Monday, December 22, 2014

TV is MIles Ahead of Film in Creating Consistently Great Women's Roles


TV Beats Film for Strong Women – by Anne Brodie

Claire Danes’ Homeland intelligence officer Carrie Mathison says who lives and who dies.  She may have been nearly lethally sidelined by the ambassador’s husband, her temper tantrums are epic and she’s a relentless, danger-fixated bully, but she gets the job done.  In the sensitive world of international intelligence she’s a one –off, a savant whose instincts are ten miles ahead of her colleagues, and iron will carries her through unimaginably dangerous situations.  Her understanding of the minutiae of the Middle East is unmatched.  Mathison is one of television’s most pro-active, gifted characters, male or female. And you know what? It’s no big deal that she’s a woman.  Isn’t that grand?
Television is decades ahead of film in the race to gender equality. Female police officers, real out-the-in-the-field physical types date back to the 70’s with Angie Dickinson as the iconic Sgt. Pepper Anderson.  Beautiful, yes, but capable? And how. Charlie’s Angels added their unique gifts to the mix and who was scarier than the tag team of Cagney and Lacey?  Mireille Enos brought deliberate contemplation to police work in The Killing, a brilliant remake of the Scandinavian “Nordic noir” series. 
The English series Broadchurch introduced North American audiences to DS Ellie Miller played by Olivia Colman, a dedicated and deserving detective who was passed over for the promotion and forced to work with a man she considered too damaged to work.  Leave it to the woman; she carried on tirelessly despite him, and they got their man.   ...
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