The tiresome “fridging” trope deservedly dealt with some renewed backlash earlier this year when the Deadpool 2 celebrated Valentine’s Day by killing Wade Wilson’s girlfriend, all to motivate the antihero’s continuing crusade and character growth. Yet the storytelling device, which metaphorically puts women on ice, is nothing new. It regularly surfaces in comic-book stories (and their cinematic adaptations), which seem particularly vulnerable, as seen above with Gwen Stacy’s death scene in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — a scene that has been heavily scrutinized for its 2014 existence. In 2017, Catherynne M. Valente reacted to the trope by penning a novella called The Refrigerator Monologues, which is now in the adaptation-works as an Amazon Prime TV series called Deadtown.
The streaming service will dig into the superhero trade with the story about five female superheroes, and Shauna Cross, the writer behind 2009’s Whip-It (the roller-derby drama starring Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, and Drew Barrymore), is on the case. The Hollywood Reporter sums up the source material:
The Refrigerator Monologues centers on five women who die after crossing paths with male superheroes — or, rather, they’re “fridged,” killed as a plot device to offer motivation to the hero. The five meet in a purgatory called Deadtown and decide to reclaim control of their own stories, discovering their own powers in the process.
Female superheroes are suddenly all the rage. Soon enough, Captain Marvel will soar through space, possibly on her way to defeat Thanos, and the DCEU will present Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), which disregards the bad boyfriend while Harley and her raggedy band of villains and heroes embark on their own adventures. In addition, Sony’s planning an all-female spinoff in its Spider-Man universe.
From another angle, Amazon’s clearly moving in on the superhero business with Deadtown while Netlfix is slowly backing away, but as long as fridging is on the way to being fridged, there’s definitely a silver lining at hand.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)