In the first few minutes of the opening episode of depression-era drama Damnation, one character asks another about the local farmers’ strike: ‘What are you striking against‘? The other replies: ‘The American economic system‘. As this pithy response suggests, Damnation is a mainstream US television series dramatising the struggle between capital and labour across 10 nail-biting episodes. It aired on the USA Network between November 2017 and January 2018 and is now to stream globally via Netflix. Damnation‘s viewing figures were low and a week after the season finale, the USA Network announced it would not be commissioning a second season. It’s not surprising it got cancelled after one season – what is surprising is that it got commissioned at all. So where does Damnation sit in the canon of woke US TV?
Posts Tagged ‘Television’
On 26th October 2016, the Great British Bake Off (GBBO) finally came to an end on the BBC. In its seven series, the show has become a national institution, credited with the sharp rise of the popularity of home baking in the UK. In this guest blog, Laura Clancy discusses the significance of the inclusion of the royal family in the 2016 finale, and how this can be interpreted as a cultural crafting of nationhood.
One is not born, but rather one becomes a woman – Simone de Beauvoir, 1953
This well-known assertion of Simone de Beauvoir, pointing toward the social and cultural mores that form and regulate an individual as a ‘woman’, is especially apt in light of the controversy surrounding the finalists of BBC2’s Great British Bake Off. The three female finalists have been variously castigated for being too miserable, too opinionated, too confident and too feminine. The repeated characterisations of the women in terms of inflexible, binary gender roles, alongside the criticisms of them for either failing to live up to these or – bizarrely – for adhering to them too closely, invites further analysis of the presentation of womanliness and femininity in the media. Moreover, the presence in the criticism of underlying suspicions regarding the race and class status of the women finalists demonstrates the increasing need for more fine-grained examinations of how we approach the still-troubling and troublesome category of ‘woman’. In this co-authored blog post, CelebYouth’s Kim and guest blogger Sarah Burton discuss the relationship between the structural context of GBBO and the individual presentations of gender therein, with a particular focus on the interactions between media, Britishness and public space.