Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ode to Sloan Sabbath... aka there has to be something special.

I’m watching Newsroom and each week falling more in love with Sloan Sabbath. For those who are watching you’ll know why. For those who haven’t seen the show let me explain why… and everyone you better button down your bootstraps because this is going to be quite a rant.
I just finished reading another book about the billionaire and the plain simple girls he saves by having sex with her. It was a recommend from a reviewer I trust and it was very well written. But I think I’ve just hit that point where I’m done with HER.

I kept waiting for the moment when we learn why she was so different from everyone else for him. What was it that made her special to him?
I’m okay with a character who doesn’t see what’s special about herself, and he, the hero, shines the shiny light on her that suddenly makes her realize… wait, I am special. It’s what I call the Katherine Hepburn in the Rainmaker moment. When he forces her to say… “I’m pretty!” Even though she’s not. Because when she starts to believe what the hero is telling her, it is transformative. She finds herself. She becomes confident. It was there all along inside of her. You don’t have to be beautiful to understand that you can be beautiful as a person. And that makes interesting and different.

But in the recent trend of books where the ALL POWERFUL BILLIONAIRE falls for the seemingly plain heroine, we never get that moment. It’s like the reason he fell for her is just because. That he’s fine with her average looks, average intelligence, her shy personality. Because she just is who she is. And I get why this is a fabulous fantasy for some people but it’s so completely unreal.
Billionaires DO NOT do this. Billionaires (for the most part) have worked pretty darn hard to get what they have. They are driven, highly intelligent and powerful. I’m sorry – but Jeff Bezos isn’t looking around for the plainest most uninteresting woman he can find and saying That’s Her! That’s who I want to spend my time with. It’s ludicrous.

Google billionaires. Google their wives!
Now I’m not saying they all have to be models. Though many are. But many are not. But I bet there is something about them that is SPECIAL. Something. Maybe it’s compassion. Maybe it’s brains. Maybe it’s humor. Maybe she gives him a sense of peace.

And it works in reverse. If anyone watched the PGA Championship – you watched the winner, an average looking guy with a little belly and a funny walk grab the ass of a stunningly beautiful woman who is his wife. Now some people will say it’s money, but maybe it’s because this guy is SPECIAL. He’s got a rare talent. He’s got a work ethic that was powerful enough to take him to the pros. I would absolutely love that quality in a person regardless of what he looked like.
These new heroines are not special in anything. Like it’s okay to celebrate mediocrity because everyone deserves to be loved, but it’s so far from reality it’s just getting silly. You want to make your heroine “trip”? Fine. She’s clumsy but please God don’t let that be the reason he falls in love with her!

Sloan on the Newsroom is a self-proclaimed nerd. She’s awkward in social situations, has a hard time communicating with people in general and she’s not good in relationships. Ever.
She’s also hot and knows it. Doesn’t flaunt it, but doesn’t hide it. She’s beyond brilliant which is why she’s so awkward. And when she doesn’t realize it, she’s hysterically funny. That’s charming. Tripping isn’t charming!

In my heart of hearts I believe that there is something that makes each one of us special. That even if you think you’re boring, or plain, or shy, or weird or the ENTH degree of average there is still something within each of us that makes us unique and loveable.
I am 100% okay with the billionaire finding that thing and showcasing that thing and making the heroine realize it.  

But I’m done with this heroine who is just plain and that’s what she is. And isn’t it the greatest fantasy in the world that the hottest and richest guy wants her. Sorry. I like a good fantasy. But that my friends is science fiction.
Let’s bring back the special in our heroines!


Anonymous said...

Awesome rant, Steph. You make me want to watch the Newsroom and that is saying something..

Karen Whiddon said...

Loved you post. Thanks for that!

Maureen McGowan said...

Great rant!

And Sloan can punch! ;)

Eileen said...

Yes yes yes. I know exactly what you mean. While we're on the topic, I hate the clumsy heroine bit. It was adorable when Katherine Hepburn did it IN 1938! (Please imagine the last part of that sentence in all caps as if I was yelling.)

I do love Sloan. We've only watched the 1st episode of this season (long story that has to do with Andy falling asleep during it and needing to rewatch it before we move on). Here's what bugs me, though. Why on earth is she so into Don? He's not that handsome. He's kind of a douche. Why?

Stephanie Doyle said...

Keep watching Eileen! Don starts to grow on you. Maggie wasn't strong enough for him so you just have to get over that he didn't love her, even though he tried.

And Maggie didn't love him either, even though she wanted to.

Sloan and Don are a much better fit. And their relationship is really moving slowly from friends to maybe something more.

Maureen McGowan said...

Steph's right. Don starts to grown on you. He was pretty much a villain in the first season, but I was kind of giving the writers the benefit of the doubt that there must be something there if both Maggie and Sloan like him. And this season we're starting to see it.

And speaking of women on that show. I like the introduction of the character played by one of Meryl Streep's (nearly identical) daughters.

Eileen said...

I hope you're right about Don. Sometimes for me, it's hard to see past what I'll call casting errors. It happened for me in the first season of Girls, too. One of the characters was at an art opening and this guy was supposed to be super manly and studly as opposed to her over-sensitive boyfriend, but the dude they cast was short and slight and smooth-cheeked and it actually made me laugh when he said things about how he was a man. Which I don't think was the desired effect.

Right now, Don just seems like a nerdy smart-ass with commitment issues. Not anyone to get super hung up about.

I do love the Streeps, though! Such fun! I actually thought there was only one daughter so thanks for cluing me in that it isn't all one actress. Is the one on Newsroom the same as the one on The Good Wife?

Stephanie Doyle said...

I'm on the fence with Streep Jr. She's a little too "affected" for me. Even though when she was saying Vassar to be affected, it just didn't quite get there for me. But she's young. So I'll give her time.

For me Don is part ahole. But it's that sort of ahole I like. He's a little too smart, and he's going at a speed that's faster than everyone and sometimes he doesn't have patience for people who can't keep up. But deep inside he is a good guy who tries to do the right thing.

I think that's the beauty of Sloan. She's in front of him. And she's the good guy part.

This last episode was a perfect Sloan/Don moment for me. Where he lets her take care of her business, but he's there for her to have her back.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think they cast that tiny dude as the artist on Girls on purpose... She was attracted to his power and charisma and talent and confidence, not his looks. And the fact that Marni got so turned on my this little dweeby guy being so forceful and condescending to her, was one of the most shocking (and interesting) moments in that first season of Girls for me.

The Marni character actually ends up dating that artist in Season 2. But he treats her like his assistant. I think the fact that physically she's a 10 and he's a 5 or 6 was important to their characters...

He does something really awful to her... Now I want to watch season 2 of Girls again...

Eileen said...

I just don't see how that could work. To me it sounded like a 7 year old boy saying he was a man in a squeaky little voice and some poor actress having to pretend like it mattered to her. It looked ridiculous. It's one of the reasons I DON'T want to watch season 2. :-)

Anonymous said...

"And isn’t it the greatest fantasy in the world that the hottest and richest guy wants her."

Ahh, perhaps for every heroine in a book these days (as you said). Seems to be same old story told a different way each time. Surely, wasn't my fantasy - too shallow and weak! My fantasy came true when I found the man I ultimately married. Still making all my dreams come true. The only man I want wanting me is him, isn't that what true love is? Each and every day I am glad I found it. Yes, there is never anything special about the heroines, nor is there anything seemingly special about the heroes - tit for tat. Why did he choose her, why did she fall for him? Who knows, who cares? Its fiction, its far removed from reality (thank God) and its silly most of the time, isn't that what makes it such great entertainment? Can anyone ever really make sense of how or why two people get together and have a loving relationship? The reasons are wide and varied. "Every pot has a lid", I say, Read and Relax!

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