There is a new wave of women hitting our television screens, welcome to the new era everybody – it is nothing like before. This is a world in which a strong and more importantly realistic, female lead in a TV show can easily equal success. The past couple of years have seen women writing and leading successful TV shows in a way the entertainment world has never seen before. Women are being frank, they have stopped playing only archetypal characters and are not just a man’s side kick, love interest or mother – the men are their companions.
Turning a corner we are no longer laughing at women, instead we are laughing with them and the female public are identifying with their screen counterparts more than ever. This trend is slowly creeping into the film world as well with Jenny Slate (Parks and Recreation) starring as Donna in the new film comedy Obvious Child. Donna is an unapologetic twenty-something comedian who gets dumped, fired and pregnant in quick succession and shows the real meaning, without conjuring images of the Spice Girls, of girl power.
So to celebrate the cinema release of Obvious Child on the 29th of August we take a look at shows that have launched their leading ladies and taking entertainment into a new era of girl power on film & TV, paving the way for Jenny Slate…
In 2012 this girl-centric TV show hit American screens and the world has never looked back. Lena Durham wrote and led this comedy to universal critical acclaim. Multi-tasking her way to popularity she even dabbled in directing the show and unlike Sex & the City and Gossip Girl, Durham focused on honesty in her depiction of women and their relationships. Set to release her memoir this year and having finished production of the third series of Girls, 2014 looks set to be Lena Durham’s year yet again.
This Netflix original is lead by Taylor Schilling but has a host of dynamic women surrounding her in spectacular style. Based on the real memoir of Piper Kerman it is revolutionary that a women’s prison comedy -drama is making it into the news on a daily a basis. With the second series being released to critical acclaim just this year surely it is only the beginning for Schilling and Orange is the New Black.
Zooey Deschanel has revealed herself to be a leading comic actress in the series New Girl. As it goes from strength to strength her indie movie background is slowly forgotten and audiences can’t believe she hasn’t been a comedic actress all her life. Devised by Elizabeth Meriwether, New Girl exemplifies the trend of a male cast supporting a female lead with Deschanel playing Jess with such intelligence that the girly character never turns into a Disney Princess stereotype.
Created, written by and starring Mindy Kaling this show is a female tour-de-force. Mindy’s character has an opinion on topics from politics to love and everything in between, and she portrays the humorous and intelligent woman which rarely sees daylight on television. Her roots lie in comedy as Mindy Kaling starred in and produced the American sitcom The Office prior to The Mindy Project – there is no end to her talents and with this woman as a TV role model who can complain?