Emily Nussbaum‘s latest NY Mag piece definitively declares the upcoming Fall TV slate to be the season of “The She-Runner”. A new ruling class of female Show runners, writers and actresses, spreading the big, bad female agenda on TV’s nation-wide. Rawr.
Nussbaum writes that all of the Major Networks’ new comedy pilots are, mostly, helmed by females and star a fresh sort of female lead. They each, in one way or another, present a more “hard-edged” woman. Gone are the days of the dough-eyed dork (although the sole exception, and Nussbaum acknowledges it, is New Girls and happens to star just that in its’ lead Zooey Deschanel). What’s “exciting” is how this crop breaks free from former wimpy female leads of the past and instead depicts a grittier breed. Here we have the modern woman. More willing to declare her opinion. Move over Betty Draper, it’s Peggy-on-steroids time.
And my reaction? Meh.
But, I’ll probably give them all a chance. I’m a fan of a lot of these female writers. Especially, New Girl scribe, Liz Meriwether. I also highly recommend Molly Mclear’s blog (she’s joined the writing room for 2 Broke Girls). I’m just really hoping these trailers are the worst of what’s to come and that we can expect more than these one-note, “unconventional” female leads.
However, I will say, I’m thrilled to hear Nussbaum enjoyed Girls. Lena Dunham‘s HBO series is something I’ve been looking forward to, anxiously, since renting Tiny Furniture months ago. But calling it the “Great Lady Hope of HBO” might be a tad pre-mature.
I recently read a witty review on the premiere episode of the American spin-off for the series, Skins. In the mostly spot-on review, it was made clear that one of the most charming, and more importantly, authentic characteristics of the high school set show is the use of age-appropriate actors and actresses. The show uses teens to play teens. Seems simple enough. Until the article lists, with no shame, the true ages of many actors and actresses playing teen-aged characters.
I’d be naive to presume adults weren’t hired for teenage roles. 20-somethings frequently play confused 16 year olds (see: every (!?) show on the CW). And sometimes that adult can really create something special with the character, regardless of their real-life familiarity with parachute pants.
But, it does say something, or at least surprises me to learn, when I watch a show on ABC Family about 16 year olds, I’m actually watching someone twice the age of her character. Am I duped by their skills or am I suspending my disbelief because it’s a silly television show? Do I prefer the glitz of someone pretty or the authenticity of someone true to their age?
It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely something to consider…