Paper Title

The not so Sweet Dee: A feminist analysis of Deandra Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

Hegemonic femininity, television, situation comedy, feminist media analysis

Abstract

The cult comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia features a gang of dysfunctional characters that own and operate an unsuccessful Irish pub in Philadelphia. The show’s only main female character goes by the endearing title of Sweet Dee. Using the feminist critique, this analysis explores the significance of her role, addressing the following questions: First, does her character conform to or deviate from hegemonic femininity? Second, how does her role operate within the show in general, and might it reflect perceptions of women—namely, the stereotype that women are not funny? The textual evidence will range from specific conversations between characters and isolated events to entire episodes that are significant to illustrating her role throughout the course of the show. Literature on hegemonic femininity and its portrayal in television, depictions of women in comedy, and perceptions of women working in the comedy industry provides a theoretical framework for this analysis. I argue that while Dee’s character, overall, deviates from hegemonic femininity, some of her qualities—such as her neediness, narcissism, materialism, and inability to be funny—reflect negative perceptions of women. Furthermore, the ways in which she fails to conform to feminine ideals are not admirable, but deplorable.

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Apr 2nd, 9:00 AM Apr 2nd, 10:15 AM

The not so Sweet Dee: A feminist analysis of Deandra Reynolds in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

The cult comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia features a gang of dysfunctional characters that own and operate an unsuccessful Irish pub in Philadelphia. The show’s only main female character goes by the endearing title of Sweet Dee. Using the feminist critique, this analysis explores the significance of her role, addressing the following questions: First, does her character conform to or deviate from hegemonic femininity? Second, how does her role operate within the show in general, and might it reflect perceptions of women—namely, the stereotype that women are not funny? The textual evidence will range from specific conversations between characters and isolated events to entire episodes that are significant to illustrating her role throughout the course of the show. Literature on hegemonic femininity and its portrayal in television, depictions of women in comedy, and perceptions of women working in the comedy industry provides a theoretical framework for this analysis. I argue that while Dee’s character, overall, deviates from hegemonic femininity, some of her qualities—such as her neediness, narcissism, materialism, and inability to be funny—reflect negative perceptions of women. Furthermore, the ways in which she fails to conform to feminine ideals are not admirable, but deplorable.