Monday, December 24, 2018

TV: MURPHY BROWN is no friend to women

What is with truth and representation?  We saw two fake asses last week.  One of them had a special, the other had a TV series.

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Last week, we wrote about YOUNG SHELDON because, without THE BIG BANG THEORY as a lead-in, YOUNG SHELDON is going to be news -- possibly spun as "Look how bad things are for CBS without Leslie Moonves!"  Yes, we can hear some idiots insisting that.  But that's why we wrote it last week.  Moonves greenlit the crap that is YOUNG SHELDON and he gave it a season two.  He's now gone from CBS but he could have put a real show on after THE BIG BANG THEORY, he could have used that spot to groom a follow up show that audiences would love.  He didn't.  He just tossed YOUNG SHELDON on after it and, come this spring, THE BIG BANG THEORY wraps up and is no more.  CBS should have been planning for that day.

But when we got home two Saturdays ago, we had a copy of that week's MURPHY BROWN.  It was a good episode, a strong one.  And friends with the show wanted us to note that.  But we had to cover YOUNG SHELDON and we get tired of doing several pieces every week.  We were going to do one and only one article and we hoped we could work MURPHY BROWN into it.  But we couldn't.

Yes, the episode was a marked improvement over the first ones we saw.

And we felt bad that we couldn't note it.  So one of us worked it into an "Iraq snapshot" at THE COMMON ILLS last week.

Try to do someone a favor, right?

Anything men can do, women can do better!


Anything men can do, women can do better?  Women rule?

We're not questioning the idea or notion being expressed, we're questioning whom it's coming from.

MURPHY BROWN?  The Twitter feed for the show has the nerve to offer that?

"Ava and C.I., what do you mean by the nerve?  It's just a little slogan and many of us agree with it."

Yeah but it's a damn shame Diane English doesn't.

To note the Afghanistan episode, the writers had to be noted and we were both surprised to find that two men wrote it.

Which made us curious.

"Don't look, don't look," we told ourselves repeatedly.

But like a woman in a horror film stumbling across a closed closet door, we had to open it up.

One woman directed four episodes -- Pamela Fryman.  There were thirteen episodes.  Nine were directed by men.

Anything men can do, women can do better?

Okay, maybe they did better with writing.  Diane English, creator of the show, after all is a writer.

And, it turns out, she wrote for this season.

One episode.


Laura Kraftt wrote two episodes.

And Gina Ippolito co-wrote one and got credit (along with three male writers) on another.

So if you're generous women were responsible -- partly or in whole -- for five episodes.

Out of thirteen.

And men are responsible -- partly or in whole -- for nine episodes.

Dianne English has long presented herself as the last word in feminism and we're supposed to celebrate and support everything she does.

But, as her track record demonstrates, she doesn't do the same.

She had thirteen episodes.

She apparently doesn't believe women can direct because only four were directed by women -- leaving, again, nine to be directed by men.  And the writing credits are equally troubling.

Why are we applauding Diane English?  And, excuse us, Candice Bergen, all your pro-woman talk promoting this show?  Shouldn't you have noticed how poorly the show was with representation?

Speaking of, we called out the show for its portrayal/treatment of African-American characters -- they were repeatedly being told to shut up or being interrupted -- in bit roles.  We weren't the only ones making that complaint to CBS or to friends with the show (and we made it here when we first reviewed it).

In the fourth episode, Merle Dandridge, a bi-racial actress, was added as their boss Diana.  And she came off like "Black bitch" on a reality show.  We took on that nonsense, that stereotypical crap, when we covered the first season of the reality show the current President of the United States used to host.  It was racist then and it's racist now.

On episode 13, it got worse.

She's the boss and she kissed her subordinate Miles.  She's the boss.

At a time when Diane English and Candice Bergen wanted to insist in their publicity that this was the time for the return, it was #MeToo! (though that didn't stop either woman from supporting Leslie Moonves and insisting he was innocent -- he wasn't), they're going to air that storyline?

And they're going to push it off on their token character?

We try to be nice, over and over.  And then it becomes clear why we can't be.

MURPHY BROWN returned and it was offensive and not funny.  And it's made by people who have no clue what year it is or what world they are living in.  But they want to hector the country about politics?  Instead of delivering laughs, they want to deliver lectures.  And this coming from a group so pathetic that they  confuse meaningless Tweets with actually doing something like hiring an equal number of women to direct and to write.

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