The above paragraph describes two films: The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1984 science fiction classic, and The Queen’s Gambit, a new series on Netflix. Both deal with an icy character who travels into the past to try and prevent things that will happen in the future. In The Terminator, Arnold, a robot called the T-1000, lands in 1980s America from the future to prevent the birth of John Connor, the man who would successfully wage battle on the approaching dystopia of rule by machines. In The Queen’s Gambit, the producers have created a fictitious mid-century America where a robot-like female chess prodigy named Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) annihilates the male opposition. The Queen’s Gambit is a feminist fantasy, with Beth a woman who forces Cold War America to become woke sooner than it is ready. An orphan who often seems more cyborg than human, Beth arrives in Mad Men America to decimate the patriarchy. She’s Arnold with a chess clock instead of a blaster.
I believe it is customary to refer to the movie as “belonging” to the director and not the star. James Cameron’s The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold played a Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 version of the robotic assassin. The T-1000 model was depicted in a later movie by another actor. Arnold used off the shelf firearms (one of the most famous scenes) or ones he took from the cops. There were no blasters.
When Sarah Connor in The Terminator is shown blowing orders and dropping plates as a waitress, we instantly like her, because we’ve all been there before.
Sarah doesn’t “blow orders” or drop plates that I recall, though there are some regular mishaps of working in a diner portrayed. I don’t think I ever really “liked” Sarah in the original, though I agree her character did grow and become more competent. I definitely didn’t like her in the sequels.
“Girl plays chess” TV show is not something I’m ever going to watch. I did sit through a movie about an African girl who played chess well enough to get noticed. Meh.
“Attractive girl plays chess naked” might get me to watch one episode. Or get me to fast forward to the naked part at least.