Ah, our old friends.
Disclaimer: I have watched maybe like… eight different shows this year because I literally can’t be bothered to undertake a lot of things that people tell me I should because I know they’ll fail me eventually and I’ll be sad.
Bechdel fail: Agent Carter was again 100% on this, of course. (This season was far from perfect, but I’m still going to miss you, my Peggy my darling.) Agents of SHIELD‘s 2015 efforts put them above 90%, including a couple episodes that were just “smack the Bechdel test in the face,” so that’s pretty damn good; Game of Thrones also stepped it up this year, coming in around 70% I believe (the document I was keeping track in, very scientifically, got lost when I switched phones this week, oops). At least in my shows, this year did better at this than other categories.
disregarded logic: I mean, The Librarians always disregards logic. That’s kind of its thing. But again, I did not do too much screaming at my television going “THIS MAKES NO SENSE,” unlike years prior.
underused/invisible POC: Agent Carter… managed a whole one POC character this year, Jason Wilkes (Reggie Austin), so that was still not great but one is at least better than none. Game of Thrones did not know what the hell to do with Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) this year, which was annoying, nor did it give the Sand Snakes a lot to do although what little they did was still, in my opinion, delicious. Penny Dreadful racebent Dr. Jekyll and Dracula, so that was kind of cool? And then meanwhile Agents of SHIELD ran a glorious parade of POC characters and killed two white guys, while Luke Cage was beautifully black all the time and deal with it if you don’t like it. I feel like statistically this is a decent picture of television at large. A lot of things not really succeeding, a few standing much farther out.
dead family manpain: the Tower of Joy, which only halfway counts. Dead daughters came up sometimes, but usually from women. I’ve managed to cut most of the dead family manpain out of my television life, I hope.
invisible lesbians: no, this year was just full of dead lesbians and Sapphic ladies, in outstanding number but mostly not on my own shows. Game of Thrones instead gave us Yara Gayjoy (let’s be real, probably more like Yara Female-Leaning-But-Pan-joy, but the pun is too good) and let her shine. Penny Dreadful had a Sapphic army. And all the women of SHIELD continue to be outstandingly queer together, though it goes unsaid, but it’s not like it’s been said and it’s not being shown. It’s just implicit and I have a lot of feelings about it (also, Jemma Simmons is in the narrative closet and I will passionately argue this point based on my own real life experience).
vicious female rivalry: the demon possessing Kate (Madison Davenport) and Kisa (Eiza Gonzalez) got pretty scrappy. But considering that the paradigm of this category is Cersei vs. Margaery, it’s not quite the same thing. Cersei (Lena Headey) did in fact get way too vicious on Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and I mourn but also, narratively, at least we finally got Feast for Crows Cersei.
ho-yay: there’s none I’m explicitly recalling, which means if there was any it at least wasn’t overall detrimental.
infectious diseases: thank the gods, no.
dead prostitutes: there was a passel of them on Preacher, but Tulip (Ruth Negga) made her opinions abundantly clear and that was sort of justice for them. On the other hand, Lily (Billie Piper) led the above-mentioned army of prostitutes who murdered men for abusing them, and though poor Justine (Jessica Barden) willfully went to her end, they took revenge and it was beautiful.
dead little girls: see above re: families. Again, nothing egregious, thank the gods.
sexualized violence: eh. There’s a fine fine line, which is always tread by television and film. Nothing egregious, but also could be avoided more.
Madonna/whore: there was a bit of a play with this with Margaery’s religious conversion, but it wasn’t narratively sanctioned so much as acknowledged as a game she was playing.
Oedipal undertones: Cersei’s always a little cesty with her family members, including baby Tommen (Dean Charles Chapman), but with Cersei it kind of just is what it is and you move on.
fridging: aside from the 10001 dead Sapphic women, many of whom I cannot speak to personally, and beloved Barb (Shanon Purser), poor Margaery passed, but I don’t know it was a traditional fridge; Vanessa (Eva Green) met her end but it was of her volition; Emily (Lucy Griffiths) was among the dead of Preacher but, eh, that was a whole town, it could be worse; Candace (Deborah Ayorinde) was more vaulted than fridged; but Lincoln Campbell (Luke Mitchell) died in a literal fire and took the corpse of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) with him and that was justice.
gratuitous sex: I mean, nobody needed to see Grand Maester Pycelle all postcoitus but at least he died and it was also justice. A lot of sex scenes were awkward but not singularly space-fillers.
inappropriate male attention: as I cast disapproving eyes on Hive. As I cast disapproving eyes on anyone who ever looked at Nancy Wheeler, ever. As I cast disapproving eyes on Uncle Asshat Greyjoy. As I cast disapproving eyes on Dracula. Etc. This will be a problem for all eternity.
pedophilic Stockholm: mm, Sansa (Sophie Turner) basically told Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) to fuck off in the most ladylike way possible so that was satisfying.
infidelity: see also, the Tower of Joy. Etc.
custody battles: no, thank the gods.
conscious irresponsibility: Jesse (Dominic Cooper) was irresponsible, but he was also possessed, so that kind of makes up for it. Etc.
narrative neglect: see above re: Missandei, Grey Worm, and the Sand Snakes. That would be my largest complaint.
uneven f :: m ratio: technically, this is true basically everywhere. SHIELD‘s main/main supporting cast is fairly even, and Agent Carter‘s wasn’t bad; overall, more ladies, though.
narratively excused sociopathy: plenty of sociopaths but the narrative fully knew how they were sociopaths and said it.
love triangles: eh. Ehhhh.
window dressing: mm, not in any particularly gratuitous circumsance.
narratively excused intolerance: see also: Preacher is set in a small town in Texas. It’s excused, but also it’s a picture of just that things are bad.
lack of POC: see above.
general male brooding: the only thing Lincoln Campbell did before he died, really.
lack of queer people: much much. I will observe that apparently Supergirl (which I’m still not watching, I admit) has done some cool coming-out stuff so that’s nice to hear.
narratively enforced gender policing: what of it I’ve seen has mostly been called out.
compulsive heteroeroticism: see also, romantic FitzSimmons. Jeepers.
crazy inbred hillbillies: none of those I’ve dealt with this year.
slut shaming: I’m sure there’s been but aside from the Margaery situation I’m blanking.
children as plot devices: Tommen is a plot device but honestly, that’s just how it is. Most of the kids this year were human props.
police brutality: requisite “I hate the Sokovia Accords and everything that comes from them even though a lot of it isn’t even on the TV shows” mention. Also, Luke Cage, but that was calling that out.
love interest syndrome: ah, my poor Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge). It’ll be nice when this mess is over with. For example.
pseudo-incest: hm. I could have done without Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). That’s kind of in this category.
vaulting: see above re: Candace, for the biggest example.
gratuitous consequenceless substance abuse: mm, nah, I think there were pretty well consequences.
excused unwanted overtures: and most of these were unexcused, at least.
forgive your abusers: one interesting thing about the unfortunate Hive situation was, at least, Daisy’s (Chloe Bennet) stages of grief regarding her abuse, so that was the opposite of this… but then, this is another reason I’ll drag romantic FitzSimmons, though it’s obviously to a lesser degree. So.
compulsive motherhood: not really?
“don’t do the brave thing”: a fair amount of “I am doing a brave thing but you should not because you don’t deserve to get hurt,” which isn’t the same.
(evil) white guy redemption arc: mm hey, remember how Grant Ward died twice?
narrative double standard: catchall because always, often in critical reactions.
women as plot devices: again. Sort of always.
narratively excused non-con: this year was much better.
past non-con as cheap plot device: also better.
I’m less angry this year, but I watched fewer things. So.
–your fangirl heroine.