I want to save some of this commentary for this week’s podcast, but I also want to get out in front of talk like this. Nick Pizzolatto may or may not have written shitty female characters in True Detective season one, but to take the character that Rachel McAdams plays, Antigone Bezzerides, and hold her up as an example of an excellently written female character is kinda bullshit.
First, Reddit isn’t known for being the most feminist-friendly place. If the Reddit collective is saying they love a female character, my eye starts to twitch and I become suspicious.
Second, the sort of scenes McAdams is being asked to act in are not the “juiciest” scenes in the show. By far Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell have had the more interesting scenes from a character development point of view. Vaughn is maybe kinda out of his depth (but trying very hard). Farrell, whose character is definitely supposed to be “the True Detective” this season (after what we’ve seen last night) has been doing pretty good, but, really, how hard can it be to do the stereotypical archetype hard-boiled loose-cannon detective with nothing to lose?
Third, I’ll tell you exactly what McAdam’s character is: Antigone Bezzerides was originally written as a male character. Pizzolatto then just swapped all the pronouns around to–TADA–make a “strong” female character. In other words, for Pizzolatto a strong female character is who can act just as tough as a man to the point of just, straight-up, being a man sans the main man-part. It smacks heavily of the old advertising idea that black people are just dark-skinned white people. Which, again, is kinda bullshit.
Mr. Pizzolatto, I see right through your scam.