I Bet Fleabag Never Had To Make An Excel Sheet
Hello and welcome back to my weekly blog post!
While I really miss reading pilot scripts, this week, I researched every TV show and movie with morally ambiguous female protagonists imaginable, so I am going to keep this blog post short. I just want to give insight into how I made my decision for the list of shows I am going to watch and analyze.
Initially, I wanted to watch both movies and TV shows and find morally ambiguous female characters, but it became an extraordinarily long list, so I decided to cut out the movies and focus only on the TV shows. I picked TV shows because as viewers we get more interaction and screen time with the characters, allowing us to see them placed in certain situations and understanding how they react. That being said, my list was incredibly long because it can be difficult to watch over 50 TV shows in the span of a few weeks (I know some people can do it but I am not one of those people). I want to point out that it was so striking to me just how few shows and movies actually had morally ambiguous female protagonists. Roughly 500 TV shows get released EACH YEAR and I struggled immensely to make a list of shows that met my minimum requirements.
With the help of my external advisor, we created a list of 55 TV shows. Our basic requirement was that each show had at least one morally ambiguous female character. Shown below is the list.
After that, I created an Excel Spreadsheet so that I could filter out certain shows based on different criteria. The first criteria I decided to focus on was the age of the character. I wanted to focus on characters who were adults and not teenagers, because I want the character that I create to encounter adult issues and not teenager issues.
After cutting out teenage characters, I was left with 44 shows, so the next factor I decided to focus on was shows that were released in the past ten years. Here are the results after filtering out by the criteria of date that the show was released.
With 33 TV shows left, I decided that my next criteria would be whether or not the TV show was biographical. I didn’t want to analyze a story that is based on a real woman’s life, but rather I wanted to analyze a character that was completely fictionalized. I was shocked to learn that eight of the 33 shows were biographical in nature. Here are the results after filtering out biographies.
By this point, I have managed to cut 30 shows off of my list, but 25 shows is still a lot for me to watch. The next criteria was whether or not the morally ambiguous female character was a protagonist. I mentioned earlier that in the list that Amy and I compiled, we were simply looking at if the show had a morally ambiguous female character. However, since my project is focused on protagonists, it follows that I want to watch shows where the woman is a protagonist.
I also want to mention that some shows like Yellowjackets and Wentworth had no one protagonist, but rather they focused on a group of women that were all morally ambiguous. That being said, I wanted to focus on shows that had only one protagonist. The notable exception to this is in Killing Eve, which is on my final list, because I want to focus on the protagonist and the antagonist as they are both morally ambiguous female characters.
The final criteria that I used was the Rotten Tomato Rating. My cutoff was 80%, so I disqualified any TV show that was lower than that. This eliminated two shows: Why Women Kill and Watchmen. Here is my final list, complete with the 13 shows that I am going to watch over the following weeks.
As always, thank you for reading my post. I am so excited to spend my time watching these shows, but I am even more excited to start developing my own character.
Until next week!