Monday, April 16, 2012

Once Upon A Time: Can We Escape the Male Gaze?

I am an avid follower of the abc series, Once Upon a Time. There are certainly some drawbacks to the show, and I wouldn't exactly call it the greatest thing on television, but I'm fascinated by fairytales, so I'm always on the lookout for a new retelling - lately, I've even been watching The Secret Circle, just because of its (subtle) connections to Irish mythology. And Once Upon a Time is an interesting retelling, particularly with complex characters like Rumpelstiltskin. So I'm not bashful about my interest in Once. 

But recently I discovered an interview with the cast and creators of the show, and I was surprised when they asked the show's writers to stand up - they were all men. Later, I heard them mention a female writer, but all the creators on the stage were men, and the majority of the writers appear to be men too. Yet the majority of the show's viewers are women.

When you imagine the reverse - a show produced and written by women, with a majority male viewership, it sounds worse than unlikely. It sounds laughable even. Yet women generally have no problem watching a show produced and written by men - so tell me, what do you think? In this kind of market, where men and women gobble up stories by men more readily than stories by women, is there a way to escape the male gaze? Should we?

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