Category Archives: TV

On Reliable Narrators

This is a drafted post I never finished but decided to post anyway. Consider it incomplete.

In one of my Russian literature classes, the imitable Professor Diment spent a lot of time discussing and encouraging us to analyze the reliability of the narrator in each piece we wrote, and especially in memoirs. Recently, I’ve been “re-watching” Gilmore Girls (in quotes because I never fully watched it when it was on air, but did see enough episodes to have had a sense of the shows and characters from then to compare with now), and in re-watching, I’ve found myself doing just as Galya trained me to do. And what is interesting is noting how that spunky mother-daughter pair is not really as stridently positive as I remember. They’re both painfully flawed, and Lorelei is especially unreliable as a narrator, particularly in any retelling of any interactions with her parents. Rory is a picture of white “good girl” privilege who is used to getting her way, and really not so adept at seeing or understanding how her actions impact others.

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Why shows like Parks and Recreation are important

There are things you take for granted if you’re a white male. I don’t mean this in an accusatory or derogatory way. It’s just a simple fact. You take for granted that the most successful, visible people in any field are white men like you. You take for granted what that means to you growing up. For girls and/or people of different races, there is a lot of turmoil that happens in the background because of this.

When I was young, I remember being into stereotypical “girly” things. Disney Princesses, stuffed animals, dolls, playing house, playing kitchen, playing teacher, etc. But I was also into digging in the mud, trying to trap squirrels, building forts, trying to catch lizards and just generally not being afraid to get dirty. There’s that tender, beautiful age range where children couldn’t give a flying rat’s ass about gender roles. They mean nothing to them, or at least my parents raised me in an environment where they meant nothing to me.

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