Women in Television Production

Influential Women in Television History

Influential women in television history such as Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, and Ellen DeGeneres have served as idols for girls, young women, aspiring actresses and female comedians. These women have helped to shape the general population of women and their sense of strength and empowerment. Here is a list of 5 examples of strong women in tv history who played powerful roles both in front of the camera and behind the scenes:

    • Lucille Ball —> Lucille Ball is often publically conceived as the ditsy house wife on the widely beloved 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy. However, Lucille Ball’s wildly popular and hilarious stage presence through physical comedic style shows Lucy’s characteristics as a smart, funny and talented actress and comedian.  Yet, Lucy was not only a strong example of a successful female comedian and actress during a period where comedic television was brand new; but Lucy also  accomplished roles of film-studio executive and producer. Roles such producer, director, writer, studio executive are titles that women typically didn’t have the chance to explore.
    • Lucy’s initiation into television production roles began soon after she met her husband, Desi Arnaz. The pair took their “I Love Lucy” act on the road after CBS decided against taking on Lucy and Desi’s. But eventually, CBS agreed not only to put “I Love Lucy” on the air. The network allowed Lucy and Desi to create the show with their own vision; and to do so under the couples new created production company, Desilu Productions. Her start in the business and creation side of on-screen broadcasting as a television producer reflected Lucy’s intelligence and strength as a leading lady in television.
    • Carol Burnett —> Actress and comedian Carol Burnett continued to pave the way for strong, funny, intelligent women in television. Burnett started her on-screen career in the mid 1950s, and continues to work into today. Among the dozens of roles she took on, one of Burnett's most memorable was on the Carol Burnett show. As Host of The Carol Burnett Show for over 10 years, Carol had total control in producing on her show. Her vision was for The Carol Burnett show to be a variety show, a show comprised up of sketch comedy. That idea was followed through. The Carol Burnett show presented some of her best comedic material and skits. Furthermore, Burnett's content influenced the world of on-screen variety shows. 
    • Burnett also formed a comedic duo with Lucille Ball in a few episodes of The Lucy Show and Here’s Lucy. Both Lucy and Carol worked so well together because they of their similar comedic style, and the wit and intelligence they employed in their roles as actresses.
    • Recently, Carol Burnett guest starred on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. During the interview, Fallon flashed back to a clip of Carol on the Carol Burnett show. In the scene, there was an actual earthquake while on set. But despite the fear and alarm on set, Burnett used her quick wit to push the scene forward and make the audience laugh. She stated, “No visiting, the earth just moved. See what happens when you pay attention?” It is this kind of quick fire reactions that gave viewers the sense of how powerful actresses like Burnett were. She was more than just an actress, Carol Burnett was a visionary in creating as well as executing comedy in television.  

Influential Women in Television: On Screen and Behind the Scenes


    • Ellen DeGeneres —> Ellen DeGeneres professional career as an actress and comedian began in the late 1980s. DeGeneres typically stuck to the small screen in television shows that she starred in as well as episodes of other series. But her comedic wit and her love for laughter would empower Ellen to become a writer and producer, as well as a host, of her own talk show. 
    • Ellen’s sitcom from 1994-1998 was one of the first tv shows to feature a leading female role where the character is gay
    • The Ellen DeGeneres show originally aired in 2003 and still continues with live broadcasts today; with over 10 years later with nearly 2,000 episodes. In which Ellen DeGeneres portrays strength as an actress, comedian, content creator, producer, writer, and host. Her efforts to make television a better place for the LGTBQ community and for women will continue to shape and influence both; as well as impact both groups and their abilities to work in television, in which ever role they seek out. Just as Ellen's fellow female comedians Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett did so elegantly before her.  
    • Tina Fey —> In addition to her professional career as a comedian and actress for the past 15 years, Tina Fey is involved  behind the screen as a producer and writer for both television and movies. Among her most noteworthy works, one includes Fey's positions of Writer and Head Writer on Saturday Night Live from 1997-2006. Fey is also credited as the creator for the series 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; shows that Fey also produced and contributed to as a writer. Fey’s roles in television exemplify her dedication, determination, intelligence, and natural talent to be a leading women in television both on screen as well as behind the scenes.   
    • Melissa McCarthy —> Melissa McCarthy has established a professional career as an actress since the late 1990s. But it was only within the past 5 years that the audience have had the opportunity to experience McCarthy’s flare as a comedian. Similar to Ball and Burnett’s style of comedy, Melissa employees a physical sense of comedy. Some of the recent movies that she's obtains major roles in include: Identity Thief, The Heat, Tammy, Spy, The Boss. Just to name a few. 
    • Melissa has accomplished much more than staring in these comedic films. McCarthy plays creative, behind the scenes roles of producer and writer in movies such as The Boss and Tammy. Melissa McCarthy is also working on a film project called Life of the Party, which she also wrote and produce. Additionally, she also has experience directing in a handful of episodes on a show that McCarthy stars in called Mike and Molly. 
    • McCarthy’s continues to accomplish roles as a successful female comedian. Yet, it doesn’t end there. Melissa continues to follow in the foot steps of great female comedians, actresses, and creators like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. McCarthy does this by creating content. She creates humorous story lines and scenes and knows how to capture and execute these comedic moments. 

These are just a few examples of the witty, intellectual, determined female visionaries  that drastically influenced and shaped t.v. history. What women in television do you idolize or inspire you? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Scale of On-Screen Vampires in a Series

On-Screen Vampire Characters: Best to Worst

With Halloween less than a week away, vampires play a major role during this haunting season. Over the past 8 years, the concept of vampires has blow up uncontrollably all over the on-screen platform in television and movies. But which vampire characters were/are the best and worst?

Grandpa Munster Places Second in Best to Worst Vamps

Here is a scale of our top 5 vampire tv series, from best to worst: 

  • Angel and Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer --> Although Buffy’s number one mission as the Slayer is to kill vampires, Buffy usually finds herself attracted to vampires. This presents an interested moral dilemma for Buffy; she involves herself personally with her work while attempting to compartmentalize her job of slaying vampires from the vamps that she falls for. The character Angel presents the unique quality, obtaining a soul; which is unusual for vampires in this show. Yet, the fact that his soul is a curse that could be broken, leaving him soul-less, exhibits an uneasy balance; this see-saw effect could sway at any moment and change Angel, as well as his relationship with Buffy. Spike, on the other hand, calls for a different situation. While Spike’s refrain from killing people is controlled, his involuntary actions start to effect his emotions in relation to others; namely those relationships closely surrounded by Buffy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a prime example of how well depicted these characters are; from the protagonist at the very beginning to the to the arch nemesis who gradually becomes a main character with a finely detailed character arc. 
  • Lily and her Father (known as Grandpa), The Munsters --> Back in the 1960s, fantasy-type series were on the rise in television. Shows like Bewitched and The Munsters presented a desire for these characters to fit in, and to be “normal.” In The Munsters, Lily and her father are vampires. Their attempts to be “good” and to fit into society with other human beings shows their yearning for assimilation. This concept of trying to be “normal” strengthens with every generation: from grandpa, to Lily, to Lily’s werewolf son Eddie. This program's idea of humanization and wanting to be accepted in society is a interesting, unique take from a monster's perspective. The desire for members of the Munster family to have some humanness to them also ventures out of the glorified view of vampires; a view that is overly used in television today. 
  • The Salvator Brothers, The Vampire Diaries--> This story presents a unique character contrast between vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvator. Stefan, the bad gone good vampire forces himself to move according to his moral compass; while Damon straddles the line between good and bad. However, this show follows the same repetitive vampire story formats of attempting to be good and meeting the “love of his life,” along the way. It is this general concept that makes the show simply average in its overall beginning plot. However, it is the actions, unlikely bonds, deaths, and plot twists over the course of the story line that make it above average during the series life span. 

Damon Salvator of The Vampire Diaries

  • The Countess, American Horror Story Season 5 --> The concept of American Horror Story’s season 5 alters from the typical vampire man who tries to be good and meets the love of his life. In AHS Hotel, a powerful vampire countess essentially runs a haunted hotel. The Countess’s needs come as first priority and highlight her strength over others. However, her overall mission or goal appears hindered by these primal needs, weakening the overall strength of the character. The character needs to set a goal and aim towards achieving that goal throughout the coarse of the story. This half-attempt is why the portrayal of vampires in the show, namely the Countess, is mediocre at best. It is the Countess’s ex-lover, the vampire Donovan, creates a clear mission throughout the series and persistently tries to fulfill that goal. That is what strengthens the series and further enhances it by creating a unique, unexpected plot twist. 
  • Bill Compton, True Blood: Bill portrays this overly done concept of vampires in television during the 21st century, and their. Usually, the series or movie open up when they meet an “interesting girl” who becomes the love of their life. However, this theme is over done time and time again over the past 10 years. Bill Compton lacks and in depth character arc. It seems that his only goals are to refrain from killing humans and to protect his newfound love; in this case, Bill wants to protect Sookie. But an "unexpected" change of events causes this “protagonist” vamp to give into his nature of being a vampire. 
  • Edward Cullen, Twilight: Although the awful portrayal of Edward Cullen are in four of the Twilight Saga films rather than a tv series, this movie collection is definitely worth mentioning as one of the worst vampire on-screen stories. As explain previously, Twilight follows the repetitive pattern of vampire stories that focus on a “protagonist” vampire and his desire to be good while meeting the love of his life at the shown or movie’s start. But what drives this movie over the edge in comparison to other vampires stories with similar plot lines is the terrible acting of the two lead roles. There is a dependence on flashbacks to create the characters and their stories. This film franchise completely lacked character arcs and developments, showing limited quirks, real time experiences, actions and dialogue to establish these character. Additionally, the over-dramatized events, make these scenes seem as if the world was ending; instead of using them as opportunities to highlight climactic scenes. Yet, even with the highly dramatic occurrences, there was almost always one tone/expression that almost every character portrayed: solemnity. 

What do you think of our list? Do you agree with our ratings of on-screen vampires? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Television Shows that Will Get You in the Halloween Spirit

Top Thriller Television Shows to Watch this Halloween

As Halloween growing closer in the next two weeks, there are endless television shows in the horror/thriller, and/or supernatural genres to choose from. Here is a list of some of the most noteworthy television series to consider watching during this haunting season: 

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer —> Buffy the Vampire Slayer centers around a 16 year old girl, Buffy Summers. The series shows Buffy’s journey of fulfilling her destiny of slaying vampires, among other creatures; one day at a time, this powerful and witty girl continues to fight and save the world, while trying to survive both life as well as high school. The character of Buffy Summers stands out as a strong female leading figure during the late 1990s. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an example of a supernatural show during a period when the supernatural genre in television was limited and less explored.  It’s a great classic show to consider watching this Halloween. 
  • Supernatural —> This story centers on two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who were raised into the business of monster hunting by their father, John Winchester. The pilot episode opens with Sam and Dean as young children, when their mother was killed by a monster. After Mary Winchester's death, John decided to take Sam and Dean on the road, hunting down the demon that killed his wife; along the way, John kills monsters while teaching Sam and Dean the trade. The series began in 2005 and continued to pave the way for the supernatural television show genre. Similar to Buffy, Supernatural covers a wide range of supernatural creatures in every episode; as well as overall themes in the fight of good vs. evil in every season. Supernatural is the longest running show of this genre; with 11 seasons available on Netflix, this series is sure to keep you preoccupied throughout October. 
  • The Walking Dead —> Although I have never experienced more than a few episodes of this series, this well established show dives into the zombie apocalyptic world; it has been a fan favorite since its start in 2010. As is the case with many apocalyptic themes in television shows, the main purpose is survival; we, the audience, get to watch the action unfold through character developments and relationships among these characters that help or hinder their primary need to survive. With an IMDB rating of 8.6, this show appears to be a must watch. You can enjoy binge watching the 6 seasons available of The Walking Dead on Netflix. 
  • American Horror Story —> American Horror Story is an anthology series that makes every season into an individual story. AHS takes the idea to create a horror movie in television format and to tell that story over the course of 12 to 13 episodes. So far, the show consists of 6 seasons: Murder House, Asylum, Coven, Freak Show, Hotel, and Roanoke. If you’re a fan, you may not like every season and it’s theme; however, it is interesting that every season centers on a new story. If you’re new to American Horror Story and all 6 stories, you may want to check it out this Halloween. 
  • Bates Motel —> Not all of our top picks need to have supernatural elements. Bates Motel comes from Robert Bloch’s 1960s book "Psycho." But with a twist. In Psycho, the leading character is portrayed by 40 year old Norman Bates, who runs Bates Motel with his mother. The novel depicts Norman’s psychological thoughts and feelings and how his impulses to kill become reality, rooted in action. The series Bates Motel serves as a sort of prequel to Psycho; Bates Motel centers on Norman Bates, a high school student who’s mother, Norma Bates, recently bought a Motel. Bates Motel shows the developing relationship Norman has with his mother, Norman's psyche, and how his mind drives him to become a killer in the town of White Pine Bay. This psychological thriller series will always keep you on your toes and have you wondering what Norman is thinking. 
  • Stranger Things —> Recently, Netflix launched its a new thriller Stranger Things. This series provides a genuine 80s feel with enhanced cgi features where it is appropriate. The show focuses on a group of friends in middle school, when one of the friends mysteriously disappears. Throughout the course of this 8 episode series, the audience discovers more about the boy vanishing and the complicated factors that play roles in his disappearance. The younger kids in this show, namely played by characters friends Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Will, present a pure sense of trust, friendship, and promise between kids; it shows how children are not tainted by the secrets of the adult world; for instance, the innocent state of mind these boys have, believing that hitting a supernatural creature with rocks and a slingshot and expecting it to work.
  • Furthermore, Stranger Things also shows the interesting different family dynamics of the Wheeler family, who seemingly has the “perfect” nuclear family; vs. the Byers family, with a single mom working long, hard hours at the nearby mini mart. Yet, the Byer’s family members have a closer connection and stronger sense of communication with one another.  There are many factors that make this powerful new series to watch. Overall, this series shows a collection of scenes filled with complete suspense, moments of laugh out loud comedic material, unexpected alliances, and friendship. This show will leave you wanting to watch more, despite the perfectly wrapped up season finale.

Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments section below. 

AHS Season 6 Roanoke Theme

American Horror Story Season 6 Poorly Executed

The new season of American Horror Story focuses on a Roanoke Theme. While an interesting plot concept, the execution of this season’s formatting and how the story is told is overbearing.

 The story opens with characters in present day, speaking in front of a camera crew about their experience in the "roanoke” house. The set up of this story's structure seems planned out, a little too easily planned out. From the beginning, the characters are telling and recounting the scary events that happened to them, rather than showing these events. This idea appears out of the ordinary of the show's structure over the past 5 seasons.

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The first 5 seasons of AHS showed, sometimes in disturbing detail, what the story was about in real time. It depicted the characters’ relationships with one another and their character arcs; it also showed their emotional journeys on their own and in relation to other characters. The psychological adventures that each season put the viewers through allowed us to have a detailed view of each story line; a story of what it looked like to be in the murder house, an insane asylum, in a coven, at a “freak" show in a circus, and in a (haunted) hotel. This was accomplished by characters through showing instead of telling the audience. 

The beginning of season 6 narrates what happened to the victims of the roanoke house, followed by showing; which is a jarring idea. The episode flips back and forth between actress Lily Rabe and Sarah Paulson; both supposedly play the character of Shelby Miller. When I noticed this was also the case for the two male actors that played the roll of Matt, I made the connection. Like in most documentaries, stories are depicted by the retelling of what happened from the first person point of view and shown through actors reenacting these true life stories. However, in this case, it is confusing.

Usually, when re-telling a story in a documentary, it alternates between the retelling of these stories by the people that lived through them; this is supplemented in documentaries by short snippets of flashback scenes with actors who play the real life victims. However, these scenes of flashback using actors seemed overly real and detailed, compared to real documentaries. There was no need for both the interviewing of the “true life” survivors and the actors who showed this story. Considering that this is a television series, it seemed excessive here. 

Showing these scenarios that make up the story using one set of characters would have been powerful enough to carry the story. It also could've refrained from confusing the audience/viewer.

There was a slow, natural progression of strange event leading up to attack on Shelby’s life, which was well planned. However, right after the attack occurred, the next moment cut to Matt narrating the scene; Matt (the actor) arrives home with police surrounding his house after Shelby’s attack. This then cuts to the aftermath, which also seems like an easy out. Their was a choice between showing how the attack unfolded or easily moving the story into the next scene. The route that is taken neglects Shelby’s thoughts and reactions after she had just been assaulted; it seems as if it were easier for the writer/s to cut to Matt’s reaction. This fails to allow Shelby to assess what just happened to herself.  

Half way through the episode, Lee (Matt’s sister) enters the picture. This seems like a normal act, considering Lee is a cop and Matt wants Shelby to be protected. Yet, the flash of scenes showing Lee’s life events over the narrator’s voice, again, seemed too easy. Instead of showing a progression of these details throughout the story line, the writer gives them up too quickly. The scene focusing on Lee abruptly dives into Lee’s story, taking the viewer out of the current story at hand. It disrupts the flow of the story line. This, in turn, extinguishes the build-up and lowers the possible climax the story could have. 

In this case, the documentary style of telling a story in past and present in a television show also spoils the ultimate question: the question of whether the character/s is going to live or die during the course of the episode or series. The fact that these characters are alive to re-tell their story means that we, the audience, know they will survive. No matter the actions taken by the perpetrator/s throughout the story line, they will live.

Showing these character arcs are during scenes of action and dialogue is essential and strengthens the story; instead of weakening the story by the simple re-telling of what happened. This plot line had the potential to be powerful standing on its own, without the addition of narration and retelling. All of the details that were told to us, the audience, could have easily been manufactured into scenes that shows what the characters thought and felt. 

Overall, while the plot of the Roanoke theme is well formulated and even well executed in scenes, the re-telling of these events in a documentary-styled fashion draws the viewer out of the story and spoils a large piece of the story as well. 

This is Us

"This Is Us" Premiere Review (WARNING: Spoilers)

The television series This Is Us, shows 4 individuals that are born on the same day, celebrating their 36th birthdays. The story starts out and centers around 5 individuals: Jack, Rebecca, Kate, Kevin, and Randall.  

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A couple of these individual's lives intersect directly with each other at first glance. Although they are all at the same age, they are facing different battles at 36. Jack and Rebecca are a married couple that are expecting triplets. Kate is an assistant and is struggling with food while attending an overweight support group. Kate’s brother, Kevin, is at a crossroads in his career; he doesn’t feel his current role as an actor is filling up to his career potential. Randall has established a family of his own, with a wife, 2 daughters, and adoptive parents. Yet, he feels he needs to find where he came from and is searching for his birth father.

All of these lives that are seemingly interconnected stories comes together in the end. It is revealed to the audience that they all belong to one family; Jack and Rebecca are the parents, Kate and Kevin are their biological children that survived the pregnancy, and Randall is the third adopted child.

Towards the end of the episode, when Kate is making this revelation, she repeats a quote from her father. “Do you remember what dad would say when ever something crappy happened to us?” Kate asked Kevin. There is emphasis here on the word US, both as triplets and as a family as a whole.

During the flashback to 1979, the delivery doctor breaks the news to Jack about his and Rebecca’s third child. But the doctor also shines profound light on the situation, based on his own past experiences. “There’s no lemons so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade,” the doctor says. This not only sets a hopeful tone. It also allows the character facing the situation to visualize this concept through the actions that they take. An example of this is shown through Jack and Rebecca by taking home 3 children that day. This goes back to what the doctor said when he first told Jack that only 2 children survived. “If you can take the sourest lemon that life has to offer and turn it into lemonade; then you will still be taking three babies home from this hospital. Maybe not the way you planned,” the doctor says.  

Jack and Rebecca accept their role of being parents of three children. Even if the situation isn't what they anticipated. This action proves that family is stronger than biology. Family is support and unconditional love for one another. Interconnecting stories of “strangers” connects into a single family dynamic, with various character arcs and paths running through them. This provides room for the story to open up. It also allows us to see these individuals in a new light. It allows the audience to see the connection the characters have with one another in the past, present, and future settings. This is life. 

Reality Television Shows Article

Reality TV Shows "Real" or Scripted?

Why do we love to hate reality television? For the millennial generation, there seems to be an obsession with reality tv because this type of content is expanding largely; this increase includes a wide variety, ranging from competition to dating to family life drama. According to the Washington Post, there are currently over 300 reality television shows. 

For decades, television games shows have made up the genre known as reality television. However, that genre would soon expand tenfold into a completely new concept of reality tv. The first reality television show began in 1970, titled “An American Family.” The show followed a family of 7, known as the Loud family. It chronicled their lives over a seven month period. 

During the 1990s, MTV began its transition out of a strictly music video world of the 1980s and into reality television. Such shows include The Real World (1992) and The Challenge (1998), which are still on the air. This trend continued to increased drastically in the early 2000s. MTV was constantly creating new reality television shows during this time; from the Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (2003), Laguna Beach (2004) and its spin-off The Hills (2006), My Super Sweet 16 (2005), and the list continues. 

I remember watching so many of these shows when I was in high school. Partly if I had nothing else to do on a Saturday. Mostly because these programs were the majority of the content that aired on MTV. Whereas today, there is more of a selection with choosing what you want to watch from your computer; with programs like Netflix, Hulu, and network companies online sites that give you access to choose a show. 

Yet, reality television still maintains its place as a preferred television genre today among the younger generations. Lets take a look at the numbers. 

According to August 2015 records from statistic.com, the genre of reality/competition television programs ranked second most popular among the age group of 18 to 35 year olds. Deadline.com reported that Keeping Up With the Kardashians had increased in viewership from season 11. The Kardashians raked in a total of 3.2 million viewers during the season 12 premiere. 

Tvline.com reported that in May 2016, The Bachelor ranked number 4 in the top reality show category, with a demographic of those ages 18 to 49. The Bachelor brought in 3 million viewers in its last season. Big Brother kicked off the season 18 premiere with 6.1 million viewers. Yet, despite this large viewership, tvline.com reported that this outcome was a 13% decrease from Big Brother season 17 premiere. 

But how much of this is actually true. Does any or the majority of reality tv content use a type of script? In an article by bustle.com, Whitney Port of The Hills tv show reported to US Weekly in an interview that the show was not scripted. Yet, Port did confess that the production team did influence the cast to be more dramatic in certain situations. Port’s co-star, Kristin Cavallari, had a different opinion from her time on The Hills. Cavallari reported in a 2013 interview that the production team did influence what the cast said. “We never got an actual script, but they would text us what to say,” she stated. 

The 2007 popular reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians, has also faced allegations of some scripted and staged material. In an article posted by business insider, blogger Mariah Smith analyzes each episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians to a painstakingly, meticulous degree. Smith matches the shows episodes with the Kardashians’ Instagram  accounts in order to tell how scenes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians may be out of order and somewhat false. 

What do you think? Are reality television shows completely staged and scripted, or “real”? Maybe these reality shows have some implements of scripted material and staged actions to them. Could this result be for the sake of what people in the television business view as entertainment? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. 

Shameless Gentrify This

After 5 Years, Shameless Finally Hits Netflix

After over 5 years of being on the air, Showtime's series Shameless finally makes its way to Netflix. 

In it, a family of six siblings who live on the South Side of Chicago, straddling the poverty line. The Gallaghers "head" of the family includes an alcoholic father (Frank) and a mentally ill, run away mother (Monica); this leaves the sibling, consisting of Fiona, Phillip (Lip), Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam, that are alone to fend for themselves. Everyday brings new challenges for this Back of the Yards based family. Each of the four older siblings has their own strengths that they bring to the table in order to put food on the table, maintain a livable household, and keep their family together. But with those strengths, comes weaknesses in each sibling. 

No spoilers though, you’ll have to watch to find out these character arcs and relationships with one another. The question now arises: why this widely popular 2011 series is just hitting Netflix?

According to IMDB, Shameless has received average ratings of between an 8 and a 9 out of 10. And from season 1 to season 4, the ratings have only exponentially increased. 

According to tvseriesfinale.com, Shameless’s viewership drastically rose from 1.36 million to 1.65 million between its second and third season. By its fourth season, Shameless was at an all-time hight with a season average of 1.71 million viewers. This decreased in the series’ fifth and sixth season, with season average ratings between 1.56 and 1.58 million viewers.

However, this doesn’t dismiss the fact that this popular comedy/drama gains so much attention because it feels real. Shameless is filled with real and raw scenes that evokes a strong sense of emotion in both the characters and the audience. Whether you are laughing or crying, these characters come together to form a genuine depiction of striving and struggling. The Gallaghers show how this familial bond is stronger together than apart. Whether they are battling these endeavors personally or collectively, Shameless demonstrates to the audience what “family is everything” really means. 

Shameless should have been available on Netflix long before 2016 for long-time fans to binge watch; but we are grateful that fans new and old can enjoy such a phenomenal, almost tangible television show. 

Feminism in Comedy

Feminism Taking A Stand in Comedy

There has always been a long-existing stigma surrounding funny women and women in comedy within our society. But why is it so surprising that women can be funny? 

And why are male comedians who make light of subjects like rape and sexual abuse not given a second thought? Is it because our society views degrading behavior towards women as “just joking?” It isn’t “just joking.” And thankfully, the strong presence of feminist female comedians and their even stronger comedic style addresses these feminist issues. 

Comedian Jessica Williams of "2 Dope Queens,” who also makes appearances on the Daily Show, expresses her pro-feminist comedic style; it shines light on the issues, while making the audience laugh. These are two separate entities, rather than taking these critical issues lightly through the crutch of comedy.

Jessica Williams also stated in an interview that she was a victim of sexually harassment, and by a famous actor; this shows how even a strong woman of color, not only in society but as a powerful woman in television, can be taken advantage of by a man.  But it's William’s courage to share her story, rising against those men that feel they can control and silence women. But Jessica is one heroing example of women who stand up and fight.  

Another feminist female comedian worth mentioning in this article is Emily Heller. Heller discusses feminism and feminist issues as a comedian. She talks about the cliches associated with feminists/feminism and the real issues. Heller presents these issues in a way that is funny but doesn’t take away from their value or make them less meaningful through the use of comedy. 

One of the most recognizable female comedians in the past year, Amy Schumer, has also faced issues of slut-shaming in relation to comedy. In one interview with comedian and actress Amy Schumer, the male interviewer had the nerve to call Train Wreck "autobiographical." He then proceeds to say that Schumer’s performance in said movie portrays her as a “skank” and that it is a depictions of “the character of the movie.” Amy Schumer’s comedic style is hilarious. She uses her own personal experiences to poke fun at herself and make light of her insecurities. As a result, she make others laugh. The audience does not laugh at her expense, but at the delivery of her jokes. It makes us, the audience, look at ourselves and attempt to take our own insecurities as light-heartedly as Amy Schumer.

The presence of feminists comedians is not only existent in females, but also feminist male comedians. Comedians Seth Meyers and Jay Baruchel have said some of the strongest women they know are those they’ve worked with. Even Louis C.K. has addressed feminist issues in his comedy stand-up performances. “Globally and historically, we’re (men) the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. You know what our number one threat is? Heart disease,” Louis C.K. said. 

This joke addresses that there is a historically proven problem in which men treat women in our society; however, Louis C.K. has had seemingly mixed views on his feminist position, or at least in terms of those views he has outwardly expressed.  

But some men in the public eye that consider themselves as feminists remain firm on their position as such. “I’m constantly annoyed by how terribly written most females are in most everything - and especially in comedy. Their anatomy seems to be the only defining aspect of their character, and I just find that untruthful and it straight up offends me. A lot of the strongest people I know are chicks. As a viewer, I get a kick out of watching actual women. And I like writing strong women. Because as a straight male, there’s nothing more attractive to me than a strong girl,” says comedian and actor Jay Baruchel.  

It is men like Baruchel who not only recognize women's ability to be talented within the world of comedy; but also men who work alongside these strong females comedians, and treat them as such.