Joss Whedon's Dollhouse premiered last week, and The Box breathed a sigh of relief. I've been waiting so long to see Eliza Dushku kick ass and smart off in the style of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of ass-kicking in the first episode. Or smarting off, for that matter. Maybe that's because Dushku's character, Echo, is without a personality for most of the time...except when she's imprinted with perfect abilities and sent on missions without her knowledge.
A series about a woman with no autonomy doesn't sound like it's going to win Joss Whedon another honor from Equality Now, right? But then again, all of his shows feature leading ladies who are good at things against their will…
My Daniel Dae Kim crush began when I first saw him on Angel as Gavin Park, a rising star at an evil law firm. (Those cheekbones! That comic timing!) But of course, he's best known as Jin-Soo Kwon on Lost. After only one season on network primetime, Kim already had enough people crushing to earn a spot on People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" list 2005. Since Asian men normally get an asexual treatment on TV, it's refreshing to see that Daniel Dae Kim has maintained official heartthrob status, and proved his acting chops too.
Jin's character arc over the first four seasons of Lost also subverts expectations. He started out as an overbearing husband in the stereotypical Asian tradition (with an exceedingly timid Asian wife to match). But over the course of the series, Jim and Sun's relationship has been revealed to be a lot more complicated, and has grown to be more loving and equitable, too. Plus...
As Valentine's Day approaches, The Box addresses the question that's on everyone's mind: How feminist is the sex on my favorite teen dramas? I graded the biggest shows of the last twenty years on their sex positivity. Click to see who came out on top.
This week the box has a good old fashioned feminist crush on Kirsten Gum, the Travel Channel's Treasure Hunter. There's no stretch of the imagination required to understand her appeal: She travels the world searching for treasure, often braving intense elements and physical challenges to get to it. Watching her accomplish her goals is inspiring, but Gum's sense of humor and winning attitude makes it fun, too.
"Terrible boyfriend? We can fix him. Complete tools transformed into knights in shining armor." These are the promises of the opening credits of Tool Academy, VH1's latest trash-tastic series in which women drag their truly terrible boyfriends through a relationship boot camp in hopes of turning them into nice guys. The tools agreed to come on the show thinking it was called Mr. Awesome, a competition to determine "the biggest Alpha male in America." After they learned the show's real premise, they all stayed on in hopes of proving themselves to their girlfriends...and winning $100,000 for being the best boyfriend.
If you're wondering what makes a tool a tool, it appears to be a combination of made-up names (Celebrity, M.E.G.A., Matsuflex, etc.), excessive hair gel, and behavior that's just…well, look if you dare.
(Note: The videos in this post contain ads. Blame it on VH1.)
Extensions off to Jaime Pressly, one of the funniest women on TV. Her Emmy award-winning portrayal of Joy Turner on My Name Is Earl is so solid that it's easy to forget she's a bonafide sexpot (with credits like Playboy spreads, countless "sexiest women" list mentions, and the lead in Poison Ivy: The New Seduction on her resume). Of course, Pressly's hotness isn't anything out of the ordinary: she has blonde hair, blue eyes, big boobs and a button nose. Yawn, right? But it's Pressly's self-awareness that allows her to take her conventional looks to cartoonish heights as Joy. And therein lies the comic genius.
There are a gadzillion reasons why I'm not a fan of Barbie dolls, and they all apply to the new Lt. Uhura doll, part of Mattel's upcoming Barbie Doll line being released in conjunction with J.J. Abrams' new Star Trek film. But there's also a hilariously awesome reason to love these dolls: fanboys are freaking out that they make Star Trek too girlie.
I've been avoiding Grey's Anatomy for 5 seasons now, but with critics bemoaning the show's rapid demise (as in sex scenes with a g-g-ghost!) I decided to check it out while I still could. Best case scenario: It's so bad it's good. Worse case scenario: It's offensive enough to warrant a scathing blog post.
As a kid watching The Cosby Show -- the only primetime program my parents permitted back in the '80s -- I was completely in awe of her. As an adult who's watched many, many hours of TV since (I do what I want!), I'm more impressed than ever. 20 years after The Cosby Show's peak, Clair is still more progressive than most of the TV moms who've succeeded her.
It's sad to remember how high my hopes were for CW's 90210 last summer. I love Fox's original series, Beverly Hills 90210 (though bad dialogue and one-dimensional characters make for a rocky relationship) and I love Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars), who was supposed to be writing this thing and making it awesome. But he backed out at the last minute to work on stupid Cupid , leaving us with a badly acted, poorly lit, script-challenged mess.
I thought it'd at least be worthwhile to see Shannen Doherty reprise her role as Brenda Walsh, but not even one of my favorite characters ever could keep me watching for more than 3 episodes. I gave it another shot for the sake of research, and what I found out was…it's still not good. But it had a good moment. You might even call it a feminist moment.