So I've been away from the blog here much longer than I anticipated. Since my dad became very ill mid-January, I've spent most of the past month-and-a-half at my parents' house. During that time I spent a lot of time with my mom. - mostly worrying and waiting and driving to and from the hospital.
It was a nice mental break to be able to just sit down in the evening and watch something entertaining on TV. If mom and I had vastly different taste in entertainment that could have been a problem, but, fortunately we like similar things. It turns out that we both enjoy The Office and Thirty Rock, House, Chuck, and, a bit surprisingly to me, Fringe. I found it surprising because I don't think of mom as being a science fiction fan (mom, correct me if I've gotten this wrong). She doesn't read science fiction novels, never watched X-Files, Battlestar Galactica (old or new), and when my husband and I turned on Doctor Who during our Christmastime visit, she was surprised that it was "still on" (I did watch it a lot in the late-70s and early-80s). What is the appeal of shows like Fringe? It's probably the quirky and interesting characters and the fact that the show doesn't seem to take itself too seriously. At least that's why I like it.
Other mom-watched SF includes Life on Mars, Journeyman, the first season of Heroes, and a couple seasons of Enterprise. That's why I think the articles pop up now and again that claim women don't like science fiction are so stupid. Women like all kinds of shows. We can like both Gray's Anatomy and Fringe. Some women like relationships, some like weird science and aliens, and some of us like all of that, as long as it's entertaining.
I do think that the SciFi channel has other problems attracting an audience though. If you happen to flip it on, you are more likely to stumble on a Ghost Hunters marathon, old Star Trek reruns, bad monster-of-the-week movies (Chupacabra: Dark Seas!), or wrestling than quality dramas with broad appeal. "Women" aren't likely to turn on SciFi in any great numbers unless there is a reason to do so. So please, TV networks, more quality science fiction dramas!
OK, now that I've got that off my chest, a bit of housekeeping:
I unfortunately missed ScienceOnline09, but it sounds like Stephanie did a great job leading the science & science fiction session. I'm putting together a post with links to some of the participants' responses.
I'm also slowly working my way through accumulated emails, so if you wrote to me and I haven't yet responded, I apologize. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Tags: science fiction, television, women