POISON IVY AND THE MAGICAL AGE OF CONSENT
AMBER LOVE 21-SEPT-2016 Before you read on, consider donating to my expenses through Patreon.com/amberunmasked and buying my books, Thirteen Lessons Learned About Cam Girls and Cardiac Arrest: A Farrah Wethers Mystery.
MY NAME IS AMBER. I’M A GOTHAM FAN.
It might be a surprise that I’m a fan of TV’s GOTHAM set in the Batman universe with a teenage Bruce Wayne before he dons cape and cowl. The show has had a lot of problems as far as character development, writing, directing, and “fridging” or at least writing off female characters. Nonetheless, there are some parts of the show I have always loved, namely Fish Mooney, who was gone but has returned, and the Penguin. This Penguin has been the only iteration of the character that I liked. Danny Devito, though he performed well, didn’t make me love the Penguin. Robin Lord Taylor however, has had me since day one. I was so taken with him that he was the subject of last year’s pumpkin carving.
AGING POISON IVY IN SEASON 3
Besides Fish and Penguin, I didn’t feel too attached to anyone else. Cat is a strong third, but for a while it seemed they forgot about her. Poison Ivy barely made a mark. The character had a tremendous amount of potential in what they set up. She was shy, but determined; she was loyal to Cat and wanted to be like her; despite being only a year younger, she always came off very young, inexperienced, and naive. She came from an abusive household that was poorer than dirt poor.
So they had this tragic character who had motivation: to make her life better by escaping her situation. She hung out with other street urchins, but we never got to see Ivy do anything. She was a prop that viewers got to feel sorry for.
Then news broke on The Hollywood Reporter that the show was casting a new actor in the role of Ivy and why. Clare Foley is gone and Maggie Geha is in, though fans at least get to bid farewell to Foley’s Ivy in S3E1. Every nerd site has weighed in on the situation including The Mary Sue which has multiple entries on the new Ivy. Originally there was some kind of promise to viewers that the young teens would not be sexualized. Yet, producer Ken Woodruff, can’t seem to figure out what to do with teenagers. If he can’t have them sexy, what else is there?
Answer: A LOT.
At this point it’s not that fans aren’t getting their way. We welcomed the new younger versions! If Poison Ivy can be YA appropriate in WB’s THE BATMAN cartoon, or in the new DC SUPER HERO GIRLS product line of animation, toys, and costumes, and non-WB properties like SKY HIGH can all show a nature themed teenage girl with superpowers, then why can’t the GOTHAM writers? There’s even a non-sexualized kids’ costume available because of the DC SUPER HERO GIRLS line, much to my surprise.
The fact that they can’t come up with anything other than sex for female characters and power-business tycoon for young master Bruce, is a flaming ball of sexism. They even tried having Bruce seduced by another young power hungry teen who was part of the evil family of evil, Silver St. Cloud. Their idea of a story there was to prove Bruce was too smart to fall victim to feminine wiles. At age 14 or 15!
I remember 14 and 15 and 16. I remember wanting to be all grown up and look like Playboy models and have a life filled with romance and action. The fantasies inside our hormone raging heads is not the same as a good plot for teen characters especially in “magical realism” themed stories. These are not THE HUNGER GAMES where the kids have to grow up fast because they need to save the world. An adorable and innocent romance for young Bruce would be great. It was even heading in that direction with Cat when they stopped it abruptly.
Here’s where Ivy’s controversy comes in: she’s going to be a sex pot, barely legal teen, probably for a still young Bruce Wayne. The plot showed at the end of Season 3, episode 1, Ivy was grazed by a man with the power to age anyone he touches as she fell into a sewer of raging water. She’ll emerge no longer 14 and instead 19 and already in control of all her floral superpowers. Without any real time to develop as a human being, as a young woman gaining life experience, this new Ivy will be a pheromone laden, sexualized vixen out to seduce anyone including jailbait Bruce.
Other uber nerds have already criticized the characters greatly for the differences between who they knew in previous incarnations and what Gotham’s versions are. I’m particularly like that about Alfred who I dislike tremendously on this show. He rarely behaves as I expect Alfred Pennyworth to behave. No one knew what to make of Barbara Keene since, through her name, it seemed she would be tied into Batgirl or Batwoman somehow, but instead they essentially made her a non-clowned version of Harley Quinn. With that distinction that TV Gotham is not the same version as any other Gotham, I am trying to not be annoyed at something actor Maggie Geha (the new Ivy) said:
I think Ivy, in my opinion, doesn’t really feel sexual about anybody. I think if she notices, ‘this person is attracted to me, finds me appealing in a sexual way, I’m going to use that to my benefit.’
This tells me that she thinks Poison Ivy is asexual which is a completely different character than the Ivy in the cartoons and comics. She’s allowed to be different, but I’m allowed to be a bit annoyed by it. They’re saying the new “darkness” of the character brings her closer to her comic book version. First off, the comic version is capable of love and is in a relationship with Harley. Second, the show has always been dark and gritty in tone and quite bloody at times. They were the ones that chose to make a YA show that was about dark and gritty characters whose comic book counterparts are sexual and violent as adults.
According to TVGuide’s interview with Geha, this immaturity and creep factor theory rings true with another quote:
The younger Ivy isn’t completely gone though. Geha explains that even though Ivy looks different, her younger self is still a conscious part of her. “I think that little Ivy is sort of relishing in the physical transformation and realizing all the power that she now has with this change, and what she can do to people,” she says. “She’s definitely transforming into a darker version of herself.”
The writers and producers specifically are making Ivy barely legal 19 so people feel less skeeved out by finding her attractive and using sex as a weapon. It’s still pervy if they end up having her hit on 15-year-old Bruce Wayne. Geha is really 28. This means the character Ivy is still, in her mind and life experiences, a 14-year-old naive girl looking to impress people while in the body of a 28-year-old.
Anyone remember enjoying Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Perkins in BIG and then going back and thinking, “WTF?!” Yeah, that.