The Women of ‘Friday Night Lights’

I’m just going to say it outright: I’ve come to determine that Friday Night Lights is indeed the best show on television. At first hesitant to watch a show about high school football I finally gave in only to pleasantly discover that what parades as a show about the machismo sport of football is in fact a show about community, family and integrity in middle-America. Lacking in the wealth and gloss of shows like Gossip Girl and The O.C. the filming, acting and storylines are all gritty and real. While all of the characters are extremely well-written and multi-dimensional, I’m continually struck by how amazingly bitchin’ the women of Friday Night Lights are. Just like that other seemingly male-centric show Mad Men, what lies beneath is indeed a multi-layered feminist portrayal of strong women.

Having just aired the series finale after five seasons, the show has unfortunately come to a end. (See the finale promo here, non-spoilery and fantastic.) But I hope the show lives on, if only to show how women on television can be portrayed–smart and sassy with no need to be slutty. If you haven’t seen the finale, slight spoilers ahead.
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The Green Hornet vs. the Bechdel Test

Spoiler alert: it fails.

Green Hornet movie title at old theater
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Black Swan Review

So. I’ve got a bone to pick. And it’s with Black Swan. Nominated for Golden Globes, most likely will be up for Oscars, this film received praise from critics across the board. But…..ehhh… Slight spoilers be ahead.

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Tron: Legacy vs. the Bechdel Test

Hello, readers (if we still have any…) and Happy New Year!

One of my many resolutions is to write more often.  One way I’ve decided to do this is to apply the Bechdel Test to every movie I see in theaters this year and write it up for BTW.  The Bechdel Test, for those of you who’ve been living in a cave, has three rules.  In order to pass this test, a movie must (1) have two or more named female characters, (2)  that talk to each other, (3) about something other than a man or shoes.  My first contender this year?  Tron: Legacy.

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BTW Watches: Jennifer’s Body

Hell is a teenage girl.”
As opening lines go, Jennifer’s Body has a pretty kicking one. (Hey, pun!)

Jennifer's Body Movie Poster

Let me begin by saying that I had high expectations for Jennifer’s Body.  Since reading Diablo Cody’s interview in the Aug/Sept 2009 issue of BUST, I’ve been wanting to see this flick.  I missed it in theaters, and finally got around to seeing it recently.  Why was I excited?  Two reasons, mostly: first, because of what I’d read about it; that it was supposed to be a feminist take on the horror genre.  As a viewer who enjoys shows like CSI and Law & Order, I was anxious to see the bad guy played by a girl.  Frankly, I’m sick and tired of always seeing women cast as the corpses, or soon to be corpses, running and screaming from Faceless Rapist and Murderer of the Week.  I was beyond excited to witness Ms. Cody turn the tables on men and make the killer a hot young woman targeting men.  And second, I’m not gonna lie, I wanted to see how Megan Fox would do in a non-decorative role (::cough::Transformers::).  I have a soft spot in my heart for her because I think she’s gotten a disproportionate amount of hate, and for virtually no reason.  I recently read a piece over at HuffPo posing a similar question: Why do we hate Megan Fox?  The author argues that we hate her because she’s beautiful and she speaks her mind: a lethal combination in a culture that rewards and values silent womanhood.  Check it out.

So I watched it and I’m left a little flummoxed; but I’m going to give it a B-.  If you’re still with me, read on… Continue reading

I Don’t Care About Your Band

I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated by Julie Klausner

Back when we picked this book I posted “Sure, it probably won’t be a core-shaker, but I’m looking forward to a chuckle–and something tells me we can all relate to dating the dud dudes.” And it was just that–a great pool read (I actually did read it by the pool, my copy is now warped from getting wet) and jus  a fun laugh-out-loud time. I couldn’t remember the last time a book made me laugh in public like a crazy person on the subway. Yet…it wasn’t what I expected, and unfortunately leaned far too much on stereotypes as a way to get a laugh. Continue reading

More books to read

You know what time it is! More books to read!

I know, I know, I’ve been caught up in a grad school coma, but I realize it’s been a while since we’ve discussed books!! So we are back with a vengeance and a list of to-reads, not to mention a new bookmark and a pink martini in hand. So saddle in, here’s the next three books:

I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I learned from indie rockers, trust funders, pornographers, felons, faux-sensitive hipsters, and other guys I’ve dated by Julie Klausner

To be honest, this book had me at the subtitle. As a woman who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and has dated her fair share of faux-sensitive hipsters, the minute I saw a chapter entitled “Did I come to Brooklyn for this?” I knew I just had to read it.  The fact that Klausner is a former Upright Citizens Brigade performer and one of the quotes on the back of the book is from SNL alum Rachel Dratch clinched it as a metro transit must-read. Sure, it probably won’t be a core-shaker, but I’m looking forward to a chuckle–and something tells me we can all relate to dating the dud dudes. Let’s just hope post-read I’m a bit wiser when it comes to choosin ‘em.

Flow: The cultural history of menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim

No, we didn’t pick these because they have similar jacket designs (although, how adorbs!) I’m excited to read this one. I’ve head nothing but good reviews–it seems witty and well-written, two things I admire. And can I get a hells yeah for a book about a topic (GASP?! Aunt Flo?!) that we still for whatever reason don’t talk about with our girlfriends? What’s with that?! It stops here, ladies. PERIOD. Read this, come back, we’ll chat about our firsts.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Another coincidental retro swimsuit, I swear! (But yes, I chose this jacket cover instead of the knobby-knees and saddle shoes one.) I don’t think this book needs an introduction, I’m pretty sure we’re all aware of it. Alas, neither Ems or I have ever read it! It’s been on my to-read list for quite some time, and I look forward to reading what one guy told me was the sexiest book he’s ever read. Something tells me I may have issue with that statement… If you’ve read it before, reread and join in the pedo convo. Or if you’re like me and never got around to it, here’s our chace to read and discuss so we don’t sound dumb at wine and cheese night.

Enjoy!