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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Oh no is Hollywood ruining your manhood!! (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Oh no is Hollywood ruining your manhood!!
Samprimary
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quote:
I emailed the owner again asking for guidance. Why were some reviews making it onto the web and not others? I got my answer in the form of an email that is so shocking, it seems to come from another galaxy, an evil one. What dark void produced what you are about to read is anyone's guess. What causes a male human being to so rigidly hate the opposite sex that he fears not only the power of women, but also the power of movies.

The new editor-publisher wanted to approve the movies I reviewed, which had never happened before. Worse, there would be a litmus test. If the movie featured strong or empowered women, I would not be allowed to write about that film. I checked my calendar. No, I hadn't traveled back in time. It wasn't the tenth century, it was still 2012. Relieved about the date, I asked him if he was serious. He was.

My relationship with the Niagara Falls Reporter, which was slowly limping into oblivion, ended. It didn't end because I didn't do my job. It didn't end because I missed the weekly deadline, which never happened once over seven years. It ended because a guy who has no professional journalistic experience, and a warped view of humanity, does not like strong women.

Fortunately, he put his thoughts in an email for all the world to read. On a secondary sad note, almost all of my writing for the Niagara Falls Reporter is missing from the newspaper's web Archives. Years of it.

The email I received from the new owner perfectly coincides with the darkness that occasionally descends on the American electoral process. What draws some men to the flames of a hatred for women? Why do they fear the importance and power of women? I'll let you be the judge.

Below is the email I received, exactly as written. It came after a series of phone calls and emails in which I was seeking answers. The initial email in this series was sent by me with the subject line: "Actually, I need direction for Saturday." The spelling and spacing and punctuation are exactly as written to me by the publisher. In his email, he references the films "Snow White And The Huntsman" and "Headhunters," which he calls "Headhunter." Here's the email:

Michael; I know you are committed to writing your reviews, and put a lot of effort into them. it is important for you to have the right publisher. i may not be it. i have a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me. snow white and the huntsman is such a film. when my boys were young i would never have allowed them to go to such a film for i believe it would injure their developing manhood. if i would not let my own sons see it, why would i want to publish anything about it?
snow white and the huntsman is trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.

I don't want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta.
where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females.

i believe in manliness.

not even on the web would i want to attach my name to snow white and the huntsman except to deconstruct its moral rot and its appeal to unmanly perfidious creeps.

i'm not sure what headhunter has to offer either but of what I read about it it sounds kind of creepy and morally repugnant.

with all the publications in the world who glorify what i find offensive, it should not be hard for you to publish your reviews with any number of these.

they seem to like critiques from an artistic standpoint without a word about the moral turpitude seeping into the consciousness of young people who go to watch such things as snow white and get indoctrinated to the hollywood agenda of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena -like men, cum eunuchs.

the male as lesser in courage strength and power than the female.

it may be ok for some but it is not my kind of manliness.

If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these.

i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles.

i don't want to associate the Niagara Falls Reporter with the trash of Hollywood and their ilk.

it is my opinion that hollywood has robbed america of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state.

now i realize that you have a relationship with the studios etc. and i would have been glad to have discussed this in person with you to help you segue into another relationship with a publication but inasmuch as we spent 50 minutes on the phone from paris i did not want to take up more of your time.

In short i don't care to publish reviews of films that offend me.

if you care to condemn the filmmakers as the pandering weasels that they are.... true hyenas.
i would be interested in that....
Frank

http://blogs.suntimes.com/foreignc/2012/11/post-2.html

isn't the world amazing ladies and gentlemen

john birch had a baby with MRA's and it grew up and got a newspaper

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Szymon
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This is truly amazing? He seems to have the IQ of a well trained chimpanzee.
quote:

"If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these".

What? How is it possible that this man is a publisher? Not wanting to review a film just because it's bad?

One thing though: he doesn't use capital letters, nor any interpuction. Neither do you in the last two lines. Suspicious!

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Bella Bee
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Well, he never saw 'Snow White and the Huntsman', that's for sure. Because that titular huntsman? Pretty darn manly. Oh yes. [Blushing]

But then, the character actually came to love and respect a woman, so with this guy that probably disqualified him in the manhood stakes.

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Hobbes
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My opinion (I'm not up on current research so this is just opinion) is that media portrayal of men is a problem. Of course that problem sn’t strong women (or somehow turning the USA into a police state), so this is clearly really dumb. Also, portrayal of women in movies and television isn’t exactly super healthy either but again, showing women with courage doesn’t really strike me as boycott material…

Hobbes [Smile]

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Stephan
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I have come to the conclusion that tv and movies just paints humanity in a poor light. Men and women look bad most of the time. From the balding, lazy, overweight sitcom dads to Snookie.

We might have strong female leads, but they have to wear tight clothing with cleavage pouring out.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
My opinion (I'm not up on current research so this is just opinion) is that media portrayal of men is a problem. Of course that problem sn’t strong women (or somehow turning the USA into a police state), so this is clearly really dumb. Also, portrayal of women in movies and television isn’t exactly super healthy either but again, showing women with courage doesn’t really strike me as boycott material…

Hobbes [Smile]

Yes, and yes.
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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
My opinion (I'm not up on current research so this is just opinion) is that media portrayal of men is a problem. Of course that problem sn’t strong women (or somehow turning the USA into a police state), so this is clearly really dumb. Also, portrayal of women in movies and television isn’t exactly super healthy either but again, showing women with courage doesn’t really strike me as boycott material…

Hobbes [Smile]

Just curious, how is the media portrayal of men a problem? How widespread do think this problem is?

For me, TV and movies seem to be full of men who are better looking, more witty, more courageous, and more successful than your average male. So it's certainly a very skewed view of the world. But storytelling has always been mostly about telling the more exaggerated, cooler version of the reality.

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Kwea
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They portray men as horn-dogs, and often make it seem like that is OK.

Lust is good, and healthy, in the proper context. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it is NOT the overriding emotion most men feel 24/7, despite what is seen in TV shows and movies. It is PART of a healthy relationship, but how many healthy relationships do you seen in the media?

I know....conflict makes interesting stories, and healthy relationships are not often TV or movie material. But it is one problem I get tired of seeing over and over.


Not every emotional man is gay, and not every man likes violence.


And Mr. Rodgers was NOT SF, and never killed anyone. [Big Grin]

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Stone_Wolf_
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Come on, TV and movies are such a huge category, made by so many different people with such different styles and morals I just don't find any generalities about them to be useful.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Come on, TV and movies are such a huge category, made by so many different people with such different styles and morals I just don't find any generalities about them to be useful.

"Popular television and movie roles consistently relegate minorities to token statuses"

that is a useful and true statement, to the extent that it is genuinely surprising when the trend is notably broken from trope, like with lucy liu in elementary

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advice for robots
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I'd say the husband and father role has been lampooned in sitcoms, dramas, and dramedies for quite a while now. Men in these roles are often portrayed as everything from laughably useless to actively inimical to the goals of the POV--but rarely as helpful, caring, or honorable in any way.
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Samprimary
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the more mainstream you get, the worse that gets; men remain 'fair game' for portrayal as stereotypically oafish, useless sacks of manwaste and so all junk-food sitcom fare that cannot subsist without ugly stereotypes to bounce crap off of will overindulge headily in those grounds
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Synesthesia
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So couldn't we just have strong men AND strong women instead of oafish annoying men and annoying women?
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Destineer
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At the same time, those very stereotypes can form the basis of excellent television (early Simpsons and Family Guy).
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Come on, TV and movies are such a huge category, made by so many different people with such different styles and morals I just don't find any generalities about them to be useful.

"Popular television and movie roles consistently relegate minorities to token statuses"

that is a useful and true statement, to the extent that it is genuinely surprising when the trend is notably broken from trope, like with lucy liu in elementary

There are some major problems with a statement like that.

Like, how you define "token status," and whether or not something is "surprising," and how often something has to occur to be considered "consistent," and how many viewers a show has to have (and how devoted they have to be?) before it counts as "popular."

Basically, you slipped in a bunch of implicit, unargued assertions. If any one of them falls down, doesn't that erode the truth and usefulness of the statement?

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Lyrhawn
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As noted in this thread, physical portrayals of men seem to take one of two tracks:

Either they're impossibly good looking with rippling muscles, or they're ridiculously fat and useless. The fat ones are hilariously inept at every possible task. The attractive ones are impossibly skilled at everything and greatly desired. Sometimes they mix and match.

This is no different than portraying women as either domestic servant wives or as impossibly smokin' hot badasses. Either way you're creating gender stereotypes and warping reality to give viewers a false version of reality, which creates impossible to meet standards for regular people. It's that sort of thing that causes both boys AND girls in high school to have eating disorders, and in the case of some boys, to take steroids way too young in order to meet an impossible to attain standard of physicality.

People like to point to the sexy portrayals of Avengers women as examples of negative stereotyping without recognizing the men in that movie aren't exactly realistic either. How many men do you know that are literally gods? Billionaire playboys? Symbols of perfect patriotic and manly virtue? But we don't see it as negative because they're so cool.

There's a double standard in our society about what passes our litmus test for negative portrayals, and we continue to ignore the damage this does to developing generations of men.

You can see the effects of this behavior a lot on blogs written by stay at home dads. They're constantly being told they're dressing, feeding and generally caring for their children incorrectly, even if they're doing the same thing women are doing, because clearly men don't know how to rear children, an image backed up by just about every sitcom and show out there. It seeps into society and has negative consequences.

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Tuukka
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I guess I just watch different TV-series than you guys do. Over the last few years I have watched series like:

The Wire
Breaking Bad
Game Of Thrones
Sherlock
Dexter
Prison Break
Oz
Rome
Deadwood
Battlestar Galactica
24
Lost
Walking Dead
Homeland
Luther
Life On Mars
True Blood

And so on... I think modern TV has a lot of good writing for male characters.

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Stephan
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I like all the men in Modern Family. Even the goofy dad often comes through as a great father figure by the end of the episode. His wife rolls her eyes at him a lot, but is never really nasty to him. Unlike the couples on Raymond, Home Improvement, etc.

The dad on Medium was also great.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
I guess I just watch different TV-series than you guys do. Over the last few years I have watched series like:

The Wire
Breaking Bad
Game Of Thrones
Sherlock
Dexter
Prison Break
Oz
Rome
Deadwood
Battlestar Galactica
24
Lost
Walking Dead
Homeland
Luther
Life On Mars
True Blood

And so on... I think modern TV has a lot of good writing for male characters.

Criminals, drug addicts, violent, or monsters?
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Lyrhawn
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You can always find exceptions to every rule. If we're going back through the entire 2000s decade to now, there have been hundreds, maybe thousands of shows on all of television.

I think there is a prevailing overall trend though.

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advice for robots
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I remember many sitcoms from the 80s that, while they had their own problems, still managed to portray parent figures as loving, wise, and committed, or, if seriously flawed, at least adult enough to recognize that they had to fix themselves up for the sake of their kids. The comedies were more about the kids butting up against the implacable wisdom of adults. Now it's kind of a 180 away from that: kids having to find their own way because the adults are either brittle, overbearing, and hypocritical or way too loose and uncaring.

Now, you don't need strong, wise adults for excellent, worthwhile television. I think it's just telling how much the perception of what makes a good role model has shifted in the last 20-30 years.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
quote:
Originally posted by Tuukka:
I guess I just watch different TV-series than you guys do. Over the last few years I have watched series like:

The Wire
Breaking Bad
Game Of Thrones
Sherlock
Dexter
Prison Break
Oz
Rome
Deadwood
Battlestar Galactica
24
Lost
Walking Dead
Homeland
Luther
Life On Mars
True Blood

And so on... I think modern TV has a lot of good writing for male characters.

Criminals, drug addicts, violent, or monsters?
Apparently you haven't seen many of those series.
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Stephan
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I saw most of them, it was a joke, especially when I saw Oz was on the list.

I would call Rick from Walking Dead the best real man currently on tv.

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Lyrhawn
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I think you also have to separate out compelling characters from POSITIVE characters.

The men in Game of Thrones, by and large, are not positive stereotypes. Same with Breaking Bad (with the exception of Hank, I suppose).

But they're awesome, compelling dramatic characters. If we're applying the same standard to women, you'd still get an outcry.

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umberhulk
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So is the guy not allowed to write about Veronica Mars? Shame shame.


(Also, Keith Mars was an amazing character)

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
You can always find exceptions to every rule. If we're going back through the entire 2000s decade to now, there have been hundreds, maybe thousands of shows on all of television.

I think there is a prevailing overall trend though.

Alias
CSI
Friends
ER
Grey's Anatomy
Everybody Loves Raymond
Law & Order
NCIS
House
Will & Grace
West Wing
The Mentalist
Without A Trace
Desperate Housewives
Two & A Half Men
Frasier
Sopranos
The Good Wife
Boardwalk Empire
30 Rock
Criminal Minds
The Big Bang Theory
Mad Men
The Shield
Arrested Development
Friday Night Lives
The Simpsons
Modern Family
Gilmore Girls
Buffy
Six Feet Under
Veronica Mars
Family Guy
2 Broke Girls
Weeds
Person Of Interest
The Office
Sex And The City

...With this post, and my previous post, I think I've listed almost all fictional TV shows that have had any real impact over the last 12 years. Shows that gathered an audience. Shows that got noticed. I'm missing a few, but still.

Sure, some of them fit the criteria that you guys seem to see all the time on TV, but what I have seen of these shows, I think mostly they show complex, human, relatable male characters. It's not too shabby with the female characters, either.

And before someone points out that there are crimes, violence, sexuality and characters with obvious personality flaws in these shows... Well, duh, they have to tell about SOMETHING, don't they? There needs to be drama, conflict. Otherwise nobody is going to bother watching the show. This has been always true of storytelling, in all its forms.

And I think that list is full of characters who are very brave, intelligent, and devoted to positive values (despite their own personal flaws).

Personally, I'm pretty glad to live in the golden age of TV.

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kmbboots
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Characters in general are exaggerated and lampooned in comedy because that is what comedy does. Classical comedy is populated with stock, ridiculous characters. It is a rare comedy that breaks those molds and those skirt the edges of drama (M*A*S*H, All in the Family) and even those start with stock, silly characters.
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umberhulk
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The conversation is hard to manage because it's kind of branched into both an aesthetic topic and a character one. But the original complaint was that it presents role models that give us an unrealistic ideal to strive for. But when countered by (some) characters who had little intentions of being a true role model, it was rejected.

The second reason its hard to manage is that there are different standards on what would make tv in a good state or not. Yes, the majority is lowest common denominator BS with hohum characters, but there are still so many good shows, that I still barely have enough time to watch them all, so on a practical level, what do I have to complain about? This might be countered by making it a topic on how tv effects society, but as far as I'm concerned, tv is about as good as I need it to be.

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Synesthesia
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I hate everybody loves raymond. The man is whiny, the woman is mean. I really dislike shows like that...
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Xavier
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I never watched ELR beyond a few minutes during channel flipping, but I did enjoy "Men of a Certain Age" with Ray Romano in it. His character was complex and well written in a way that he probably only dreamed of when playing an oaf on ELR.
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AchillesHeel
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The Shield has one of my favorite depictions of positive male identity. Not Vic Mackey but Dutch, the ocd psychologist of a detective. He was in his forties but had no family, several times he lowered himself to disgusting levels of interaction that no other cop could stomach so as to incriminate some horrible people. He wasn't abusing authority to prove himself and solve problems he had created like so many other characters in the show. He had his problems and it was certainly creepy when was comparing preferences regarding little girls with a suspect, but he did it all to make society better. He wasn't a horndog, a drug addict, an effeminate metrosexual or a blundering idiot. He was just a guy who used his mind to try and make life better for innocent people.

Dutch wasn't a polar representation with the occasional tough/sensitive moments, he was mild mannered and introspective. It would be hard to tell a story with such a character at its core but I like that they made such room for him.

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Destineer
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Yeah, he was a great character. I always hated Vic for the way he treated Dutch. (This was good, in that it kept the show interesting.)
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But they're awesome, compelling dramatic characters. If we're applying the same standard to women, you'd still get an outcry.

Do you mean because there aren't enough compelling women characters, or because compelling women characters who aren't positive role models would still garner an outcry?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Come on, TV and movies are such a huge category, made by so many different people with such different styles and morals I just don't find any generalities about them to be useful.

"Popular television and movie roles consistently relegate minorities to token statuses"

that is a useful and true statement, to the extent that it is genuinely surprising when the trend is notably broken from trope, like with lucy liu in elementary

There are some major problems with a statement like that.
Would you like to sincerely present an argument that tokenism in popular media has not been a consistent practice
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Samprimary
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quote:
..With this post, and my previous post, I think I've listed almost all fictional TV shows that have had any real impact over the last 12 years. Shows that gathered an audience. Shows that got noticed. I'm missing a few, but still.
That's not even half. I suppose it depends on how you measure 'real impact,' though.
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Foust
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
The Shield has one of my favorite depictions of positive male identity. Not Vic Mackey but Dutch, the ocd psychologist of a detective. He was in his forties but had no family, several times he lowered himself to disgusting levels of interaction that no other cop could stomach so as to incriminate some horrible people. He wasn't abusing authority to prove himself and solve problems he had created like so many other characters in the show. He had his problems and it was certainly creepy when was comparing preferences regarding little girls with a suspect, but he did it all to make society better. He wasn't a horndog, a drug addict, an effeminate metrosexual or a blundering idiot. He was just a guy who used his mind to try and make life better for innocent people.

Dutch wasn't a polar representation with the occasional tough/sensitive moments, he was mild mannered and introspective. It would be hard to tell a story with such a character at its core but I like that they made such room for him.

Of course there was the time he hit on a murder victim's mother. And slept with her.
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umberhulk
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Belongs in Jail like Michael Vick.

But yes, good character.

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Tuukka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
..With this post, and my previous post, I think I've listed almost all fictional TV shows that have had any real impact over the last 12 years. Shows that gathered an audience. Shows that got noticed. I'm missing a few, but still.
That's not even half. I suppose it depends on how you measure 'real impact,' though.
Everyone is free to provide the other half. I'm interested to see what kind of male characters we will have in those shows.

I'm measuring "impact" on visibility. People watched the show, and talked about it. Some of the shows on my lists were not much talked about, but gathered big ratings. Some initially didn't gather big ratings, but were much talked about, and in the long run gathered a sizable audience on DVD, Internet, etc.

There isn't a perfect scientific method to a list like that, at least not without using hour and hours of collecting data. But I used Nielsen ratings and several top 100 lists combined by critics and audiences as a basis. Even the basic Nielsen top listings aren't that good for tracking real visibility, as many shows for example on cable collect audiences in the long run, and fail to gather impressive premiere date ratings. Game Of Thrones for example hits only 4 million at it's best on the initial TV broadcast, but then goes on to gather 6 million more viewers with repeats, video-on-demand, HBO Go online, and DVRs. All in all, the show hits 10.4 million on an average episode, and there is surely some more audience watching it only on DVD and BR.

Obviously reality shows won't fit the criteria here. We're talking about fictional shows. If we would start tracking reality and competition shows, the amount of dislikable characters with little redeeming qualities would skyrocket. Much of reality genre thrives on people like that.

[ November 21, 2012, 06:04 AM: Message edited by: Tuukka ]

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scholarette
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How I met your mother
Bones
Not high rated or talked about but Supernatural is a manly show.
Fringe (haven't seen but always hearing about).
Heros

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AchillesHeel
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Stargate Universe showed a lot great of characters in honest ways, male female gay straight and even haplessly nerdy.
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Teshi
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'Person of Interest' contains some very positive male and female characters in terms of being taken seriously.

I know, I was surprised too.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But they're awesome, compelling dramatic characters. If we're applying the same standard to women, you'd still get an outcry.

Do you mean because there aren't enough compelling women characters, or because compelling women characters who aren't positive role models would still garner an outcry?
The latter.

And if you want evidence, see the voluminous scorn that has been heaped on both GRRM and HBO for Song of Ice and Fire's women.

There are plenty of compelling female characters out there, just as many as men I'd say.

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Destineer
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In that case, I agree with you about the double standard. I'd probably be more in favor of "lowering" the standards for female characters rather than "raising" the ones for men. At least in fiction that's pitched at adults.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
In that case, I agree with you about the double standard. I'd probably be more in favor of "lowering" the standards for female characters rather than "raising" the ones for men. At least in fiction that's pitched at adults.

I agree completely.
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Stone_Wolf_
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There is WAY too much agreeing going on here, come on people, we have a rep to maintain!
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
In that case, I agree with you about the double standard. I'd probably be more in favor of "lowering" the standards for female characters rather than "raising" the ones for men. At least in fiction that's pitched at adults.

I agree completely.
As do I.

The problem is that many are unable to see an imperfect female character that's otherwise well-written or acted, that's very compelling, as anything but an assault on women. There's this prevailing notion that all portrayals of women need to be perfect or they're misogynistic.

And the thing is, perfect characters, male or female, are often kind of boring. Flawed characters, I mean these days even outright EVIL characters are far more interesting and compelling, but if you start giving women negative traits, it's woman bashing. Sometimes it's gratuitous and damaging, but when it's well done, it shouldn't be knocked. I think we've gone too far in the censorship realm.

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umberhulk
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Admiral Cain [Frown]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Cain was two dimensional, and I disliked her greatly (not in the way that was intended).
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Teshi
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I feel this thread needs a woman. Or more women. Not sure what the ratio is.

Just to be clear, a lot of women who are clearly intended to be the "strong, intelligent" character are actually constantly or frequently undermined. Aaron Sorkin while he is an amazing writer, is the worst for this. His characters are oestensibly strong, intelligent, kick-ass females. And then he makes a point of telling us that they are, or has them act in an irrational way that the men wouldn't, or has the men say they don't understand the women because they're women.

I don't care if the woman is the most brilliant, positive role model in the world, that is not what makes an accurate feminist female character.

Take Samantha Carter in Stargate. She is one of my favourite characters because she was never "the woman". Other planets made her out to be "the woman" and there was some romance every so often but no more romance than the male characters. She got to do what the male characters did and nobody ever said, "Oh man, Carter's so great, she's a woman AND a scientist what a feminist role model!"

Annie from Covert Affairs I also like. She's a very different person from Samantha Carter and occaisionally her being female is an issue, but she's just... normal about it. Like a woman, instead of like a woman described by a man.

In Person of Interest, (which I recently started watching in a lazy way looking for something to watch and have become both impressed and obsessed) another Carter also gets to be female without being "the woman". She is related to like a cop.

None of these women is defined by the men that surround them. Annie uses her looks as a tool but the other two what they look like is rarely an issue. The fact that they are women is rarely an issue.

Curiously, I would say that all these shows have reasonably good potrayals of men as well, although a man would probably have to speak to that.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:

Curiously, I would say that all these shows have reasonably good potrayals of men as well, although a man would probably have to speak to that.

Nah, we don't have any special insights by virtue if our dangly bits.

What is a "good" portrayal is a lot more about one's philosophy about fiction (and one's morality, in some cases) than it is about their genitals.

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