Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Pop Tart's 3 Things From 2012

When the thought struck me that I ought to do an end-of-the-year list, I dismissed it at first. I don't really see much point in compiling a "Best of" list (or a "Worst of" list, for that matter), since film, television, books, and pretty much every other medium through which we partake of pop culture are not things with true objective scales by which to measure them. What's a good film or book to me won't be to someone else, and that's fine--it's one of the things that makes life more interesting.

So, I present to you, in no particular order, Three Things in 2012 That I Thought Were Pretty Neat.

* Female-led Successes in Television and Film

I mentioned this in part in my post about Action Women. Film studio Lionsgate this year had two films make over $125 million, and, guess what--both of these films starred female leads (the films are, if you're wondering, The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, and Twilight:Breaking Dawn, Part 2, starring Kristen Stewart). Female led comedies like Pitch Perfect have opened doors for women to lead in movies outside of the typical RomComs. Those things would be great on their own, but let's look also at television: Lena Dunham's Girls has been making news, good and bad, all over the place; Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are set to host the Golden Globes later this month; Pixar gave us Brave, its first film with a female protagonist; we finally got to see Legend of Korra, the female-led sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender. These are the sorts of things I can get behind.

*Ensemble Cast Shows

I don't think my love for NBC's Community is any secret, but Community alone isn't why I chose to include this topic.  Let's face it, a larger cast means there's more opportunity for more types of people to appear on television. Shows like Community, Warehouse 13, Alphas, Glee and others show us that casts don't have to include exclusively men or exclusively white people. There are plenty of ensemble-cast shows that are guilty of only showing us more white people, and some of these shows are better at providing the viewer with a diverse cast than others, but the aforementioned shows have seen critical success, if not necessarily commercial success. Which is a step in the right direction, certainly.

*Some Pretty Awesome Talks at TEDx Events

 I've talked about Anita Sarkeesian once or twice before. In case you were unaware, this woman found herself the target of some pretty intense abuse for asking people who were interested--just people who were interested, mind you--to support her attempt to create a series of videos on YouTube to show the types of tropes that female characters fall into in video games. At one of the TEDx events, she discussed her experience.

FOX and Friends anchor Brian Kilmeade said some pretty insulting things about how the female anchors at the conservative news station were hired (it's all in the linked article, but the short of it is he said they just tried to find Victoria's Secret models who were capable of speech). Maybe if he had heard Cameron Russell's TEDx talk about the power of image, he would realize that beautiful women can easily be smart women also.

These were a few of the things that caught my attention in 2012. Use the comments section to share some of yours.