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ACE 2282 Chick Flicks and Strong Female Leads: Women and Storytelling from Hollywood to Netflix-ONLINE COURSE ONLY is a Course

ACE 2282 Chick Flicks and Strong Female Leads: Women and Storytelling from Hollywood to Netflix-ONLINE COURSE ONLY


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Full course description

Course overview

This course aims to take seriously popular female-centred Hollywood movies and television series, such as “chick flicks”, and to examine how, often, these film and TV series made for and marketed to women surpass their reputation as trivial or superficial. In such female-centred popular culture, there is often interesting dialogues happening with feminism, and these screen texts often crystallise the state of gender relations of the time. On the other hand, those films and shows that are celebrated for their innovation and feminism often fail feminismat a closer look. With close viewings of a wide range of female-centred US and UK films and television series, from Hollywood screwball comedies of the 1940s to the formative TV series Sex and The City, and more recent screen texts, we will explore how these conceptualise female desires and expectations for femininity, while considering the broader social context of gender politics from which these screen texts emerge. Participants will gain tools and perspectives for a critical appreciation of these texts as we address questions of pleasure, identification, feminist critique, questions of diversity, and the championing of feminism in the 2010s.

Course Schedule 

Classes will be delivered online on Wednesday 7-9pm for eight weeks from 2 February to 23 March.



Week 1: Chick flick beginnings – Hollywood melodramas and screwball comedies: Focus on His Girl Friday (1940)

Week 2: The chick flick heyday: Focus on My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

Week 3: Coming of Age films: Focus on Clueless (1995)

Week 4: Death of the rom-com: Isn’t It Romantic (2019)



Week 5: Working Women in TV: Focus on TheMary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)

Week 6: Female friendship and female spaces: Focus on Sex and the City (1998-2004)

Week 7: “Strong Female Lead” and the unlikeable heroine: Focus on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (2015-2019)

Week 8: Millennial Women: Focus on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (2017)

Course Lecturer

Dr. Marija Laugalyte holds a PhD from University College Cork, with a doctoral dissertation on feminism and contemporary female-centred US TV series. She has published on the series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and has taught film and screen media courses to undergraduates and postgraduates. She is currently a Research Assistant in The Keynes Centre, University College Cork.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at course commencement. 


Short courses are not assessed. Students will receive a UCC Certificate of Attendance upon completion.

Closing Date for Application

Monday 17 January

Contact Details for Further Information

Regina Sexton, Phone: 021-4904700, Email: