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5 Shows After Dark: Yeah, She's Great, But She Needs Plastic Dishes

By Genevieve Burgess | Miscellaneous | July 8, 2012 | Comments ()


"The Skinny" on Logo at 8:00pm ET. This is a movie exploring issues in the LGBTQ community and how those issues specifically affect different races within the community.

"Big Ang" on VH1 at 9:00pm ET. Series premiere. This is a spin off from the "Mob Wives" series featuring a woman who looks and sounds like Harvey Fierstein doing his best "loud Italian woman" impression.

"Inspector Lewis" on PBS at 9:00pm ET. Fifth season premiere.

"True Blood" on HBO at 9:00pm ET.

"The Newsroom" on HBO at 10:00pm ET. I've been reading the recaps of this as I don't have HBO and understand that they're playing with one of my least favorite TV and movie tropes, the smart ambitious woman that is so clumsy she's just constantly knocking shit over. I get it that there are genuinely clumsy women out there, and some of them are smart and ambitious, but it's one of those character traits that somehow never seems to turn up on similar male characters. You'd never have someone like Jed Bartlet mapping out a great idea only to punctuate the speech by whapping his hand into his coffee mug, sending the contents flying across the desk as he scrambles to right the cup and clean up the spill. It feels more like a way to take the teeth out of a character than anything else.

Genevieve Burgess hates summer television just as much as it hates her.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • lowercase_ryan

    The shit with the email sent to everyone was so obvious and ridiculous it was gd painful to watch. I'm hoping that now that we know what happened with Will and Mac that type of stunt will be avoided in the future. And I hope that it is because I looooove progressive, do the right thing for the person next to you, build a community of smart folks, the world can be beautiful if we make it, cause people are inherently good dammit sappy porn. It makes my world outlook less bleak.

    The thing is, I believe both of Will's monologues so far (his breakdown and his dismantling of the current state of news in America) to be accurate. I hate the fact that I know these statements will be summarily dismissed by wide swaths of America who will undoubtedly label them liberal, socialist, etcetera, without even hearing whats being said.

    I'm ending this mid thought because I had more but I need more coffee and bleh whatever

  • Bunnyfish

    I don't understand why there was this elaborate rant about news (public interest) obligations from licensing from a cable news show. Am I missing something? Does cable have public interest obligations? During Jeff Daniels rantings about how news should be (not as endearing as Sam Waterson's drunken shouts), I thought "Wait, we have that!" It is called Newshour (or MacNeil/Lehrer for the old folks). Granted, I just watch it to ogle Hari Sreenivasan, but I am pretty sure they have the in depth news and aim to educate the electorate without pandering to partisan politics. Maybe Sorkin doesn't watch public television?

  • Pentadactyl

    He made a connection to the cable show they're doing by saying network news was forced to compete against them.

    Another watcher of PBS Newshour here and I keep thinking that too. I've made up a few reasons in my mind, but it'd be nice to have it addressed in show.

    The reasons I've thought up are

    (1) He says that they're outnumbered and he's just joining their side.

    (2) There's a undercurrent of trying to reform not just one show, but the entire business. That's why the stuff about Don and Elliot's show that follows them and if/how they should follow suite.

    (3) Much more confrontational. Especially in last week's episode. Can be a plus or a minus. I like variety. I like the calm, friendly discussions of Newshour, but I still like getting the rhetoric and insults elsewhere. He mentions specifically that he will not try to hid his own views. A little difficult to explain b/c I agree w/ the show that there aren't too any good examples of this out there now.

  • Me

    Josh Lyman was pretty all over the place physically.

  • Lbeees

    LOVED this episode of Newsroom.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Ok, in medias ras, [SPOILER ALERTS?] I'm going to say that RE: Newsroom - I don't like the way Mackenzie is handling Will's dating, and the apologetic opening....well, if I saw such a thing in real life, I would have a very cynical response to a news anchor saying he was no longer going to produce shit, but honest to goodness worthwhile news.

    Also, it would blow my mind if someone would actually report on the Tea Party the way the show is having it done, but of course Sorkin is trying to Trojan Horse "the truth" via a "Republican".

    Also, GB, since they just gave Alison Pill's character a panic attack that she was rescued from by a guy....I'm with you. Annoying.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Hey! Newsroom anachronism. Inception wasn't out in May 2010. I remember because it opened my bday weekend.

  • Matt C.

    The date he made that reference on was November 2, 2010 (Election Night).

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Then my comprehension was comprised by Tom Collinses. They jumped 6 months in one episode?!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Jane Fonda not super convincing! AAAAGH. He tried to create a female badass but I'm not buying it. Though I love drunk Sam Waterston. Not just because I've been drinking. And "I wish your face would stay still so I could punch it" is a great line.

    I'm done now. For reals.

  • Hector

    The only character to have done a full-on pratfall physical comedy bit in The Newsroom so far was a man.

  • Steve Ward

    Not to become a Newsroom apologist two episodes in, but John Gallagher Jr's character of the smart and ambitious Jim Harper clumsily tripped over luggage twice in his first scene, hurting "everything" in his body.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    That's true, but that's one fall out of all the guys versus the near constant flailing of two prominent female characters, one who's supposed to be a seasoned war reporter. Between that and the prominence of this "quirk" in many other female characters in television and film, it's hard not to see it as a way to undermine the competency of the character.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    Let me offer another possibility: I think making a character(s) a klutz in this show is not designed to undermine the character's other attributes, I think it's designed as a shorthand for an idealist (another such shorthand is to make an idealist a drunk). What is an idealist? Someone who's not entirely "grounded" and a way to depict that is to have a person who's not entirely adept in the physical world. Someone who is not paying attention to physical surroundings because he/she is daydreaming, for lack of a better word (It's early, I need coffee). Mackenzie is very clearly an idealist in the way she wants to direct programming, so I think this analysis holds up -- this trait certainly might not in other contexts, but I think it does so here. Plus, I think it's a little early to tar and feather Sorkin: when I think of great female roles, Alison Janey/C.J. Cregg immediately comes to mind. Sorkin has enough street cred in my book that the show deserves room to grow. And full disclosure: I am damn klutzy.

  • Steve Ward

    Honestly, I personally haven't been keeping tabs on the trope, but Jim's pratfall was particularly amusing and memorable. I'm sure I'll notice it more from here out on this show. But you've just been reading recaps, right? I think our views are equally blurred by "self-centered white male being oblivious to sexist trope"-ness and "basing opinion on opinion, rather than personal knowledge"-ness.

    Anyway, watching ep 3 now. Critics seems to be fairly ambivalent to the show as a whole thus far, but I'm enjoying it. A fair bit, actually. I'd be curious to read your reactions to the show if you check it out, Genevieve.

  • smart. ambitious. woman. pick one. amirite? wakawakawaka

  • Sara_Tonin00

    well, for TV - pick 2. But 2 max.

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