I mentioned in an earlier post that I have some problems with certain episodes of Law And Order: SVU. This post is going to largely look at episode ten of season three, so you've been warned for spoilers.
When a young wife is found dead after what appears to have been an auto-erotic encounter, Detectives Benson and Stabler find out that the deceased and a group of her girlfriends had recently been accused of raping a male stripper (Pete Starrett). A.D.A. Cabot prosecutes the sexual assault. The rape leads the Detectives to believe that the woman's death may have been a murder
The episode opens with "Syd"'s boyfriend walking into her apartment, which has "sexual" music playing (to me it sounds like elevator music, but whatever floats your boat), candles lit, flowers strewn about, etc. Setting the viewer up to believe that Syd is cheating on her boyfriend, I suppose. Her boyfriend opens the door and sees that she has died from a miscalculated attempt at auto erotic asphyxiation, or so he thinks. The episode is largely based around the assumption that this was not a suicide or accidental death, but a homicide, and the object of the episode is to find out who. Detectives finally narrow it down to two of Syd's friends, who, in the process of the murder investigation, also end up being investigated for the rape of a male stripper.
But you've got to be a knock out for viewers to accept you for it. First, let's look at my generation's most obvious example:
Skinny, pretty, leggy, clear skinned, the whole package. Gilmore Girls will always be one of my favorite shows because while there are some problematic plot points (minority characters always being sidekicks, everyone is straight/cis [that I can remember, I confess it's been a while]) it remains one of the most progressive/feminist shows I've ever been exposed to.
Lorelai's decision to keep her baby at sixteen was not used as an anti-abortion crusade, which would have been criminally easy; Rory maintains her focus on school through high school (and...sort of through college); NARAL and other feminist-y posters/books can be seen strewn about Rory's rooms at home and at Yale, etc. It's an awesome show, except for that little food thing.
From a historical perspective, even the most modern of entertainments are descendants of ancient stories and ideas. Joss Whedon’s TV series Dollhouse, though marketed as a science-fiction/spy/action series, is at heart a Gothic story, a genre that dates back to the eighteenth century, but updated to the 21st century.
To do Gothic, first you need a house. The Dollhouse isn’t the traditional crumbling castle on a bleak barren heath; it actually looks like a slightly sinister day spa, hidden beneath an office building in modern-day Los Angeles. The series’ lead, a woman codenamed “Echo” (Eliza Dushku), is one of the dolls, or Actives. They are “programmable people”, imprinted with the skills and memories to be whatever the clients need, from soldiers to sexual fantasies. In between engagements, they are kept in the Dollhouse in a child-like, amnesiac state, beautiful and helpless, their every physical need met and under constant surveillance. It’s not unlike Laura Antoniou’s underground slave training Marketplace, or the Club, an island BDSM paradise, of Anne Rice’s Exit to Eden, “...where the lights never go out and you’re never alone.” Some of the more masochistically-minded readers might be wondering where they can sign up