Cally, Dee, and Ellen: on the reviled feminine on BSG (Ellen)

Sep 14, 2011 17:17

womenlovefest TIME!

Day 1: what gender-neutral society?
Day 2: why these ladies?
Day 3: Ellen Tigh

I was going to go in alphabetical order to avoid showing favoritism, but there have already been a couple of comments about Ellen! Possibly I have tipped my hand regarding my everlasting love slight bias.

i can tell by your charms )

feminism, haters gonna hate, sexuality, the author is boxed, bsg, femininity, hated women, bsg: ellen tigh, sexual assault

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Comments 19

ceciliaj September 14 2011, 21:19:58 UTC
POCOCHINA, this is my favorite post evar, YOU HAD ME AT DRUNK PHILANDERING SOULMATES!!!

ETA okay now I will actually read the rest :)

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pocochina September 14 2011, 21:51:31 UTC
IT IS SUCH A GREAT SCENE. I love how they play off each other. Because - it's SO RIDICULOUS. But it still says so much about their respective head-spaces.

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plausiblyremote September 14 2011, 22:16:20 UTC
LOVERS OF ELLEN UNITE FOREVER. Seriously, dude. All of THIS and more more more.

There is something so totally fucking awesome about her resurrection, both in terms of how it changes her or at least the representation of her (and I think it would be interesting to think about why and how death does this, and to the little to no animosity she shows Saul over this). But, I also think that moment when she resurrects is a bit fuck you to the audience, in the best possible way. It took a character who was almost totally read as self-serving and deserving of her own victimization (as you so awesomely describe it) and turned our expectations of her on their head (or should have). It's a terrificly clever moment of gender-play in a show that otherwise doesn't strike me as tremendously gender-progressive.

Saul killing Ellen does really get me, emotionally speaking it, but it drives me crazy in how easily justified it seems (compared to the actions of Ellen or Zarek).

I need to rewatch the Ellen-arc.

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pocochina September 14 2011, 22:56:22 UTC
WOOO, COCKTAILS ALL AROUND, ELLEN WOULD APPROVE. The saving grace of the episodes after the mutiny.

that moment when she resurrects is a bit fuck you to the audience, in the best possible way

TRUE THAT. I mean, even if the motivation for bringing her back was just WE LOVE KATE VERNON BECAUSE SHE IS LUMINOUS, I would support that wholeheartedly! But it necessitated turning a lot of stuff on its head and making the audience deal with a lot of their assumptions about her.

I think it would be interesting to think about why and how death does this, and to the little to no animosity she shows Saul over this

YES. I mean, ultimately the show clearly did not have the moral bearings to understand that honor killings are wrong, and letting Ellen have her righteous anger over it would've brought the whole house of cards down. But accepting the text as it is, it really speaks to her being capable of unconditional love, same as she has for John, because she's magnificent.

Saul killing Ellen does really get me, emotionally speaking it, but it ( ... )

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korenap September 14 2011, 23:30:10 UTC
Another fine commentary. Sex for middle aged women has always been a misogynist joke. Sex or else is generally known as rape - thank you very much. Thinking about sexual assault and how it was portrayed and used is something that deserves it's own all encompassing post.

My favorite Ellen story is Lucy Lawless'. They offered her the role of Tigh's wife. Her response - You want me to play someone's wife and you didn't even give her a name, FUCK YOU!

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korenap September 14 2011, 23:36:38 UTC
Addendum the above just proves how awesome Kate Vernon was. She worked that role until she got respect.

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pocochina September 15 2011, 00:50:31 UTC
My favorite Ellen story is Lucy Lawless'. They offered her the role of Tigh's wife. Her response - You want me to play someone's wife and you didn't even give her a name, FUCK YOU!

WHAT I NEVER HEARD THIS STORY! LUCY FLAWLESS. Clearly as a huge fan of both D'Anna and Ellen I'm glad it shook out as it did, but, WOW.

But, this is yet more suggestion that the PTBs had every reason to know what they were doing re: gender and chose not to improve, which is quite disappointing, because the show obviously had the potential to do better.

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witherwings September 14 2011, 23:48:21 UTC
I don't hate Ellen. I don't even particularly get why she's hated. I don't get her though, and I think that's probably because the writers didn't really get her either ( ... )

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pocochina September 15 2011, 00:47:08 UTC
That's all fair. I'm deliberately reading a bit into it, and in any event, I do suspect that a lot of the credit for her development goes to Kate Vernon going full steam on not a lot of material.

Whatever else was up with the Final Five, I think the retcon at least allows for a more cohesive picture of Ellen - she behaved like a shallow construct because she was one, once Cavil stripped her of her identity, though (OH NEW CAPRICA) he couldn't possibly take away everything that was awesome about her. I'm okay with her still having the flaws that were on display in Deadlock, but yeah, the re-integration of Ellen into the Galactica environment and her own identity re-integration on the in-universe level, and then the writers' attempt to understand this big change in her character, was kind of a big thing in such a busy handful of episodes.

I'm easy because I always liked her so much! But I think you're absolutely right that she wasn't prioritized in a way she should've been.

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witherwings September 15 2011, 00:58:56 UTC
Eee, I got so involved with my own deconstruction of Ellen that I forgot to mention this bit of your meta which felt like the whole point:

she behaved like a shallow construct because she was one, once Cavil stripped her of her identity, though (OH NEW CAPRICA) he couldn't possibly take away everything that was awesome about her.I really enjoy this view of the final five-ness of Ellen and how the retcon actually works in favour of her here, helping us make sense of the way that the writers had dealt with her at the start (possibly one of the only examples of the final five retcons working out for the best for our view of a character ( ... )

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pocochina September 15 2011, 03:15:07 UTC
I am thrilled to have inspired Ellen thoughts! <3 <3

The Final Five thing was a bit of a mixed bag, I agree. It paid off for Ellen so I'm biased in favor, but I acknowledge the problems with Tyrol and Saul. I thought it worked for Anders in terms of making him so much more interesting, but it was pretty incongruous with his backstory. It would've worked brilliantly for Tory if she'd gotten the screen time she deserved.

we have to talk around what their motives are for and how their character development actually works behind the scenes that we see and guess what was in their heads at certain times, and rely on how awesome the actors may be and how well they throw themselves into their character and scenes.Yeah. I also think it's a byproduct of volume - so much to say and so little time - and then the question of ownership is so murky. (ie, I think my Lee belongs far more to Jamie Bamber than to Moore or Eick, but because they did decide what would happen to him, it pulls at the seams sometimes.) I feel like we have to kind of flip ( ... )

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embolalia September 15 2011, 02:04:44 UTC
Just chiming in: I really do like Ellen. Far more than Kara or Roslin, Ellen is a rarity among TV women. I mean I love both the others, and they're special, but their characters are similar to a handful of others around. You make a good point with Jane, who I hadn't connected before, but I really think of Ellen as being unique. And that makes her fun to write :)

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pocochina September 15 2011, 03:21:10 UTC
She really is a gift of a character! I'm so glad you enjoy her too.

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