A new kind of TV heroine

The Wall Street Journal reports that television executives are moving ahead with shows that feature a new kind of heroine:

The show reflects new thinking among television network executives: Their core audience—female viewers—want to see a woman take down the enemy, preferably with a little bloodshed along the way. The approach overturns years of belief that violent shows turn off women who prefer to watch earnest nurses, headstrong housewives or quirky career women.

Viewers who grew up with video games and Angelina Jolie action movies are driving the types of shows networks will debut this month and redefining how the classic TV heroine is portrayed.

The market research behind this also found that women tend to think men have gotten wimpier on TV and in movies. Therefore, female characters need to come in and take control.

This article also hints at a question about causation: it is media that drives these images (as the article suggests, through Angelina Jolie action movies) or is it that the culture’s image of women has changed to the point where media now needs to reflect it? It probably works both ways but television and movie executives want portrayals of women that are going to make money.

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