allchildren: joan holloway rubbing her shoulder (⚥ the hindrance and the weight)
I -- I was going to post this on Tumblr. I wrote it in a Tumblr box. And then it was giant and wtf, so HI~ My brain is all about the meta, lately.

I'm thinking about men and their secrets.

I just finished watching the second season of Breaking Bad. I didn't want to watch Breaking Bad for a long time because it seemed to me, via quite a lot of adjacent exposure, to be a lot of things I am not that into:
  • mainly about the relationship between two white men
  • who run around yelling BITCH a lot
  • whose main and therefore narratively punished adversaries are always Latinos
  • whose genre is the late-aughts zeitgest "normal [= white middle-class] people take up a scandalous [=associated with not-white not-middle class] crime for fun and profit, lol edgy"
  • plus the classic "American Dream? More like American NIGHTMARE!!!" super fresh zing take on suburban nuclear family life
For the record, all of those impressions were completely accurate. But I do find it okay anyway because it's very well & creatively done and the acting is aces and the BITCH yelling is actually 99% directed at dudes, which is no less misogynistic but a lot less upsetting to me personally than seeing women degraded. And also I developed a case of feelings about a few faces.

But I'm thinking, about a corollary to that zeitgeist genre, which is "men and their secrets." I'm thinking about Mad Men. I'm thinking about Dexter. (Thinking about Weeds, wherein the female protagonist's secret lasts maybe a season before her whole family knows and becomes part of it I don't even remember how long it took because seriously fuck that show) Three makes a trend: what we have here is a current cultural narrative about a man with a secret life which, profess to love her* as he might, he can never tell his wife.

moar )

ETA: I had forgotten that I am terrible at comments! However, I do have more to say, so I just spewed a little followup back here.
allchildren: shosanna dreyfuss laughing under flames (▭ the face of jewish vengeance)
[please do not link on newsletters etc.]

I'm thinking a bit about the exchange rate. Not of money, but of actors -- and actresses -- in roles.

on making mad men chromatic: not really about the show )

on genderswapping dexter: also not really about the show, but a little bit spoilery )

I don't know where I'm going with this.

And I don't know if other people's experiences doing casting memes are anything like mine. The chromatic casting meme did start in the world of comics, not 1960s Madison Avenue. And probably most other shows have less explicitly gendered violence. Maybe I'm just drawn to doing this with extremely ill-suited sources.

Or maybe the swap should become a standard writing tool to test the strength of your characters and your anti-fail. If these roles look wrong on any other axis, maybe your role needs a kick in the ass. I'm not saying that any specific context should be interchangeable with any other. We do need stories about race and disability and rape and gender. But what is the story SUPPOSED to be about? Why should it be? What's slipping right by without notice?

Who in the exchange rate is getting shortchanged?

December 2015

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