It was uncanny, like a mirror image. The German had her face but nothing else. Under that garish makeup and loud clothing was the secret as to why at least three women in that otherwise boring city could be her identical twins. A ripple riveted into the windshield and the German fell lumped onto the backseat. Someone had killed her. Someone was shooting at them. And if the German knew who or why, she’d take it to the grave.
That’s a scene description from the first episode of “Orphan Black.” I was hooked within the first three minutes. The show is fantastic. More of a spy novel than comic book, it tells the story of clones being hunted – and one actress masterfully plays the varied personalities of every victim. It’s original, smart television with suspenseful writing and an expert performance from the lead.
Another show I like is called “Orange Is The New Black” – a Netflix franchise about women in prison. Despite the dark subject matter, it’s actually funny as hell. Not to mention nearly devoid of sexualized characters, and that’s a good thing. I’m no Idris Elba, but there isn’t a woman in that cast I’d ask out on a date. Poor things, left to just get by on acting talent alone. I bet Jayne Mansfield is rolling over in her grave!
Come to think of it, what’s going on here? Do we really have two modern examples of good TV showcasing deep female characters? Is my nightly dose of ass and boobs gonna have to be internet-only?? But what about my sex drive?? I’m only a stupid caveman who can’t fathom the concept of powerful women, so I’d better develop a ladies business-suit fetish or I’ll never understand “The Good Wife!” According to my demographic, I don’t wanna watch this stuff! I’m starting to think we male viewers actually like good TV no matter the lead gender.
Lifetime made an honest effort at first but started shelling out bullshit: “Coming up next, the Lifetime original ‘He Cheated On Me With Whores,’ followed by the highly publicized docu-drama ‘Life Of A Vagina.’ And later tonight, the spine-tingling thriller ‘Castration Party II: Penis Destroyers.'” Face it, men just aren’t the target market for We, Oxygen, OWN, etc. so I’m not interested in any of that. While I understand the good intentions of those efforts, I’m going for an equal playing field across the board.
Speaking of thrillers, I’d like to include “American Horror Story” too but can’t for two reasons. One, I only started watching it because that young ginger maid drove me nuts, and that’s not what this post is about. And two, every episode was becoming a man objectivity machine. Either the dudes were piss weak, evil monsters, or always naked and that’s not fair. The ladies have upped their game, but at the male’s expense. Shame too, because the diva brigade of Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates made for some epic line delivery.
Yeah, I don’t know how you gals did it, but somehow you managed to prove that there’s enough room in my TV for you to have top notch representation when the powers tried to keep you down. I’m not talking about “Dark Angel,” which was largely a Jessica Alba droolfest, and “She’s The Sheriff” (dated myself there) was pure shit. I’m talking about “Broad City. I’m talking about “Homeland.” I’m saying that if quality product keeps getting pumped out, the equality train should keep on grooving. Way too often do we get a “Golden Girls” and then nothing for long stretches while “The Man Show” had a segment called “Girls Jumping On Trampolines.” Which I enjoyed, but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.
Keep that momentum going because the Native Americans have waited long enough and it’s their turn to fight. Seriously, how the fuck do you hire Johnny Depp to play Tonto??