In New York last week, a good friend told me that she makes her choices about what to watch based on whether or not the show or movie features a strong woman. Which led us to a discussion about what media is out there right now celebrating women. So that’s the question posed to our Fierce Women this week. What books, mags, television shows, and movies do you flock to in order to get your dose of fierce women and what media makes you bolt? Today, we’ll talk television. Come back later this week for our take on movies, magazines, and books. – Rosie
Donna: I don’t really watch much—we put our TV upstairs so we have to make a real choice to go up and watch it, but have recently discovered Netflix on Demand and am able to keep up with some great shows this way. What I despise the most: reality tv for sooooo many reasons. First of all it isn’t “REALITY” to have a camera shoved in your face all the time. I think these shows thrive on pitting people (women especially) against each other in various competitions for the big prize: usually a date with some bachelor or washed up TV /movie/ rock star. My most hated reality TV show ever: The Swan. Ugh. Another show I cannot believe is still on daytime: Jerry Springer. Who is still watching this? Obviously someone must be, because it is always on at least one of the screens at my gym and is usually featuring girl fights of one kind or another over things and relationships unimaginable to most normal people. Why do people enjoy watching people fight like this? It makes me uncomfortable just to see it at the gym without the sound on.
Shows I like, currently on TV on the other hand: I do like Heroes for the fact that their ‘cheerleader’ although both cute and blonde, is very smart and a positive example of a teen on TV. Of course, I love Ugly Betty and this one is such a no brainer…we all have a Betty in us. Not only is the show produced by a Latina (Selma Hayak) but it also stars America Ferrera who has to work really hard to appear ‘ugly’ and Vanessa Williams who is both a woman of color and over 40—wahooo! And I love 30 Rock because Tina Fey’s character, Liz Lemmon, is real and vulnerable while being in charge; she makes mistakes and has to recover just like regular people do…although her recovery is probably much more funny than most. She is constantly playing with character stereotypes on the show and I love watching them play out. Brilliant TV.
Janine: I totally love Oxygen and Style Networks. They are completely FOR women and ABOUT women and to that I say, "It's about time!" I just saw a promo the other day for a new TV show on Oxygen promoting women over 35 who 'STILL HAVE IT' and are modeling--showing their natural beauty!!! Then there's TLC’s What Not To Wear--a TV show that helps boost women's self-esteem and self-image by beefing up their total appearance--new clothes, new hair, new look!! And I can't forget about How to Look Good Naked which features making over the 'everyday full-figured woman' helping her to feel more comfortable about her body by posing NUDE!! It seems so liberating! While I don't always celebrate some of the 'men-hating' themed shows on Lifetime Network, I love their positioning statement--the network for women! I love the fact they make no apologies for celebrating everything about WOMEN!! Crystal: My Cheers: The way the mothers (and families) are being portrayed on Friday Night Lights and Medium; watching the liberation of the women in Mad Men; Holly Hunter in Saving Grace; Kyra Sedgwick in The Closer; the character of Miranda Bailey on Grey's Anatomy (she's the only reason I watch the show). My Jeers: Reality shows where women use sex as a weapon or strategy; the way the women are portrayed in "Brothers & Sisters" (is it me or is this show starting to reek of "Dynasty"?); "Gossip Girls" and "The Hills"
Rosie: My addition on a cheers list would be Olivia on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
What current shows do you cheer and jeer for their portrayal of women?