Congratulations to The X-Files for winning the 1998 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Drama Series. It is one of my favorite shows — due in large part to the absolutely fabulous character of Dr. Dana Scully. I was sorry that Jennifer Lopez didn’t win — she was nominated for her role as Selena Quintanilla Pérez. I was also sorry that Hector Elizondo didn’t win — he was nominated for his role in Chicago Hope. All in all, the rest of the awards went pretty much the way they do every year.
I have been a fan of “Xena: Warrior Princess” since the beginning. I watched the character emerge as a spin-off of “Hercules”, and the show is currently one of my favorites. I like the humor, the way the show uses mythological themes to address current social situations and the characters themselves. I’d be lying if I said that the fact that the female roles on this show are predominantly strong and independent isn’t one of the reasons why I love it so much. It’s the main reason. I’m sick of watching shows where the weak-willed woman has to be rescued by the always-right male lead. And I’m sick of watching shows where women are only the girlfriend, the wife, the mother or the in-between character who really doesn’t have a personality at all. I’m sick of watching shows where women are only a pale and very distant image of what real women are like. And so I watch Xena.
One of the first things that I liked about this show was the intense friendship between Xena and Gabrielle. It was so refreshing to see a true female friendship on television that I was actually shocked by it. I mean, name the amount of shows out there where the amigas back each other up always, without letting their supposed female emotions and television’s image of women get in the way of the friendship. If there is one, let me know. I’d love to check it out.
I am aware of the subtext of the show. For those of you out there who don’t know what that means, it means the ambiguousness of the sexual and/or romantic relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. I’ve seen it for a while. I think it’s cool that the show is venturing to portray things that way. It doesn’t change my view of the show and it doesn’t change my comfort with the scenes. My sister, on the other hand, cannot say the same thing. When I dared to enlighten her to the opinion of many viewers that Xena and Gabrielle were romantically linked, she was outraged. When I told her that the writers of the show purposely write scenes with their audience in mind, she was appalled. According to her, people just want to see what they want to see even if it has no basis. And she hasn’t watched the show again.
I think it’s amusing to note her reaction. She thinks of herself as an open-minded, tolerant person. And here she is, refusing to even acknowledge that a show she was watching may have had some lesbian characters in it. And the worst part is that she’ll deny it to her dying day. Why hasn’t she watched the show? She’s been busy and it’s not really that good anyway. I’ll try to do my part and enlighten her, but it makes me sad to think that she’s just one of many out there, with prejudices and insecurities that come out in negative behavior and still unable to even admit why they’re behaving the way they are.
Well, it’s been years since I’ve actively celebrated Halloween, but I did go to a couple parties this year even if I did refuse to dress up. My niece, who’s nearly two, will dress up and help my mother hand out candies. My brother will go out with his friends and try and stay out of trouble. My friends will all try to do something child-like but not childish. Everyone will decorate, buy candies and celebrate a holiday that has never been declared officially but is observed nonetheless. And by this time next week we’ll all be glad it’s over. Oh well, who said fun was easy?
THE X-FILES SEASON PREMIERE
Sunday, November 2, 1997, marks the first episode in the much anticipated and anxiously awaited fifth season of the award-winning science fiction show The X-Files. I will not bore you with specific details about the mythology surrounding and centered in the show. I will not bother to tell you about the plots and mysteries within the show that make me watch it and hooked me from the very first episode. Because the truth is that if you haven’t watched the show, if you don’t know what it’s about, then it’s going to take much more than a few sentences to get you up to speed. It’ll take weeks. But if you want to watch one of the few shows on television where a man and a woman work together but don’t sleep together, then this is your show. If you want to watch a cop show where the woman has a gun, is a better shot than her male partner and saves his butt more times than he saves hers, this is your show. If you want to watch a show that portrays a woman as intelligent and strong, then this is your show. Oh yeah, her partner’s not bad either.
Congratulations to the winners of last night’s Emmy Awards. As an avid television watcher I knew who was nominated for the categories and had an opinion on almost every award.
Of special mention is Hector Elizondo, who won Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (the only Hispanic to win an award and one of two to be nominated — the other was Jimmy Smits). Gillian Anderson, who plays one of my favorite characters, Dana Scully, in The X-Files, won Best Actress in a Drama. She won an Emmy last year in the same category. I thought it was a great touch that Helen Mirren, of the Prime Suspect movie series, presented the award. One actress who plays a tough-as-nails police chief in England, and doing it well, presenting to another actress who plays a no-nonsense forensic pathologist with the FBI. Not a bad pairing. Too bad they represented a minority — actresses playing strong female roles.
Lorna Dee Cervantes is an accomplished and award-winning poet, a restless activist, and an insightful artist. I was fortunate enough to study with her briefly, and, while my poetry may never reach the potential she envisioned, it is better because of her influence. She writes, teaches, and lives as a Chicana and a Feminist; she is a role model in a world where few exist for Latina/Chicana/Mexicana writers. This week’s feature is the suggested reading is of her poems. Enjoy!