Doux News: March 9, 2014

This Week: Jammies of Interest – TV and Film Demographics – Sin City – Superhero Roundup – This Week in Cats

Jammies of Interest

The New York Times spotlighted Michael Emerson in its occasional “Sunday Routine” feature. According to the article, Emerson enjoys long walks, making breakfast for his wife Carrie Preston, and staying in his “jammies” until noon. Sadly, the article does not include an audio component, as I would give up my pudgy cat Small Duckling in order to hear Michael Emerson utter the word “jammies.”

Emerson also did a Reddit AMA thread recently, available here. Although the thread contains little more than the standard fan questions (Ben Linus vs. Harold Finch: who would win?), there are a few standouts. For example, Emerson believes that “If [Harold Finch] didn't have these damn suicidal missions he was on, he'd be a riot at a party.” Emerson also mentioned that co-star Jim Caviezel does a great Christopher Walken impersonation, and the internet has confirmed it (fast-forward to about 3:18):

TV and Film Demographics

Maureen Ryan, an excellent TV critic who has jumped from site to site in the past few years, wrote a fascinating article for the Huffington Post this week about the gender and race demographics of HBO showrunners and creators (whom she calls “narrative architects”). Her article is quite nuanced, but the takeaway is easily represented by the graphic I’ve reproduced to the left: HBO’s hour-long dramas are created and produced primarily by men.

HBO is not alone. Ryan looked at the stats for original shows on some of the most prestigious networks (AMC and FX, for instance) and discovered that, out of 97 narrative architects, only 12 were women. Of those 97, only two were people of color.

This isn’t a problem exclusive to hour-long prestige dramas, or non-networks shows, or even television itself. The San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film recently released a report exploring how many women had high-tier positions in the American film industry. Here are their findings:

Women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films of 2013. This figure represents a decrease of two percentage points from 2012.

In 2013, women accounted for 6% of (U.S.) directors. If foreign films in the top 250 are included, this figure increases to 8%. In other roles, women comprised 10% of writers, 15% of executive producers, 25% of producers, 17% of editors, and 3% of cinematographers.

In the HuffPo article, Ryan connects the lack of behind-the-scenes women and people of color to the male-centric narratives of shows like True Detective, which she sees as inappropriately focused on the white male experience. Although I disagree that True Detective—or any one specific show—needs to reach some sort of equality quota, it seems impossible to deny that TV and film continue the trend of so much literature: representing the white male experience as universal, and therefore shutting out other points of view. If networks and production companies can realize that the white and male perspective does not speak for all of us—that it is not the default setting—perhaps we can begin to see a plurality of viewpoints, from a variety of different architects, on screen in the next few years.

Sin City

The new trailer for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is now available right here:

Superhero Roundup

The CW has released promo pics (see top) of the Flash’s look for his upcoming eponymous TV show, starring Grant Gustin, which goes into production this week and will start airing in Fall 2014.

Since that’s a long time to wait for new superheroism, we’re lucky that Marvel is developing a one-hour special on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, and even a sneak peak at the upcoming Avengers sequel. The extended commercial promo will air Tuesday, March 18th.

Not all is well in Comicopia, though. Constantine co-creator Stephen Bissette wrote an angry open letter to DC that makes clear his resentment about not being remotely “in the loop” for the upcoming Constantine TV show. Sadly, Bissette did not give us his thoughts on the casting of Harold Perrineau (you may recall his shouts of “Waaaalt!” from Lost) as an “authoritative angel” on the show.

This Week in Cats

Kittens pay tribute to Harold Ramis.


mazephoenix said...

It is sad that there i still a male, white dominance in terms of whose stories that get told. The True detective creator has hinted at female protagonists in the next season. Let's hope so. That said the first season has been amazing.
Ah poor Harold Perrineau..his cries of "Walt" did get annoying. Lets' hope Constantine gives him something better to do. “authoritative angel”? Hmm.

Josie Kafka said...

Nic Pizzolatto's tweet implied that women would factor in next season's True Detective, but according to a recent Buzzfeed article he then deleted the tweet so as not to make a promise he couldn't (or didn't want to) deliver.

I've got no particular desire for Pizzolatto to change his m.o., which I don't see as sexist, but rather as concerned with the male experience. For him to suddenly write a Buffy/SATC hybrid would be as weird as Joss Whedon writing a movie about Civil War soldiers.

To each their own wheelhouse, as long as we get a few more wheelhouses on TV as a whole.

Mark Greig said...

I would absolutely watch a Joss Whedon movie about Civil War soldiers. I would watch a Joss Whedon movie about socks.

mazephoenix said...

Oh well..I'd be curious to see what Pizzolatto would do with female detectives. Now I'm imaginging them wearing fabulous shoes and drinking cosmos..heh.Which I'm sure they wouldn't. But yeah, more diversity everywhere would be nice.

Freeman said...

The Flash cowl looks fantastic. I didn't think they were gonna go with such a straight up look, but I'm glad they did. I'm officially excited for that show now.

I don't know how I feel about the Constantine show. But I guess anything would be better than the Keanu Reeves movie. Yeesh.

I'm super stoked for the Sin City movie, but man, could they have picked a better song for that trailer? I generally don't have an issue with the dubstep stuff but that sounded super generic and uninspired. Especially when you compare it to the first movie's trailer.