We're All Mad Here

We're All Mad Here: Crazy Ladies in <em>Batman: The Animated Series</em>

“We’re all mad here” might be the best description of almost all of the characters in Batman: The Animated Series, including the caped crusader himself. Most of the villains in Batman are super criminals with personal obsessions that drive their crime sprees well beyond the... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: <em>Sucker Punch</em> Tackles Abuse In Asylums

This post discusses abuse in asylums, including sexual assault. It discusses the history of lobotomies and describes (briefly) the procedure. It also contains spoilers for the movie Sucker Punch. I went to see Sucker Punch expecting a light piece of fluff that involved... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Mental Illness in YA Fiction

Young adult literature features a number of depictions of mentally ill characters, from authors who both bother to do their homework and take the time to present their work well and authors who don’t seem to feel that research and sensitivity are necessary. In YA especially, depictions of... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Case Studies in Pop Culture Therapy

“Crazy” people aren’t the only ones who are a bundle of stereotypes in popular media. We also see examples of therapists (including psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors) being presented in a very negative light. In the following examples, I highlight pop culture therapists who are... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Going to the Loony Bin: A Brief History of the Asylum

Despite documenting abuses in the institutional environment in a way that might seem like a condemnation of institutionalization, pop culture often makes a point... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Mental Illness and Celebrities

The hunger for celebrity gossip appears unslakable; there’s a reason paparazzi and gossip-mongers can always find employment in Los Angeles. Even in periods of... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: <em>Inception</em> & Dom Cobb's Crazy Lying Dead Wife

This post includes spoilers for Inception. It also discusses domestic violence. There are multiple interpretations of Inception, but for the basis of this discussion I’m going to take the movie at face value. The central story is about Dominic Cobb needing to come to terms... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Of Course We Should Dislike This Character! She's Crazy!

One consequence of this kind of character presentation is that audience members can experience a sense of “she deserved it” when something bad happens. Take, for example, the domestic violence depicted in the Schuester kitchen, where Will grabs Terri, shoves her aggressively against a counter, and... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Case Studies of "Crazy Bitches" in Cinema

This post includes spoilers for the movies Single White Female, The Craft, and Perfect Blue. These three movies have several things in common: The main point-of-view character in each one is what I’ve called “fake-out crazy.” Each one exhibits some sort of behavior... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Race, Gender, and Mental Illness in Pop Culture

Cast your mind back over the depictions of mental illness you’ve encountered most recently; there’s a chance many of them were women, from madwomen in the attic to crazy exes, and there’s a chance that at least some of them were people of color.... Read more »