Hello, my name is Emily Chambers, and I’m an accidental Misandrist. Oops, sorry, almost forgot the requisite gif.
But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a significant shift in the few remaining viewing habits I have. Below are the only shows left that I always make sure to watch (in weekly chronological order):
1.) Last Week Tonight
2.) The Leftovers
3.) Jane The Virgin
5.) Crazy Ex- Girlfriend
7.) How to Get Away With Murder
In addition to that being a whole lot of CW, it’s also astonishingly female led. With the exception of Last Week Tonight, the main characters on each show are either mostly women or split pretty evenly. I’ve accidentally given up on all of the shows where men are in their rightful place as the only important well developed characters like the God Lord and nature intended. How did I let this happen?
Well, for one, because each of the above shows keeps kicking ass in both the plot lines and the character development. We can argue about it all you’d like, but you’ll be hard pressed to find two characters more entertaining to watch than Patti Levin and Rogelio de la Vega. Rebecca Bunch and Annalise Keating are legitimate whack jobs, but I’m still rooting for both of them. And Liv Moore, in addition to having the best pun name in the history of pun names, is basically Veronica Mars but with super zombie powers. What about that isn’t appealing?
But the well developed plot lines are really only in service of displaying all of the ways that women can and do fuck up. Nora Durst has been broken by the Departure, but is forcing herself back into normalcy (with varying degrees of heartbreak). Despite my initial reservation, Crazy Ex- Girlfriend is nailing it both by skewering the societal pressures that would make Rebecca crazy and treating her current obsessiveness as the batshit insane distraction that it is. Jane Villanueva has to choose between two men she loves while dealing with being a new mother, and that’s in no way treated as insignificant. Rainbow Johnson is managing “having it all” while acknowledging that that means sometimes she misses somethings and sometimes she stresses herself too thin. What she’s not doing is beating herself up about not being that perfect supermom and surgeon. Annalise Keating. Just Annalise Keating. Viola Davis just being a successful, confident, self- hating, antihero badassing herself all over the place. Is it really not self- evident why people would love her? Do you really not understand?
That is true.
And it’s not that those are the only good shows on right now. I still try to catch The Grinder, The Goldbergs, and Fargo. It’s just that I’m not as excited about any of those. They’re good, but they’re not “can’t miss.” Which is actually the reason why diversity is important. It’s not about putting a woman in charge of a show she’s the only one who can tell that story. Or person of color on a show because it’s “fair.” It’s about finding creative ways to tell stories in a way that hasn’t been presented before. It’s an untapped market of stories that were deemed too unimportant to be told. And now it turns out they might be the best stories we’ve got.