Viera Nováková es Profesora Ayudante Doctora en la Universidad Pavol Jozef Safarik de Kosice, Eslovaquia. Su docencia e investigación se centran en Estudios Culturales Americanos, particularmente cuestiones de género y teoría queer en la ficción televisiva. Es miembro del equipo colaborador del proyecto I+D El rol de la ficción televisiva en los procesos de construcción identitaria en el siglo XXI, actualmente en desarrollo por parte del grupo RIRCA, responsable de este blog.
Ella nos da sus razones para ver The 100.
1. Savages!: There is violence in the series. There is blood and sweat and tears. However, the notion of who is the real savage is posed throughout the whole first two seasons. Although the viewers might feel closer to the survivors on the Arc in the beginning of season 1, understanding all the reasons for the harsh punishment in the space; there is the question looming in the back of one’s head: who is the true savage in the post-apocalyptic world of The 100? When comparing the “evolved” means of punishment to those “pre-historic” ones, does the proximity to actual bloodshed make a person more violent? Through analyzing these issues, one is confronted with viewing different cultures all around the world even at the present time. After watching this series, the questions about understanding cultures around us as “savage” or “evolved” come to a different light.
2. Strong female characters: There are not many television series that include strong leading female characters to such a degree as this one. Yes, there are male characters as well; one could argue that they even hold the exact same or even higher positions in the series hierarchy at the beginning. But only after a couple of episodes it is clear this show is about strong women. Women who are not defined only by their romantic affiliation to other characters, but rather by their own decisions and actions. In fact, the presence of strong female characters is only heightened after the first season. Just wait till you meet the Commander.
3. People of color: Connected to the representation of strong women in popular television is the representation of people of color in leading roles. The 100 offers its viewers a number of characters that fall into this category. Surely, one can argue that some of these characters are stereotypical –an Asian boy who is very intelligent and a black warrior woman– however, there are other non-white characters that ensure that people of color are visible in this series.
4. Alternative sexualities: The representation of alternative sexualities –the non-heteronormative sexualities to be more precise– is becoming of extreme importance in the contemporary world. Similarly to the representation of non-white characters, alternative sexualities and their presence in the popular culture might become a means for a better understanding and higher tolerance and acceptance of queer people in “the real” world. The 100 tackles this issue in a slightly different manner. Since the series takes place in the post-apocalyptic world, the creators were not forced to come up with a solution for acceptance of alternative sexualities in the first place. They created the world and its rules. Thus, the way of presenting queer sexualities on screen in this particular series is through creating a non-issue of such representation. There are openly queer characters in The 100, however, their sexuality is considered as “everyday” as any other. So through not making a big deal of their existence, it is possible to interpret that queerness in the future, as described by this television series, would not be considered anything less than normal.
5. The question of morality: Finally, the issue that caught the attention of many viewers of The 100. Morality is something very vague, however, the majority of people would say that they live according to some moral code. The question is whether the moral code is universal and maintained at all times. Are individuals bound by the code at all times, or is there a possibility that a person “breaks” the code and also themselves? Is morality individual? If there are two groups of enemy forces, both of whom believe that the morals stand on their side, what will the unattached observer see? The 100 provides a view on morality and the issue of “being the good guy” throughout both of its seasons. It poses questions, offers answers but ultimately lets its viewers decide for themselves.