So I’ve been taking a class with Cheri Steinkeller, one of the writers of Cheers and we’ve been talking a lot about what television is missing. I think TV is missing a lot of things, but mostly what it’s missing is a strong female lead character that has little to no romantic life. Don’t get me wrong here, there are definitely a lot of female roles out there- Girls, New Girl, Parks & Rec, etc. but all the women on these shows have a romantic storyline. Why can’t a woman just be doing her thing, if you know what I mean?
And I mean I get it, sex sells. A show like Scandal is so scandalous because Olivia Pope is hooking up with the President of the United States but why can’t Olivia say no to him? I mean I sort of get it. Fictional President Fitz has power and he’s suppose to be attractive or whatever but what is the role of Olivia Pope really doing for women? Her role is empowering but limited. While Olivia is a powerhouse “fixer” she is unable to fix the problems in her life. Although she shows that a woman can make a lot of money on her own, her happiness will still depend on the status of her relationship with the men in her life.
My question is this: Why does Olivia Pope and why do other fictional women on TV have to have romantic problems? I’m not opposed to women having problems in TV, in fact quite the contrary. I want women to have problems on TV so the public can see how women really live. But I want women to have issues that I can relate too. Why can’t we see a woman’s show with themes of poverty, abuse, or single motherhood? Why can’t I find a show where the female is so focused on her work, she has no time for a romantic life?