Posts Tagged ‘family’

In class during the week of April 25th, we viewed episodes from two programs that are able to take on more social issues with a direct approach.  Both Sex and the City and Weeds show the main characters doing whatever they can do get where they need to be in life.  Whether it be for personal gain or just maintaining the standard of living for their family, these women do whatever it takes to get where they need to be.

Sex and the City is a very unique show by having its four main characters represent very different types of feminists.  By having this show air on HBO, “the expanding narrative universe of pay cable” could put the main characters in more real situations to address issues.  In the episode “The Power of Female Sex,” each of the characters either references or encounters the same issue.  In the episode, Samantha and Carrie await eagerly outside a New York hotspot, Balzac’s, hoping to get in for lunch.  They encounter a female hostess who abruptly refuses to let the two in.  Samantha states that if the hostess were a man, they would be inside eating right now: referencing the power of sex that women have over men.  Later in the episode, Carrie meets up with an old friend while shoe shopping and is later introduced to a man that ends up paying her for sex.  In this episode, Miranda’s boyfriend Skipper admits to Carrie that he has become “hooked” on Miranda and that she is all he can think about.  Meanwhile, Charlotte’s attempt to get an artist to be featured at her gallery ends up with her posing for his latest piece.  Charlotte is not posing for a “normal” painting, she is posing for what the artist calls “the single most powerful thing in the universe.”  By this he means a woman’s vagina and has multiple paintings of vaginas throughout his studio.  This is not something that can normally be associated with the mild and modest manner of Charlotte, who seems slightly uncomfortable with the idea of posing, but willing to use whatever she has to get the artist’s work in her gallery.  The overall image presented by this show is ironic, because all of the characters encounter a situation that is normally suited for Samantha, with all three of the remaining characters using their “power” over men in the episode for various reasons, whether intentional or not.  Hilmes sums up this show perfectly, by saying that “Sex and the City provided a full and frank look at female sexuality, and it captivated its audience of both men and women.”

Weeds is a program, much like Sex and the City, that is aired on a pay cable network and is able to address issues that network television does not allow.  In the episode “You Can’t Miss the Bear,” Nancy Botwin is proven to be different from the typical soccer mom portrayed in movies and television today.  Much like the girls in Sex and the City, Nancy uses what she’s got to get herself where she needs to be in life.  In this case, Nancy sells pot to a variety of people throughout the community in order to make ends meet due to the untimely death of her husband.  Nancy is often seen struggling with the ideals of the typical mother with those of the drug dealer, especially in the scenes where she interacts with another local pot dealer.  In her interactions, she supplies marijuana to the younger dealer, but with a catch: he is not to sell to any kids.  When Nancy finds out that the young dealer has been selling to children that are her younger son’s age, she becomes enraged and lets her voice be heard to the kid.  Nancy isn’t seen as a bad person to viewers, mainly because of the situation she’s been dealt.  She is just attempting to bridge the gap between the income and lifestyle she once had and the one she is now dealing with in an effort to restore some kind of normalcy for her two children.  Nancy puts it all on the line in this show by using her car and what appears to be her wedding ring as collateral with her supplier so she can come up with the money to pay the bills.  Nancy appears to be a true “supermom” displaying her ability to maintain as much control over her household as she can while attempting to come up with the funds to continue her family’s way of life.

Both of these shows portray women doing whatever they can to get where they need to be in life.  Whether it be getting into the latest hotspot, having a famous artist’s work featured in your gallery, or simply maintaining the standard of living for your family; all of these women do whatever is necessary to get what they want.