Female comedies… it kinda makes sense, right?! Oh well: as Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig explode into the 21st century as the it women of comedy, the big and small screen alike have taken notice as funny ladies like Amy Poehler and Christina Applegate star and write their own work and push age-accepted WASP male humour to the side. Realizing that my current top-rated funny shows are strongly led by female characters and writers, I knew it was time to at least dedicate an article to some double XX chromosomal amazing voices you might not have realized exist in this mid-season of TV amazingness. While the aforementioned talents are often associated with more slapstick, contemporary and physical comedy, there’s two shows I’m HUGELY and quickly falling in love with that offer a tremendously witty and cerebral edge to LOLing that you have to hear about: “Veep” and “Girls“.
Less than surprisingly, both the picks are brand new releases from the brill-balls programming of HBO. While “cutting edge” is a bit of a cliche when referring to the network, honestly, there’s no better way to describe both it and these two shows. While “Veep” tends towards the exaggerated absurd, “Girls” utilizes the harshest of reality: they both absolutely succeed at offering a new voice to not just women but the field of comedy itself. Two second synopsis to convince you to click through: “Veep” is a nonpartisan look at the oft-dismissed and seemingly unimportant role of the vice president from the point of view of “Seinfeld’s” Elalin- Julia Louis-Dreyfus- as the “veep” herself; “Girls” is a hispter/bohemian look at a collection of white 20-something girls in NY who demonstrate the plight of women trying to succeed as smart, independent and sexually free in today’s big apple without the shiny veneer of “Sex and the City” to make all their misadventures cute rather than pointedly real and pained.
“Veep” (Sunday 10:00PM, HBO)
First up we have the hilarious F-Bomb dropping (god, I love HBO) anger and frustration of a woman “in power”. An American remake of hilarious (but hard to get ALL the Brit referential jokes) “In the Thick“, this less than subtle commentary on the progress of women in politics, we see Julia Louis-Dreyfus personified as the modern, successful woman in the second highest position in the free world as she attempts to get Congress’ cutlery made out of cornstarch and struggles to get POTUS on the phone for even a second. It’s not what anyone would call “realistic”, but there’s such a heavy tone of mock-seriousness that you almost have to wonder scene to scene if stuff like this doesn’t actually happen sometimes. The incidents are best described as shenanigans, and while this typically might connote low-browness, you honestly have to give the show a chance to convince you of its intelligence as you cringe and laugh your ass off at every four-letter “F” “B” “A” and “S” word launched without care. It’s the humour of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” with the anger of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the political speed and backdrop of the “West Wing”. It’s awesome and I only hope it gets the credit it’s due to survive the first season.
“Girls” (Sunday 10:30PM, HBO)
If you’ve clicked the link above you’ll know a few things: these are real looking and real acting girls you’d find on the street, next to you in class or interning with you. The lead actress, indie star Lena Dunham, and famed, youth-conscious director Judd Apatow work together to offer an unapologetic slice of life for viewers to admire, hate, embrace or reject. The show is on its second episode and has garnered a variety of reviews from all ends of the spectrum as it gets burned for coming across as ferociously liberal and overly pro-feminist and praised for it’s accurate depiction of contemporary young ladies. I’ve included both the trailer and the preview for the second episode afterwards as 1 minute isn’t enough time to get a full image of what this show has to offer. The voices are so painfully hipster it’s amazing: educated but entitled, struggling but more free than 99% of the world, independent but so self-conscious you want to shake them, you’ll love and hate these girls just like you would someone in the real world. Here’s a google search from the show’s protagonist that made me laugh my ass off: “Diseases from no condom sex for one second”. God, I can absolutely see me typing that haha- woman or not. And with lines like: “How could she ruin the beautiful abortion that you threw?” you just know this one is worth it. Please give them both a try and let me know what you think!