28 October 2007

The Continued Rise of Female Action "Heroes"

Since we spend so much time talking about the TV series Heroes and we have a bunch of Joss Whedon fans, I thought I'd throw this in to the mix.

There is a strand of discussion about the role women play in modern heroic story-telling. College classes and scholarly texts now exist tracking the significance of Buffy Summers and Max (Dark Angel). Next into the lineup were Firefly's River Tam and Zoe Washburn. Recent seasons of cable TV have added to the discussion, particularly with the female lineup on Galactica. Sydney Bristow (Alias) and "Kate" (is it really her name? -- Lost) were joined last season by Heroes' Claire Bennett and Nicki Sanders. This brought the discussion back to the mainstream networks and this season seemed like it might adding another piece with Bionic Woman on NBC - a re-imagining of the original series (which itself was a spin-off of the Six Million Dollar Man). BW hasn't really gotten the buzz nor has it delivered. But January on Fox might be a different story when we will get The Sarah Connor Chronicles -- it is a continuation of James Cameron's Terminator concept, picking up from the end of the 2nd film (Judgement Day) and following Sarah, John and ... several Terminators.

The tie in to the strong female character thing? Before Buffy, there were two women in Science Fiction film/tv who were clearly cut from heroic cloth usually reserved for males: Ellen Ripley (Alien, Aliens, etc...) and Sarah Connor. If this series is successful in re-establishing Sarah, then it will be worth it. Additionally, it seems the series will bring another heroic female presence with the casting of Summer Glau, already part of this discussion from her earlier work as River in Firefly. YouTube has SCC clips (at least four uploaded by Fox, with more coming from less official sources. And as always, for really good writing about TV, I recommend Television Without Pity, though I caution that the language there can sometimes get... coarse.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kate form Lost = Evangeline Lilly

Anonymous said...

*from* lost

John said...

Yeah, yeah... I kow the actress. I am talking about who is the 'real' Kate? There is a mystery attached to her backstory and the whole 'fugitive on the run' thing. I actually prefer how TwoP keeps referring to her as Kate Beckinsale. :P