Friends, I love to read. I do. I keep a book in my bag at all times and will shamelessly whip that thing out whenever I can: in line at the grocery store, at the coffee shop, at the bank, wherever. I once tried to read during a dental appointment, but that was quickly put to an end by a dental hygienist with a disparaging look. Sometimes I think longingly about reading while working, or reading while cooking, or reading while biking…I really, really love reading.
But it’s around this time of year that my attention becomes divided. Because you know what else I like? Television. And those shiny, flashy new season premieres start showing up and tempting me away from my beloved books. I enjoy critically acclaimed television, but I also have a penchant for shows with, er, questionable aesthetic value. I am having a real dilemma this fall because I’ve tried to make room for more reading in my life, but some of my favorite shows are back and I want to watch them right now.
I have a few shows that I don’t mind spending time with because, like many of the books I read, they feature Slatebreaking women at the heart of the cast. Here are a few of my favorite Slatebreaking television ladies:
Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation. I will argue with anyone that Leslie Knope is the most Slatebreaking fictional female character on television. She’s ambitious, openly feminist, and has an impressive work ethic. She also has an impressive moral compass that leads her to think carefully about her personal and professional decisions. I can’t wait to see what happens with the political options they introduced at the end of last season. There is only one thing suspicious about Leslie Knope, and that is her hatred of public libraries.
Detective Kate Beckett on Castle. Ok, people are probably going to mock me now that they know I watch this show. Admittedly, I started watching it because of my undying love for Nathan Fillion, but I grew to love the character of Kate Beckett and her commitment to doing her job and doing it well. She’s the boss lady of her division, in charge of two lesser-ranking cops. I like it when a female character is in charge. Sometimes Beckett is a little impulsive because of her baggage from the past, and the romance angle has been heating up and that can be annoying. But I see her as a really interesting example of a fictional female charater in a leadership position. Also, as the male captain character was killed off last season, now there’s going to be a new captain character. And rumor says that it’s a woman. A totally female-led television police division? Be still, my heart!
Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager. This show isn’t actually airing this fall, but it recently became available on Netflix Instant View and I can’t stop watching it. (Stop laughing. I like Star Trek. What of it?) Captain Janeway is a stoic leader of a starship lost in the Delta quadrant. And she is amazing. She is an excellent leader in times of distress. She goes rogue a lot because she doesn’t have to answer directly to the Federation. According to the more expert Star Trek viewer in my household, Janeway breaks the Prime Directive more than any other Star Trek captain.
So, readers, how do you divide up your leisure time? What factors guide those decisions? Are there any compelling television show that take you away from your to-read pile? Is it okay to betray your books for the television on occasion? Bring your gray matter to the conversation and tell us about the Slatebreaking characters that are capturing your attention this TV season.