English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: #topic6

Grey’s Anatomy: More than just a show

One thing that has really stuck out about Grey’s Anatomy and Shonda Rhimes’s plot line for this show is that there is no fear in touching upon social issues or common stereotypes. These stereotypes include mass shootings, lgbqt, death penalty, working with people of different backgrounds, the morality of turning life support off, undocumented immigrants healthcare, interracial families, morality of having babies who you know will have mental or physical disabilities, alcoholism, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals/DREAM , honoring DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) requests if there is hope of recovery, etc. I even watched an interview of Ellen Pompeo (who plays the main character Meredith Grey) on the Ellen show where she starts tearing up in terms of how powerful this show is not only in terms of the free medical education they give but how it brings society together. There is one scene where an intern who wears a religious head scarf, takes of her scarf to patch up a bleeding patient and then she goes on to explain to her curious supervisor how her religion is all in favor of helping people. At that time all the viewers probably empathized and felt connected to her breaking the cultural stereotypes held and showing that all people are similar on the insides. In another scene, Derek has an African American child and gets stares from other parents. The viewers who have seen Derek from the beginning and how they adopted this child who needed someone and, in that moment, looked down upon those staring parents. However, perhaps those viewers were those very same parents who stared on. Greys Anatomy has a way of showing us how the stereotypes we hold seem so funny, unnecessary, and immature. I can say without a doubt that this show has helped me grow as an individual not only in terms of character but also in terms of medically. I make smarter choices for my own health and am more educated talking to others. For example, my friend is getting a pacemaker, and I was able to follow his doctor’s language and diagnosis and able to participate in a two way conversation. And as my last post, I want to say how grateful I was that this project helped me discover Grey’s.

Image result for dr dahlia qadri grey's anatomy

Dr. Dahlia Qadri removing her Hijab(Headwear) to help her patient.

Eddie Huang’s take on his memoir turned sit-com ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Fresh Off the Boat is the first Asian American sit-com, to air on American prime-time television, in 20 years; it is based off of Eddie Huang’s memoir “Fresh Off the Boat.” Despite this Eddie Huang is quite the critic of the show saying, “I’m happy people of color are able to see a reflection of themselves through #FreshOffTheBoat on @ABCNetwork but I don’t recognize it.” and “I had to say something because I stood by the pilot. After that it got so far from the truth that I don’t recognize my own life.” Eddie has criticized the show for taking the easy route and twisting his story into something unrecognizable. “This show isn’t about me, nor is it about Asian America. The network won’t take that gamble right now.” Fresh Off the Boat was meant to be a truly Asian-American story based on Eddie’s story; instead the route the producers decided to take completely diverge from that of Eddie’s story. Many Asian-American are still able to connect to the sit-com, but not in the way that Eddie had hope they would.

Over time Eddie has come to accept the sit-com as a gateway to more shows starring Asian-Americans. “”I don’t watch it, but I’m proud of what it does.” While Fresh Off the Boat diverge from his memoir, Eddie still understands the importance of having a TV show with Asian-Americans as its main cast. He has many acknowledgements to the fact that now with Fresh Off the Boat success that it has proven that diverse stories about Asian-Americans can be successful which could lead to better shows for the Asian minority in the future. “But for all the bullshit I heard at studios about universal stories and the cultural pus it perpetuates, I felt some truth in it.… It takes a lot of chutzpah to launch a network comedy with a pilot addressing the word “chink”, yet it works because it’s the safest bet the studio could have made.” 

While over time Eddie Huang has seen the benefit of having an Asian-American show on prime-time, it is still hard to see something he’s written turned into something that he is unable to recognize.

Eddie Huang Critics Fresh Off the Boat for diverging from the source.

Eddie Huang in real life is a clothing designer, restaurateur, TV host and author.

What Now? Thinking About the End of WestWorld

*Spoilers Ahead*

Now that I have completed season 1 of WestWorld, it is appropriate to take a step back and reflect on the meaning of it all. I feel as though I have been alluding to this throughout these blog posts, but it’s time to finally address the elephant in the room: AI. This clear theme is clearly the main topic they want their audience to grapple in, and it’s time for me to finally do so now.

I feel as though the show attempts to discuss three conflicts with AI: Their rights, their place in this world, and their humanity. It leads us to ask ourselves, seeing how technology is completely reshaping humanity, whether or not this is the path we want to continue taking. Soon, we will grapple even more with these questions, and WestWorld shows us what happens as we reach that point in human conflict.

Most of the robots and artificial intelligence in WW are clueless; they go about their “lives” being completely programmable and controllable by the humans, feeling absolutely nothing. However, a few droid characters have become increasingly self aware: Dolores, Maeve, and Bernard. These characters at first, confused by their onset of “feelings”, still passively respond to human control. However (especially in the case of Maeve), as they come to the realization that the humans are not actually “Gods”, they begin to question their roles and revolt against human control. They feel as though they have been entrapped by the lives they live, constantly being raped, abused, and manipulated by human control. But do they really “feel” these agonies the same way humans do?

Another question arises here: If these droids are capable of “feeling” these agonies, is it torture to leave them in their roles at WestWorld? While the purpose of their existence is already morally questionable, are they capable of knowing what it feels like to lose someone like a human does? Do they know what it feels like to be distressed, anxious, or saddened beyond how their code tells them how to “feel”? It’s also important to know that a lot of the reason why these droids specifically begin to become aware is because the humans put them in this position. Bernard was programmed to be intellectually superior to the other droids, and to be more humanlike (as only Dr. Ford knows he isn’t human). Maeve was made more intelligent by the butchers. So does this really give them the “rights” to these feelings?

By the end Dr. Ford pushes these considerations into the regular people. As he begins the droid revolution by inserting new lines of code into the robots so they can act more “humanlike”, the robots are now free to kill the humans. What Dr. Ford personally believes, we don’t know. He could’ve been doing it for park thrills, or to start a real revolution. Regardless, humanity will now have to decide the place of these robots, and soon, so will we in the real world.

Dr. Ford’s final salute, as if wishing the humans good luck in the new world he has created.

Reflections of an addict

At the end of every show binge, I like to look back and reflect on my consumer experience as a whole. When I started Wynonna Earp, I expected to be entertained with the supernatural wild west genre mixture and Canadian wilderness backdrop. After binging the entire show, its safe to say that the show is so much more. For starters, it is so refreshing to watch a show, and something as stereotypically masculine as demon hunting, that sets a perfect and realistic standard of gender representation on television. Never have I ever watched a show where not only was there one strong female protagonist, half the cast was made up of wonderful female characters, each with their own abilities and unique personalities.


Unlike many shows that involve cowboy hats or supernatural entities, the writers of Wynonna Earp also do a great job of keeping the storyline interesting. Although the main characters remain the same throughout the seasons, some characters do leave and other interesting ones are introduced in a way that fits with the storyline. For example, season one was focused more on introducing the town of Purgatory and explaining the backstory of Wynonna and her family and why they were cursed to eliminate demons. However, when the second season rolled around, the focus shifted to a centralized story about the awakening of a century old demon and how the town was changing as a result. Because the general genre often has problems engaging viewers, I am definitely impressed by how well Wynonna Earp kept my attention.


Finally, I really loved the combination of actors, storylines, and humor that the show provided. Each of the characters were well played and had important roles in influencing the storyline. Each storyline was engaging, but everything is always tied to a bigger picture issue. The show may have been about killing demons, but the writers sure knew how to add some dry humor and crack the audience up.

Wynonna before making a tough decision


Overall, I really enjoyed my experience watching Wynonna Earp, and I could not be more excited for the next season to be up on Netflix!

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