Lovely Ladies

photo of vampire diaries pictures
First of all, all women who are not imaginary are “real women.” Five feet tall or six feet tall, ninety pounds or three-hundred pounds. Are they real? Are they women? Then they are, in fact, real women.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I want to talk about women on television. On 30 Rock, Jack Donaghy insists at one point that a female character who has gained weight needs to either immediately lose 30 pounds or gain 60—anything in between “has no place on television.” It’s a funny line, because it’s a funny show. But I think that we all know what he was talking about.

No matter how beautiful they might be, women in television tend to be wedged into certain body-shapes, particularly if the audience is supposed to believe that they are attractive. Oh, the exact size of the actress’ clothing might change—there is a range (a range that often increases during times of economic struggle, oddly enough—remember the “top-heavy” models of the early 1980s?). Think about, say, Penny from The Big Bang Theory (a show which could get its own ranting post for a number of reasons).

There are some key examples that are wonderful deviations from this type while remaining beautiful. Did you guys watch Dollhouse, one of the best shows ever made (and, in particular, the best thing that Joss Whedon has every done—which is saying quite a lot)? Eliza Dushku and Dichen Lachman certainly fit the bill for the particular type of stunning beauty that we are accustomed to seeing on television. And, to be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. These are beautiful women. Were I sexually interested in women, that would almost certainly be my preferred body-type. But do you know who else was on that show and gorgeous? Miracle Laurie. She is so pretty, you guys. And she is definitely not fat. But she is definitely not slender, either. Still gorgeous. I love that she was on television, and on television playing …

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Watch This: Arrow


(Proud of me for resisting a title like “Arrow Hits The Mark?” You should be. I also might have made the title: “Stephen Amell Gives This Wretched World The Olliver Queen It Deserves.”)

So, can you tell that I am kind of a slave to The CW? I may no longer watch Gossip Girl (though my love for Blair Waldorf is absolute and undying), but I am absolutely in love with The Vampire Diaries—which is much, much better than the title would suggest, is actually better than True Blood, and has something like fourteen million viewers. Though it was tragically not renewed, last season’s The Secret Circle was absolutely amazing. And I watch Supernatural every Wednesday night—that show is several episodes into its eighth season.

So, as a great big nerd, I was excited but nervous when I heard that The CW was making a show based upon the DC superhero, Green Arrow. Despite the appearance of the protagonist and a number of excellent casting decisions, Smallville, which reimagined Clark Kent’s adolescence as he comes to terms with his blossoming superpowers and struggles to save the day while keeping his secret, all before his days as Superman, Smallville was just not a good show. There were wonderful things about it. There were also some dreadful things about it that made it difficult to watch.

The Green Arrow himself looks like a Robin Hood figure. He is a masterful archer whose gadgety arrows (often self-indulgent gadgety arrows) assist him in a number of circumstances (you know Hawkeye from The Avengers? Similar basic idea. Radically different characters and backstories). In real life, his name is Olliver Queen, and he is a billionaire and owns a company, Queen Consolidated, which is based in Star City—one of many fictional metropolitan areas that exist within the DC Universe (like Metropolis, Gotham, Central City, Bludhaven). His villains are rarely big-shots, but assassin and archer Merlyn is arguably his archenemy, and Green Arrow has always had unpleasant run-ins with the Eastern European aristocratic supervillain, Count Vertigo. He has a sidekick, Speedy (best shown on Young Justice, where in addition to being incredibly handsome, he ceases to be a sidekick and adopts the name “Red Arrow”). Above all else, Green Arrow is an archer who learned how to shoot a bow while trapped on an island after his boat was sabotaged. Now he works in secret …

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