One of the biggest disadvantages of being a Brit who enjoys American TV is the gap between programmes initial transmission date and when we over the pond actually get to see it. Yes, I know there are internet sites to cater for that, but I find these a frustrating experience, full of pop-up ads reminding me the secret to happiness is a flat stomach and lots of money. Having said that, my most joyous moments seem to be stuffing my face on something overpriced, so maybe these ads haven’t quite hit the nail on the head on that front after all.

Anyway, back to my main point. A good example of the pain this delay in transmission causes is Don’t Trust the B—-, a delightfully snappy comedy that is shown in the UK alongside the Mean Girls/Real Housewives inspired sitcom Suburgatory, which I have waxed lyrical about previously. Don’t Trust the B—- is silly and sharp in equal measure, with every barb at pop culture balanced by a crass or surreal line or piece of physical comedy. Sadly, the show didn’t find an audience over in the States, so the second season will be the last.

This saddens me. It saddens me because it is yet another show where the lead characters are funny, intelligent women, yet for some reason the ratings are saying to execs ‘no thanks, we would rather screen some all-male buddy comedy with a casual layer of misogyny, where guys get all the banter and their women look all disapprovingly for 30 minutes, you know, like the film Grown-Ups‘. Whitney has likewise been axed, and even though The Mindy Project has been renewed, I fear that it will suffer a similar fate soon. 2 Broke Girls is looking like the last hope of some oestrogen to be on the box, and it seems a shame to have just one comedy flying the flag for 50% of the world’s population.

Having said that, we do no better in Britain. We produce far fewer sitcoms, but a look at the panel shows tells a similar story. There are a lot of funny women out there, yet even Mock the Week and QI, the most left-wing of shows on mainstream TV, seem to have difficulty most weeks getting past the token woman problem. And don’t get me started on 8 Out of 10 Cats, which although is filthily funny at times, deliberately hires female panelists like Jamelia and women off TOWIE so there can be at least one moment where they can say something daft and Jimmy Carr can get a few cheap laughs. Yes, there are dumb men as well, but they are treated more like sweet (or creepy) imbeciles putting on an act, the court jester even, rather than as genuinely thick.

It would be a shame that at a time when so many intelligent women are fighting to be heard, both in fictional shows and in real life, that they be shooed off because some overly loud men who don’t like it. I mourn the loss of funny, sharp women from the media,  as they bring light and shade to a testosterone driven world. And let’s face it, recent events have shown we don’t exactly have an excess of men to take their place.

 

Advertisements