Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The problem with Hawaii Five-0 (the new one) is Strong Female Characters instead of female characters who are strong

Okay, first? This title is totally clickbait.

Second? I really like the reboot of Hawaii Five-0. I just keep getting wildly annoyed at how it Doesn't Know What To Do With Women.

Evidence:

  1. They switched Classic Kono to Female Kono...and then didn't give her anything to do. 
  2. They brought in a cool double agent, made her likable, gave her a great relationship with the team...and then shot her in the heart after being gone for ages, in which most of her story apparently happened off screen.
  3. They replaced her with a taller, more classically pretty agent...who then got transfered because she was going soft.
  4. They sent Kono on a lame, ages-long story where she was literally only looking for the boyfriend who lied to her and betrayed her and almost got her killed more than once, and presented it as a great love story without ever dealing with all that squickiness.
  5. While Kono was gone, they brought Catherine to the front, made her capable, made her funny, and then as soon as Kono came back, shuffled her off with her ex.
  6. They brought in Steve's badass RED-style mom, and then continually waffle about what any of it means and whether she even has a moral or story center at all.
Which means:
  1. They can apparently only have one sort of woman, and only one at a time.
  2. A lot of the women are flat our victims because of love that isn't really love.
  3. They're either girlfriends or they're liabilities because of not being girlfriends.
I read this article recently, "We're losing all our strong female characters to Trinity Syndrome", that put it all in context for me, this whole thing that's been bugging me about the series: It's totally Trinity Syndrome, and the writers don't seem to be all that concerned about it. Or, at least, they aren't in all that much of a hurry to figure out how to make Kono less annoying, or how to keep more than one lady in the cast at once, or how to make them valid, competent, independent characters. I mean, it can be argued that the men are co-dependent fuckups, too, but they're not getting shot in the heart or shuffled off when they get sweet on someone.

Here's some options I think would be cool:
  1. Have Kono break up with David because he's dangerous and has a history of lying, and let him solve his trust issues on his own without using her as a crutch and a built-in victim. Meanwhile, have her actually do something on the team; at the beginning, she was the one on the ground, and then she was moved to the computers in the office, and then she was the one with the most messed-up storylines.
  2. Bring another girl into the team or it's support staff. Better yet, a few other girls. Make them friends with each other away from and not involving the boys. Make them different sorts of girls--a touch chick, a quiet nerdy girl, a gristly veteran, a mom that's not a selfish weirdo.
  3. Let the girls rescue themselves sometimes.
  4. Let the girls rescue the guys sometimes.
  5. Let everyone not need rescuing because they're all literally supposed to be the best of the best, so they can all get themselves out of problems.
  6. When the writers catch themselves going down the same old streets, have the girl about to be shot kick the gun out of the guy's hand and stop it before it happens, have the girl who has had crappy boyfriends in the past see the same behavior before she's victimized by it and get out, have the girls refuse to be the reason the boys do stupid things. It's find if they're weak at the beginning; but any character has to learn from mistakes and get better at dealing with life, or they're flat.
  7. Let the girls be equals to the boys, and the boys acknowledge that without any drama or machoness (there's plenty of macho in this show already), and have everyone go to whoever has the best skills and info for the problem, regardless of gender.
So what do you think? 
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