has a scarred arm and every time she has occasion to wear an evening dress, they don't bother to conceal it.

cut for nattering about Brit DVDs )
telophase: (FMA - Ed panicking)
Being addicted to New Tricks, the BBC show, when only seasons 1 and 2 are out on DVD in the States, and the local PBS station is showing it ... and is halfway through Season 4 when you discover the show.

telophase: (manji - not happy)
Have spent entire day on couch alternately sneezing, sniffling, changing channels, coughing, and napping. Am fascinated by how old-school Mafia the Old Man on Pawn Stars looks. [ profile] myrialux has brought me donuts, Wendy's for lunch, new earphones since the wire in mine broke, and is going to cook dinner. Think I may keep him.

Also now addicted to New Tricks, after seeing the pilot and the first three episodes. It's a British cop series about a woman Detective Superintendent who botches a hostage situation ("You shoot one bloody dog in this town...") and is put in charge of a new cold case squad made of cranky retired detectives. Netflix has the first two seasons, and I found out last night that my local PBS station is playing episodes from somewhere in the 4th season, so I've set it to record them so I have something to watch once I finish the Netflix-available ones. Note for people interested in strong female characters - while the squad is made of men, Detective Superintendent Pullman is a very strong character, well able to hold her own with her subordinates, and I admire the way they made a great virtue of hers into a great flaw as well (hardly a spoiler unless you want to encounter it pristine, but...) her driving need to be the best: the best cadet, the best police officer, the best woman, also leads her to prove her "bestness" by taking other women's men. She's aware it's a flaw and isn't especially happy with that tendency of hers.

Anyway, off to figure out what [ profile] myrialux is doing as strange noises are emanating from the closet in the spare bedroom.

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