80’s TV

One of my English Major friends frequently gets after me because I don’t believe in feminism, or possibly because I don’t care enough to want to go storm the castles about it. The thing is: it’s not my fight. It’s not something that makes me indignant enough to go wear pins, or even possibly do things like speak at a women’s and gender conferences. Strange that I would mention this in which I plan to blog about 80’s television. But it goes to what I’m talking about, so hang in there…

I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll mention again:  I’m not a raging feminist and that I certainly don’t care to be one (to the apparent chagrin of a few of my classmates). Yet, gender roles and the way they’re broken tend to drive me just a bit bonkers. I loved watching the TV show chuck. I did. It’s become one of my favorite/most re watchable shows. Zachary Levi is adorable. The plot made me laugh and cry and yell. Yet the way they portrayed Sara was almost like they were trying too hard. It’s like they do that with Kenzi on NCIS: LA, too. they try too hard to make sure the roles are broken.

Ex: having them fight multiple men at once, kicking butt the whole way and then obviously winning.

So… I’ve found comfort in 80’s TV. Besides lack of technology and what they can/can’t do with it, I love they break gender roles by having a woman create a fake male supervisor just to get clients (Remington Steele, people), or how lines are just kind of… broken by a few simple sentences. But I’ll get to that in a moment. I want to talk about Remington Steele.

Try this for a deep, dark secret: the great detective, Remington Steele? He doesn’t exist. I invented him. Follow. I always loved excitement, so I studied, and apprenticed, and put my name on an office. But absolutely nobody knocked down my door. A female private investigator seemed so… feminine. So I invented a superior. A decidedly MASCULINE superior. Suddenly there were cases around the block. It was working like a charm… until the day HE walked in, with his blue eyes and mysterious past. And before I knew it, he assumed Remington Steele’s identity. Now I do the work, and he takes the bows. It’s a dangerous way to live, but as long as people buy it, I can get the job done. We never mix business with pleasure. Well, almost never. I don’t even know his real name!” — Stephanie Zimbalist as Laura Holt, opening for Remington Steele, season 1
This intro! quite genius, actually. What Laura does to be able to do what she loves… and it works. for years. You just really gotta watch the cheesiness and put up with it to appreciate it. seriously.
Then there’s my favorite of scarecrow and Mrs king (back to obscure 80s television, as promised)!! it’s always amazed me that in the pilot episode Francine told Amanda “you’re judging me, aren’t you? for not being a housewife like you” or something like that. Yet for most of the series Francine judged Amanda for not being a “real” spy, even though they eventually become friends.
Talk about roles being broken.
So no, feminism is most definitely not my thing. I get crap for it. Then I watch 80’s tv to make myself feel better (and for me it works). I would much rather watch the simplicity of roles being broken then them trying too hard to break the “rules.”
that being typed, writing this has got me hankering to watch some scarecrow and mrs. king.

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