Home sick today, I caught up on the last three weeks
of The Good Wife
, about which I mostly have "WHAT THE CRAP" to say.
I really gave up on speculating about this show a long time ago, because I don't think I've ever been able to call a major plot point on it (which is why I love it, of course). Therefore I am trying to remind myself that ( I assume this casting spoiler is know, but maybe not )
I am also resolutely refusing to make guesses about the Cary storyline or the state's attorney race, though ( okay so maybe a tiny guess )
I have also been watching The Fall
, with Gillian Anderson, which is another notch on my list of interesting contemporary post-modernist, post-feminist UK crime dramas, aka 'my current favourite things.' (You'd think this would be a tiny list; I'm pleased to report that it is not nearly as small as one might expect.) It's very different from Scott & Bailey
and Happy Valley
(which are from the same creator, Sally Wainwright, while The Fall
has a male showrunner), but very, very good.
...although I would like to invite you all to listen to Panjabi's mysterious 'Canadian'-plus-whatever accent on TGW and then her brought-up-in-Croydon accent on TF and then chip in to get her a good accent coach, eh? I'm just saying.
One of the things that I particularly like about the show is that Stella is allowed to be a woman of appetites. And yes, of course I include sexually, because that's the one facet that becomes a plot point. I think it's notable too that we see her eating - a big, thick hamburger once, and I think pasta, and chocolate in the most recent ep - all solid foods. She drinks whisky - not a subtle drink.
This could easily have tipped over the edge into overly-masculine caricature - she eats red meat and drinks hard liquor and fucks around, no wonder she makes it in the man's world, ho ho - but what saves it is that more than anything, Stella seems to be a sensualist. This comes out in the way she cuts through the water swimming, the way she holds her head under the shower, the clothes she chooses. I see an appreciation for those sensations, those experiences - even though she seems closed off emotionally, she's determined to express her desires for things that don't necessarily fit a 'proper' view of her.
And thinking on that, and thinking about it appreciatively, positively, started me thinking about Katie. I'm pretty... critical of? easily-frustrated by? stressed about? Katie's insistence on pursuing Spector. Obviously this is about audience-knowledge rather than in-show-knowledge, but it's also that sort of cringing vicarious embarrassment of watching a young teenage girl do the sort of things that young teenage girls can do, you know?
But how does what the show says about Stella relate to what it says about Katie? Of course what Katie does is a problem largely because Spector is a serial killer, but in a lot of ways she mirrors Stella. Katie too gets to eat pasta and drink red wine, to (attempt to) make sexual demands, to be confident
(as much as she can). We're meant to worry, to wonder what will come of it and how it will allow Paul to use her, but really, the problem doesn't necessarily lie in what she does and what she wants as much as it does in the fact that a predator uses her desires and her actions to ensnare and endanger her. Sure she does stupid teenage things, but she's a stupid teenager!
And that the show doesn't, actually, mock her for that... it definitely gave me pause, and then I gave myself a swift kick in the pants for being so judgey about Katie myself. I think the world could do with a lot more overly-confident sixteen-year-old girls.