Roslin 2016

Female power on the small screen plays into — and against — stereotype: 

In the years right before Hillary Clinton’s 2008 bid for the presidency, numerous different stories, mostly on television, posited some kind of female president, in what was, perhaps, a little micro-trend: Syfy’s “Battlestar Galactica” (2004), Rod Lurie’s CBS series “Commander in Chief” (2005), and “Prison Break” (2005; Patricia Wettig’s character became president in 2007). Interestingly, Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing,” arguably the most popular show about the presidency, never strayed into the territory of a female commander-in-chief. But that might be because the most prominent female candidate for president, at the time, was Republican Elizabeth Dole, who briefly ran for the office in 2000. Geena Davis’ president in “Commander in Chief” is a Republican, Patricia Wettig’s Caroline Reynolds is implied to be conservative, and Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), in “Battlestar Galactica,” exists in a universe without our political parties, but is demonstrably hawkish.

Actually Roslin was generally the voice of reason in the early days, when Adama was all kill-crazy. It was only later that she became Madam Airlock. Still, if her character provided in some small way a way in for women to appear in more powerful roles, I say SO SAY WE ALL.

A.

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