UPN, MEADOW SOPRANO, SITCOM CLICHES AND ME
In one of my media news bulletins this morning came this development news:
UPN is developing a new project based on the website www.VivianLives.com which chronicles the day-in and day-out life of a 20-something career woman in NYC, written by author Sherrie Krantz. Probable star for the project is Sopranos' Jamie-Lynn Scala, so says Hollywood Reporter. --Cynopsis.com
Maybe it's just jealousy speaking, but personally, I don't see why this site is any more worthy of a TV project than any of our sites. (Smitten? This Fish? Ari Goes Down? Superjux? C? Annabel Lee? Um, me?) And Meadow? Please. What are they hoping for? The new "Sex and the City"? But on UPN? Oh, the humanity.
Here comes the rant you've been waiting for. (Or dreading.) What America needs is not the redundant worship of another skinny, midriff-baring, single twentysomething. (Is she an editor at a fabulous magazine, where she is initially spurned by a haughty editor, only to be taken under said editor's wing and nurtured to great success? Will there be a jaunty theme song about living on her own, by her own rules? A sassy best friend? The hot Jordan Catalano-type guy who's always out of reach? A revolving door on her bedroom for easy-on-the-eyes male guest stars?)
There should be some sort of PAC to protest this kind of show. You know, a group with the political starpower and passion of PETA, but with the credibility of Consumer Reports. We need an academic study, maybe spearheaded by the Ms. Foundation, about the fact that shows like these breed unrealistic expectations of young single women, and even more unrealistic expectations of slightly older single women. The study, in an ideal world would denounce these shows for objectifying women, and for creating the expectation in men that they all "deserve" a hot, skinny girl who's all about couture.
Of course, not all skinny women are evil. As the rewritten cliche goes, "some of my best friends are skinny." (OK, one of them.) IMHO, women with nuance, character depth, intelligence, personality, sense of humor, curves, who live their lives in a tiny studio and cheap, comfortable shoes, are a lot more interesting.
Of course, I have to believe this for myself--if my future success as a writer/performer/whatever relies on my ability to magically become a size 6 and learn to walk in four-inch heels, I might as well choose welfare now.
But I have to believe that America believes in women like me. It's just hard to fully believe in the inherent equality of American culture when shows like these permeate pop culture and the public consciousness. Especially in this City, when I'm surrounded by the higher-maintenance, the higher-income, the higher-cheekboned, and the higher-heeled.
Sometimes, it's easier to believe. On stage, or here, in the blog-bosom of my online family, I'm transported. I am the essence of me. And she's all optimism about inner truth, and inner beauty, shining through. Even if couture doesn't come in her size.