An executive at major entertainment company recently passed on my pitch for a television script. He stated he loved the comedy and my pitch, but that I should’ve hidden the fact that my lead character didn’t have her life together. His opinion made me look at how women are represented in media, and how I as a writer/blogger/screenwriter add to that. When you look at television shows like, “The big Bang Theory”, “Entourage”, ”How I Met Your Mother”, and pretty much most of the shows starring men who were apart of other insanely successful shows; for instance Kevin James and Matt LeBlanc have both recently found renewed success in their new tv roles. These shows and many more are male driven representations of sexuality, fatherhood, married life and work relationships, where the lead protagonists do not have their shit together.
All of these shows are well written/acted, funny in their own right, and feature common tropes about the bumbling father who after getting married, and having kids, all of a sudden has no idea how to raise their middle school aged-children…comedy ensues. Or the single group of guys partying their way around the globe and having an insane amount of amazing sex with some of the most beautiful women you’ve ever seen, but in all other aspects of their lives are unable to also get their shit together…comedy and hot sex scenes ensue. Then there are the nice guys who seemingly have their professional lives together, working for a museum, accounting firm etc, but cannot for the life of them find a woman to settle down with…hilarious dating scenarios, comedy, awkward sex scenes ensue.
These are of course just a few examples, and there are women centered television shows that have the same tropes in them, which are just as hilarious-if not more-than their male counterparts. Shows like ‘Two Broke Girls’ and ‘Insecure’ show women as hilarious, flawed, and complex. The women on these shows and included in the shows from the examples above add so much to the screen that they are literally changing the way women are viewed by not just men, but other women. Seeing smart, beautiful, female scientists on ‘The big Bang Theory’ makes me happy. Knowing the Issa Rae has shined a huge spotlight on black work relationships, love and sex in a funny and relatable way literally fills me with hope. Continue reading