Here’s why I and many other people fucking love Joss Whedon works.
Notice anything unusual about this photo of the cast of the new S.H.I.E.L.D tv show? Because it jumped out at the me the first time I saw it.
There’s no “token” woman! There’s three women and three men. You know how often that never happens? All the time! Except when Joss is doing the showrunning.
The show may be terrible. I have no idea. But I do know I have a lot easier time watching a show that doesn’t feature women as some strange, indecipherable peripheral creatures to be the random love interest at need, and then to disappear again when they are inconvenient.
Also, from this distance and angle, the guy on the right looks like Bruce Campbell.
Even in The Avengers, Whedon included women that he didn’t have to – he could’ve easily cut Maria Hill (which Colbie Smulders did a damn fine job portraying) in The Avengers movie and no one would’ve noticed.
I wish it weren’t so rare to make it worth commenting on, but in fiction women being the heroes, the ones making things happen, the ones bleeding and fighting alas is uncommon enough that it is extremely noticeable in the best of ways when it occurs.
I would’ve likely watched the S.H.I.E.L.D show at some point anyway, but now I will make a special effort to catch it.
And some people complain, “But, but, but most ‘heroic’ roles in the real world aren’t done by women! This isn’t like real life!” (Which isn’t even true, of course.)
Motherfucker, this it the Marvel universe, which features some 9 foot tall green dude running around throwing 62-ton M1A1 Abrams tanks like Tonka toys and jumping 200 feet straight up into the air. And you’re demanding so-called realism when it comes to female characters? Give me a damn break.
Let’s just hope the show itself is not S.H.I.T.