You may (read: should) have heard about the new four-part series of Gilmore Girls, coming out on Netflix on the 25th November, and may even (read: should definitely) be excited about its release. Gilmore Girls won the hearts of the world in its autumnal charm, set in the picturesque nowhere-land of Stars Hollow, with lovable characters and easygoing story lines. But what viewers loved more was the razor-sharp wit and ridiculously quick chatterings of Lorelai and Rory. Here was a comedy-drama series led by two different but intelligent women, with a supporting cast of even more different and intelligent women: Sookie, Lane, Emily, Paris… The list goes on. Whilst the show did pander to some stereotypes – for example, Mrs Kim, the strict Asian parent – but it often explored these stereotypes, and gave the characters a voice. Mrs Kim is far from one-dimensional.
In the nine years since its last episode in 2007, the number of female-led TV comedies and films have grown, and I’m here to celebrate the best of them.
Broad City is about as far from Gilmore Girls as you could get. Set in bustling NYC, two best friends struggle through modern life, making mistakes as they go and clinging on to what little money they have. Whilst its wacky comedy and many embarrassing scenes will have you cracking up in no time, what’s truly lovely about the show is the portrayal of female friendships. They don’t compete with each other, nor do they just talk about boys. They hang out, complain, and tell each other everything. And that’s what we need to see on TV. Just two gals having a great time together. Add to that the representation of bisexuality, and you have yourself a pretty much perfect show.
Truth be told, I haven’t even finished the first series, but I feel like I have to include this show. Whilst the title and first ep seem somewhat misogynistic (girl goes ‘crazy’ and moves to a tiny town in pursuit of some guy she dated at age 16), the show breaks down these ideas and shows how sexist they are. Rebecca is determined not to feel the often-portrayed hatred of her ex’s new girlfriend, and her sexuality is shown in a bare-all, comedic light. She is neither stick-thin nor coy and shy. She is unashamedly wacky, and the show even breaks down the use of terms such as ‘crazy’ to refer to genuine mental illnesses. Brb while I go watch the rest of the series.
Parks and Recreation
Parks and Rec is nowhere near a new show, and has broadcast its last episode (wahhhh). But if you never got round to watching it, I urge you, GO. NOW. The main character, Leslie Knope, is a go-getter in her career, a boss, who will do anything to do her very best work for her community. April is as different to Donna and Ann as any two males in any other cast, and each has their own character development over the seven series. It is a joy to watch a show in which you are rooting for the characters, rather than laughing at their stupidity. It’s just the best, okay?
Of course, there are others: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Absolutely Fabulous (an oldie but a goodie), and OITNB to name a few. But right now I’m too excited about Gilmore Girls to think anymore. Go watch, and enjoy comedy done right, without one-dimensional female stereotypes, and with genuinely funny writing.