Last night was the season finale of Whitney and Are You There, Chelsea? Thank God. They’re over. Let’s pretend those shows never happened. While we’re at it, let’s also wrap up 2 Broke Girls as part of our “rid the air of horrible shows created for and by women in 2011″ spree.
Every year horrible TV shows make it to air — and every year the majority of those shows wind up canceled. We never think about them again and we never look back. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It’s all part of the circle of life, it teaches you how to paint with all the colors of the wind and 6 other Disney metaphors about living life to its fullest.
But this year the horrible TV shows hurt me a lot more. Mostly because they were written and produced by women — and they sucked. Whether or not you agree that women like Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler are funny doesn’t matter. They’re successful women who should have been able to create compelling shows for women to watch.
After all, they’re women. They’ve spoken to other women. I’ll go as far as to say that they’ve befriended other women. So why then did all their shows sound like they were written by a bunch of men who sat around in a writer’s room going, “yeah I think that’s what a woman would say.”
It’s the equivalent to women making a show about men that’s just 30 minutes of commitment-phobes making booty calls using the power of their farts. It’s going straight for the easy stereotype and not even finding a clever way to do it.
It’s offensive to everyone involved when no one even tries to make it good and it hits us where it hurts when we have to listen to women aren’t funny arguments over and over again because two women made three very unfunny shows this year.
Earlier this year Crushable writer Jamie Peck watched the show and wrote:
Pretty much all of the jokes in Whitney are based on old school, “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”-style gender stereotypes. Whitney plays a shrewish woman who hassles her oafish boyfriend (sometimes amusingly) about stuff; she built a whole episode around getting mad at him forchecking out another girl. As if that weren’t bad enough, she also insists that women don’t ever check out handsome men, and mocks her boyfriend for thinking so. An informal poll of my female acquaintances reveals that not a single one has ever gotten angry with a boyfriend for looking at another woman, and furthermore, we all notice when a fellow is physically attractive. (I mean, duh. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you stop having eyes.) Also, I realize this is subjective, but I didn’t laugh a single time when watching the first few episodes of this show. I did, however, share glances with my roommate like, “really?”
Seriously, do these lines sound like something you would talk about with your friends or something your guy friends would say when they’re making fun of women?
How about this?
How did Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Handler let this happen and how can we stop them from doing it ever again? I want more shows on television written by and for women. But I want them to be good. I want to want to watch them because they’re quality television shows, not because I feel obligated to support funny women on TV.