Tag Archives: television

“Kinda Rapey” Part 1: The Problem of Rape on Serial TV in 2015


You don’t have to be an entertainment or art critic to pick up on a trend when it’s going around on television. Superhero adventures, modern family dramas, and epic fantasy macro-trends multiply from one channel (ahem, streaming service) to the next, faster than you can say “season two”. On the other hand, micro-trends like repeating character archetypes, story arcs, and racial or sexual themes sometimes take a finer toothed comb to sift through. Yet, these are just as prominent and often a much better measure as to our collective subconscious than the common genre oversaturation.

This year, there was one emotionally uncomfortable trend  which stuck out so vividly I didn’t even need that fine toothed comb for it: rape. The truth is that outside of procedurals the likes of Law & Order: SVU, television (and modern serials in particular) has not dealt with the issue of sexual assault quite as frequently or wisely as one may think considering its resonating dramatic impact.

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‘Gotham’ – Pilot / 1.02 Selina Kyle

Site: http://www.fox.comThe Setup: The levels of fandom as they pertain to the Batman/Gotham mythos are about as varied as Christian Bale’s adaptations of an American accent.  So… very.  There are the classic comic book fans, the animated series fans, the Tim Burton fans, the Christopher Nolan fans, the Batman: Year One fans, and so on.  With each reimagining, multiple creative freedoms have been taken, thus making the term “Batman canon” somewhat ambiguous.  Here again with FOX’s new Batman prequel series, Gotham, showrunner Bruno Heller has rebuilt the Batman mythology piecemeal.  So prequel, okay, that’s kind of cool, but then again… Smallville.  What seems to set this series apart then is its protagonist, the small but bright beam of moral enlightenment within Gotham’s underbelly of corruption: Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie).  But by no means is this a one man show.  In fact, what could put some viewers off (while reeling others in) is the smorgasbord of Gotham characters and settings presented all at once in the Pilot.

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