I don’t know how many people who read this blog have watched Greenwing, but I’m currently rewatching it with my house guest and it is such an awesome – and very wrong – TV series. I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t watched it, so this post will be quite brief. One thing I wanted to point out about the series is it’s interesting critiques on gender roles. The show is set in a hospital, and the characters are either doctors or administrative staff in the hospital. Thankfully not all the doctors are men, and although for the most part the staff in HR are women – that’s not too far away from reality. The gender of the character is important in relation to the stereotype they are assigned to play, but whether the character is admin or professional is irrelevant.
You have the competitive, objectifier of women who believes that you have to, “play them mean to keep them keen”, and who really doesn’t understand people or emotions at all. You have the mouse who is frightened of everything and is cowed by his more aggressive male colleagues, who he just wants to be like. You have the man who wants to be powerful and sometimes thinks he is, but is generally disliked by everyone because he’s either sleazy, incompetent, offensive or exceedingly eccentric (and sometimes all at once). You have the character who is affable, well liked, sometimes rude, generally caring and who isn’t particularly open about how they feel. You have the boyish character who likes to challenge authority, loves a joke, loves supporting those who needs it and is sexually voracious (which is completely fine in the series). You have the IT guy who is cute, charming and wanted by everyone.
You have the slightly eccentric, but well meaning woman who doesn’t know what she wants exactly, but has an idea and is willing to experiment a little to find out more. You have the female equivalent mouse character. You have the woman who is lovely but stressed with her personal life and keeping track of her children. You have the sexually voracious and generally nice character who likes to be silly (in fact all of HR are silly) and whose sexual nature isn’t an issue. You have the fat woman who at one stage is picked on by the objectifier and who tells him to “fuck off” (oh and he’s a little scared of her too), she’s also happy with her body and her attractiveness. There is the scheming, eccentric and rude woman who is one of the best characters on the show. The perfect woman who everyone aspires to be – beautiful, competent, intelligent, cheerful and always perfect. There is the rude, sleazy, incompetent, offensive and really wrong character who makes me cringe every time I see her on screen – though she does it SO well.
Extra internet points if you can name all the characters I’ve described in order.
I love this series. It has many moments of wrong, but is beautifully written, fantastically directed, has an awesome cast and makes me laugh every time I watch it.