Mom Don’t Do That, a Netflix comedy series, is an adaption from Chen Ming-Ming’s novel My Mom’s Cross Cultural Marriage. The story revolves around the lives of a Taiwanese widow and her daughters, especially on their love and dating. The mother’s quest for remarriage after her husband’s death is often rebuked by her daughters as whimsical and overdone. Ageing, gender (relations) and generations as major serious topics are coated by hilarious episodes, dirty jokes, and savage attacks. This paper explores this TV series mainly with Ming-Li Chen’s studies on ageing and gender in Taiwan. While several female elder characters in this drama gain more agency, as Chen argues, in constructing a vibrant, plentiful lives in comparison to their male counterparts who lose their younger glory and retreat into their inward world, I focus on the complication of femininity that lingers through different generations. I argue that women’s concern of relations and intimacies since their young ages may enable a bold adventure in love/life that is both emotionally and economically savvy. Freedom of emotional expression, shown by the protagonist mother’s family, is a privilege endowed for Taiwanese women in the 21st century that not only broaden their possibility in life but win the love from men who oftentimes lacks and aspires for such emotional nourishment/direction in their private lives. Therefore, Mom Don’t Do That shows an elder woman may not be more ignorant than a younger generation, and women’s pursuit for love or marriage could be more empowering than weakening.
Kaochen Liao, Fo Guang University, Taiwan
About the Presenter(s)
Kaochen Liao is current the associate professor of department of Foreign Languages and Cultures in Fo Guang University in Taiwan. Liao’s research focus is on drama, contemporary British literature, late capitalism, gender, and transgender studies.
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