This chapter focuses on Nancy Botwin, the leading female character in the award-winning series Weeds, aired on the cable network Showtime, from 2005 to 2012. Nancy is a widow and mother of two and she makes a living from selling marijuana. I intend to analyse this figure against a backdrop of two theoretical frameworks: the first one is represented by the analyses (mainly developed within Feminist Culturalist Television Criticism and Feminist Film Theory) that have engaged with the figure of the anti-heroine or, more generally, with female characters who, like Nancy, feature in traditionally male dominated media genres and/or in roles that involve utilising power, crime, violence and physical strength. My goal is to highlight the dialectic, the continuous shifting between normative and non-normative constructions of femininity that make Nancy a truly multifaceted figure. In particular, I will make the point that a complex intertwining of social and gender deviances lies at the heart of this series' politics of representation: Nancy’s gradual adoption of the identity of pot-dealer and law-breaker is paralleled, throughout the each season, by her progressive derogation from gender norms and rules of sexual conduct for women. On the one hand, this qualifies Nancy as a ground-breaking female character, yet on the other, her being continuously sexually connoted (as subject as well as object of desire) serves to restore the traditional gender relations order and to soften the character’s subversive potential. The second theoretical and thematic focus of my work relates to the study of post-feminism in/and popular culture. I will show how a mix of empowerment/sexual agency and dependence on men/sexual objectification characterizes Nancy, and perfectly expresses the entanglement of feminist and anti-feminist ideas, which is distinctive of post-feminist texts (Gill, 2007). The same can be said about the portrayal of Nancy as being tough and assertive while at the same time lacking self-confidence and occasionally even being ‘dysfunctional’, particularly with respect to the domains that express an essentialist vision of femininity (first and foremost motherhood). I argue that the notion of ‘pathologized femininity’, often found in post-feminist narratives, perfectly applies to Weeds - which belongs to Showtime’s 'female problem' genre (Bradshaw, 2013) - and is ultimately to be considered as another normalization strategy, used to ‘domesticate’ this anti-heroine.
Giomi, E. (2017). "Really Good At It”: The Viral Charge of Nancy Botwin in Weeds (and Popular Culture’s Anticorps). In Milly Buonanno (a cura di), Television Antiheroines. Women Behaving Badly in Crime and Prison Drama (pp. 105-124). Bristol (UK) : Intellect Books.
|Titolo:||"Really Good At It”: The Viral Charge of Nancy Botwin in Weeds (and Popular Culture’s Anticorps)|
GIOMI, ELISA (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Citazione:||Giomi, E. (2017). "Really Good At It”: The Viral Charge of Nancy Botwin in Weeds (and Popular Culture’s Anticorps). In Milly Buonanno (a cura di), Television Antiheroines. Women Behaving Badly in Crime and Prison Drama (pp. 105-124). Bristol (UK) : Intellect Books.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|