The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 2, didn’t have as much stand up as I hoped it would. I was a bit disappointed in that. It focused more on Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) and the characters around her as people than it did on Midge’s career as a comic. There are some slight spoilers ahead.
Season 2 was more about the people and the life style of 1950s New Yorkers from the Upper East Side. It took me a minute to accept that the story was taking that turn.
There are a number of TV shows being announced now. Some star women in leading roles, some have more than one woman out in front, and some even boast women of a color other than white. Let’s have a look at them.
Supergirl begins this fall on CBS. We’ve been given a rather lengthy first look at the series. We may be able to skip ahead to the second episode, this trailer tells so much. As a bonus, if we start the season with episode 2, the whole wardrobe problem will be solved.
Melissa Benoist is Supergirl. Chyler Leigh plays her sister Alex. Mehcad Brooks is Jimmy (sorry, James) Olsen. Calista Flockhart plays Supergirl’s boss. The boss is some kind of horrible parody on every bitchy boss ever imagined by a male writer since the beginning of the Planet Krypton. (Really, fellas, can’t anyone do better than that?)
So here she is, the female superhero we’ve long awaited. If I were inclined to mangle famous poems, I might say,
so much depends
a red skirt
glazed with pop
beside the endless
Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers are behind The Catch, which was created by Jennifer Schuur. This is a thriller centered on the brilliant Alice Martin (Mireille Enos). She’s a fraud investigator who’s about to be the victim of fraud herself. It sounds like a season long hunt for the bad guy, mixed in with other cases.
The Catch also stars Alimi Ballard as Evan, Damon Dayoub, Jay Hayden, Jacky Ido, Bethany Joy Lenz, Rose Rollins and Elvy Yost. Props to The Catch – although the star is white, there is ample diversity in the rest of the cast.
Although Mareille Enos is capable of super intense acting, I’m most looking forward to seeing Rose Rollins on my TV again.
I think Quantico is going to take the lead on diversity. The main character is played by Priyanka Chopra, an award winning veteran of a number of Indian films. Aunjanue Ellis also has top billing on this FBI story. The plot centers around a number of recruits at the FBI training center in Quantico. Jake McLaughlin plays Ryan Booth.
Of all the previews shown in this post, I like this one the best simply because of the diversity issue. But why is there only one show like this? (I’ll mention Proof later, it helps.)
Blindspot is going to be one of those season long searches for the truth like Blacklist or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It’s about a woman who “wakes up” with no memory of her past life. She’s completely covered with fresh tattoos.
Jaimie Alexander stars as Jane Doe, with Ashley Johnson and Sullivan Stapleton backing her up in this tale about a vast international conspiracy.
Heartbreaker is a medical drama starring Melissa George. Other doctors surrounding the brilliant heart surgeon are played by Dave Annable, Don Hany, Shelley Conn and D.L. Hughley.
Jill Gordon and Amy Brenneman are among the producers for Heartbreaker.
Angel from Hell
Angel from Hell starts on CBS this fall. Jane Lynch looks happy about it, judging from her Twitter feed.
The show will be on Thursday evenings, a tough slot for any show of interest to women, especially a half hour comedy. It stars Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson, Kevin Pollak and Kyle Bornheimer. Other information is a little skimpy at this point, but the only names I can find for writers and directors are male names.
Angel from Hell doesn’t premier until November, so there will be plenty of time to fill in the details.
I love that wild hair on Jane Lynch. Perfect.
Elsewhere on Old Ain’t Dead
There are other female-led series I’ve talked about before on the blog. If you missed those posts, here they are.
I’ve mentioned Proof several times: here, here, and here. The star of that show is biracial.
I don’t think this is a complete list of the new shows with female leads, but it gives you some female-led shows to consider for your next few months of TV watching.
The Diversity Countdown
Looking just at the starring role in these women’s series, how do we stack up on diversity?
Dark Matter names the men first, so I’m not listing anyone from it
I’d say that is a less than outstanding rundown if you’re counting diversity points.
It’s not that I don’t want Melissa Benoist or Jaimie Alexander or the other white women on the list to have great parts. I do. Lots of great parts.I also want lots of great parts for the rest of the female human race.
Thursday evening when Glee’s The Quarterback episode in memory of Cory Monteith aired, I was at a reading by writer Terry McMillan about her new book Who Asked You? I watched Glee the next morning. I’ll get to it in a minute, I want to tell you a story first.
Before Terry McMillan spoke, there was a reception with food and music by vocalist Catherine McGill. I was seated at a table with a friend and several women I didn’t know. One of the women hummed along, kind of under her breath, with the music and I noticed what a lovely voice she had. Later we went in the auditorium where Ms. McMillan would read. While we waited, recorded music played. I wasn’t far from the woman with the lovely voice and I heard her again quietly singing a note or two with the recording. After the talk, a line formed to get books autographed, and I was standing behind the singer. I asked, “Do you sing somewhere?” She smiled and said she was raised up in the choir but she had horrible stage fright and only sang in the car and the shower. (I don’t think she realizes how much music leaks out of her by accident.) She indicated that she had given up on the idea of performing because she was so paralyzed by stage fright. She said it was the most vulnerable feeling in the world.
As a writer, I’m aware of how hard it is to read your own words – to give voice and breath to words. I said something to her about how you can’t sing without emotion and we talked about how you can’t hide when you sing, the emotion is there in your voice whether you want it to be or not.
It was a short conversation, really, but it came back to me the next morning when I sat down to catch up with Glee.
At the end of the episode, Lea Michele as Rachel Berry presented Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) with a plaque for the Glee club room with a photo of Finn and a quote about “the show must go on.”
The show must go on seemed to me to be the real theme for this episode. What plot there was to the episode explored how every person deals with grief in a different way. Everyone showed up and sang, they went on with the show, because they had to.
The show felt very personal. The emotion in the voices and in the music cut close to the bone. It almost felt as if the writers asked each person what they wanted to say and let them say it or sing it.
Lea Michele showed up and sang, how she managed I’ll never know. She clutched herself as she sang, as if her grip was the only thing holding her together.
In one scene with Santana and Sue Sylvester, as Sue talked, Jane Lynch’s lines about loss and lost potential sounded like the thoughts of everyone involved in the show.
There was a lot of pain in people’s faces, in their voices, in their music.
Glee couldn’t ignore Cory Monteith’s death. Something had to be done. The show had to go on. As a fan of the show, and for all of us out here on our couches, I want everyone involved with Glee to know that you are troopers – everyone who sang, spoke and appeared in “The Quarterback” – you honored your friend, and you did it beautifully with every vulnerability you possess ringing in your voices.
The idea is that you can get everything you need to know about an episode of The L Word from just the opening credits. If you know who was in an episode, you can remember what happened, right? Well, that’s my contention and I’m here to bring you the recap of final season of The L Word using nothing but the opening credits. Continue reading “The L Word Opening Credits (Season Six)”