sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I am watching "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" on Netflix --as many people are-- and I mostly love it. I am nearly done with Season 1. Phryne Fisher is amazing in so many ways. I think it was on [personal profile] meganbmoore's journal that I read her described as a James-Bond like character-- wealthy, always well-dressed, super-competent, etc-- a female fantasy role. She sleeps with many different men, helps educate young women, is open-minded, and delivers some great lines. She handles herself well in complex social situations as well as bloody, dangerous ones. I like the developing backstory and the arcs for the various characters.

The show itself does a nice job balancing serious situations with an overall lightness in tone. I appreciate that it takes on issues such as abortion, worker's rights, the lives of immigrants, and gay people living under the radar.

What I mainly dislike is that every episode is a murder mystery, as it says in the title. In some episodes, multiple people are killed, and one starts to wonder about the murder rate in Melbourne in the 1920s. As a private detective, Phryne would be much more likely to take cases that weren't murder, so I'm not sure why the show needs to be about murder (I do realize it's based upon books, so perhaps my real criticism lies there). (This is one issue where I agree with my mother: there is too much murder on TV, and I'm simply getting tired of it; perhaps I need to watch other types of shows.)

Also, the specific cases are sometimes a problem:


In episode 9, a teenage girl dies, and it's a girl who was in the social sphere with Phryne and Jane, which was upsetting to watch and doesn't feel like it's really dealt with in subsequent episodes.

In episode 10, "Death by Miss Adventure", a female factory worker is murdered in what turns out to be some sort of lesbian lover's quarrel. Dead lesbians are just what every show needs!

In episode 11, "Blood and Circuses", Miss Christopher, a circus performer, is killed. She is an intersex person, and we never hear her speak. We only hear others speak about her. She is referred to as a "hermaphrodite" by Jack. Rather than just explaining to Jack about Miss Christopher's condition, Phryne takes Jack to look at the body, because, apparently, some things are better shown than told. This scene felt really gross and objectifying. Having an intersex character on TV, only to have them be a murder victim, is in itself pretty gross.
The last couple of episodes also feature-- guess what-- a serial killer! Ick.

I will keep watching a bit more. I just am tired of serial killers etc. There are other ways to do drama.

Date: 2014-01-30 02:32 am (UTC)
j00j: rainbow over east berlin plattenbau apartments (Default)
From: [personal profile] j00j
Agreed re problems of the show, although I am hoping we will see Dr. Mac having healthy relationships with ladies who do not get murdered.

The murder thing is a problem of the mystery genre. I'm not as versed in the history of the genre as I am in SF, but even in "cozy" mysteries, where the violence isn't graphic (nor is the sex, hmph), somebody gets murdered. I'm not sure things will get marketed as mysteries if there's no murder, though I would be happy to see a book or show about solving crimes where murder is rare-- I could do with less murder as well. It's been interesting to watch a German crime series, Tatort, because while there is murder, there are also much more mundane crimes like bicycle theft.

The serial killer stuff was seriously over the top. I'm hoping for a bit more restraint next season. I'm also curious to try the books; I'm hoping the plot with, say, the intersex character is treated with more thoughtfulness there, given how concerned the series seems to be with social justice.

Phryne Fisher

Date: 2014-01-31 02:41 am (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
I've seen a couple of episodes (while the flatmate watched it). I also read one of the books, a few years ago. I thought that they were okay, but I didn't love them as much as some people have. Maybe because Phryne seemed to be more of a contemporary feminist than a 1920s one? And yes, while some of the stories seem to have more than just a murder to solve, why do they always have to have a murder?

I've avoided the intersex murder so far, thank ghu. And yes, the number of characters murdered in books likely outstrips by far the number of actual (similar) murders IRL. Also thank ghu.

Date: 2014-01-30 03:02 am (UTC)
chaila: Diana SWORDFIGHTING in a BALLGOWN. (luther - john)
From: [personal profile] chaila
This show is totally on my list too, but I also got a bit tired of murder shows. Then I feel kinda guilty that most of the shows I watched that made me tired of murder were so dude-centric, so I'm burnt out for shows like this or The Bletchley Circle. :/ Still though, it does get old.

murder shows

Date: 2014-01-31 02:50 am (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
Yeah, it feels like we have so many murder shows -- and we keep getting more.

For less dude-centric stuff, there's also Killer Women (eight-episode premiere season currently airing; not renewed). Features a Texas Ranger who's also a woman -- and not overly girly (wears jeans and shirts and boots to work; no pumps or skirts. IIRC I've seen three episodes, and many of the characters are female. Part of the premise may be slightly er *problematic* (women don't kill for the same reasons as men do), but so far the show also present such issues as returning veterans, domestic abuse, and messy human relationships.

Less mainstream (and also less dude-centric) is the Canadian show Cracked, which partners detectives with psychiatrists for investigating tricky or sensitiive crimes. Half the investigators are dudes, but it's more balanced with gender and race than your average US show. Also deals with such fun topics as mental illness, PTSD, war crimes & refugees, stuff like that. I've stopped watching almost all the murder shows, but I still like this one.


sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)

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