Friday, May 18, 2012

Why I love Scrubs but hate Elliot.

I love Scrubs.

Something about the goofy humor, hijinks, and my love for actual scrubs (wish I was going to have a job where I could essentially wear pajamas all day) makes me a Scrubs fan.

I watched it in high school, and recently started watching it on Netflix (Thanks, Joanna!). The episodes are only 20 minutes long, so it's really easy to get sucked in, and watch a few in one sitting. This practice, however, has really opened my eyes.

Reasons Elliot Reed drives me crazy

A female character who has a male-dominated occupation should be a strong character, right? Elliot is continuously put down. She second guesses herself and is even surprised when she does something right. TV is a powerful medium. It has the ability to develop characters over time-- to show growth or decline. Elliot, since she is a doctor, has room for growth and could represent the smart, strong, successful female characters that we rarely see in television, but she doesnt't.

Elliot's is constantly sexualized. She is the subject of JD and Turk's daydreams. She endures sexual harassment from horny residents, especially The Todd.  Elliot's worth is clear. It resides in her sexuality. Elliot's character proves that our culture draws an unhealthy connection between personal worth and sexuality. It doesn't matter that she's accomplished and smart. She's a sex object.

Elliot is never taken seriously. Dr. Cox constantly refers to her as "Barbie," and never takes her suggestions for medical care seriously. Again, her worth is not her intelligence, it's her looks. At one point, Elliot gets a new haircut. The women in the hospital ignore and ridicule her behind her back. Later, Elliot finds that she was too sexy to be taken seriously, so she alters her appearance to become more accepted. She even perpetuates this.

Women's Studies makes watching TV hard. It makes watching other people watch TV hard too.

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