If you had told me earlier this decade that I would end up struggling to remember all the wild and wicked shows made by and about women in the last 10 years – because there were so many – she shot Fleabag a look at the fourth wall in amazement. wide eyes. Of course there was no Fleabag at the time and little prospect that such a gloriously damaged and subversive character would get the keys to a whole TV series, let alone trigger a cascade of prizes for the writing and breaking of mold by creator Phoebe Waller. Bridge acting
Ten years ago, Hollywood was patting its back for making television the main art form of our time. But this new golden age of TV has largely limited its distribution of gold dust to heterosexual white men: charismatic anti-heroes like Tony Soprano, Don Draper and Walter White, created by famous and difficult film directors like David Chase, Matthew Weiner and Vince. Gilligan There was nothing in the air at the time that was something like Fleabag or shows like Russian Doll, Insecure, Unbelievable, Undone, Dickinson, Life, Shrill, PEN15, Killing Eve, Back to Life, Jane the Virgin, The Bisexual, The Morning Show, Better Things, The Black Lady Sketch Show, Catastrophe, GLOW, Transparent, Tuca & Bertie, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Wonderful Mrs. Maisel, The Act or Broad City. And this is just an incomplete list of the last 12 months of television.
In those days, it was possible to count the number of powerful showrunners on the network and cable with one hand. Shonda Rhimes ** joined ABC just as the network was at rock bottom. Tina Fey also released 30 Rock when NBC was fighting, and she satirized the machinations of network executives throughout the series, starting with the decision of fake NBC boss Jack Donaghy to make The Girlie Show, the comedy show within the series. , less girl to attract younger male viewers. (This was based on reality; years later, New Girl creator Liz Meriwether told me of meetings where network executives were asking for more male characters and "telling us we basically had to appeal to men.") Finally, there was Jenji Kohan, whose goal with Weeds was to create an anti-heroine female equivalent of Tony Soprano and Walter White, in the form of Mary-Louise Parker's soccer mom who became a drug dealer. The drama helped Showtime gain momentum against HBO's premium cable experimentation. However, when Kohan launched his next project for the network – a series about women in prison called Orange Is the New Black – he rejected it. The same thing happened with HBO.
Kohan arrived at Netflix, starting to develop original content. Orange – and its noisy variety of female characters – debuted in 2013 and played a crucial role in establishing the serpentine as a center for experimentation with the form of TV. Two years later, Jill Soloway's Transparent would also forge Amazon's reputation as a quality streamer by winning its first five Emmy Awards on the platform. (One of the statues was to Soloway as the excellent director of a comedy.) Soon the streamers flooded female subjectivity, serving adventurous dishes whose emotional and sexual cruelty had once been considered too challenging and abrasive for prime-time television – the risk of alienate this male from 18 to 35, as Jack Donaghy might have pointed out.
Some of these shows didn't last long (RIP, One Mississippi, Lady Dynamite, I Love Dick, and Tuca & Bertie). But it soon became clear that at this time of Peak TV's transition, with hundreds of programs competing for eyeballs, it actually made unexpected business sense to locate unusual perspectives that had been largely blocked in the creative arena – people of color, women, gays and voices. trans For a glorious moment, stability and massive ratings seemed less important than taking risks that would cut off white noise.
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