Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Fall Feminine TV Schedule

Watching college football and the NFL has brought me in contact with promotional advertisements for the networks' new shows. These are terrible shows. Horrendous looking, cliché after cliché in the thirty second ads and almost always with a lady at the center of some wacky situation. It is terrible.

Selfie
There is a show called Selfie. Young hot chick who loves technology is the center of this show. She is uber connected to social media and will be the celluloid version of the #LookUpBitch type. I guess Mary Tyler Moore made it after all for her successors to be Faceborg zombies on the job.

Cristela
A woman in year six of law school has to balance her wacky family with the demands of making it in America. The networks are so desperate for Hispanic television shows that they sped this one to production, Per Grantland,

The story behind Cristela is almost better than the series itself. A year ago, up-and-coming Mexican American comedian Cristela Alonzo was asked to put together a “pilot presentation” for the suits at ABC. Not a full pilot, mind you. Just a few ideas as to what that pilot, should it eventually be ordered, might be. It was a courtesy and an investment, maybe, in the future.

That future came much sooner than anyone expected, Alonzo included. After delighting the network, the pilot presentation became a pilot, the budget for which was so small that it was actually shot on the set of another ABC show, Last Man Standing. The recycling worked: Cristela quite unexpectedly made ABC’s final schedule ahead of some higher-profile projects and names.


Do you know how hard it is to get a done deal? How long it takes? I have a friend in development hell because Lionsgate does not want to incur over 30% of production costs so they have to wait out for the proper tax breaks. Cristela has no kids, and mama wants her to settle down, but she is going to make it into that law firm.

Bad Judge
Oh yeah, legal comedy with some raunch from a lady. She's got attitude. She asks bailiffs to throw out pregnancy tests because 47 year olds are always getting pregnant, and she don't mind getting frisky in the judge's chambers. Ow! Honestly, Kate Walsh has great legs, which were always on display on Grey's Anatomy in pencil skirts. Walsh was also the real life inspiration for Christina Applegate's character in The Sweetest Thing. Walsh's judge is childless and unmarried, but then finds some inspiration in adopting the little black orphan.

How to Get Away With Murder
Shonda Rhimes' latest genius blacks doing smart people things and acting virtuous show. My guess is at this prestigious law school, there will be more black students than Asian or Hispanic students combined. Shonda has to dream doesn't she? My guess is she is childless and single.

Madam Secretary
"Okay, Isaac, put down the pastrami, remembah that show "Commander in Chief" that we used to try to prime people to vote for Hillary?"

"Oy vey, what a flop. We looked like schmucks."

"I got a bettah idea. How about Tea Leoni, right right, playing Secretary of State, right right, and she's supah hot and supah effective!"

"Gold, Avi, gold!"

This will be cancelled within a season because Tea Leoni cannot be in any successful television show.

The Mysteries of Laura
Soon to be single mom of twin boys is a lady cop. She also is so sexy to the men of NYC that they just can't stop complimenting her. Why are they on Seeking Arrangement??? Messing, weighing in at 90 lbs, plays a cop that will shoot the bad guy, and come home to hug her boys.

Looking at this stable of ladies, we have a bunch of single women working their jobs in a man's world while still trying to do something that resembles normal feminine roles: part time mom, part time daughter, part time wife. If this repetition sounds familiar, it's because it is old news. Here's a quote from Network, the fabulous film from 1976 that parodied television. About the upcoming fall line up:

Barbara: These are those four outlines submitted by Universal for an hour series. You needn't bother to read them; I'll tell them to you. The first one is set at a large Eastern law school, presumably Harvard. The series is irresistibly entitled "The New Lawyers." The running characters are a crusty-but-benign ex-Supreme Court justice, presumably Oliver Wendell Holmes by way of Dr. Zorba; there's a beautiful girl graduate student; and the local district attorney who is brilliant and sometimes cuts corners. The second one is called "The Amazon Squad." The running characters include a crusty-but-benign police lieutenant who's always getting heat from the commissioner; a hard-nosed, hard-drinking detective who thinks women belong in the kitchen; and the brilliant and beautiful young girl cop who's fighting the feminist battle on the force. Up next is another one of those investigative reporter shows. A crusty-but-benign managing editor who's always gett...


I love the stock crusty-but-benign older man archetype. It's the good grandfather role. They are gone from television today. You get the gist, though, this is the same schlock. Same story. Not quite.

Besides Selfie, most of the lead characters are older. Those fake shows from Network featured young women breaking into the patriarchy full of energy. What about these shows? The law student is in year six (so maybe age 28), the judge 40-ish, Secretary of State is over 40, Mysteries of Laura is over 40, and the legal genius professor will be over 40. No man in the picture for many of them, but they'll have romantic interests. Maybe they are frazzled by their lives, tired or jaded. Who does not have a social life? Who isn't watching sports? Who would be watching network television to zone out or even fantasize? A tired, frazzled and most likely lonely woman. Stare at the screen long and close enough, and you'll see your reflection.

8 comments:

peterike said...

And how many of these women are going to be shown in an inter-racial relationship, or at least going on a date with a black guy?

Answer: probably all of them. Except maybe the black woman.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Not sure if I should feel pity or embarrassment.

I want to respect the boomers. Women like my mom. I want to feel like they have some wisdom to offer. But I know she's going to eat these shows up.

Are people worse today? Or do the Boomers have a particular lack of self-awareness that allows them to indulge in these embarrassing entertainment products.

Toddy Cat said...

"Are people worse today? Or do the Boomers have a particular lack of self-awareness that allows them to indulge in these embarrassing entertainment products"

Yes.

Gunnar von Cowtown said...

I just saw this post tweeted by Mangan. Great summary.

My mother-in-law is in town visiting, and in a benevolent lapse of judgment, I gave her the remote. Thus, I caught the first episode of "The Mysteries of Laura". It was even worse than I ever imagined.

This show was “The Narrative” incarnate. Imagine Steve Sailer, Roissy and Vox Day getting together to write a parody of current network entertainment. The end result would be The Mysteries of Laura.
-The show opens with two white guys mugging a black guy
-Laura Diamond tazers the white guys
-The writers repeatedly shame men for being attracted to beauty
-Laura Diamond harshly blows off her Match.com-proxy date because he’s short
-The writers shame men for not joyfully going along with divorce rape
-Random moments of hilarity with the alpha-ex-husband
-Laura gets her groove back (with the help of her “magic negro” partner, of course) by setting a honey trap for a Ted Bundy-esque serial killer who preys on vulnerable divorcees
-The Ted Bundy-esque serial killer makes a few “cougar” and “lonely cat lady” jokes while he’s strangling our protagonist with her own scarf
-Laura Diamond fights back and knocks the aforementioned serial killer out, bare handed and without the benefit of super powers, even though he’s roughly 6’3″ with an athletic physique
-All of Laura Diamond’s buttkickin’ fight scenes are chock full of Schwarzeneggerian zingers that would make McBain blush

If this is all just an elaborate ruse/prank a la “Fake Salon Twitter”…. hat’s off.
If this is honestly what passes for entertainment these days… that’s absolutely terrifying.

nikcrit said...

If this is honestly what passes for entertainment these days… that’s absolutely terrifying.

I basically watch nothing but espn and local and national major-sports broadcasts, alongside occasional specials' and documentary-type stuff. But every now and then, when i do check into the world of modern scripted drama, i'm blown away by how absurd some of the content has become.
While still uninitiated, I recall being sort-of skeptical at alt-right white guy claims about modern tv at onestdv.com ------ then i watched this then-new show starring maya rudolph as some sort-of executive, in which she and her co-star, who played her chief asst. or something, just pussywhipped the white male staff, cuckolding their husbands and humiliating their office staff, etc.; i truly thought it was some sort-of deeper parody, but it wasn't played that way on face value or in any other way, i guess.
i truly hadn't noticed enough to pick up the hyper-feminist-p.c.-tv vibe, but it was shocking to take it in from the vantage point of looking for it, because it's there all right.

btw, i just watched a pair of two-to-three-minute promos and trailers of 'mysteries of laura,' and its absurdity truly is surreal.

Gunnar von Cowtown said...

nikcrit! I'm glad you referenced onestdv, because it was just killing me trying to remember why your handle sounded so familiar. I used to lurk there, but never commented.

Yeah, I remember my initial skepticism, too, but once you know what to look for, you see it everywhere. I vaguely remember the ads for that show with Mya Rudolph. It's a shame that it was just another propaganda tentacle, because I always really enjoyed her work on SNL.

Chris said...

I thought Black-ish was pretty good tbqh

Max said...

Hey, who's going to be a better consumer than a menopausal career woman with no kids, no husband and only a charge card to fill that empty hole?