Wednesday, February 21

Positive Female Role Models on TV

About ten years ago, a surge of young female protagonists on television started emerging. There was a serious lack of them and even with more shows starring women, not all of them were taken so positive ('Ally McBeal' comes to mind in the sense that nobody thought she was great for feminism, evidence by 'Time' Magazine). There was 'Clueless' (which switched from ABC to UPN), 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' (ABC to the WB), 'Daria' (MTV), 'Moesha' (UPN), 'Sister Sister' (ABC to WB), Dawson's Creek (the WB), and of course 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (WB to UPN). I am not saying those were all positive either. What I am talking about specifically is positive role models for young girls.

Now, why I am talking about this is because I have noticed that we are sort of dry in that department. CBS has 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'How I Met your Mother' that are more adult fare but have female pragmatists none the less and not treated as victims or someone's mom (well technically for the latter). FOX has none basically and even The O.C.'s women couldn't be consider at all role models or positive. It could be said that Tina Fey is a positive protagonist in '30 Rock' on NBC but I am not sure if she would like to be considered a role model. 'Medium' is a great series too, a working mother who saves people and solves crimes. The CW, much as its predecessors the WB and UPN, they have female-headed series such as 'Gilmore Girls,' 'Veronica Mars,' 'Girlfriends' and so on. I would totally say that the negative is 'One Tree Hill' that has more cat fights and skanks than 'Dawson's Creek.' Finally we get to ABC, which has a boat load of women but they do walk the fine line that Ally McBeal took. The women in 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Grey's Atanomy' can be considered independent and sexuality liberated but of course in this country, that is not considered all well and good.

As for 'Veronica Mars,' I am not in the camp that considers it the next 'Buffy' but it is still a work in progress series even in its third season. Veronica, herself as a character, comes off more annoying and stuck up than Buffy-trademark wit that I see her emulating at times. It is still about a teenage heroine which is a good. More shows like these people and less Laguna Bitches. Don't even get me started on gay-protagonist shows! 'The L Word' is great but it is not on a network. And 'Brothers and Sisters' is the next step. But where is our 'Will & Grace' successor?