My name is Elisabeth, or willowcabins; I have a presence in the femslash fandom (in general). I love sf and comics, and am nearing the end of my BA in English Literature at McGill. A tl;dr summary of me would probably be something like 21/montreal/queer/firebender/slytherin/entj (more). Like a lot of people who find themselves involved in fandom, I don’t love things casually. I inhale tv shows, sucking in interviews with actors and creators and writers, and reading and engaging in fandom production as much as possible. I fangirl a lot on my tumblr and twitter.
I created this blog for two reasons. Primarily, writing reviews and critically thinking about mass culture will help me hone skills, as well as keep track of all the thoughts I have on each show or movie that I engage in. Secondly, I want to combat tumblr culture’s habit of dismissing mass culture. It is unfair to only blame tumblr for this; it is a trend on most social networking websites including tumblr, twitter and reddit. Ultimately, it comes down to people’s the desire to label a tv show as one definitive thing. “Agent Carter is a feminist show,” “The 100 is racist,” or “The X-Files is sexist” are all absolute statements in which a moral argument is ascribed to a cultural text which, I believe, is an art work. As a result, although you may be able to back each of these statements up with well-argued meta posts, this is ultimately useless.
I’m not saying that because I think that criticism is useless, or unnecessary. That’s the opposite of what I’m saying, as a matter of fact. Although I believe that the mentality of looking for things to find problematic is ultimately exhausting, there is something ennobling in not simply falling into the trap of loving everything. On the other hand, simply labeling something as “problematic” can be drastically reductive.
Lacy Hodges wrote a 100 page MA thesis in which she argues that The X-Files is not a feminist show. This is true. The show has one central female character, who is portrayed as a white middle class cishet woman. Dana Scully, however, is not as a result an “un-feminist” character; she is a woman, and the show allows her to exist as a woman. Bad things happen to her because she is a woman, which is frustrating to see for a viewer, but there are also bad things that happen to her that have nothing to do with her gender. Moreover, the show is progressive in small ways; every now and then, Scully drives.
Furthermore, the problem with the idea of “problematic” is reductive, since the term is not an apt term. The problem of our culture consistently changes, and thus “problematic” is a terrible vague idea. Second of all, it is impossible for a piece of art to ascribe to any moralistic label because of its nature as a work of art. Yes, The X-Files portrays only white women, and as a result is not a “feminist” work, but it is also not a “anti-feminist” work. There is no such thing as an “un-problematic fave,” and as a result when the internet comes along and points out the “problematic” aspects of everything, it erases crucial ideas. Embrace the problematic nature of your fave. It’s what makes it art
Essentially, I know a lot about literary theory. It’s one of my favorite areas of English Literature. Moreover, I love talking about television. It’s my favorite thing. But I also acknowledge that I am not committee enough for episode reviews, and my knowledge of television and film is limited at best. I spent the last three years studying literature. There is a lot I don’t know. But this blog is my opportunity to create a conversation. I want to write season reviews of the new shows I will be watching. Sometimes this may include close reading of single episodes if I think they are a good microcosm of the season as a whole, but mostly this will just include thoughts. I will hyperlink anything I cite, and I have created a folder on googleocs with all the academic articles which I downloaded which you may not be able to access without a university ID from websites like jstor.
I will mostly be looking at fundamental sf tv shows; The X Files will be the first thing I review. Then I will move on to cover this latest season of Person of Interest, and then I hope to go on to close read LOST and The Walking Dead. I’ll also look into close reading some movies, specifically fundamental sf like Children of Men (2006) and Contact (1997).
[needless to say; this blog is run by me, a female-identifying sf geek who also loves comics. Im very about the ladies, and consider this a blog a safe space, and invite u 2 do the same]