I’ve been thinking a lot about women characters lately. I’ve grown incredibly weary of watching and reading things where women are little more than cases to be solved. I just can’t do any more dark BBC dramas with brooding small town detectives trying to beat the clock before the poor girl being held captive is killed. Don’t get me wrong – they’re well done, but good lord. There’s enough depressing reality these days. I need a little more levity in my entertainment these days. Not to say that I can’t handle the heavy stuff – I just need a little bit different flavor.
Take Big Little Lies, for instance. I read the book last year, so I was prepared for the heavy stuff when I finally got around to watching the series (don’t worry – no spoiler alerts here). I was most interested in revisiting the friendships and seeing how they played out on the screen. And while I’m typically on team book vs. team movie/tv show, there was something about seeing this story told on the screen that I really liked. These actors and the way the story was told really brought these relationships to life to me. There was one particular scene that tipped the scales and put me on team tv this time around.
Shailene Woodley’s character Jane is a runner and spends a lot of time running on the beach by herself. Running is a sacred thing for me, even though my aging joints have changed it over the years. There’s just something about that time and head space that nurtures my soul and I can’t quit it. I think that’s part of why this particular scene spoke to me so much. It’s that time when you’ve got nothing but the music you choose and the rhythm of you own thoughts. It’s magical and restorative, and that’s what I was seeing on the screen. Jane was running by herself, lost in her music and her own thoughts. But then, out of what seems like nowhere, her friends pull up beside her and now there are three of them. The visual is powerful. They’re not talking to each other, or even really acknowledging that they’re together. But they’re there, together. And you know that they’ve got each others’ back through whatever is going to come (even if you haven’t read the book to know).
There was just something that struck me about that moment that I can’t quite explain (so by all means, I should totally do a blog post!). There’s something about the combination of the power that comes from being grounded in your own personal sacred space and then the amazing support that comes from the silent presence of being flanked by two people who are you chosen family and will be there for you for anything. Those are the types of friendships I am beyond grateful for in my life. And seeing those relationships on screen and those characters reflecting back what I value in my life fills me with love and gratitude and a little bit of don’t-fuck-with-us.
I like that mix very much. And I can’t wait for the second season.
– Catherine Wemette
Catherine has been told her can run but can’t be a runner, so she sneaks in runs when she can and tries not to fall down (which happens more than she’d like to admit). Catherine is the founder of Good for Her Soul and you can reach her here.