Television Tuesday :: another media theory note that I am applying to television

3 Feb

Along the lines of the many media tests out there, such as the Bechdel test, I’m wondering now if there’s one describing platonic male-female relationships.  Do a male character and a female character have a positive conversation for a given length of time about something that is not directly related to:

  • their romantic/sexual relationship
  • either character’s romantic/sexual desirability or sexuality in general
  • either character’s performance or lack thereof of traditional gender roles
  • either character attempting to rid the other of their agency in some way
  • either character making the other feel guilty about something unfairly
  • either character somehow mocking the other

Such topics could include:

  • projects the characters are working on at their respective or mutual jobs or in their personal lives
  • stories about each other’s families/romantic partners/neighbors/other known people/pets/whatever
  • nostalgic reminiscences about past experiences
  • either character supporting the other as they go through a serious life event
  • either character teaching the other about something in a supportive manner
  • media
  • travel
  • philosophy
  • animals
  • cooking
  • architecture and building
  • the justice system
  • history
  • languages
  • the military
  • sports
  • supernatural phenomena
  • literally there are so many options I’m being a little bit glib but seriously

Because it’s sort of interesting to watch whether or not shows do this.  Lots of shows do it sometimes — workplace shows and school shows and family (biological or found) shows tend toward it — but it would be interesting to see who does it when, and how.  How many platonic conversations does a female character have as opposed to a male character, and with how many different male characters?  How many conversations are had as sorts of one-offs and how many go to building a more substantial relationship?

I am thinking about this because of Agent Carter and how tonight’s episode was a wealth of Peggy (Hayley Atwell)= having positive interactions and relationships of platonic natures (and less-positive interactions that nonetheless further the narrative in a productive fashion instead of tying things up in wanky issues) with male characters.  And also with Dottie (Bridget Regan) so that was nice too.  Look at all the sorts of conversations that can be had!

–your fangirl heroine.

idiotic notions dispelled


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