sleepy hollow’s profound racefail towards native americans this past episode hits a little harder because, well
this is a show that has exactly three recurring white male characters, one of whom only appears in brief flashbacks and one of whom does not have a head
in the opening credits the four listed characters are a white guy, a black woman, a black man, and a white woman
the second episode’s primary villains were a woman and an asian guy who will probably be a recurring character
now we’ve got another recurring black female character
this show is so great about representing women and POCs
and then it does. um. what it did.
i don’t have any solutions for that but i can at least hope it will continue doing all the good things it is doing and not do that one glaring bad thing it did in hopefully just one episode
because for all its rampant cheese and laughable mythology it is a bizarrely progressive show and i would like that to keep going
(also how great is it that a bizarrely progressive show on fox garnered one of the highest ratings the network had ever seen and got a second season after three episodes)
(it’s pretty great)
I have to say I’m not particularly surprised that the show grossly mishandled Native American history.
What the show is really good at: Writing multi-faced 3 dimensional characters of regardless of their race and/or gender.
What the show is really bad at: cultural and/or historical accuracy of any kind at all ever.
Let me clarify that I am not excusing the show’s failure, merely explaining how that failure took place.
On The One Hand: The show portrays white American revolutionaries as a secret society full of mysticism and magic.
This is not a big deal.
- more accurate retellings are widely known and easily accessible
- white men does not have a long history of misrepresentation in the American media
- misrepresentation of white male historical figures is not reflective of damaging stereotypes that have caused hardship for white men in the past
- misrepresentation of white male historical figures does not promote damaging stereotypes that continue to cause hardship for modern day white men
On The Other Hand: The show portrays Native Americans as a secret society full of mysticism and magic.
This IS a BIG DEAL.
- accurate retellings are NOT widely known and NOT easily accessible BECAUSE OF GENOCIDE AND RESULTING SYSTEMATIC ERASURE FROM HISTORY BOOKS
- Native Americans DO have a long history of misrepresentation in the American media BECAUSE OF INSTITUTIONALIZED OPPRESSION BY WHITE PATRIARCHY
- misrepresentation of Native Americans IS reflective of damaging stereotypes that have caused hardship for Native Americans in the past
- misrepresentation of Native Americans DOES promote damaging stereotypes that CONTINUE to cause hardship for modern day Native Americans
Have you all read The Allegory of the Talking Baskets?
Because everyone needs to read that, okay. Required reading.
This is a privilege problem. The show writers need to check their privilege. More importantly, the show writers need to stop thinking that checking ones privilege is something only “bad people” are required to do.
Look at Crane, for example.
This show is so set on painting Ichabod as some kind of moral ideal. He can do no wrong. The show writers appear to currently be suffering under the misapprehension that being a good person means being a “finished” person. They do not seem to grasp that morality is not an ideological stance, but an empathetic process.
My biggest fear is that Ichabod Crane will never inadvertently offend someone, and never get called on it, never apologize for it, and never grow as a person. We all live in an unjust society. We all spend decades steeping in poisonous ideologies without even realizing it. Having “strong ideals” and a “good heart” does not magically make us immune to those poisons.
That said, I’m still a big fan, I still think it’s better than a lot of the shows out there in terms of representation, and I still enthusiastically recommend this show to others.
thelybrarian asked: As a massive fan of buffy, angel, firefly, I thought aos genuinely awful. I realise not all pilots can be as strong as serenity (angel didn't get really good till ep2 s2), but there was so much I wanted to like and ended up being really disappointed. Mostly it was how dull and/or silly the characters seem (supermodel hacker recluse, annoying as fuck british quirky scientists). Ron glass' mysterious allusion to coulson was the only interesting bit. What are your sincere thoughts on aos ep1?
I actually enjoyed quite a lot, I’m loving the characters, the Whedon-y moments and all the references to the Marvel Universe. Yes, it wasn’t “Serenity” but I think it holds up against most pilots. Most Whedon shows get a lot better later, since their strongest point is usually character development.
Hopefully, you changed your mind after the second episode, and the pretty awesome cameo.
I’m also a massive buffy, angel, firefly, dollhouse, dr. horrible, and avenger movies fan, but do not like AoS yet at all. I slogged through the pilot and turned off 1.02 about 20 minutes in. I want to like this show so badly, but it is not working for me.
tcfkag, what do you think?
Hmmm. I haven’t seen 1.02 yet - I’m waiting to watch it with a friend in the hospital. I think that AOS is in a very different tone than either Buffy or even Firefly; its more campy, superhero fun. If you go into it expecting that, then I think you will enjoy it more. I don’t think you can take it too seriously. I found it good fun - and saw hints of deeper Whedon-esque plot development later. For example, there is something about himself that Coulson doesn’t know. Readers of the comics might wonder if he is a Life Model Decoy (possibly) or something else entirely.
I think as the team gels it will hopefully feel more Firefly-esque [remember that when we started Firefly, the team was already essentially a family, here the team is brand new and barely know each other.] I also am looking forward to learning more about Melinda May who seems like she is going to be a total BAMF.
Basically what I’m saying is, give it a few episodes. Its not going to be exactly like Firefly and Buffy because its a very different genre, but I think given how awesome Avengers was, that Whedon can pull it off.
Patience you must have my young Padawan. And faith in our great Master, Joss Whedon. :-)
I will be guided by you in this, my master.
I did like the Ron glass parts, the Maria hill parts, the what happened to coulson mystery, and the pockets of sass where the lines were classic joss. But the supermodel hacker, the British yammering duo (shades of topher minus the charm), and Mr. Chip on his shoulder while he smoulders bug. And I found the pilot ep kinda racist. Yes please to more Ming na kicking ass. LMK when you watch 1.02, I guess I may as well watch the rest of it.
You have identified both my favorite parts and my least favorite parts. The hacker better get more interesting really quickly and Mr. Chip on his shoulder better get BOTH more BAMF-y and either better at team playing or more like Hawkeye very quickly or I’m going to get sick of him. He’s not pretty enough to be this boring.
As far as the racism, yeah - WHAT WAS THAT? It was so random. I *might* have been able to forgive the fact that LA was so weirdly white [I mean, I guess you work with the extras you get - but really - you couldn’t find a FEW more extras of color?] but the part where the only hispanic people in the whole episode were “thugs” that she used as a distraction - OMG - that was not okay. I hope that does not become a thing, because that would be a deal breaker.
I will let you know about 1.02 - probably this weekend at the latest - and we can discuss [perhaps not on whomever this poor person’s original post this was! Lol - hello person we are just hijacking your post from.]
My feelings! They have been captured!
I’m obviously going to stick it out, because I have faith in the Way of the Whedon, but it’s a bit of a slow start. Team needs to get it together! Which they will, but, as mentioned so excellently above, we’re seeing them at the beginning, and it’s going to be awkward for everyone.
Mostly I just want to watch Melinda May kick all the ass ever goodbye.
I think the biggest missteps this show has made so far are the following:
1) Making J. August Richards more compelling and relatable in episode 1 than any of the regular cast. He was a hard working everyday guy struggling in this economy. He was a fantastic access point. And instead of making him someone we could use as our way into this universe as viewers, they made him a one-episode quasi-villain. HUGE misstep.
2) Leaning so heavily on the films. I’m thinking this is network meddling, as I have this idea they think they’ve got a huge cash cow on their hands, tying into the most successful film franchise currently being made. But the episodes lean SO HEAVILY on the films that people who haven’t seen them are legitimately confused by the nods and tie-ins.
3) GIVE US SOME FREAKING DEPTH ON SOMEONE PLEASE. No one on that team, not even Clark Gregg, who at the VERY LEAST has movie stuff to back him up, is compelling or multidimensional at this point, so there’s seriously no reason to like them yet. SFX and movie nods are not going to last long and if we don’t have character development to fall back on then the viewers are going to give up and find a show that does.
Honestly to me (and I’m a big Whedon fan, Dollhouse aside) the reason I don’t feel this show is pulling me in the way another Joss show would have is that it’s not Jossverse. It’s Marvelverse. And the things that make Jossverse shows so successful feel cheap and wedged in right now when pushed against the Marvelverse stuff this show requires of it. Particularly considering how much this show would bring the network if it were to succeed.
Another small thing is that I honestly wonder if Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen were ready to helm a writing team. They’re awfully green, all things considered.
I’ve been meaning to talk about this. I am REALLY ENJOYING this show so far but I’m also finding that I am having to work at enjoying it, a bit. That is, at shutting out the bits that I have concerns with.
I feel like 1.02 shed some light on where Whedon sees the hacker and Mr White Dude Hero going. I actually kind of like that the white dude was included - because he’d usually be the hero. But I feel like the first two eps made it real clear that he is the opposite of the hero. I REALLY hope that continues, or if he has a redemption arc that it is solid and not just ‘and now he’s learned people skills yay!’. And I’m already feeling a bit fatigued about the hacker plotline, but we’ll see.
I hope that we see more of Richards - is that in the works? The setup made it seem like he is out of action for now but might be back? I SURE HOPE SO because that ending was pretty unsatisfying. And I hope that they delve more into Ming Na’s PTSD or whatever is making her not want to be in the field (oh my god I LOVE HER SHE IS MY FAVOURITE).
Personally I really love the bickering scientists, but that shit is my jam. And I love Coulson being perky and competent. Again, that was basically what I was hoping for from a spin-off from the Avengers tv show. I can see how you would not like it but I was really just hoping for it to be a bit of a sandbox to see more of the characters I loved. It’s looking like that far. That is good for me but bad for people who don’t want that.
The big thing I am having to work on is the fact that SHEILD is a super creepy government agency that kidnaps people with bags over their heads and blows shit up. I have faint hope that there is some awareness of that - what with the hacker plotline (‘oh so everything I’m against, then’) and the big evil looking vehicles. But like… they shot a bunch of rebels. I was VERY UNHAPPY ABOUT THAT. I am hoping that the idea is that they were paid by the army as a distraction but I don’t believe that was ever discussed? I mean obviously an agency like SHIELD doesn’t care who they have to shoot.
But I do.
I care who they have to shoot. So that is an issue for me. At the moment it’s being held at bay by Coulson’s very clear morals and emphasis on limiting violence. But he’s one man in an organisation designed to keep shit under control and I am just not sure how long I can suspend my disbelief about this.
Headcanon: SHEILD is proto-blue-sun.