I'll admit it, I'm in love.
Let's go back a bit. A few months ago, there was an Austin Real World. It sucked ass. One of the many reasons it sucked so much ass was that the Austin portrayed on it resembled the Austin in which I live in only the most vague terms. Another reason was that everyone on it was lame. Now, there is a new Austin-based reality show, Rollergirls.
And, having watched two episodes so far, I concur that Rollergirls is the bomb.
The show follows the players in Austin's locally grown Lonestar Roller Derby. It touches on their "real" lives (though so far not as much as I'd like), but is mainly focused on their involvement in roller derby and their matches, called "bouts." The show is over-the-top, resembling mockumentary as much as documentary, but it's in good fun and I'm an instant addict. So much so that I've already talked Mark into going to see a real bout in a couple of weeks.
As a feminist, there are lots of criticisms I could make about the show. There is definitely an oversexed element, woman-on-woman violence is par for the course, etc. But I'm not going to make them, because from what I see so far, the good outweighs the bad. The woman involved seem to honestly be having a good time, there is a comraderie in the sport along with the grudges and violence, and the league is player-owned and operated, which rocks. Also, I don't necessarily think women excercising some aggression for once is a bad thing. As for the sexiness part, it doesn't come off as demeaning, at least not to me. In part, this is likely because the women don't fit a narrow beauty stereotype. In part it's because it's not being forced on them from outside, at least not in any way I can see so far. They really honestly do seem to be doing it for themselves. I know that's what they always say, but in this case, I tentatively believe it.
My love for the show may wane as the season progresses--we'll see. For now, though, I am super jazzed about it. And if I could roller skate, I think I'd try out myself.