Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buffy's Just the Runner-up . . .

Reel One: In class this week, we took a detour. Sherry Ginn, a neuropsychologist who has a yen for studying how women are depicted in science fiction, agreed to come talk to my class about sex and gender in television. Ginn currently serves as head for the Science Fiction and Fantasy section of the national Popular Culture/American Culture Associations in addition to her professional affiliations in the psychological field, so I considered having her come down to my school on a weeknight to be a downright coup. As a class, we watched an episode of Babylon 5 and discussed color, tribalism, and some of the uses of symbolism in the episode, then talked about evolutionary psychology's point of view toward sex (briefly, men want lots of offspring, so they mate with anything and everything while women want their offspring to benefit from the best genetic material out there, so they're pickier. Actual results may, of course, vary) and how science fiction either mirrors prevailing attitudes towards sex (Captain Kirk) or pushes those boundaries, particularly in the depiction of gay characters (Torchwood). My students seemed engaged and interested and a couple eagerly sought Ginn's e-mail to continue the conversation. As am I. (Just don't ask her about River Tam's amygdyla. She gets testy that so many things were just done so wrong. And yes, she would know about that.)

Reel Two: Over at the Re-Watch, Season 3 continues with a couple of personal favorites. The title of the post, for instance, comes from "Homecoming" and is said by a defiantly-non-superpowered Cordelia who frightens off a bloodthirsty killing machine of a vampire bent on revenge just by snarking at him. Ah, Cordelia. This week's post is written by Jennifer Knoch, editor by day and blogger by night. Her blog can be accessed here. Great stuff, both in the Re-Watch post and the blog (which focuses on book recommendations). And oh - watch how Sunnydale's teenagers fail to deal with their suddenly regressed adult population. I knew selling band candy could only lead to trouble!

Next week: Color, humor, and story come together in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Ah, Babylon 5! My first fandom. Except that I knew nothing about fandom, so it was a fandom of 1, as far as I knew.