Television Tuesday :: the second No Trope Bingo card…

10 Jun

…partially in the spirit of certain things that begin June 22 and that I have basically been warned are going to do all the things I fear the most by an article in Entertainment Weekly.

This is just the card and explanations, so I can get into it later.

R1C1, window dressing: characters (usually women) serving very little purpose other than to decorate the scene prettily.
R1C2, narratively excused intolerance: characters being sexist/racist/ableist/homophobic/etcetera and the narrative not pointing out that this is problematic in some way or another but rather just seeming to accept that “this is the way things are/were.”
R1C3, lack of POC: self-explanatory.
R1C4, general male brooding: self-explanatory.
R1C5, lack of queer people: not many/not any characters who are not canonically heterosexual.

R2C1, narratively enforced gender policing: when the character is criticized for not behaving in a more feminine/masculine fashion and the narrative seems to uphold this (i.e. making a joke out of their lack of gender-“appropriate” qualities).
R2C2, compulsive heteroeroticism: heteroeroticism sort of defined here; heterosexual relationships forced on characters to fulfill some sort of narrative quota or dispel notions that characters might not be heterosexual or something.  Rarely makes narrative sense.
R2C3, crazy inbred hillbillies: okay, so they’re not always literally inbred, but that’s the trope.
R2C4, slut shaming: self-explanatory.
R2C5, children as plot devices: characters who are children existing not as characters of their own merit to some degree but to facilitate some plot between the grown-ups.  See Emma (Chloe Noelle) in True Blood‘s season 6.

R3C1, police brutality: self-explanatory.
R3C2, love interest syndrome: a character (usually female) serving no purpose or having no qualities other than that of a love interest to a man.
R3C4, pseudo-incest: a tricky one, given that I’m all over vampire families, but what I’m talking about is when characters serve an exclusively traditionally parental role to another younger character and yet also it’s relationshippy to some degree.  See Petyr (Aidan Gillen) regarding Sansa (Sophie Turner).
R3C5, vaulting: this.

R4C1, gratuitous consequenceless substance abuse: self-explanatory.
R4C2, excused unwanted overtures: self-explanatory.
R4C3, forgive your abusers: spontaneously not holding characters who have previously been physically/emotionally/etc. abusive responsible for this, both on a narrative level and a character level.  Different than if a character genuinely repents and is forgiven.
R4C4, compulsive motherhood: the tendency to make female characters eventually decide that they’re not complete unless they fulfill a mother role.
R4C5, “don’t do the brave thing”: as explained here by the lovely Emma Thompson.

R5C1, (evil) white guy redemption arc: you know, the thing we were afraid they were going to force on Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).
R5C2, narrative double standard: narratively holding male and female, or white and POC, or etc. etc, characters to a different standard, i.e. excusing a behavior in one and not the other.
R5C3, women as plot devices: woman, the great mystery.  Woman, the point of interest.  Woman, the idea and not the person.  I’ve heard that Steven Moffat likes to do this.
R5C4, narratively excused non-con: self-explanatory.
R5C5, past non-con as cheap plot device: a character’s (usually female) backstory always or suddenly including an instance of sexual assault in order to give her angst but not in order to be properly dealt with.

–your fangirl heroine.

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