Ramblings: Whores, Tyrants and Damsels in Distress

Remember that post where I ❤️ happy endings and my consumption of a metric shit-ton of romance dramas? Well, there’s a light side and a dark side to that and I just finished watching the dark side.

I’m not going to tell you the name of the drama, but it was bad and not just because of the questionable wardrobe choices and even more questionable acting. Those things I can, depending upon the story (and my mood) forgive, but this sucker embodied some of the worst tropes in romance-land. Namely, the pigeonholing of female characters.

Yep, in this drama if you didn’t have a Y chromosome you were either a whore, a tyrant or a damsel in distress. Just in case you’re not sure how much I enjoy those tropes, here’s an emoji to clear things up ????????????, and a few more… ???????????? And just to make sure we fully grasp the situation… ????????????????*.

The heroine was, of course, the damsel (and a lying idiot, just FYI); the hero’s mother was the tyrant (plus an interfering bitch); and the whore was the heroine’s best friend. I really want to say that the best friend was an independent, liberated woman á la Samantha in Sex and the City, but she wasn’t, and I would love to tell you that the heroine was intelligent and righteous, but that would be lying. I would further like to share how the hero’s mother had her child’s best interest at heart, but… yeah, you can see where this is going.

They were the three main female characters; pretty much any woman with any kind of agency was… not awesome. To be fair, the guys weren’t winning any awards either, although the director tried real hard to present the hero as a beacon of perfection (epic fail), an effort that only made things worse.

As much of a train wreck as the story was, I still watched it, all 42 episodes, albeit at warp speed (the fast forward button is my friend). Why? Because sometimes, you just have to see how bad things can get.

A clip from Hellboy (2004). Just before the villain (Rasputin) and his love interest (Ilsa) get squashed by a tentacled monster, Ilsa takes Rasputin's face in her hands and says, "Hell will hold no surprises for us, my love."
I love this movie (Hellboy), and this woman. Such an awesome villain.

Honestly, after episode 13, nothing was surprising me anymore. On the bright side though, the series was such an extreme example of the alpha-arsehole CEO trope that, after the steam stopped coming out my ears, the plot bunnies began breeding. What if I took the arsehole CEO and confronted him with… A powerful, intelligent, not-gonna-take-your-shit heroine? Do you reckon he’d combust, like a corporate Dracula in the sun?

The plot bunnies are working on it.

*That’s one stabby stab-stab for each of the tropes and a final one for the arsehole male lead.

Featured photo by Nik on Unsplash.

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