167 – When to Look Past Problematic Elements

The Mythcreant Podcast

No story is perfect, and no one can consume entirely unproblematic media. The question is, how much is too much? At what point do we draw the line? That’s our topic for this week, as we’re joined once again by one of our favorite guest hosts, Sarah. We discuss where our personal line is, how much the author’s views influence our choices, and how to take positive messages into account. Plus, the author is dead!

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Sword of Truth

Atlas Shrugged

The Author Is Dead

The Problems with Card

Moby Dick

Sherlock Holmes

Star Trek TOS and Enterprise

Annihilation White Washing

Paddington (Who it turns out was always from Peru.)

Steven Universe

The Good Place

The 100 Buried its Gays

Fury Road

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  1. Julia

    Great topic. I think about this sometimes because as I read more about how story elements are put together I start to see “behind the curtain” as it were. At some point I have to acknowledge that I can enjoy a story and notice the skill (or lack of skill) used to tell it.

    I wonder if a camera operator watches movies with the same problem…

  2. Janet

    A wonderful and nuanced take on a complicated topic. Sarah made an interesting point on how Enterprise writers were aware of certain tropes but didn’t care. But as I previously commented on Chris’s conflict article, most people don’t say anything about some of the ways Trip is problematic. And I thought he was progressive because he’s emotional (one thing the show did right is treating that like it was normal for a man). It”s much easier to find comments about how Trip isn’t man enough (but in more coded language and mostly for not standing up for himself during the breakfast conversation in Harbinger) than anyone calling him out on bro behavior. Also some of the typically “feminine” behaviors in engages in are crying at movies and not taking the initiative in relationships. Given what the writers knew about tropes, do you believe the writers made intentionally made Trip emotional in order to hide sexism in plain sight?

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