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[personal profile] helloladies
Today, we present a fantastic guest post about the newest "Super" show in town - Supergirl. Our guest poster, chaila, is a vidder, fangirl and heroine addict who has previously written posts for Lady Business about Wonder Woman, Sarah Connor and feminism in Pacific Rim. We love her words and are so excited to have her at the blog today.


Internet, like many of you, I have been waiting with bated breath for Supergirl, and now it's here and I'm so happy!

Supergirl flying

This is a squee post based on the first three episodes of Supergirl on CBS. It's probably risky to write a squee post after only three episodes of anything, but I'm going to do it anyway. Note that this is not a post about the ways it's not perfect, though of course it isn't. There has already been a lot of discussion about those things. This is a post about some of the choices the show is making and some of the things I appreciate the show trying to do. It's a post about the parts of Supergirl that make me really, really happy.

This post contains capslocks and gifs, because that is just how I feel about Supergirl!

Some words about Supergirl, most of them are 'YAY' )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Get in our invisible plane, losers - it's time for a Lady Business theme week.

Over the next seven days, we'll be presenting a host of posts about Super Women & Comics from a team of smart, persuasive readers and comics enthusiasts. And what better way to kick off the week than with words from Wonder Woman superfan, chaila?

chaila has previously written posts about awesome action stars Sarah Connor and Mako Mori for Lady Business. Now she's back to convince you that Diana of Themyscira is essential to your life. You can try to resist her but, frankly, I don't like your chances.

Wonder Woman might be the most famous superhero that people know the least about. Before I started reading Wonder Woman comics just over a year ago, I thought I knew enough to know I wasn’t interested. I knew something about an island of women, and something about bracelets that stop bullets. She seemed to be associated with a kind of “empowerment” feminism that didn’t seem very complex. I wondered why she couldn't wear pants. Mostly, I knew her as a vintage pin-up: a face on a t-shirt, symbol of superficial girl power, mostly devoid of content or context, who perhaps had been relevant thirty years ago and but didn’t really seem so today.

Oh how much I was missing!

Wonder Woman blocking arrows with her bracelets

tl;dr Diana is amazing )
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[personal profile] helloladies
Look, look - the wonderful chaila of underline everything has agreed to return to Lady Business!

chaila's fan-vids, commentary and just down right, over flowing love were the driving influence behind Jodie's rapid consumption of the first series of "The Sarah Connor Chronicles", so we're excited to host a new post by her about this very cool, ruthlessly cancelled program. Come with us if you want to live...or at least have an interest in seeing ladies and robots and lady-robots shape the future.


On a purely descriptive level, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles sounds a lot like a standard part of a sci-fi action movie franchise: Sarah Connor, her son John, and their allies attempt to prevent Skynet, a computer network that destroys the world in the future, from being created. Time travel exists, fighters come back from the future to help them, robots come from the future to hunt them, and sometimes things blow up. But TSCC spins off from its action movie franchise roots to tell a deeply human story that interrogates the basis of all "hero myth" type stories. What I want to focus on in this post are these deconstructive elements, the way TSCC explicitly and implicitly challenges the themes and tropes common in similar stories about "one chosen hero destined to save the world."

One way TSCC does this is by focusing on the surrounding characters, particularly on Sarah, which changes the entire shape of the story. Once the narrative is established as Sarah’s, the show introduces, or increases focus on, several regular characters in season two who in some way question or challenge the dominant myth: Jesse Flores, Riley Dawson, James Ellison, and Catherine Weaver. All of these characters have different viewpoints and beliefs about John and Sarah and about the future. This group of characters, who are not on Team Connor, add so many layers of depth and complexity to the show, and elevate it from a pretty good show about soldiers and family preparing for a future robot apocalypse, to a truly compelling, complex, graceful piece of television that deals with war, loss, robots, the preservation of what makes us human, and how who and what gets written in the book of myth is only a fraction of the story.

To keep this to a manageable word count (haha), I’m going to break it down by the characters I think engage with these ideas the most: the five (FIVE) major female characters in season 2--Sarah, Cameron, Jesse, Riley, and Weaver--and James Ellison. These characters question the recorded history of the future (which is a phrase that makes sense only in a show about time travel), and provide different perspectives on the present and the different options for preventing or fighting the coming war.

Note that this post covers the series as a whole, with spoilers!

Did I mention the FIVE major female characters and James Ellison? )

I will now end this unforgivably long post with two general observations about why TSCC is among my favorite shows ever. First, as I hope is now apparent, TSCC is one of the most female-driven shows I’ve seen, with multiple amazing complex women driving and determining the course of the story. Second, I’d argue that TSCC on a meta level can be read as one giant deconstruction of myth, a meditation on the way that myths or cultural stories function in our lives, particularly in war or times of conflict, how they get built and used and how they differ from historical truth, particularly how they ignore the messy and inconvenient parts that make the story richer and more complicated and more beautiful. TSCC puts all these parts back in, and it elevates the story to something else entirely. The show doesn’t have to be read this way; it can also be watched and enjoyed more straightforwardly as a show about humans fighting against and cooperating with machines, with multiple amazing, complex women. Either way, it’s pretty awesome.

Other Links

The Sarah Connor Chronicles - Series One by Jodie

Episode recaps and discussions at [livejournal.com profile] sccchronicles_tv

Observations about performance and camouflage, femininity and domesticity, among other things, in season one by [personal profile] sanguinity

Vid: there’s a war going on for your mind, sarah by [personal profile] beccatoria
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[personal profile] helloladies
Lady Business is excited to present a guest post about Pacific Rim - one of the best films to come out of that whole sticky, summer blockbuster season- from chaila of underline everything. We're fairly confident that this post will leave you groaning about the DVD release date. Whhhy isn't it here yet?


I did not expect to love Pacific Rim, and I certainly did not expect to be bribing Jodie to ask me to do a guest post about feminist themes in Pacific Rim (this is my recollection and I’m sticking to it). I don’t usually like summer blockbusters. I do always like Idris Elba (maybe this is the time to declare my biases; if Idris Elba is in a thing, I will be interested in that thing), but I wasn’t even convinced I would see it. Then I happened to hear the director, Guillermo del Toro, talking about the movie on the radio and he made me want to like it. It seemed like more thought had been put into this movie than is usually put into summer blockbusters and I really liked the idea of original genre film trying to do a little bit better.

Spoilers: robots punch sea monsters! But this post is not very much about that )

Other reviews I liked

Pacific Rim: And why this may be the most important film you see this summer (at Gray-Eyed Filmdom on Tumblr)

Mako Mori and the Hero’s Journey (at Hello, tailor.)

The Visual Intelligence of Pacific Rim (at Storming the Ivory Tower)

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