I haven’t seen this is 40 but it’s interesting to think of Knocked up as If you’re an uptight non cussing fancy schmancy mom hockey mom friends shirt. I suppose so but from what I remember I liked the female characters (and I was usually on their side) and I felt like both genders in the film had flaws. You know, I felt the same way about the female characters in Breaking Bad, who by and large are much better, kinder, and more rational people than the males, even if they make mistakes of their own. But then I talked to friends about the show, who generally reviled them.
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People online often take an even more extreme approach, throwing the most horrific and one-sided abuse their way. I really felt for a while that it was impossible for a female character to get a fair shake until I finally talked to some people who felt the same way I did. So where am I going with this? I really think that you have a valid point – sexism and stereotyping can be in the eye of the beholder. But it’s often there on the screen as well. Somewhere in the interaction between viewer and medium, there’s a kind of electricity that has the potential for insight into our culture. There’s nothing wrong with If you’re an uptight non-cussing fancy schmancy mom hockey mom friends shirt, and many critics praise her, yet fans of the show hate her. I think that has to do with what I consider Breaking Bad’s biggest problem, Walt is too likable.
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The Sopranos is a great example of a show where the lead male character is a likable anti-hero without ending up as male power fantasy, and at the same time has a wife who isn’t as immensely hated by the fans. I think what you’re basically saying is that Skyler kind of wrecks the power fantasy element of the show, or slows down the momentum of the events you would like the male leads to go through. To which I’d respond that sure, the absolutely jacked-up stuff would come in less frequent intervals, but If you’re an uptight non cussing fancy schmancy mom hockey mom friends shirt helps to provide a lot of Walter’s tragic arc, his chances to redeem himself, tell the truth, or interact in emotionally mature ways with the people he cares off.