As listing makes me feel better and calms me down exponentially, but I keep running out of novel things to list because I have to do it so much, I tried to find something valid and interesting to make a list of and stumbled onto the topic of single mothers. Now, I have said before that I have no doubt that I will be a single mother by choice because I need children but cannot bear to envision a life with another adult. However, it got me to thinking, seeing as this blog is about the media and how it can help and hinder a medium mind like mine, about how many single mothers appear and have extremely positive roles in television. Now, you may observe that there are some controversial additions to this list of positively characterised single mothers, for example, Ellis Grey and Lettie Mae Thornton, but to me even they are good examples of mothers. This is simply because they did their best. They may have succumbed to obsessive working and alcoholism respectively, and throughout the TV series that feature their characters their daughters hate their mothers, but even characters whom the audience is supposed to view as villains are redeemed by the realisation of their children (though sometimes it comes all the way in season 11) that their mothers worked with what they had and did their best in the given circumstances. There are times when I empathise heavily with Meredith or Tara Mae, both scarred and having died and attempted suicide by life, but knowing my luck my life will pan out quite like a TV show and it won’t be until the last season that my mother and I call a ceasefire. Either that, or one of us will end up killing the other…
Anyway, this post was meant to be cheerier than the last one and here I am talking about homicidal tendencies! So, I present to you the – by no means exhaustive – list of single mothers that I consider to be good examples of both the triumphs and mistakes of single motherhood on television.
One of the the things that really helps pick me up is what I spent most of my Christmas vacation working on. As I spoke last time about voicelessness and that feeling of disenfranchisement, today I want to show you and share with you all what I do to recover that feeling or at least what I try to make myself less suicidal.
This song is from Pitch Perfect (2012) and is sung by Anna Kendrick. I practiced for so long with whatever cup or mug or round implement I could source to get this good and I still screwed it up in the middle. Cups, when I first heard it, reminded me of You’re Beautiful by James Blunt in that it could have been about suicide. Whereas Blunt’s song is about the loss of a friend, I found Cups to be what I’d say to the world and everybody in it before I topped myself. It is too upbeat to actually have anything to do with suicide; most likely, it’s about a girl threatening to dump her lover. Yet, my warped and twisted mind didn’t see that, so on my quest to recapture and find my lost (or hopefully, just misplaced!) voice, I started singing this song.
Another thing I would like to share with you is a multivox recording I made a few months ago and it’s been one of my favourite songs ever since the musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s my cover of Chasing Cars, originally recorded by Snow Patrol. I was feeling a bit better in my own skin during the day I recorded this and I hope you’ll listen through. The last 2 or so minutes are the best. This is probably what gives me the greatest joy: recording the melody and then layering harmony lines sung by myself because no one else would have me, but then I can’t get away from my own voice and what it can do. This is also something I am proud of and it’s not even something I can do that well. Just goes to show, I guess, that everyone has some glimmer of light in their life evening if it’s on the blink or fading most of the time. Just another way media and embracing it can help those who battle depression every day and take you back to a time when you felt music move you and rush through your every nerve and pore. I hope I find my way back and have Music for a While in every meaning.
If you would like to reacquaint yourself with what I have said previously about losing music, please visit: DeathStar Disco
As anyone who knows me is aware, a telltale sign that I’m spiraling or trying desperately hard to get through the day to tomorrow is that I drown out whatever thoughts or feelings that are percolating in my errant brain by playing certain songs. I have a chosen few songs that are so poignant and meaningful to me and often – and without exaggerating whatsoever – are the difference between life and death.
I would like to share with you just the most memorable of these.
“Light Outside” by Wakey!Wakey!
“Vande Mataram” from “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham”
“Portrait of My Wife” by Seth Lakeman
“Shame” by Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow
“11” by Cassadee Pope
“Kiss It Better” by He is We
“Gravedigger” (Acoustic) by Dave Matthews
“Breathe (2AM)” by Anna Nalick
“You are my Sunshine” by Frank Turner
“Starbuck” by DeathStar Disco
“Imba Wimbo” from “Mighty Joe Young”
“Runaway” by The Corrs
“Main Title” from “Free Willy”
“Childhood” by Michael Jackson
These are the songs that are probably the most likely to be played in my room during times of crisis, but it’s dawned on me (once more) that this blog is about media, so I’ll also share with you some of the films and TV shows (as I’ve just come back from seeing “Kingsman: The Secret Service”), if you care to read on…
Today, I found myself feeling as though my voice was being taken away from me and that is what prompted this mini-article/list. There are so many films, TV shows and songs about having a voice or finding your voice or some such notion, but when I sense it being diminished from the outside or just moving further and further away, I dive into films, music and television so I can find it again or replace it with Cordelia Chase’s voice, or Lucrezia Borgia’s voice. In those moments, when my own voice, identity and mens sana desert me, I turn to the ones I know never will. The ones that will always get me through the day…
Further to my post about my best friends, I thought I’d list a couple of the best friendships on television (like I did with teachers) so I hope you are ready for a less putative article but will enjoy this one nevertheless! (Also, I can’t sleep again so it’s something to keep me from sliding into my occasional 3am hole of despair!)
Alex and Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy)
Stefan and Caroline (The Vampire Diaries)
Troy and Abed (Community)
Sookie and Tara (True Blood)
Ka D’Argo and John (Farscape)
Malcolm and Kaylee (Firefly)
Rodney and John (Stargate Atlantis)
Starbuck and Helo (Battlestar Galactica)
Jack and Teal’c (Stargate SG-1)
Miranda and Stevie (Miranda)
Justin and Daphne (Queer as Folk)
Buffy and Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Angel and Doyle (Angel)
Amelia and Addison (Private Practice)
Jon and Samwell (Game of Thrones)
John and Sherlock (Sherlock)
Merlin and Arthur (Merlin)
Dorothy and Michaela (Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman)
Cory and Shawn (Boy Meets World)
Perry and Carla (Scrubs)
Javier and Kevin (Castle)
House and Wilson (House, M.D.)
Chuck and Nate (Gossip Girl)
Spartacus and Varro (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
So there you have it – short and sweet though it is!
I was bored as the most immense and beautiful storm pounded Essex overnight and I wondered if I could think of twenty-five of the most impressive, realistic and important portrayals of LGBTQ characters from the gold and silver screens. I did! There are more from TV than film and this is only from films and shows I have watched, so don’t expect a perfect list by any means…they’re just my opinions from the media I’ve experienced. Hope you find it interesting and a varied list!
Brian Kinney (Gale Harold) in Queer as Folk
Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) in Glee
Calliope Torres (Sara Ramirez) in Grey’s Anatomy
Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) in True Blood
Barca (Antonio Te Maioho) in Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Emmett Honeycutt (Peter Paige) in Queer as Folk
Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Brokeback Mountain
Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) in Glee
Agron (Daniel Feuerriegel) in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Vengeance & Spartacus: War of the Damned.
Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare) in True Blood
Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) in Torchwood
Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) in Torchwood
Justin Taylor (Randy Harrison) in Queer as Folk
Nasir (Pana Hema Taylor) in Spartacus: Vengeance & Spartacus: War of the Damned.
Hephaistion (Jared Leto) in Alexander
Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) in Brokeback Mountain
Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) in True Blood
Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss) in Glee
Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) in Game of Thrones
Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) in Community
Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) in Grey’s Anatomy
Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) in Game of Thrones
Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) in Downton Abbey
Melanie Marcus (Michelle Clunie) in Queer as Folk
Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) in Glee
Tara Maclay (Amber Benson) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith) in Grey’s Anatomy
Pietros (Eka Darville) in Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Please comment any shows/movies/characters that you believe should have been included as I am always on the lookout for good LGBTQ themed and integrated media.