Thursday, 25 August 2016

HOLLYWOOD'S NEW UNHINGED WOMEN

 

Warning: contains spoilers for season two of Fargo, season one of Mr. Robot and the movie Gone Girl. 

In the history of TV and film, there is a short list of stereotypes to which female characters conform. Even in modern, critically acclaimed productions, women often end up playing supporting roles: either as a wife holding the family together while the flawed, nuanced and over-written male lead sucks up all the juicy stories, or as a love interest adding sex appeal and sensitivity as we once again witness the eternal struggle of being young, white and male in this world.

In the last few years we've seen that start to change. Shows like Orange Is the New Black and Broad City have women acting mean, failing and doing poos. Women who have issues, but issues that don't mean they show up at their ex's house in the rain, sobbing uncontrollably while holding out a photo of what their baby would look like, snottily singing Adele. These new TV women are messy and chaotic, and they only seem manic and pixie-like when they're really, really high. 

The thirst for these kinds of character is growing with each TV season, and comedy actresses, in particular, have broken down the door to allow darker and more morally ambiguous characters in drama. In particular, a new type of female character has emerged, made up of glamour, instability and eyeshadow. These are women who are unmerciful in their actions and unbalanced in their temperament, but always look like they just stepped out of the salon.