By: Zach Siddiqui
Stuff We Like:
Gossip Girl’s Glorious Return
Spotted: our timeless non-judging breakfast club making it back to screens big and small. That’s right—Gossip Girl is back in town, after a long hiatus from Canadian Netflix.
Gossip Girl’s Jefferson-esque return from distant lands seems to have been inspired by a long-lived stream of demand on social media, of which Netflix eventually took notice (though I doubt they were above keeping us in suspense for a while!) Well, thanks for having a heart, N—even if not everyone in the Upper East Side can say the same for themselves.
Nothing could be more iconic than watching the power plays between Constance queens Blair and Serena, or Nate proving time after time that he’s in the wrong show and should move on to something like The Bachelorette.
Of course, in all the glitz and romance of Manhattan’s elite, try not to forget that the show can cross the line from tantalizingly scandalous to unrepentantly problematic. To name a couple examples, the relationships are the furthest thing from healthy since the Black Plague, and their depiction of poverty is a blatant insult to people who are actually struggling financially. But the opulent escapism really doesn’t stop being fun to try on for size, does it? XO, XO.
Stuff We Don’t Like:
The Big Bang Theory
The men on this show are openly creepy perverts: Howard Wolowitz uses military satellites to stalk attractive female models. They’re condescending: Sheldon once told a female assistant of his that, as a woman, her only assets were being “full of eggs” and being “appealing” for brief periods.
The writers normalize rape culture so heavily that they practically build their female characters around it. Penny is made to feel guilty about the one time she calls Howard out on being a gross little lecher, and they portray Amy Farrah-Fowler as disappointed about having avoided being sexually assaulted at a frat house.
This entire show is basically an atomic circle jerk for the sorts of male viewers who would happily beg girls for nudes from behind a computer screen and some sloppy proxy server setup. It’s, like, this fantasy of the “nerdy” guy who couldn’t be popular in high school and manages to get together with a conventionally attractive girl whom he doesn’t have to feel intellectually challenged by (read: the Leonard-Penny relationship.)
Big Bang Theory doesn’t just portray misogyny: it celebrates it, under this weird translucent veneer of geeky harmlessness.