So this evening I decided to procrastinate on school work and make cupcakes instead. I tend to use baking/washing dishes time as my chance to catch up on video podcasts and TV shows, and I figured I could use the time tonight to watch the latest two episodes of Chuck. First show was fine and enjoyable. The second one - the one from this most recent Monday night - was fine except for one line.

One line that just completely pulled me out of the whole story.

There are very slight spoilers below if you haven't seen it yet.

There's a flashback scene in the beginning of the episode where Casey is bantering with his special ops team in an underground Iranian bunker in 1999. Casey makes a comment about serving President Clinton (who he doesn't even like but because it's the right thing to do because Clinton is President - fine, whatever, I get it, Clinton is a Democrat; Casey doesn't really approve) and especially "his mouthy wife".

His "mouthy wife"? Really?

I'm sorry, show, but you just crossed a boundary that was not meant to be crossed. Besides that whatever then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was doing back in 1999 (and honestly, what was she doing to get Republicans het up about back then?) would not have caused more commotion than what the President himself was involved in at the time, but you used a blatantly chauvinistic derogatory word in describing her as "mouthy". As in, she was being obnoxious by speaking. As in, women should be seen and not heard.

Not awesome.

I get that a few of the actors and possibly other members of the staff of the show are hardcore Republican (Adam Baldwin in particular is very vocal about his political ideologies and allegiance), and they may be tickled by adding bits of their own thoughts about politics in their work. And until this point, I always found the caricature of Casey and his love of President Reagan and his policies to be pretty entertaining because it was just that: a caricature. It was funny and harmless.

Describing our current Secretary of State as a "mouthy wife" when she was First Lady does not fall in the realm of being even remotely humorous. I found it to be distasteful and, frankly, insulting, to free-thinking, independent women.

Maybe more people would have been upset if Sarah Palin had been described as being "mouthy" - and I would be, too. I may not agree with Sarah Palin, but I still wouldn't stoop to calling her that. She has just as much right as any other woman to be both seen and heard in this country.

Just my thoughts... man, I'm glad I didn't abandon this journal like I thought I might do. I'd forgotten how nice it can be to have an outlet. I still plan on watching Chuck, too, but if I miss an episode here and there... well, that's life. So says this mouthy girl.

Date: 2010-10-22 03:08 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
ext_41050: (Avatar >>> Azula)
As Tina Fey said about Hilary, "Bitches get stuff done."

Date: 2010-10-22 11:20 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Ha! So long as she said it ironically!

The case for/against Chuck

Date: 2010-11-06 10:09 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
(I'm sorry I missed this when you posted it - have not been keeping up with lj the way I used to!)

I completely missed that line, but you're absolutely right - it was really inappropriate. (And now I feel bad about calling Alex a bitch - I usually know better than that. Never use gendered insults when a simple "assface" or "poopyhead" is always appropriate. :P) It's always difficult to know how to take it when writers put in jokes like that - on the one hand, Casey's whole political affiliation is meant to be sort of a joke (and since he himself is a Republican, I wonder how he takes that?) So the line about Hilary, I'm assuming, was supposed to be part of the "lol, Casey's a crazy Reganite" shtick. But at the same time - you're supposed to laugh. And some things just are not funny.

(It reminds me of an episode of Glee this season (which I watched God alone knows why, given how angry that show makes me - I guess I was curious if it was still awful, which - a-yep.) Anyway, one of the characters, Rachel, approaches a new character who's from the Philippines to try to get her to join Glee club. She was listening to headphones at the time and didn't catch what Rachel said. Rachel assumes she must not speak English, so she goes into this whole "Me Rachel - you likey Glee club! You likey long time!" thing. Rachel is supposed to be awful and oblivious, and that's how the lines were intended - but holy shit that was incredibly offensive. My jaw literally dropped open. How this show manages to sail by without anyone calling them on their shit is just mind-boggling to me.)

Anyway - back to Chuck. This is also a problem I have with a lot of what they've made of Jeffster, especially in season 3. There have been a lot of times where Jeff or Lester has made some very nasty, derogatory remarks about women (I can't recall specifics right now, but I remember that they were bad enough that they made me feel pretty awful). Again, it's supposed to be "lol, Jeff and Lester are so bad with women!", but again, you are supposed to find it funny, and it wasn't. Especially since I really liked Jeffster as the lovable losers up to that point. They've been better about it this season, but yeah, not cool of them.

"Chuck" also has a big problem with the whole "hey, check out these TOTALLY HOT BABES, and they're all like in skimpy dresses and underwear and even naked! And LOL CAT FIGHT BETWEEN SEXY LADIES! FAP FAP FAP!" (I mean, there was one ep where Sarah was actually modeling bikinis for Chuck - I was rolling my eyes so hard.)

HOWEVER. I do really think that, in general, Chuck does a good job with its female characters. Sarah is wonderfully - three-dimensional with believable strengths and flaws, and her skills as a spy are never questioned. The General is another great character - she holds a position of power and they never question her authority on the basis of her gender. I love Ellie - she's an awesome doctor, and just an awesome person in general. Anna was great (I wonder why they didn't bring her back?), and even Hannah was shown to be smart and generally a good person, even though it would have been really easy to write her in a negative light for getting between Chuck and Sarah (I really liked that Chuck was the one who looked like a jerk in that scenario.) And I find Chuck's mom to be a really fascinating character (don't want to spoil to much if you still haven't seen the latest ep, but it is AMAZING - one of the best Chuck's ever, IMO.)

But I understand being pissed off about that line, and if the show makes you uncomfortable - well, life's too short to waste your time on a show that pisses you off. (For example - I will not watch Star Trek: TOS. I don't care if it was just ~a product of its times~ or if there are parts that are mind-blowingly awesome, or that it's a ~classic~, or whatever. I watched the first five episodes, and every single one was incredibly derogatory towards female characters to the point where it just made me too pissed off to watch. So I don't.)

Re: The case for/against Chuck

Date: 2010-11-09 12:20 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
You know, my whole reaction to that one line in Chuck reminded me of what you had told me earlier in the year about Glee being so completely fail-y, and I'm glad you brought it up again. Ugh, and the quote you wrote above is so amazingly unacceptable. I'm really glad I haven't tried watching it.

The other blatant womanizing things in Chuck - like Jeffster - I was able to put up with for a while (but they were definitely getting too creepy instead of just dorky. They need Anna to come back to balance things out and keep them in line). My anger over the 'mouthy' thing totally made me forget about the bikini modeling Sarah did, but yeah, that really does rank up there with the rest of the lameness that is the show trying to appeal to its core audience of, I suppose, 18-34 year-old men. Which kind of sucks because it had so much going for it previously to appeal to other groups, too.

I am looking forward to catching up on episodes some day (when I saw at the beginning of the season that the original Sarah Connor was Chuck's mom, I was really excited - Terminator & T2 ftw!), but it might be another week or two before I get a chance to catch up (work is kicking my butt, basically). I want to see what happens with Ellie and Devon (two of my favorite characters), especially.

[Oh, and I totally agree with you about ST:TOS. Ugh, it makes me shudder. At least they fixed up a lot of the gender-fail with the movies later on... though Kirk was still a dick.]

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