Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fringe and Astrid

I'm glad I read Ana's post on the TV show Fringe, because she articulated many things that I find problematic about it, even as I continue to watch it

My current pet peeve of the show is the writer's oblivious and obvious treatment of Astrid. While the other characters, Peter, Walter, and Olivia get to be relatively well-rounded actual human beings, for the most part, Astrid, the show's only regular woman of color, mostly exists to be a Little Helper to the white protagonists.

Like, if someone had sufficient time and willpower, hours-long movies could probably be made of Fringe clips wherein Walter makes a huge-ass mess and Astrid responds with, "I'll clean that up," or of someone else needing something and Astrid saying, "Let me get that," or of Astrid looking sad for another character's troubles, while no one appears to know or care anything at all about her.

See, unlike with Astrid, we know the histories of Walter, Peter, and even Olivia. We know their personalities. We see them having relationships and love interests. We know their fears, their likes, and their preferred foods. We know very little, if anything, about Astrid.

And, as Ana notes, despite "babysitting" Walter for years on end, even though she's a talented FBI agent, Walter repeatedly calls Astrid by the wrong name, even though he doesn't have trouble remembering other people's names.

Like, do the writers just not realize they treat Astrid like total shit?

She's right up there with Angela Montenegro as being the Most Underrated, Taken-For-Granted, and Unrecognized Talent on their respective mystery-solving teams. (Seriously, while Hodgins is in back exploding watermelons for fun or whatever, Angela's already used her computer program to perfectly reconstruct how it was impossible, given the 13 bullet ricochet angles, for the gun to have been fired from the balcony and, therefore, their suspect is the wrong guy).

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