Disney-Pixar’s Up has a special place in my heart. It’s a fun adventure film with some stunning animation and great writing, and every time I sit down to rewatch it, I find myself in love with nearly everything on the screen all over again. This wasn’t always the case, though. The story is centered on a man dealing with his wife’s death, and fridgings are an overused trope that I hate a great deal. But the more I thought about it, the less this fridging in particular bothered me. Up takes that common trope and reworks it into an important life lesson with a surprisingly positive message about dealing with the death of a loved one.
The big thing in superhero films right now is apparently two generally heroic guys beating the crap out of each other because they’re too manly to communicate with words. This isn’t a trope that particularly appeals to me, but I am always on the lookout for a story that will successfully subvert it. So it was with a tentative heart that I picked up V.E. Schwab’s 2013 novel Vicious. And while the story does put an interesting spin on the superhero story, I still found myself somewhat disappointed.
I only recently saw the full trailer for Horns, Daniel Radcliffe’s newest movie, and it looks like a fun Halloween flick, to say the least.
Vague plot spoilers and trigger warning for discussion of rape after the jump.
When I got my work schedule for last week, the first and most important thing I had to figure out was this: when was I going to be able to see Guardians of the Galaxy? I’ve been stoked for this movie for months, despite my serious initial concerns, and I was even more excited this week after I discovered that this was the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first film with a female screenwriter.
Several years ago, comics writer Gail Simone introduced the term “women in refrigerators” as a way to describe women in comics who have been hurt or killed as a way to further a man’s pain. Since then, it’s entered the general geek vernacular as a way to describe any woman who ends up dead for manpain’s sake, and while more and more people are likely to call out The Powers That Be for writing women this way, it does remain an often-used trope. The whole premise of Supernatural revolves around two fridged women, Mary Winchester and Sam’s girlfriend Jess, and women regularly are hurt or die to make its leading men sad. (A short list: Anna, Sarah Blake, Pamela, Meg, Amy Pond, Jo, and Ellen, just to start us off.) Barry Allen’s origin story in the upcoming Flash series centers around his mother’s death. Rachel’s death in The Dark Knight was purest fridging, and so were Allison’s death in Teen Wolf, Frigga’s death in Thor: The Dark World, and Spock’s mom Amanda’s death in Star Trek XI.
The problem with this trope is that it reduces women from people with agency into objects that are acted upon; they go from characters who make choices to tools whose purpose is to make someone else sad or angry or motivated, and that propagates the idea that objectifying women is a legitimate storytelling technique. One interesting thing about this trope, though, is that it’s become so expected that writers have started to use it in a subversive and surprising way.
Spoilers for Arrow Season 2, Elementary Season 1, and How To Train Your Dragon 2 below the jump.
It’s been something like six weeks since the final episode of Arrow’s Season 2 aired, and this is no longer remotely timely, but here, finally, is my review thereof. My review of the first half of Season 2 was pretty complimentary, and I stand by my opinion: the show has been doing way way better this season both from a writing and from a feminist perspective. There were definitely some ugly moments toward the end of the season, though. Let’s get right into it.
I won’t lie, I’ve been looking forward to this episode ever since I saw the eight-minute sneak preview at New York Comic Con back in mid-October. Ichabbie-filled baseball banter, more screentime for Katrina, and maybe a better glimpse into what the plot of the show actually is? I loved it. Now that I’ve seen the full episode, however, follow me past the jump to see if it lived up to the preview footage.