Thursday, July 18, 2019

Let’s Talk: Re-examining former favourites

July 10, 2019 by Katy Weicker, staff writer

There was a time not so long ago when I was blissfully unaware of how poorly female characters were written in a vast majority of movies. I would hear people complain about how there was a serious lack of strong women getting screen time, and, in my lack of being woke, I didn’t seem to see the issue.

Fast forward to summer 2019—I have spent the last few months in a serious post-school-burnout fog that has led to some epic Netflix binges. In these marathons, I have stumbled onto some of my old favourites. And what I’ve realized is that my wokeness is ruining serious chunks of my cinema go-tos.

Let’s Talk? is a column exploring women’s rights issues; it’s in every issue of Nexus.

First off, can we have a moment for Ross and Rachel? (Side note: when did his character get so annoying?) Now, I ship these two as hard as the next person who grew up debating if they really were on a break. I swooned when the finale aired and—15-year-old spoiler alert—Rachel got off the plane and stayed in New York to be with Ross. Now, as a woke woman, I cringe at the fact that she gave up a dream job and amazing opportunity for a man. Ugh. No, girl. Just no. Go to Paris. Live your best life! 

Also ruined for me: Speed. Recently watched that one again after my Facebook feed being flooded with a resurgence of Keanu popularity in the last month or so. I was super stoked because I remember watching it as a kid and thinking how incredibly badass Sandra Bullock is in that movie. 25-year-old spoiler: she’s entrusted with keeping the bus from blowing up, for goodness’ sake! Well, yeah, not so much. New woke Katy realizes a brick on the gas pedal could basically do her job, except for flirting with and kissing Keanu moments after escaping death. More than once. That’s a job that only the girl he continually saves could do.

And do not even get me started on The Office. I got halfway through the first season before bailing. Hard. Nope.  

I remember at seven years old thinking Ariel was super hardcore for defying her father and following her dreams. I also very clearly remember the moment I realized that her dream was to give up her family and identity and physically mutilate herself for a guy she met once.

I accepted that there were going to be moments like this along the road to wokeness, but what I did not anticipate was how many of my former favourites were going to be ruined in the process.

I was going through my DVD collection (yes, I have a DVD collection) a couple nights ago and I came across Sex and the City. I really wanted to get lost in the world of these sexually liberated women, but I’m kinda scared.

Because if Carrie Bradshaw does something that makes me judge her as hard as I judge Rachel for getting off that plane, I feel my entire teenage viewing years will be destroyed.

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