There is this BBC show, it is called “The Fall” and it centers around two characters:
#1 – Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson
#2 – Paul Spector, played by Jamie Dornan
It is the tale of two obsessive, compulsive people on two different sides of the law. One is a police detective and the other a murder, and yes – you’ve heard this premise a million times before.
But you’ve never met Stella Gibson.
I’m a fan of crime drama, not all but a lot of them. I’m a fan of female characters, not all but a few I really love. And then there is Stella Gibson.
In every recess of entertainment – television, movies, novels, plays – I would like to see more “Stella Gibson” type characters. I would love to see someone so self-possessed and contained even the lowest of the low (and I’m talking about people who are a fan of slut shaming) can’t touch her. Well, maybe they do. Maybe they get to her, because after all, we’re all human and words hurt – but still, there is something magnificent about her.
She is beautiful, smart, sexy, confident, contained, brilliant, and caring.
The underlining theme of Man V. Woman is strung throughout in more ways than one – from sex, to death, to daily life. It is examined, dissected, discussed and thrown in your face. Basically, The Fall makes you think. The tension keeps you on your wit’s end and then you have this truth handed to you – because it really is a truth, no matter what people say or how they try to spin it.
At the end of series 2 there is a discussion between Stella and one of her officers – a man – and she’s says something along these lines, “When ask why men felt threatened by women, they say they’re afraid women may laugh at them. When women are asked why they felt threatened by men, they say they’re afraid they might kill them.”
The Fall is an excellent example of non-stereotypical characterization and I’m talking all of these characters. They are layered, have debt, and make you connect to them – even if it’s by making you hate them.
What type of characters do you wish there were more of?