Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Lost Girl and October Daye

What do these things have in common?  They're TV shows and a book series about monsters, the supernatural and fairies.  Or the Fae, as they call it in Lost Girl.  October Daye is a half-human, half-fairy private detective who works for both humans and fairies.

I started reading the October (Toby) Daye books because of this post by the author, Seanan McGuire, called Things I will not do to my characters. Ever. Basically, she swears that she will never subject her female characters to sexual assault. How revolutionary is that?

I've been buying her books and downloading them onto my e-reader, one right after the other, pretty much every 3 or 4 days.  Plenty of bad enough things (being turned into a fish, losing family, being beaten, being shot, losing their home and protector, dying, etc.) happen to Toby and other characters in the course of their investigations that sexual assault is not necessary to increase the drama and tension.

What prompted this post was me trying to think about Once Upon a Time. The set up is interesting, strong female characters abound, the central quests are dramatic.  Heck, Jane Espenson from the Whedon coterie (not sure if that's the right term) works on it! However, something prevents me from being as into it as I would like.

Then contrast OUAT with Grimm. Again, I like the set up (I like police procedures), the central quest is dramatic. However, there are very, very few female characters and many episodes will go by before 2 of the female characters will interact, let alone meet the Bechdel Test. And yet, I find myself enjoying Grimm more. Perhaps it's the police procedural thing. Or the Monster of the Week format.

It brings to mind Revenge vs. Scandal, 2 nighttime soaps I'm watching.  I like Scandal more because it's got the Client of the Week, plus it's got a political setting, which I like. Revenge used to have the Takedown of the Week, but since it's moved away from that, it's not as interesting for me anymore. Both have overarching conspiracies, but I'm enjoying Scandal's more.  Maybe, again, I enjoy politics more than business scheming, or whatever the Initiative on Revenge is doing.

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