May 09, 2005


Johanna’s presentation, filled with action figures, DVD’s, books was a thoroughly researched background and analysis of the hit T.V show Alias.

Johanna’s presentation focused mainly on the female character and protagonist Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner. According to Johanna, Sydney is a secret agent for an organization called the SDG. She is also an agent for the CIA; which makes her a double agent. Neither of these organizations knows that she is working for the other and feeding information back and forth between the two.

Earlier in the discussion Johanna discussed that Sydney wanted to try and quit her job as a SDG agent, but they said they would kill her if she did. She of course, want s to quit because she’s tired of living so many different lives and lies. She is actually a regular graduate student. However, her friends don’t know she’s an agent and she can’t tell them. The man she wants to have a relationship with, Michael Vaughn is technically her super (because she put him there) and she can’t have a relationship with him within the job. She is dealing with the fact that she can’t trust anyone. These internal and external struggles that the she has within herself and the people around her reminded of the La Femme Nakita series a few years back on USA. I discussed this series in response to Johanna’s reading.

I wrote that, Nikita's inability to develop relationships with anyone outside the center or even her struggle with her relationship with Michael her co-operative. It was intense and extreme, but more importantly it was a woman going through it not a man. However, she was strong, independent, intelligent and beautiful, but she still had absolutely no control over her own life and what she did with it.
I feel that Sydney has more control over the situation; however, the situations are very similar as far as trusting the people around them and even themselves.

Johanna discussed how the female characters within this series are all very strong, superior, and dominative. Including Sydney’s mother, who is very manipulative throughout the show. Her mother is a double agent also and actually married Sydney’s father in order to acquirer information and material from him. Also, Nadia, Sydney’s sister and future adversary is portrayed as being just as strong, smart, and capable as she is. Therefore, all of the women in this series are strong and not inferior to the men.

However, when Johanna discussed the book Alias compared to the television show, she expertly found the book to be more linear than the television show and also portrayed Sydney weaker then the men.
For, example in an excerpt she read from the book, Sydney’s womanly aspect weakens her in a sexual moment with a male agent. She then gets so caught up in the situation with the guy that she didn’t realize that they were bugged and he did, therefore presenting her as weak.

Johanna’s presentation was very informative and before listening to her I never knew anything about the series. I was familiar with Garner though. Still, I think this background information was very important and I think that she could also discuss how Sydney’s aliases are always very sexy and how she uses that to get the upper hand when she is under cover. She can then contrast that to the professional, intelligent atmosphere when she is in her suit along with the guys.

Posted by Denishia Salter at May 9, 2005 11:18 AM
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