Witches, vampires, demons. They’re classics when it comes to TV, movies, or books. Classics make it so we know what happens and what story-lines need to be traversed, especially if there’s a human in the picture, as is often the problem. There’s the hiding of what they are, the discovery by the human, and the animalistic blood lust or want that the creatures can’t control. And A Discovery of Witches, well….they decided to say, “fuck that” and threw all those stereotypes out the window!
Diana knows that Matthew is a vampire, that she has powers, and what other creatures are out there in the world. Scratch out all the plots and stereotypes that most shows go for when creating supernatural content, and you’re left with new territory that many haven’t traveled into. That concept, that idea, is so damn exciting for a viewer like myself who consumes all the supernatural content she can.
We Need More Characters Like Diana Bishop
I’m not even going to waste time trying to be fancy with big and magical words describing how much I love Diana Bishop. It just is and I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon. I love every bit of her and can’t wait to watch more, read more, and spiral on the goodness that Deborah Harkness has created.
Diana doesn’t waste time. She jumps in, not head first, but after doing her research and understanding what she’s getting into. There is a power inside of her that she doesn’t care for. In fact, all she’s interested in is doing her work, being a professor, and getting her hands on beautiful books. And it’s refreshing AF.
To often when we have witches and vampires, it’s all sex, sex, sex. Yes, sex happens. Yes, it will probably happen between these two characters, but do I have to see it every single time when it comes to these otherworldly creatures? The answer is no. Diana is a teacher and a woman who would probably spend her evenings curled up in a huge jumper than hitting a club or somewhere as equally sexy, that TV thinks supernatural creatures hang out at.
Diana Bishop is relatable, comfortable in her body, and not the young and spunky 20 year old that we’ve been accustomed to seeing year after year. I’m looking at you Katniss Everdeen, Tris, and Hermione. Nothing against you ladies but I’m down for a 30+ woman who is still young enough to enjoy the wonders of the world but has a bit of knowledge in her back pocket. And that’s what Diana Bishop is.
Most importantly, and the part that makes me love Diana to the moon and back, she doesn’t diminish herself because of Matthew. She knows he’s powerful, that he’s a vampire, and guess what? She’s not backing down! Diana was raised by a pair of bad-ass women who helped mold her into this groundbreaking woman who doesn’t back down, learns, listens, and who feels just so…utterly human, despite all the witchy-ness in her life. And I love it.
Man’s Uncontrollable Hunger for Young Flesh
For as long as I can remember, when vampires enter the scene of a movie/book/tv show, there’s an insatiable hunger for the love interest of the opposite sex. This old, yet young looking, vampire can not control himself around the virgin beauty of his heart’s desire. It’s as if she’s a temptress that he can not resist or he’s an animal who can not be judged because his need is something natural.
Matthew and Diana had such a moment in the series premiere of A Discovery of Witches. And unlike the Edward Cullen’s of this world, he controlled himself. He knew his limits, what parts of him were animal, and he kept it to his damn self. Matthew didn’t excuse himself and let “nature” take its course. He took responsibility for himself and in turn made me like him more as a character.
This moment made me reflect on what we know about vampires, how they were born, and how they continue to have a presence in the media we consume. They’re a creation of a man’s perceived uncontrollable lust for women. Vampires are an excuse and an allegory of men’s continued violation of female bodies because they “can’t control themselves” and it’s “part of who they are.”
I’m glad to see that A Discovery of Witches is saying, “fuck you” to that stereotype. Diana shouldn’t and won’t suffer because Matthew can’t control his “animal instincts.” They are his and he will keep them reined in because consent is a beautiful thing that makes it all worthwhile. With this just being the beginning of the show, here’s hoping this trend continues throughout the 8 episodes of season 1 and inspires other creators/showrunners to treat their female characters BETTER and with the respect we DESERVE,
Women are sick, tired, and over men’s excuses for the violence that is perpetrated on us. And A Discovery of Witches knows that.
Listen to This Episode With Your Headphones On
Before A Discovery of Witches I had no idea who Matthew Goode was. I have a long history with Teresa Palmer, she’s why I was initially drawn to this show, and she’s been my queen for years. But Matthew? Nope. No idea who he was. And yes, I’ve never watched Leap Year and I thought he looked like a little shrimp in a suit during his introduction.
It all changed, every single feeling I have for him, because of one thing: I wore headphones. As a means of drowning out my Latinx family, who won’t shut up because it’s in their blood to be loud and proud, I put those bad boys on and hit play. Teresa was a God send and will always be with her beautiful eyes and no nonsense attitude when it came to Matthew. But Matthew…holy shit did he sound good in those headphones!
That scene in the library, I felt like he was talking to me. And boy, did I like it! Imagine, if I did, then what is Diana feeling?! Here’s this mysterious stranger who is warning her about the danger surrounding her while whispering to her in a library and complimenting her before that on her intellect and writing. In the words of The Fifth Element’s Ruby Rod, it’s, “hot, hot, HOTTT!”
I petition and beg all of you to watch episode one all over again with headphones on. You won’t regret it! Do it for Matthew, do it for Diana/Teresa, and do it for yourself. In a world that’s often a shit storm, we deserve something nice, fun, and incredibly sexy in our lives. And that sexy is Matthew Goode and his voice.
Favorite Moment from A Discovery of Witches 1×01:
Alex Kingston is literally glowing. YAS QUEEN!
A Discovery of Witches is available on Sundance Now and Shudder.