Netflix Canceled Sense8, So I Tried to Watch It

by Kathryn Graham

As you may have heard, Netflix is cancelling Sense8. Netflix bid them a fond farewell and sent a show with lots of LGBT and people of color packing right at the start of Pride Month.

Hey, Netflix: I know you probably didn’t do that on purpose, but not great timing guys. Just saying.

Sense8 is one of those shows I had meant to get around to eventually. Once I heard it was cancelled, I went full bore into the first season… and only got through the sixth episode.

Now, having seen the show, I can’t say I’m surprised about the cancellation. Here’s the thing with Sense8 at the onset: it’s Heroes but without deep or endearing characters. You know there’s more going on here. You know that the main characters are connected, you’re just not sure how exactly. But it suffers from Heroes’ incredibly slow pacing, and I think that’s ultimately what kills it.

The first six episodes are basically backstory on all of the characters, but the backstories don’t have much to them. An Indian woman is getting married to a guy everyone thinks she loves, but she doesn’t love him. A Korean woman is smarter and better than her brother, but since she is a girl, he gets to take over the company. A transwoman has an unaccepting family, but a great girlfriend. In Heroes, we got to at least watch Claire jump off buildings and run through fire. We saw Hiro time-travel. In Sense8, we see wedding preparation.

Structurally, it’s a lot more like a six hour movie than a television show. Stories progress, but since there are eight of them, plot points that should have taken less than half an episode to get to take literally five episodes to occur.

That’s the other thing about Sense8. It has a lot of different characters, and they are a diverse bunch from all over the world, but the lack of depth destroys my caring about any of them. I also don’t know why they’re connected (which is fine), but when they do cross each others’ paths, it doesn’t seem purposeful. That said…

I think that if I could hang on longer, I might be treated to a show that I really enjoy. That’s what happened with Heroes, and that is a possibility here with Sense8. On the other hand, this is entertainment, and slogging through hours to get to the good stuff is a lot to ask. (Especially with no guarantee there is good stuff coming.)

I know a lot of people are upset that a show that represents LGBT folk and people of color is getting cancelled. I get that. But I don’t wish Sense8 would continue, I wish we didn’t have to put so much weight on every show that throws us a bone.

According to the creators, though, they had a wide and heterogeneous audience, and the exact reason why they were cancelled still remains a mystery. If you’re a fan I invite you to go sign the petition to bring it back. Then tell me why you love the show. I may even go back and watch more if you do.

 

Edit: Looks like Netflix isn’t having any of the petition stuff. Sorry Sense8 fans.


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor and munchman’s secret fav. Learn more about Kate HERE

Wonder Woman: A Hero Beyond The Screen

LB’S NOTE: Yes, it’s true that Monday is usually my poetry day. However, all kinds of things, including a mysterious visitor from my past, omens of good fortune and fair trade, and an overcrowded schedule mean that the next epic from yours truly can’t be here today but absolutely will be online June 19th, in honor of Father’s Day.

As we used to say on Hawaii Five-0 (the real one)“Be there!”

Meanwhile, Kate Graham graces us with her insight once again:


by Kathryn Graham

We write about TV here at TVWriter, but for this past weekend, all of the attention has been on the silver screen. There’s one reason for that.

Wonder Woman.

Since this is the kind of film I’ve waited my whole life for, I am going to write about it, TV emphasis be damned. I cannot be confined!

My review of Wonder Woman is:

I need to watch it again.

I went into it expecting to be absolutely blown away, and truth be told, I wasn’t. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the spectacle all of the hype had me believing it was.

That’s exactly why I need to see it again. I need to be able to take it for what it is – a beautiful, powerful superhero movie with a sprinkling of deeper meaning and a lot of women kicking ass.

Because that part, oh that part was glorious.

See, I don’t like superhero movies in general. The main reason is I know that I’m going to see something that’s meant for men, which apparently means three things: women are scarce, women are love interests, women wear skin tight clothing.

I hear a lot about how important it is that little girls can look up to Wonder Woman. No doubt. But I’d posit to say: adult women need her just as much if not more. I need her more.

Wonder Woman wants women to feel the same thrill and excitement that every man has felt his entire life when he watched Spiderman, Superman, or Batman take the bad guys down. It isn’t that we can’t identify with Superman, of course not, but you tell me it doesn’t say something when only one gender is kicking the hell out of evil and the other is the ‘love interest’.

You tell me how it feels when your main purpose is to be hot. When no matter how badass you are, you always need someone to save you.

Not so with Wonder Woman.

Women were in tears while watching her fight because this was a realization of a long-awaited dream.

The importance of this film stretches far beyond a simple superhero movie, not just for the audience, but for the industry.

Wonder Woman and Patty Jenkins are superheroes for all women in the film industry. Hollywood is so sexist, they don’t even bother to hide it. Anything a woman touches is judged ten times harsher because she is somehow representative of her entire gender. Every failure is a setback for half of the damn population instead of a shitty movie.

One bad superhero movie and suddenly no one wants to see female superheroes. One bad female directed movie, and well, we know women couldn’t direct, didn’t we boys?

Wonder Woman saved us.

It never should have come to this. If we lived in an equitable and free meritocracy, we would have thousands of movies directed, written, starred in, crewed, and more by women. All of them judged by how stupid the plot was, how great the acting, the big booms and zooms, and not by the gender of the person who worked on it.

We don’t live in that world. Even with Wonder Woman, the number of women working in film is abysmal, and I’m skeptical about just how much better it will get now. But this movie has given us a ray of hope.

Sure, I would have loved to have seen a bulkier woman play Wonder Woman, but Gal Gadot did a great job. Yes, I would have loved for there to be more women in the movie later on, but I understand why they weren’t. Yes, I want to see Wonder Woman have a female love interest someday, and yes, I’ll be happy to write that script for you, thank you for asking!

Anyway…

This movie was a small step forward that feels like a giant leap.

Wonder Woman may not be the hero we deserve (do we deserve better or worse? you decide), but she is a hero we can believe in. Thank you, everyone who worked on this movie. Truly. I’m off go to see it in IMAX.


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor and our very own wonder woman although she probably doesn’t believe that. Learn more about Kate HERE

TV’s Haught Lesbian Cop Girlfriends

Maggie & Nicole!

 by Kathryn Graham

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT–

Supergirl is back, and with it Alex Danvers and her hot cop girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer. Last week’s episode featured Maggie a lot more prominently than before: and it is one of the best of the series so far.

I recently rewatched the entire first season of Wynonna Earp on Netflix, and I was struck by the similarities between Maggie and Wynonna Earp‘s lesbian officer: Nicole Haught.

So in honor of these two awesome ladies, I present the haught lesbian cop girlfriends of Supergirl and Wynonna Earp:

Maggie Sawyer
Supergirl
National City PD
Girlfriend of Alex Danvers
Couple Name: Sanvers

Nicole Haught
Wynonna Earp
Purgatory Sheriff’s Department
Girlfriend of Waverly Earp
Couple Name: Wayhaught

And their main character girlfriends:

Alex Danvers
DEO Extranormal Activities Agent (Gov. alien fighter)
Kara Danvers’ (Supergirl’s) Adoptive Older Sister

Waverly Earp
Black Badge Division (Gov. demon fighter)
Wynonna Earp’s Younger Sister

Maggie and Nicole have been important to the growth of their girlfriends (and in Maggie’s case: vice versa). They’ve both got hidden depths and a lot of potential.

They’re both aware of the government’s activities, but they maintain their positions in the police department. That’s cool. That’s fine. Who doesn’t love a hot cop?

But because they are competent police officers, I really want to see them join their girlfriends’ covert ops or at least accompany them on more of their missions.

The love interest thing: it’s great, and it’s important. I love the scenes they have, and these shows don’t have their heads up their asses. They know who they’re representing, and they know how important that is.

Still, most of the time these characters remain only tangentially related to the main story. Kara and Wynonna only care about them because they’re important to their sisters. Everyone else in the main group could kind of care less.

I mean, Wynonna was willing to let Nicole get killed until Waverly said that she loved her. That’s some shit right there.

I’m not looking for more makeout scenes (although I’m never opposed). I want them to have a more well-rounded presence. Most of all, I want them to be in scenes they should be in.

Because before now, we had situations like this:

Alex and Maggie uncover the location of a Luthor warehouse wherein lies the head of the evil organization Cadmus and Alex’s long-lost father Jeremiah. Maggie asks if she should go with Alex to infiltrate this presumably highly lethal box of villainy.

Maggie: Want me to go with you?
Alex: No. I gotta do it alone.
Maggie: No problem. I’ve got super important offscreen things to do.

A similar thing happens in the Wynonna Earp Season 1 finale. Nicole gets shot, but she’s saved by her bulletproof vest. She urges Waverly to go with Wynonna to track down her would-be killer, even though she could go with them.

Waverly: Why don’t you come with us?
Officer Haught: That’s it for me, Waverly. I’m done for. I think… I think the only thing that could save me is a kiss.
Waverly: You just said you were only bruised.
Officer Haught: Now I need two kisses.

Maybe they weren’t included because they’re so badass that if they had gone with their girlfriends to near certain doom, the villains would have just wilted before them.

More likely, the writers didn’t want to work with them, despite the fact they should have been there. If you were capable of helping, would you let the person you love more than anyone go face potential death without you?

That’s what I mean.

I’d be fairly shocked to see what I’m asking for come to fruition. These characters are thought of as love interests to main (but not the titular) characters and not as full cast members. But I’d love to be shocked. Please shock me.

I’d love to see Floriana Lima (Maggie) and Katherine Barrell’s (Nicole’s) names in the opening. That’d mean something. Just not the way Buffy: The Vampire Slayer did it. After urging from fans for years, they finally put Amber Benson (who played Tara MacClay – Willow’s lover) in the opening, only to kill her off that episode.

Tara never became important to anyone except Willow. I don’t want that for Maggie & Nicole.

Buuut… last week’s Supergirl had Maggie bringing her unique skill set to bear to save Alex and spending a lot of time bonding with Kara (even if most of that was spent arguing). This was one of my absolute favorite episodes of the entire series. It had all of the right ingredients: high stakes, ticking clock, strong relationships. Here’s hoping Maggie can continue to work with the main cast, even when Alex is back.

With Wynonna Earp, showrunner Emily Andras mentioned at ClexaCon that Officer Haught will have more of a role, and she’ll have more scenes with Wynonna. She’s hardly in the trailer, so I’m not exactly sold yet, but I’m cautiously optimistic for when the show returns June 9th.

Alex & Waverly!


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about Kate HERE

More Aliens than Asians on Screen: White-Washing Ghost in the Shell

by Kathryn Graham

This month, Ghost in the Shell will be released with Scarlett Johansson, a white actress, cast as Japanese character: Major Motoko Kusanagi. This is a process known as ‘white-washing’: Hollywood’s long-standing racist practice of casting white actors as characters of color.

In the 1930’s, we had ‘yellowface’: ‘Predictably, Asian Americans actors would spend most of the war years cast as sinister Japanese, often in films now viewed with some embarrassment. There were still “good Asian” roles being written–but they were restricted to Caucasian actors while Asian Americans played the villains.’

In 2017, we have white-washing, which is not the same thing, but still casts white people in roles that should have been Asian roles. The result: there are almost no roles for Asians on screen even in stories where the characters in the source material were Asian.

Chloe Tze: The University of California School of Journalism put out this study. There was a report that said less than 4.5% of Asians were on screen in speaking roles over the span of six years. So we’re not represented. You’re more likely to see an alien on screen than an Asian female. (Queer Women of Color Panel @ ClexaCon 2017)

NPR: Hollywood Has a Major Diversity Problem Study Finds

Why? There’s a whole raft of reasons why, but here’s a small snapshot: Writers aren’t writing roles for people of Asian descent. In the rare cases when we are, they’re being given to Caucasians.

When asked about the controversy surrounding her casting, Scarlett Johansson told Marie Claire magazine:

“I certainly would never presume to play another race of a person. Diversity is important in Hollywood, and I would never want to feel like I was playing a character that was offensive. Also, having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity. Certainly, I feel the enormous pressure of that—the weight of such a big property on my shoulders.”

But, much as I love ScarJo, she is playing a character of another race, which is a problem precisely because there is so little inclusion in Hollywood. Kusanagi is a distinctly Japanese name. This is a Japanese character.

She’s right that there is a dearth of films with female protagonists. The same NPR study above shows that only one third of female characters on screen have speaking roles (let alone leading roles). Combine that with the incredibly low instance of Asians in speaking roles, and despite her intentions and her personal desires, Johansson has usurped a role where an Asian woman should have been cast.

But this is more on the casting director than it is on the actress. So, what did Steven Paul, a producer on the film, have to say about this choice to white-wash the movie?

“I don’t think it was just a Japanese story,” Paul told BuzzFeed. “Ghost in the Shell was a very international story, and it wasn’t just focused on Japanese; it was supposed to be an entire world. That’s why I say the international approach is, I think, the right approach to it.”

Basically: this story isn’t focused on Japan exclusively, so therefore we cast a white woman as a clearly Japanese character.

Is anyone buying this?

This isn’t a new defense of a white-washed movie. M. Night Shyamalan said the same thing about his choice to white-wash the Asian cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

“Here’s the thing. The great thing about anime is that it’s ambiguous. The features of the characters are an intentional mix of all features. It’s intended to be ambiguous. That is completely its point. So when we watch Katara, my oldest daughter is literally a photo double of Katara in the cartoon. So that means that Katara is Indian, correct? No that’s just in our house. And her friends who watch it, they see themselves in it. And that’s what’s so beautiful about anime.” – M. Night Shyamalan

I mean, who could tell that Aang was a Tibetan monk, Katara and Sokka were Innuits, and Zuko was Japanese? Anyone with eyes. Anyone who watched the show. And also…

The creators of the original cartoon: Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.

The thing is: Avatar was not an anime. It was an American cartoon in the vein of anime. Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino had a blueprint for how they created their characters – and that blueprint was distinctly based on Asian culture. It’s not like Shymalan had to guess. His excuses, like always when a movie is white-washed, don’t hold water.

Even though the creators of Ghost in the Shell back the decision to cast Scarlett Johansson, and even though I doubt these decisions were made on purpose to harm Asians, the impact stays the same: another clearly Japanese character will be played by a Caucasian actor. Regardless of intent, this film is now a part of the history of American white-washing.

It’s worth thinking about this both if you’re considering seeing this movie and when you sit down to write your own stories. What are you doing to combat this? Are you writing Asian or Asian American characters into your shows in an ethical way? Are you bolstering stories by Asian creators? Informing people about this issue? Sharing this and/or many other articles?

Update: For a spot of good news, Disney looks to be doing it right with their upcoming live action Mulan movie! All-Asian cast and a female director? I’m in.


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Writer. Learn more about Kate HERE

Ethics in TV Storytelling from ClexaCon: Part II

Ethics of Storytelling at ClexaCon: Continued from Part 1 

About that writers’ room, how does that factor into ethical storytelling? What is the role of a showrunner? How much do an author’s intentions and opinions matter? And is anyone on TV writing queer female characters ethically?

Ethics in Storytelling Panel

Dr. Elizabeth Bridges – Literature Professor & Writer – The Uncanny Valley

Gretchen Ellis – Linguist, Storyteller, Critic – The Ranconteur

Heather Hogan – Senior Editor Autostraddle.com

Moderator Question: TV relies on a collaborative writers’ room, so what kinds of problems does that lead to?

Elizabeth

This is another one where I’d like to bring in a historical perspective because I think that obviously television is a collaborative medium. There is no such thing as the singular auteur, artiste that makes television because there has to be a writers’ room. There have to be different people contributing. Editors. Actors. You name it.

There was a panel at ATX called ‘Bury Your Tropes’. I found that really disappointing. Javier Grillo-Marxuach was the only one who had anything progressive to say. Everybody but Javi on that panel stuck with this idea of the ‘singular artistic vision’.

This idea of artistic integrity is rooted in the idea of the artist that we inherited from the Renaissance. That’s when the artist was the painter, the sculptor, and that’s when artists started signing their name to works. That’s when we developed this idea of the artist with a singular vision with a divine gift from God, and that’s where we get our idea of the artist.

Fastforward to 2016 or 2017, and these showrunners have inherited this idea of the artist, and they see themselves as these folks with a divine gift and singular vision. They probably don’t say it like that in their minds, but that’s the cultural idea we have.

Heather

I mean they do say it. I mean even Rothenberg was: “Well I thought I was going to do it differently.” You see that in writers’ rooms, especially when it’s a male showrunner, like: I thought my thing was going to be so different from the other 175 lesbian/bisexual characters that were killed.

Then when you have women showrunners like Ilene Chaiken (Empire), their whole thing is ‘I’m a lesbian so I can kill whoever I want’.

Elizabeth

Still the trope.

Heather

Right? Then you have Ryan Murphy who’s the combination of both of those things. ‘I’m a gay man so I can just piss on literally everybody.’

Gretchen

We see artists say it all the time. They say: This is my story, and I need to tell it. I need to be true to my story. I need to be true to my vision. I have a lot of very choice words I won’t say here for people who say that. Because it’s nonsense.

You are crafting a story for an audience. You are making a story that people will watch. Especially with television, the point of television is to make money for the network. This isn’t just: I am an artist painting my work of art that hopefully one day will end up in a museum.

They’re creating media that exists to entertain and interact with the audience. In terms of that, they’re imposing a vision and a perception of art that doesn’t fit in this medium. Film and television are not the same as a single person creating a single work of art.

We cannot allow that conception to continue because it ends up with: they believe they don’t have to listen to their audience or even people in the same writers’ room.

Heather

Very simple solution to this problem is to put queer people, people of color, trans people, and non-binary people in your writers’ room. You need more than one black woman in a writers’ room because black women are not a monolith. You need a variety of voices.

Elizabeth

That’s what I mean about this model of the artist. Because at the ATX panel we had Ilene Chaiken saying: It’s okay because I’m a lesbian. No it’s not. So not only do we have to have this diverse team of people working on these projects, but then there also has a be a different model for how art is created.

Frankly, the one we inherited as the singular artiste is not a feminist model. So we need something that is truly collaborative. When you’re talking about something like One Day at a Time, I think we see the results of that. It’s been pretty successful.

People look to the person who authored a book or the showrunner to have an opinion about their own work. Back to literary studies, there’s this concept called the ‘death of the author’. It came along in the 1960’s – 70’s by this literary critic named Roland Barthes.

He talks about this idea that the opinion that an author has after releasing the work to the public is irrelevant because it’s just another opinion. What really matters is the response of the reader or the viewer because that is where the interaction takes place.

That’s where this dialogue takes place. It was meant for viewers. It was meant for readers. It doesn’t matter.

We can go back to JK Rowling talking about Dumbledore being gay. It’s like: That’s great. Where is it in the text?

Heather

The thing that’s made that infinitely worse is Twitter because a writer can just get on immediately after and say: ‘What I meant was…’ But you’re all: ‘Hey, that’s nice, but what I saw on my television was another lesbian getting shot with a stray bullet’.

Gretchen

On some level, I can acknowledge that you didn’t mean it the way I heard it, but this is how I heard it whether you meant it that way or not. What I want from you is to say: I am so sorry. I will do better next time.

From showrunners who did that, their reaction is: Let me explain to you why you should not have felt that way.

Heather

The other problem is, of the people who are watching your show, maybe half a percent are watching you on Twitter. So the cultural impact is there regardless of whether or not you apologize, because now it’s out in the wide world for people who are not part of the conversation. All they’re seeing is more dead queer characters.

The cultural impact goes so far beyond fandom. That’s the impact that really matters in a broader scheme because that impacts the people who are making legislation that is coming back to affect us.

To me the most remarkable thing to come out of Lexa’s death was the fact that places like Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and Variety started paying attention and writing about this thing and interviewing queer people and calling it out as a problem.

In terms of Bury Your Gays, one of the huge successes around the movement around Lexa is there is no showrunner on earth can be like: I didn’t know Bury Your Gays existed.

So if you’re doing it, you’re doing it purposefully, knowing it hurts the community, and you’re doing it knowing the backlash is coming your way.

The justification for so long was: Now we have so many characters, and marriage equality is a thing, and Obama’s going to change the world, it’s not like we’re ever going to get Donald Trump as president. Now you’re doing it knowing that the political situation is as dire as it is, so you’re putting active harm into a world that’s not the same world it was even just six or eight months ago.

Elizabeth

I would like to remind everyone that all of those deaths (of queer female characters on television) were being written while marriage equality was being celebrated. Just think about that for a second.

I think right now in time, a showrunner would be hard pressed to kill a character and not have it fall into the trope. I don’t know how you could do it right now. Maybe when there’s more parity, when there’s more representation, when it really is ‘any character can die’.

Heather

(Jokingly) What if a straight white guy with a vision does it though?

Audience Question: Have you seen a show or somewhere on TV or a movie where they did it right?

Gretchen

Wynonna Earp.

Heather

Carol.

Gretchen

I actually think that up until the last, there are some episodes where it’s better or not, but I actually think Sanvers on Supergirl is amazing.

Elizabeth

First half of the season, yes.

Gretchen

One of the best written stories, especially about an older woman coming out. That was so well done.

Heather

One Day at a Time. Orange is the New Black still deserves your support because it’s telling a lot of stories of women of color. May and Sadie both mentioned Transparent. That show, it’s complicated. You can read a lot of great criticism from trans women at autostraddle, but it’s doing some special stuff.

Gretchen

Steven Universe.

Heather

Steven Universe is doing it the best.

Gretchen

Hands down, Steven Universe is doing it the best right now.

Question: Are any of these stories doing this across intersectionality (queer women of color, of different religions, etc)?

Gretchen

Steven Universe and Orange is the New Black, I would say. Then One Day at a Time because it’s about a Cuban family.

Question: Speaking about ethics in storytelling, what’s your take briefly on subtext?

Elizabeth

Once I had ‘text’, I could never go back.

Gretchen

In some ways there’s not a lot of excuses now for subtext. Compare Steven Universe to Legend of Korra. Legend of Korra existed in a time when it was not acceptable to show woman loving women stories on television, so it had to be subtext otherwise they would have literally not been able to make the show that they did. Legend of Korra then, I think, actually opened the space for a show like Steven Universe.

But now that Steven Universe exists, there’s no excuse to go back. It’s that step. Once you take a step that something can exist as text, there’s no excuse for subtext after that.


Back to Kate G: Friggin’ brilliant, right? Check out their sites for more in depth discussions and resources on all of these things. A big thank you to ClexaCon for hosting this panel. More articles from the front lines at ClexaCon to come!

The Uncanny Valley

The Ranconteur

Autostraddle.com


Kathryn Graham is a Contributing Writer to TVWriter™. Learn more about Kate HERE

Kate G Sees THIS IS US – Season Finale

by Kathryn Graham

This entire season of This is Us has had a theme running throughout – obligations to loved ones vs. personal desires. Last night the show faced the issue head on.

We all compromise with the people closest to us, but what happens when you sacrifice too much?

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT–

Jack and Rebecca rip apart at the seams as they navigate the choices they’ve made together. Both characters feel trapped by the roles that society has prescribed for them, resulting in an explosive confrontation where they air their frustrations, bitterness, and regrets.

What would have been Rebecca’s stellar singing career (come on, it’s Mandy Moore) has been derailed by expectations that she should be focused on finding a husband. First, by her friends, whose ‘well-meaning’ advice casts doubt on her like a curse. Then, by Jack himself – a man whom she genuinely loves, but who wants a family (which requires so much labor she needs to put her dreams aside). Then finally, when she gets back to her dream later in life, her ex-boyfriend Ben and Jack quash it again with petty squabbling and romantic entanglements.

Meanwhile, Jack never wanted to be a ‘company man’. He does it because he’s expected to provide for his children. He’s done a job he’s hated for years. He’s been a ‘good man’ by allowing her to follow her dreams despite his desire to keep her home with him. He wants to be his wife’s everything. To give her everything she’s ever wanted, but he’s never really stopped to ask exactly what that was.

This is a beautiful look at what happens when compromises come at too high a price, when societal expectations place unnecessary burdens on people, and what happens when the underlying resentfulness at having sacrificed too much boils over. Yet, in the end, Jack and Rebecca sacrificed for each other. For their kids. Because of the love they share. Keeping those relationships in tact is just as important as fulfilling lifelong dreams. In real life, that’s incredibly tricky. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia knock it out of the park.

But imagine for a moment, what would have happened if Rebecca hadn’t given up on her career. What if Jack had stayed home with the kids? Would Rebecca have felt fulfilled? It surely seems more likely, given her deep yearning to sing. Would Jack have been happy? He was the one who wanted kids to begin with. It’s worth examining these characters’ motivations and the way that gendered expectations of labor (male – money-maker / female – caretaker) have shaped their lives.

Check out the finale. It’s told with the same finesse as the rest of the season with a powerful look inside a loving marriage constrained by broken dreams and familial obligations.


Kathryn Graham is a Contributing Writer to TVWriter™. Learn more about Kate HERE

Kate G: ClexaCon March 3rd – 5th 2017

by Kathryn Graham

ClexaCon! A convention focused solely on queer women in the media. It aims to celebrate and elevate women on and behind the screen.

Born of the desire to see more and better representation for LGBTQ women, ClexaCon connects filmmakers, actors, visionaries, and the fans. Actresses like Zoie Palmer and Katherine Bell, among many others who play bisexual or lesbian characters on television, will be present.

Writer Emily Andras from Lost Girl & Wynonna Earp – which both feature queer female characters – will be holding a writing workshop.

There are tons of panels, films, and art. Even though the specific focus is on LGBTQ women, you don’t have to ‘be to belong’, as they say. As far as I understand it, all who are genuinely interested are welcome.

I’m gonna be there. I’ll be writing about it afterwards, but I’d rather see you there too. You can buy tickets here: Clexacon Tickets.

Note: ClexaCon is not affiliated with Tvwriter.com. It just seems like a damn good time for this lesbian writer, who would like to share that damn good time with you. If you do end up going, toss me an e-mail. We’ll have drinks, be unsure of whether we should hug or shake hands, and/or stare at each other awkwardly.


Kathryn Graham is a TVWriter™ Contributing Writer. Learn more about Kate HERE