Saturday, September 26, 2015

On Olive Kitteridge and unlikeable females

After Frances McDormand's big Emmy win, I thought I'd check out Olive Kitteridge, which is currently available on HBO On-Demand. I plan on reading the book sometime in the near future.

The most salient fact about a character like Olive is that it's just so rare too see a female character with no redeeming characteristics that could be defined as traditionally feminine. She's depressed, angry, sarcastic, and cold. Of course this leads many viewers to diagnose her in potentially sexist ways. (I have trouble taking seriously a diagnosis for whom "witch" is among its variants.) Olive Kitteridge also shows the ways in which older women are seen as invisible and expendable. And in an entertainment business unwilling to show older women as fully-formed characters, this is huge.