Sunday, November 22, 2015

Black Widow: Age of Me

When Scarlett Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live on May 2nd, 2015, the audience knew there had to be a Black Widow skit in store. Her faux movie trailer for a Black Widow movie was set up like a classic romantic comedy: Black Widow is a secretary at a fashion magazine in New York who is simultaneously battling her evil boss and seeking a true love. The "trailer" makes the claim that Marvel truly understands women by creating this new trope of female stereotypes.

This work of satire is clearly a parody of 27 Dresses and Devil Wears Prada due to the imitation of the plot and characters of both movies, but it isn't necessarily making fun of romantic comedies. The SNL skit is making a point about women heroes in popular movies. Marvel and DC just cannot seem to get women superheroes right; the movie interpretations of comic books seem to treat female superheroes not as they would treat Batman or Spider-man, but as super-sexualized sidekicks.

This parody, however, garnered huge media attention eleven days after its appearance on SNL due to DC's show Supergirl. Although Johansson's social commentary on female superheroes was released prior to the first look of Supergirl, it seemed as though Black Widow: Age of Me was a direct parody of the new television show.

Not only is Supergirl a secretary at a fashion magazine, but she is also very concerned with her love life. It seems as if the creators stole the soundtrack of 27 Dresses, and then added in an awkward male friend that thinks the only explanation for his rejection is that Supergirl must be homosexual. If the trailer wasn't released by CBS, I would have thought it was a parody as well. Sadly, Supergirl is, indeed, a real show.

Scarlett Johansson's statement about the portrayal of women heroes in movies and television shows might have reached Marvel, however. The new Netflix series Jessica Jones does not perpetuate the sexist representation of female superheroes and captures the same mood as the male superhero show Daredevil. Hopefully CBS will recreate Supergirl in the near future and focus on her super-strength instead of her love of clothes and men.


  1. It was interesting how you connected Scarlett Johansson's skit on SNL with the show supergirl and how the skit tries to highlight the wrongs and stereotypes the are present throughout this genre in pop culture.

  2. I really like how you analyzed multiple pieces of work that all portrayed women in a different light. You did a good job of analyzing the satirical strategies in the SNL skit. Great work!