Art has one of two roles when it comes to reflecting the reality of the world we live in: it either reflects an ideal world which more often than not, is impossible to reach. Or, it reflects the reality of the normal person going about their business.
It should be no surprise that for most of history, men have controlled everything, including art. But in the world of television, change is finally coming.
She starts off the book with nods to the unappreciated female OG’s of television (Gertrude Berg and Lucille Ball) and then moves forward to acknowledge the groundbreaking 1990s shows Murphy Brown (led by Diane English) and Roseanne (Roseanne Barr). She then talks about how modern female showrunners and producers are changing the portrayal of women on television. The list of women profiled in the book includes uber-successful producer Shonda Rhimes and actress/comedian Amy Schumer.
I really loved this book. Not only is it well written, but it speaks to the woman who is looking for the courage to follow her own path, even if it means diverging from the tried and true. I also appreciated the shout-out to Gertrude Berg whose name is unknown to most modern television audiences (unless that is, you are above a certain age), but with her trail-blazing path, the television industry would not be what it is today.
Last night, I wished a happy 90th birthday to Mel Brooks.
What I did not know is that June 28th is also the birthday of another legendary Jewish comic, the late Gilda Radner.
Born in 1946, Gilda Radner is remembered as part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, then known as the not ready for prime time players. Standing on the shoulders of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, Gilda paved the way for the careers of Tina Fey, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen Degeneres, Amy Schumer, Roseanne and other female comedians. While some of her characters were broad and perhaps a little on the annoying side, other characters were sweet and maybe a little naive.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gilda acted in several movies, including Haunted Honeymoon(1986), with her husband, Gene Wilder. She left this world in 1989, dying from ovarian cancer. After her death, Gilda’s Club was established as a support system for those fighting cancer.
Sometimes it takes a bold performer to point out the obvious problems in our world.
Amy Schumer is known for being bold. And raunchy. And truth telling to the point of making others uncomfortable.
But she also hits the nail on the head.
Her latest satire of a birth control commercial is absolutely perfect. It points out that while women must jump through hoops to get birth control (which is sometimes needed beyond the obvious reason), obtaining a gun is a much simpler process.