Tag Archive: Bechdel Test


Reviews: Shows I’ve Liked


Fibromyalgia seems to dictate my life lately. Whereas I used to stay home with a flare occasionally, now I rarely go out. I can count on my fingers how often I have been out in the last couple years. Now the fluctuations are in what I can get done within a day. Worst days are just sleep and moan. I do everything in my power to keep from having those days.

Even with this cold I seem to have acquired in the last couple days, I have managed to not sleep all day. I have had to nap today. But hopefully that won’t affect tonight’s rest. Instead, I can sit and read in any of my books. But there are days when the eyes just can’t handle reading. Those are the days I use to watch Netflix.

I wish there were a “GoodReads” of Netflix so I could review what I watch. Netflix actually used to have that so I could share with friends and family what I’ve been watching. But now they only have a star system that helps them decide what I want to see next.

SOoooo, I think I will start that here. I don’t watch these shows very often. They are merely to help me not think of pain on the days when my eyes are worse. I try to keep my goal of an intake that would pass the Bechdel test. Written, directed, starring women mostly.

After reading such books as Woman in the Wing that inspired me to look at women in the World Wars, I found myself drawn to Bletchley Circle which was all mysterious drama, still worth three or four stars. Then Bomb Girls definitely a four-star show.  It made me nervous to think of those people who had to make those bombs.

On the same theme, Land Girls, the ones who stayed home taking care of the farms, which had an actress that looked so much like David Tennant’s Doctor Who’s assistant Rose Tyler that I believe they could be sisters. Not as intense a show but full of talented actresses and singers.

Well, now I was craving more British shows. So I went on to watch Call the Midwife. I can’t wait to watch more of this show. I here there are more seasons. For me, this is a five-star wonder. After all, I had my last two babies at home so I feel a certain camaraderie with these ladies.

It seemed I lost track of the war issue and graduated to more modern times but stayed with the British, I went on to watch Happy Valley which was gruesome at times, but all in all a good show to watch with a strong female main character. Four stars.

Lastly, there was Last Tango in Halifax. Neither of these last two shows starred strictly women. In fact, Last Tango is a sweet love story about this older hetero-couple.  Four stars. I think there may be more seasons on this one. I wouldn’t mind.

Granted all these shows are series that last a while so this may be a cinema diet of a couple years. But this is the kind of thing I love to watch when I can’t read. Any suggestions? Comments?


The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Star light, star bright… I wish to own this book! Meanwhile, I am grateful for my library carrying it and other Alison Bechdel works. Talk about a lesson in feminism and history! No details were spared in the telling of the different stories or in the drawings.

Not long ago I read Ms. Bechdel’s autobiography, Fun Home, and was blown away by the comic style to tell a serious story. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For seems to be the L Word from before it became a series. But not. The characters are all different. The only way it is the same is that it is similar to watching a soap opera of lives going through, well, life and all that it throws at them. Each frame holds a story of its own. That was why it took me so long to read a comic book. That and this is a large book. Each frame held clues top the news of the moment, or books or music of the time. With this backdrop, the cast of characters live out their lives with all the problems and decisions one needs to make. Love, romance, school, children, break-ups, death… everything is included.

Ms. Alison Bechdel is the essential feminist. If you want to know what that movement is all about look into her books. No one loves and cares for women like a lesbian. And that love and care is visible in these books. A sign of our times to see how repressed women really are? The Bechdel Test: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test will get you thinking about this archaic patriarchal world we live in through movies.

I have been on a mission for a while to find books under a similar test. I want to read books by women authors with strong women main characters. Recently there are a lot of them but suddenly I got tired of Young Adult books. Now I am on a mission to have exciting books by women with older main characters (preferably baby boomers NOW). AND I would like the genre to be Sci-fi or fantasy. Hey, but if they aren’t in that genre, or that age group, how about someone that isn’t 17 or the pretty and skinny girls. How about letting the world know that anyone can have an adventure and it can be an interesting read to all kinds of people. Is that too much to ask?

Back to this review, sorry, stepping off my soap box. The women in TEDTWOF don’t always talk about their love interests. The talk about politics, the environment, education, the poor, the wars, and, yes, love. You don’t have to be a lesbian to read and appreciate Ms. Bechdel’s work. In fact, I think if men and other straight women read these books, they would come out of the experience with an appreciation for all people.

Now I am off to read another Bechdel book: Are You My Mother?

Thank you Washoe County Library System for having these books available to everyone!

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