Why do we love Maria|
1) Beauty- Maria
3) Life- Maria, do you see a pattern building?
I love her personality and they way she just is.I personally think that Liz is kinda boring. because she's a lot like me. Kinda spunky. Spunky monkey. she's got more life in her and she so energetic. It seems like she has more fun.
Here is a explanation from one of the original members of how the Maria fan group Teflon Babes came to be.
Well Teflon Babes started around November of 2000 I believe. We all noticed that each of the charicters had a shipping group so we decided that it would be cool to have a fan base for just Maria. Alot of us also happen to be Pixies though. But anyway, we began a poll on what names we would like, there were quite a few, Teflons, Hurricanes, Aquabra Squad. But someone added Babes to Teflons to become Teflon Babes.
We also wanted to be a little origional from the other fan groups out there, so we came up with special Teflon names as well as Pixie names as well as reasons we support the group!
well, groupies (alex & maria) have been a small but dedicated group for as long as I've been using FF. Groupie Love started most likely after "Blind Date" (at least that is where the name came from). It was pretty much started because we felt that Alex and Maria were perfect together. Alex knew her better then Michael ever would and Maria knew the same about Alex.
Here is an essay about Maria.
How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria By S.T. Shimi
Summary: From GirlPower to Girl, Disempowered-The Erosion of Maria DeLuca's character on Roswell
Author's Notes: Thanks: Writers on TheThirdKind for helpful and pointed suggestions. Recommendations: Read 'Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Sceince Fiction and Fantasy Television', edited by Elyce Rae Helford
She Is A Little Strange
Maria Deluca, as played by Majandra Delfino, is a successful breakout character on the GenX Sci-fi show "Roswell". She started out suspicious and shrill, and quickly became an entertaining character in her own right. In this piece, I suggest that despite her lip-service to assertiveness and individuality, Maria DeLuca has moved from being a strong girlfriend to becoming the mouthpiece for the insidious message that living through your man is character in itself.
Everything Gets Put Through The Maria Filter-
There are very few instances of the fully-realized sidekick on TV. The sidekick is there to play off the main character and be a major contrast ( Karen and Jack on "Will and Grace", Daphne and Roz on "Frasier", every sit-com's lead character's best friends) both in fashion and approaches to life's problems.
Liz Parker is thoughtful and demure, Maria DeLuca is brash and colorful. One has a stable family, one does not. Even sidekick romances are different when they are allowed to have them. Liz's is sweet and deep, and Maria's was filled with sexy banter and flip asides to mask a deepening relationship.
Last season, Maria's "wackiness" ( aromatherapy, reflexive suspicion and paranoia...well justified since she was actually the one who cottoned on to Topolsky and the Alien Hunters, ever-changing outfits and hair-dos) enlivened the enigmatic and self-conscious atmosphere of Roswell. Jumping into a physical relationship with Michael was the kind of impulsive thing she would do, and she made her feelings clear ("I'm no Pollyanna... I don't know what we have", etc).
Since "Crazy" however a whole new Maria has emerged. This one stands by her "man" no matter what- his skipping out of town after she saved his butt in Independence Day, incurring her mothers wrath; his lying to her about his true motives in going steady with her; his verbal abuse of her, ("our stupid relationship," making fun of her body in TLV) his inability to tell her about his past ( "Independence Day") and finally when for a variety of reasons he discontinues the relationship. This one has an improbable, impractical bouffant 'do ( thanks to patently false extensions), sexpot skirts and a constant inability to take her own advice about how to deal with a breakup. This "new" Maria, I suggest is the "true" Maria, who isn't anywhere near as strong or interesting as an individual.
The Stereotype Of Quirky
Quirky, on this show and many others, has been reduced to a visual shorthand. A never-ending array of outfits that tend to ignore the actual economic circumstances of the character, a single habit (oil sniffing) that signals "free-spirited" tendencies without the politics to back it up. In "Into the Woods," Maria tells Liz that they have to live their lives beyond men who don't want to commit. She teases the (male) viewers with the possibility of a lesbian come-on and shows Liz a removable belly ring, a push-up bra and a pack of lies to entice their men, thus making a mockery out of the self-sufficient girl-power that she and her single mother are supposed to live by. On this show, even do-me feminism is apparently no substitute for a boy who can really kiss.
Maria lives with a single parent who works very hard and in fact gave up a promising relationship ("Independence Day") partly to discourage her from pinning her hopes on a distant, if sexy, young man. Amy DeLuca's political activism is made fun of- the Sheriff once arrested her because she was "cute", at a rally to save a Native American site ("Heatwave"). The sheriff is able to counter her arguments for the protest and she has no intelligent answer in return-- the stereotype of the shrill, reflexive leftist. The next two times we see Amy, she requires Michael's aid to save her wrestling scheme ("The Convention") and she is baking pies to pay the bills.
The Breakout Romance
Michael and Maria's Benedick and Beatrice-like romance starts out as unlikely; two characters who don't even register on each others radar until forced to. They move quickly from making out to falling out as befits their sidekick status, in contrast to Liz and Max's steadfast romance. The intensity, heat and liveliness the two actors brought to their roles probably made more of the relationship than I suspect the writers intended to.
The (De)volution Of Her Character
The shift in Maria's character actually starts in "Into the Woods". Up until "Toy House," she is on good ground, rebuking Michael for his insensitivity to her feelings, without demanding an out-and-out commitment and standing up to his churlishness ("You need massive doses of therapy, like, immediately!") She is able to sense his "vibes," a like-minded loner (except for his one friend and his sister) who over-plays his individuality in lieu of true connection.
In ITW, she concocts a "wacky" but retrograde plan to make him "jealous" by augmenting herself temporarily and making up a fantasy life. Notably he doesn't buy it. Also of note is that this is the first time and only time we see Maria with a guitar which she never plays. In subsequent episodes she becomes more desperate for his attention. She lies about seeing "visions," knowing how much his quest means to him and how hard he finds it to trust people and turns her failure back on him. In a sweet scene, she does apologize and learns that he did see inside her but the subject is then dropped and we never learn if he in turn opens to her. After "Sexual Healing," Pod-Maria emerges. She clings to Michael, takes his side over the others, and does not appear to have a life beyond maintaining the "relationship," replete with cheap advice on how he should behave. In "Blind Date," she tries to assert her individuality with Alex's band (forcing them to sing cover songs... very individual) but chokes at a crucial moment. She cries out "Who did I think I was?" in reference to her wardrobe and her singing. No one answers those questions in this episode or any other. She rallies to help her friend but it is notable that we never hear of Maria's musical ambitions again. She goes back to working at the Crashdown and worrying about Michael, and her hair becomes limp and nondescript.
Is "Spunk" A Facade For "Deeply Wounded And Vulnerable" ?
We know Maria has spent much of her young life without her father. It is barely alluded to several times (Liz shows spectacular insensitivity in bribing her to attend a Father-Child camping trip with her) and is clearly the cause of her parroted distrust of men and probably of her reliance on canned tricks to keep her man's attention ( most likely from watching her mother)-- another stereotype of the feminist who distrusts men because they "done her wrong". Her strongest female role-model is Grandmother Claudia, who dies promptly soon after appearing on-screen in "Leaving Normal." It is dispiriting however that the writers have chosen to have Maria pay lip-service to the idea of self-reliance, instead of having her prove that being strong ("Liz: Spending time with your mother again?") is the best revenge against absent men.
Much has been made in on-line discussions of Maria's strength and assertiveness in constantly braving rejection from Michael. Does this not show a strength of character on her part? It can certainly be read that way. Michael makes his position clear at the end of "Toy House," declaring that he is a "stonewall" and is not interested in human frailty. Maria can then be seen as a proactive young woman who is willing to see past his bravado. She calls him, she doesn't wait for him to call her ("Skin and Bones"). She forces her mother to spring him from prison ("Independence Day"). She demands to deal with their fights face-on ("Sexual Healing"). She confronts him fiercely at the end of "Destiny," although she is rendered speechless by his possible declaration of love. She approaches him at the end of "Skin and Bones" and puts her heart on the line by telling him she misses him.
Maria is full of advice on how to deal with men and relationships. Yet she never takes her own advice. When Max points out that she has been calling Michael constantly in "Skin and Bones" she says: "What's your point?" When she says " I'm Teflon, babe....when Michael starts acting like a jerk, I just walk away" ("The Balance"), the line is delivered with a break in her voice and wounded eyes, clearly contradicting her strong stance against emotionally abusive couple-dom. Does this make her self-aware and complex, or simply foolish? Is it really expecting too much that teen feminism can exist on television without being undermined by a need to "have a relationship"?
What turns me off is that the net result of Maria mouthing feminist platitudes while clearly being unable to break out of her co-dependency sends the message: Feminism is just a joke, all women really want is a relationship, and no young girl really believes in "girl power" because it's just not attractive and viable as a philosophy. So much for The Third Wave of feminism.
The Fetishizing Of A Dead-End Romance
It is clear that Michael cares about Maria, albeit unwillingly. It is also clear that for her own safety/his piece of mind, he wants to pull away. Yet Maria continues to cling to the hope that he will return to her , a strong contrast to the Maria who in "The Balance" is very clear-eyed about the troubled path of her relationship with Michael. She never gets the chance to conclusively confront him or Isabel for keeping things from her in "Four-Square," settling for a tepid apology instead. In "Crazy" her "apology" to him for pressuring him to conform to a kind of relationship that isn't suited to them consists of saying that there are too many other things going on, not that her impulse to "tame" him was unrealistic and unfair. She also betrays him to the others as they head out to Buckley Point, a trip he did not want her to take to begin with. Her action, while borne out of her feelings for him ( Michael :"I have been waiting for this all my life!" Maria: "And so have I!") have grave consequences- they lose the Orb, they miss their rendezvous with Topolsky and Max crosses a line with Michael ( made all the more shocking by what we know of Michael's past from "Independence Day")
The many fanfictions and threads devoted to their relationship have largely sanctified her grim devotion to their relationship. The girl who started out wise about what she was getting into has become a woman who wants to stick it out no matter what. At some point, what became a reluctant and deepening romance has turned into a single-minded pursuit.
Over the summer, Liz has left town and wisely chosen a new job. Maria has grown extensions, a neutered relationship with Max and calls Michael constantly. She tells him in Skin and Bones that many movies are about soldiers with "chicks" waiting for them- in contrast to "River Dog" where she calls him on his boorish comment about her and Isabel, and rendering her preceding come-on line ("I hear ex-cons are better in bed") pathetic rather than sassy.
"What's Your Point?"
The Maria I liked in early Roswell was a ditzy philosopher who was smarter than she was given credit for ( again, sassing out Topolsky, sensing the pitfalls ahead in getting involved with alien men, cottoning on to Liz's secret etc). Her sartorial experimentations were not just about sexual expression. Her relationship with Michael had zingy give-and-take. He was clearly attracted to and irritated by her spiky determination. She was capable of having heart-to-hearts with Liz. She stood up to Sheriff Valenti and Isabel, despite her palpable fear of them ("Monsters").The Maria I now see has a worried expression on her face, hardly speaks ( even when openly insulted by Tess) and allows herself to become human scenery to the alien drama.
According to on-line speculation, Maria's father may be returning ( a plot-line the writers dismissed as a possibility last season), and there may be a change in her biological status. It is way to early to take any of this at face value, but the chance is there for Maria to develop into a fully realized character who can handle her problems on her own. My concern is that she will once again look to Michael to rescue her, even though he will be embroiled in romantic/action-based drama of his own.
My conclusion at this point is that who we knew as "spunky" Maria was merely the writers' cover for the story they really intended to write- that of a young woman who is so afraid of being alone that she is willing to subjugate her personality, protests to the contrary, for her heterosexual security. Her story on "Roswell" is now synonymous with the care and feeding of her love for Michael. The line has been crossed, for me, from quirky and complex to platitude-mouthing doormat. Her wardrobe in "Skin and Bones" only served to marginalize her. Shows like Xena and Buffy took their time to develop their sidekicks (Gabrielle, Willow) into full strong characters.
Roswell may not have the luxury of that time.
Oct 8, 2000
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