Television Antiheroines

Women Behaving Badly in Crime and Prison Drama

Edited by Milly Buonanno

Television Antiheroines

Edited by Milly Buonanno

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

With a foreword by Diane Negra and Jorie Lagerwey
285 pages | 7 x 9
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781783207602 Published March 2017
As television has finally started to create more leading roles for women, the female antiheroine has emerged as a compelling and dynamic character type. Television Antiheroines looks closely at this recent development, exploring the emergence of women characters in roles typically reserved for men, particularly in the male-dominated genre of the crime and prison drama.
 
The essays collected in Television Antiheroines are divided into four sections or types of characters: mafia women, drug dealers and aberrant mothers, women in prison, and villainesses. Looking specifically at shows such as Gomorrah, Mafiosa, The Wire, The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy, Orange is the New Black, and Antimafia Squad, the contributors explore the role of race and sexuality and focus on how many of the characters transgress traditional ideas about femininity and female identity, such as motherhood. They examine the ways in which bad women are portrayed and how these characters undermine gender expectations and reveal the current challenges by women to social and economic norms. Television Antiheroines will be essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in crime and prison drama and the rising prominence of women in nontraditional roles.
Contents
Acknowledgements

Foreword
Diane Negra and Jorie Lagerwey

Editor’s Introduction
Milly Buonanno

Part I:             Mafia Women
Chapter 1:       Godmothers in Italian Mafia Story: Or ‘Something Else Besides a Mother’
                        Milly Buonanno
Chapter 2:       Mafiosa, Monstruous Beauty: Power and Loneliness of a Female Mob Lover
                        Barbara Villez
Chapter 3:       Adieu Carmela Soprano! Lessons from the HBO Mobster Wife on TV Female                                Agency and Neo-liberal (Narrative) Power
                        Kim Akass and Janet McCabe

Part II:           Drug Dealers and Aberrant Mothers
Chapter 4:       Paying the Price: Penoza – Combining Motherhood and a Career (in Crime)
                        Joke Hermes
Chapter 5:       ‘Really Good At It’: The Viral Charge of Nancy Botwin in Weeds (and Popular                             Culture’s Anticorps)
                        Elisa Giomi
Chapter 6:       Really Bad Mothers: Manipulative Matriarchs in Sons of Anarchy and Justified
                        Amanda D. Lotz
Chapter 7:       La reina del sur: Teresa Mendoza, a New Telenovela Protagonist
                        Yeidy M. Rivero

Part III:          Women in Prison
Chapter 8:       Blurred Lines: the Queer World of Bad Girls
                        Vicky Ball
Chapter 9:       Top Dogs and Other Freaks: Wentworth and the Re-imaging of Prisoner Cell                                 Block H
                        Sue Turnbull
Chapter 10:     Lesbian Request Approved: Sex, Power and Desire in Orange is the New Black
                        Suzanna Danuta Walters

Part IV:          Villainesses and Anti-antiheroines
Chapter 11:     Women and Criminality in Brazilian Telenovelas: Salve Jorge and Human                          Trafficking
                        Samantha Joyce and Antonio La Pastina
Chapter 12:     ‘Your Turn, Girl’: The (Im)Possibility of African American Antiheroines in The                             Wire
                        Bruce A. Williams and Andrea L. Press
Chapter 13:     Taming Pussytown: How Post-feminism Domesticated Underbelly: Razor
                        Leigh Redhead

Contributors
Index

 
Review Quotes
Vicki Mayer, Tulane University, New Orleans

"As someone who rooted for Alexis and Sue Ellen as a girl of the 1980s, I am thrilled that Milly Buonanno is helping me relocate my transnational sisterhood in support of antiheroines. This volume embraces the not-so-guilty pleasures of watching women characters who are complicated, multi-layered, transgressive, and kick-ass. Brava!’"

Christine Geraghty, University of Glasgow

"At last, the antiheroine, in all her flawed ambiguity, takes the limelight in this impressive collection and challenges the male dominance of contemporary television drama. Driven by feminist curiosity, respected television scholar Milly Buonanno has put together a genuinely inter national team to explore the global phenomenon of female characters heading up crime TV genres with roles as criminal bosses and prison top dogs. Essential and enjoy able reading."

Toby Miller, University of Cardiff; Murdoch University, Perth

"Television Antiheroines is a landmark text. It covers a long but rarely highlighted story to be told of female characters who counter the norms of conventional femininity. This generously international volume provides both geographical and historical contours that will enrich the study of television." 

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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