Beyond bambole: Female Friendship in Italian Transnational Television


  • Rebecca Bauman


parole chiave:

Television, Girlhood, Friendship, Female Subjectivity


Recent television programming in Italy has begun to focus on the themes of female friendship and girlhood, moving from a long history of traditionally male-centered narratives towards stories that privilege female subjectivity. This article analyzes this recent trend by looking at three different programs: the HBO/Rai adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels L’amica geniale; the Netflix production Baby, based on the 2013 Rome teen prostitution scandal; and the web series SKAM Italia, based on the international series that originated in Norway. Despite their apparent distinctions in terms of target audiences, genre, and style, all three shows place the friendship between adolescent girls as their primary narrative concern. Through analyses of each series, we can see how these representations employ similar tropes in their depictions of girlhood and friendship, such as the mirroring and doubling of the female protagonists; the presence of the love triangle; the configuration of female friendship in relation to gay male characters; and the suggestion of potential lesbian desire. This article meditates on the possible motivations for this newfound focus on female subjectivity as a potential strategy for marketing Italian television worldwide.




come citare

Bauman, R. «Beyond Bambole: Female Friendship in Italian Transnational Television». Altrelettere, maggio 2022, doi:10.5903/al_uzh-63.