August 3, 2007 Jill

I was excited that two recent pilots —Damages and Saving Grace — feature female anti-heroes. What’s more they’re both of a certain age.

In an era with so many not-so-nice men (House, Tony Soprano, Vic Mackey, Tommy Gavin), it’s great to finally see some shows built around edgy female characters.

I talked about Damages’ Kate Hewes in a previous post. She’s ruthless, powerful and unapologetic. Plus she has great clothes and hair.

Grace Hanadarko of Saving Grace, a series written and created by Nancy Miller and airing on TNT, has over-processed hair, an unquenchable sexual appetite and no qualms about sleeping with her married partner. She swears like a sailor, drives a beat-up Porsche and she carries a gun. Plus she has a mean right hook which she puts to good use when someone slimy hits on her (if they’re not slimy, her clothes come right off).

(If you don’t have TNT, you might be able to watch the pilot on their website, but you’ll need Windows. I couldn’t test it out because I have a Mac.)

Grace, played by Holly Hunter, is naked and in the middle of a sexual encounter when we first meet her.

Moments later (moments well spent, by the way, swilling Jack Daniels, smoking and burping), she’s watching tv. The distraught father of a kidnapped child say that he knows the lord will bring his daughter home. Grace practically snort, “and then eliminate war and hunger.” She’s cynical too.

I was immediately madly in love with her. The character is a cop and watched her solve mysteries and abuse herself for as many seasons as they were willing to make the show.

Unfortunately, the show has a twist: an angel. Okay, he chews tobacco. But he’s still an angel. And he wants to save Grace. Hence the title of the show.

(I was going to put a clip from Youtube here, but they all feature the angel and the redemption story line when what I wanted to show you is Grace acting badly, so I had to pass.)

I’m totally bummed out. We finally get a show built around a foul mouthed, sexually-in-control, remorseless woman and along comes the rep of some God who’s not fond of boozing, cussing and fornication to clean her up.

What’s that about?

I don’t know. Maybe it’ll all twist into John from Cincinnati territory. Maybe it’ll turn out to be some quirky view of religion that won’t offend me. Maybe it’s going to turn out to be an important work that explores serious themes in a deep and meaningful way.

But come on.

Finally, a really fabulous bad girl with no regrets comes along. Do I really have to see her find religion? I wanted to watch her descent into hell.

Comments (6)

  1. nadia*

    I take it that you wouldn’t consider Meredith Grey to be something of an anti-hero? Just curious.

  2. wcdixon

    Nice take…and I doubt it will twist and go dark, not on TNT.

  3. Jill Golick

    No, I don’t see Meredith as an anti-hero, although I know people who do and I understand why you suggest her.

    She does drink and sleep around (or at least she used to). But her intentions always seem good and her actions are within what I’d consider the normal range (if not for tv characters certainly for real humans).

    Does she ever really cross any lines? She got involved with McDreamy before she knew he was her boss and before she knew he was married. An anti-hero would n’t have started the relationship until after she found out and then she’d have kept it up without any worries about rule breaking or hurting others.

    My biggest reason for refusing Meredith entry into the legions of anti-heroes is that she doesn’t have fun with it. The best anti-heroes revel in their badness. Meredith just whines.

  4. Jutratest

    You will like the Sarah Connor Chronicles. There are two strong ladies, and the one male character, John Connor, is a perenial damsel in distress.

    It’s a great show too.

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