I’m a television snob. For the majority of my adolescent and adult television-watching years, I’ve restricted my television viewing to cable television (exclusively). Over the years, there were some notable cable exceptions: Designing Women, Golden Girls, and Murphy Brown (all of which aired during a golden era in television in my opinion).
Obviously, I watched The Simpsons, The Nanny (ride or die), and Family Guy as well, which were all super important television shows (in my opinion). I also grew up watching MTV, when shows like Real World San Francisco cultivated and defined the concept of “social experiment” on a mass level.
Call me cray crazy, but I never really got into Friends or Seinfeld or Dawson’s Creek or One Tree Hill. Instead, I was watching The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City, WEEDS, OZ, Big Love, United States of Tara, Summer Heights High-those were all my shows. And they all happened to be on HBO or Showtime.
Keep in mind-this is not to downplay my Bravo obsession (also a “cable” network). I’ll stand by the fact that I think the original RHOC provided an important cultural lens for people to see the extreme dysfunction of the over-materialized lives of some very vapid women.
Don’t get me wrong: I know 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, Modern Family, and Community are all amazing shows-I’ve just never consistently watched them. Again, call me cray cray; but that’s how I watched television. When Nick at Nite came along during my later formative adolescent years, I binge-watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Bewitched, I Love Lucy-all the classics really.
All of these shows-from so many different eras and genres-gave me very particular tastes in television. They offered voyeuristic lenses into the fashions and humors and politics of different eras in American history. From high brow to low brow, situational comedies to new format television, I cultivated my viewer tastes with these culturally, historically diverse programs; and if there was one thing I appreciated consistently-it was a strong female lead.
A strong female lead is a female who is nice to look at, funny, self-deprecating, willing to indulge in physical humor, willing to not look gorgeous and “made up” all the time, human, intelligent, charming, and above all-a strong female lead should have heart. There should be an everywoman quality to a strong female lead.
Last week, I went to the launch party for The New Girl, and I had a fabulous time. As one would expect, we watched the pilot episode (the first time I had seen the pilot), and I have to say-I’m loving The New Girl.
The first time I saw Zooey Deschanel on television-she played one of Uncle Andy’s girlfriends on WEEDS-and she killed it. Of all the “other” female characters (besides Nancy and Celia and Heylia-who were the leads), Zooey brought something really special, really cooky, really funny, really organic, and really whimsical; and I loved her for it. None of the other female walk-ons could compare (in my opinion).
Judging by the pilot episode of The New Girl, I can confidently say that Miss Zooey Deschanel is a strong female lead, and I’m super excited to finally begin watching network television again! For the record, I’ll also be watching Two Broke Girls-(my wife’s new show) as well as The New Girl, and any other awesome television shows you guys recommend I watch. It’s like now I have two very relevant reasons to finally get on board with channels 2-13 again.