I'd like to talk about Girls.
Lena Dunham had been sold to me as the ~big girl~ on television, and Girls as a ~feminist revolution~. Neither of these things are true. It's a relief to see someone realistically ugly on television, and it's a relief to see people be realistically terrible to one another, but they're all really white and straight and it's distressing.
The high points were Donald Glover being a badass in the second episode of the second season (if you only want to watch one episode, watch that one), and the really good depiction of mental illness at the end of the second season. For the second reason alone I'm inclined to get back on it for the third season, because it's so rare to find a realistic and just... good depiction of mental illness in the media.
The problem I found with Girls was the way it shows female friendships. All the characters are kind of awful to each other. It took me a long time to break out of the cycle of thinking that ladyfriendships are shallow and full of backstabbing and just the worst things, and I don't need that being encouraged by the media any more than it already is. Ladyfriendships are amazing and wonderful and you need to get on them.
I went to a clothes swap a few weeks ago that was the most body positive experience I've ever had - ten girls, all different shapes and sizes, trying on clothes and just saying nice things about each other. If we're gonna have a feminist revolution, I'd prefer more of the positive depiction of ladyfriendships and less of the omg lena dunham is like 65 kilos what on earth #feminism. (although that is totally okay too)
A show I've found that's pretty great with ladyfriendships is Flat3, a webseries out of Auckland. It's about three girls sharing an apartment. It's spectacular, and Perlina is one of the more accurate depictions of how I think and feel. She's perfect. Go watch it.
If you're looking for shows with more queer representation in them than Girls (my neverending search for good shows about queer people continues), then we're still mostly stuck with Torchwood, but gay white men also have Vicious and The Outs (which I am quite enjoying but where are my lesbian webserieses? I don't like The L Word please cater to me). Go On is an American comedy about a guy whose wife dies and it has one of my more favourite lesbians I've ever seen on TV, so I mean, there's that. I guess.
I might just stick to crime dramas where I can yell "THEY'RE SECRETLY GAY" at the screen every time a character looks like they're about to reveal a secret. It's kind of like representation.
This article was first published on my personal blog, confournament.wordpress.com