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From a leading cultural journalist, the definitive cultural history of female showrunners—including exclusive interviews with such influential figures as Shonda Rhimes, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, and many more. “An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). In recent years, women hav From a leading cultural journalist, the definitive cultural history of female showrunners—including exclusive interviews with such influential figures as Shonda Rhimes, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, and many more. “An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). In recent years, women have radically transformed the television industry both behind and in front of the camera. From Murphy Brown to 30 Rock and beyond, these shows and the extraordinary women behind them have shaken up the entertainment landscape, making it look as if equal opportunities abound. But it took decades of determination in the face of outright exclusion to reach this new era. In this “sharp, funny, and gorgeously researched” (Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker) book, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of the maverick women who broke through the barricades and the iconic shows that redefined the television landscape starting with Diane English and Roseanne Barr—and even incited controversy that reached as far as the White House. Drawing on a wealth of original interviews with the key players like Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), and Jill Soloway (Transparent) who created storylines and characters that changed how women are seen and how they see themselves, this is the exhilarating behind-the-scenes story of a cultural revolution.


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From a leading cultural journalist, the definitive cultural history of female showrunners—including exclusive interviews with such influential figures as Shonda Rhimes, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, and many more. “An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). In recent years, women hav From a leading cultural journalist, the definitive cultural history of female showrunners—including exclusive interviews with such influential figures as Shonda Rhimes, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer, and many more. “An urgent and entertaining history of the transformative powers of women in TV” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). In recent years, women have radically transformed the television industry both behind and in front of the camera. From Murphy Brown to 30 Rock and beyond, these shows and the extraordinary women behind them have shaken up the entertainment landscape, making it look as if equal opportunities abound. But it took decades of determination in the face of outright exclusion to reach this new era. In this “sharp, funny, and gorgeously researched” (Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker) book, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of the maverick women who broke through the barricades and the iconic shows that redefined the television landscape starting with Diane English and Roseanne Barr—and even incited controversy that reached as far as the White House. Drawing on a wealth of original interviews with the key players like Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), and Jill Soloway (Transparent) who created storylines and characters that changed how women are seen and how they see themselves, this is the exhilarating behind-the-scenes story of a cultural revolution.

30 review for Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television

  1. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black or Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy or Broad City or Transparent or 30 Rock (among others discussed in these pages), this nonfiction book about the struggles and strides of the women behind the camera should be interesting to you. With the exception of Murphy Brown that came out in 1987, it was rare to have women head writers or showrunners (if you saw 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s character played a showrunner—basically in charge the writers and making sure everything If you’re a fan of Orange is the New Black or Scandal or Grey’s Anatomy or Broad City or Transparent or 30 Rock (among others discussed in these pages), this nonfiction book about the struggles and strides of the women behind the camera should be interesting to you. With the exception of Murphy Brown that came out in 1987, it was rare to have women head writers or showrunners (if you saw 30 Rock, Tina Fey’s character played a showrunner—basically in charge the writers and making sure everything came together). The major broadcast networks ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox have not made great strides in this area. (CW is an exception). Variety found that of the new scripted shows being made for the 2017/2018 season, just 29 percent of the broadcast showrunners were female and thirty-five percent of the actors were. Thanks to streaming channels and cable, there are many more opportunities for women to get experience—and hire other women so they, too, can get experience. Directing TV is a Catch-22—you won’t get hired if you don’t have experience, but you can’t get experience because no one will hire you. I like history and examining the role women have played in it, including the history of the entertainment industry. I found this to be readable, fun look at women in TV. RELEASES 3/6/18. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to review this book. http://theresaalan.net/blog/

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Really spectacular. I hesitated, because so much has been happening in Hollywood over the last few months, and I figured this would feel dated. On the contrary, this is a timely and fascinating look at women behind the scenes in television. Recommendddddddd.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    History is a giant tease: it jerks around our hopes and assumptions, it ebbs and surges and doubles back on itself. The long arc of history may bend toward justice, but when you're living through a reactionary period, it feels as if progress were being forced treacherously backward As soon as I saw this book up for reviewing at NetGalley, I grabbed it. I did a stint in the film industry way back when, and while it was exciting to be around creative people, it was depressing and even degrading to History is a giant tease: it jerks around our hopes and assumptions, it ebbs and surges and doubles back on itself. The long arc of history may bend toward justice, but when you're living through a reactionary period, it feels as if progress were being forced treacherously backward As soon as I saw this book up for reviewing at NetGalley, I grabbed it. I did a stint in the film industry way back when, and while it was exciting to be around creative people, it was depressing and even degrading to be a woman in an industry already lethally competitive. I don't just mean sexual harassment (back then, that was pretty much what any woman got any day of the week anywhere you went, any job you did), but the terrible ways in which women's talent was exploited, underpaid, never promoted, and outright pirated, but if you dared to complain, you were told bluntly that you play the game and smile, or you can be replaced in ten seconds flat by a hundred women hungry for your job. Not being a fighter, unlike some of the women described in this book, one screw-over too many and I turned to writing books. But I was eager to read about the women who did make it. Press's stylish, tightly written, often sharply funny piece is an interesting blend of interview journalism, research piece, and essay. To me, the most interesting chapter was the first, which talked about the groundbreaking women in television, a notoriously male preserve. The chapters go on to focus on different female show runners and executives, focusing on their difficulties in getting where they are now. In each chapter there are also close looks at their most famous shows. This interested me increasingly less as the chapters progressed, as the focus began to shift from breaking the boundaries in including women (POC, different ages and abilities, etc) as lead characters to breaking boundaries in content. That's where I have the least interest, as I am not enamored of shows that focus on the degrading aspects of being human, but of course others disagree, and what makes art is a vital, vexing, sometimes indefinable question. I'm glad challenging art is out there, but most of it I don't want to see; many of these shows in the last few chapters were ones I tried an episode or two of and turned off. But that's a taste thing, not a jab at Press, who I thought did a good job of focusing on her mission. She also did a great job in conveying just how rough it is working in an industry that can include twenty-hour days for weeks at a stretch. Altogether a fascinating glimpse into the gritty side of glamourville. Copy provided by NetGalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Woodbury

    I don't read a lot of nonfiction, I expect it to be work. This book is so far from work that I honestly wanted to work more. Divided into chapters, most devoted to individual show runners, this is mostly a book that tells a basic story of a groundbreaking television show. None of these chapters are long enough to really dive in at a level that's truly satisfying. And if you're familiar with the show, there won't be much to learn. (I remembered most of what happened in the Roseanne Barr chapter, I don't read a lot of nonfiction, I expect it to be work. This book is so far from work that I honestly wanted to work more. Divided into chapters, most devoted to individual show runners, this is mostly a book that tells a basic story of a groundbreaking television show. None of these chapters are long enough to really dive in at a level that's truly satisfying. And if you're familiar with the show, there won't be much to learn. (I remembered most of what happened in the Roseanne Barr chapter, for example, even though my family watched it only rarely.) This structural approach has another major weakness: there isn't a real narrative tying these stories together. We don't get enough context about how these shows are different from the rest of television, themes that pop up over and over again are just threads that are picked up and dropped rather than a real through line. We read in some chapters about feminism, intersectionality, hiring and mentoring women, fighting for creative control, and reframing the idea of female gender roles. But without addressing these in a deeper way, it doesn't feel like anything is actually happening. (Also worth noting that it always rubs me wrong when "woman" is used as a titular term to describe someone who is actually nonbinary, like Jill Soloway.) Now that I've logged all my complaints, I should note this is an easy, breezy read. If you're not looking for a real deep dive but just a look at how women on television in front of and behind the camera have changed in the last 30 years, this gives you a good snapshot and it's fun to read. More beach or airplane read than learning experience.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I'd definitely recommend it if you're a fan of any of the shows highlighted in this book. Women on and behind the camera have come a long way, but there's still a long way to go.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Miz

    timely and very well-written, but it lost a star for its lena dunham section, which was better than i thought it would be, but was still annoyingly protective of her.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Stealing the Show. I thought I was going to love this book. I am pro-female, ever rooting for a woman to make her mark in the world. I am thankful to the women how have struggled to making groundbreaking t.v. and film come to my screen. However except for a few of the women mentioned in this book, I don't feel that some of these women deserve being talked about. I am not into lewdness, so I don't get Lena Dunham, nor Amy Schumer and Jenji Kohan. Although I get that their shows produce the ability Stealing the Show. I thought I was going to love this book. I am pro-female, ever rooting for a woman to make her mark in the world. I am thankful to the women how have struggled to making groundbreaking t.v. and film come to my screen. However except for a few of the women mentioned in this book, I don't feel that some of these women deserve being talked about. I am not into lewdness, so I don't get Lena Dunham, nor Amy Schumer and Jenji Kohan. Although I get that their shows produce the ability to talk about tough topics, I just don't see it as needful, I'm not into shock and awe sex. I love being reminded of the strength that Rosanne Barr had in putting her show out during a time where women were still seen as demur and helpless. Amy Sherman-Palladino is my Hollywood kindred spirit, so reading about her and her mark on Television was awesome. I mean, who doesn't love a Shonda Rhimes show? That girl is tough as nails! I am wishing that we got more stories about Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers and other women who helped these modern day women to have a slightly easier go at it. I guess, I learned alot about the women in the book through Joy Press's interviews and exchanges and still had to bite my tongue on how some of these woman who just don't represent "strength" to me. Not every book is for everybody. This book was just not what I expected. I guess I am not as feministic, or open-minded as I thought. I gave this book 3 stars for a well written format.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Abella

    Loved this look at women showrunners, their vision and the impact of their work

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maddie Gretzky

    I really enjoyed how Joy Press focused on the writing side of things, even when I wouldn’t have thought to wonder about that aspect. Now, where’s the remote- I have some rewatching to do.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Genevieve Brassard

    If you like TV, complex female protagonists, and feminism (plus a dash of Hollywood gossip 😉), this book might be for you 😊

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Plesa

    An interesting and fun read. Some of the chapters, however, seemed to focus more on the shows themselves than the women behind them.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Niamh

    If anything, this makes me more and more motivated to get writing and launch that career I want.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Felicia Risolo

    I really liked reading about these different women in their roles - some I was more familiar with than others, so I enjoyed getting a bit more backstory on them. I wish some of the chapters went a bit more in depth but I still enjoyed the whole book. Seems weird to say this, but I enjoyed the entire idea of this book since it's not something you see talked about very often.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mediaman

    This lop-sided book is nothing but feminist propaganda. It does a horrible job regarding the history of women on television, contains errors, and skips over many significant events or people in order to focus on a few modern women that the author wants to promote and praise. Nothing fair about this--from a male perspective who has researched the subject for decades this is simplistic, diminutive, and diminishing of men and women involved in TV history. The writer poorly summarizes some of the wo This lop-sided book is nothing but feminist propaganda. It does a horrible job regarding the history of women on television, contains errors, and skips over many significant events or people in order to focus on a few modern women that the author wants to promote and praise. Nothing fair about this--from a male perspective who has researched the subject for decades this is simplistic, diminutive, and diminishing of men and women involved in TV history. The writer poorly summarizes some of the work of the more current heavy hitters (Lena Dunham, Tina Fey) and overpraises Roseanne (a show mostly created and run by men). Politics are tied in when the author finds it important to push her agenda, and she makes sure to hold Barack Obama up for being a "feminist" and gay rights supporter (she needs to take a look back at his actual beliefs). She loves to slam Republicans but can be strangely silent on woman-chasing, female-harasser Bill Clinton (while praising Hillary of course!). The book seems to exist simply to be a propaganda piece to place in libraries to distort research for decades to come. It's incomplete and intolerant of well-rounded perspectives. A radical feminist that wants to support her own biased perspective will love it, but any reasonable person interested in a fair look at the history of women and the medium should avoid it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Taylor (TaysBookishThoughts)

    This book covers the struggles and strife of females behind the camera. I enjoyed reading this and learning about the history of TV and the role women have played. If you love history, especially the history women have created, you will love this book. You would think that all of the sexist "men can do better than women" nonsense would be over by this day in time, but this book shows that women still struggle today. Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of this book in return for an hon This book covers the struggles and strife of females behind the camera. I enjoyed reading this and learning about the history of TV and the role women have played. If you love history, especially the history women have created, you will love this book. You would think that all of the sexist "men can do better than women" nonsense would be over by this day in time, but this book shows that women still struggle today. Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    I felt like I'd fallen down a rabbit hole...a completely different world than the one I live in. I admire strong women who control their destiny and make change happen; but the women portrayed in this book, particularly the last half, seemed to be grabbing at a change that I don't think is going to improve the world we live in. I don't want them defining my role as a woman. I vote for dignity and respect, not in-your-face degradation.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Some parts are pretty good, but I felt as though it focused too much on the showrunners themselves and not so much on providing a holistic study of the shows they created — which is precisely what I was looking for in this. It’s still a nice read, though.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bogetti

    This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.i was under the impression that it was going to be about female showrunners and their stories, but really it was just a description of their shows. The first chapter was the strongest, describing how groundbreaking the show was and the life of the woman behind it and how she got there, with some recapping of particular episodes of the show. Sadly, subsequent chapters generally had a very shallow description of the women behind the shows and spent muc This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.i was under the impression that it was going to be about female showrunners and their stories, but really it was just a description of their shows. The first chapter was the strongest, describing how groundbreaking the show was and the life of the woman behind it and how she got there, with some recapping of particular episodes of the show. Sadly, subsequent chapters generally had a very shallow description of the women behind the shows and spent much more time recapping individual episodes. If I wanted an episode guide, I would just watch the shows or wiki it. I hoped for more, and really only got advertisements for tv shows I already watched. I understand that describing the show is important to explaining their cultural impact, but you can’t just give episode recaps without more. The first chapter balanced this well, describing episodes after filling in her story, and then describing the cultural and politcal reactions individual episodes got. Later chapters described episodes, but for no apparent reason. The Amy Sherman Palladio and Roseanne Barr were some of the weakest chapters in the book due to just giving recaps of episodes, but the second half of the book had a bit more success with Amy Schumer and Mindy Kahling. The orange is the new black chapter had quite a bit of trivia about the show and was one of the stronger chapters of the book, but still suffered the same ‘last week on this show’ style of the book. The final chapter was lovely, describing the ‘club’ of female showrunners and how they meet periodically and share their experiences. I would have loved for the whole book just to be these women describing their struggles and successes, instead of episode by episode reviews. It’s definitely a good introduction to the shows of female showrunners, and if someone hasn’t already seen them all I feel they would add quite a few to their must-watch list, though it is naturally full of spoilers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andréa Fehsenfeld

    Books that examine the history of pop culture are always a good read. With memories and attention spans getting shorter and shorter, it's easy to forget how ground breaking certain films, TV shows and books have been, let alone the timely movements that brought change to each medium. Stealing the Show focuses on the rise of the female showrunner within the US TV industry and Press does a fine job reminding us how shows like Murphy Brown and Roseanne allowed women's lives to be more accurately por Books that examine the history of pop culture are always a good read. With memories and attention spans getting shorter and shorter, it's easy to forget how ground breaking certain films, TV shows and books have been, let alone the timely movements that brought change to each medium. Stealing the Show focuses on the rise of the female showrunner within the US TV industry and Press does a fine job reminding us how shows like Murphy Brown and Roseanne allowed women's lives to be more accurately portrayed on TV. While the US isn't technically a theocracy, it does have leanings in that direction - particularly towards the conservative Christian right. It's this prevailing attitude that female writers/showrunners were, and are still, up against. Whether its adopting as a single mom, or choosing to have an abortion, or, heaven forbid, being sexually active, it took decades for these types of stories to make it to the small screen. And there is still a fight to present the female experience from a female perspective, although Press presents an easier case now that the Shonda Rhimes and Diane English's of the world have forged a path. But despite the creative advances, what hasn't changed is ego. Movies are the directors medium; TV is the showrunner's medium. Being a staff writer is only a stepping stone - the golden egg is to run your own show. And from a control standpoint, the females aren't any different than men. They are just as tough, demanding, and yes, sometimes not that nice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kim Forney

    : I liked the book. It was long and had so much information about women in television. I was confused at first trying to follow a timeline with TV shows who stars were women (Murphy Brown, Roseanne, and Cagney & Lacey) and talking about women writers and producers. She intertwines the new shows and writers against the old style of Man’s TV. There was a lot to learn in this book. While I followed the timeline of shows, I was ignorant towards the behinds the scenes creation and production of shows : I liked the book. It was long and had so much information about women in television. I was confused at first trying to follow a timeline with TV shows who stars were women (Murphy Brown, Roseanne, and Cagney & Lacey) and talking about women writers and producers. She intertwines the new shows and writers against the old style of Man’s TV. There was a lot to learn in this book. While I followed the timeline of shows, I was ignorant towards the behinds the scenes creation and production of shows (especially how hard and volatile the business is). The author talks about all the new shows in 2000, the networks, and the diversity; she describes Sex and The City, the Sopranos, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Gilmore Girls. Joy writes about the writers, the production, and the current and political events. For instance, all the firsts in TV, and the upcoming new networks (FX, HBO, Ect…) It is has always been said that art mirrors life, and it does. There are many shows mentioned in this book that I didn’t know anything about and didn’t want to watch (The Mindy Project, Grey’s Anatomy, Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Weeds, etc.) and yet, listening to behind the scenes motivations and parodies, the shows and writers seem so much more interesting. When you look at the big picture of women’s issues in the 21st century, this book explains how TV changes to shed light on, rise up against, and unite together to acknowledge and overcome those challenges. I would recommend the book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    I thought this book was interesting and informative, but I also felt I didn't get as much out of it as I could have. I felt like I was lacking cultural context for much of the book, though that may be because I am younger than the intended target demographic and I have never seen any of these shows. I also feel that many important areas of TV were overlooked. The book focused only on live action contemporary works and did not include any animated or sci-fi/fantasy TV shows. (The exception was a I thought this book was interesting and informative, but I also felt I didn't get as much out of it as I could have. I felt like I was lacking cultural context for much of the book, though that may be because I am younger than the intended target demographic and I have never seen any of these shows. I also feel that many important areas of TV were overlooked. The book focused only on live action contemporary works and did not include any animated or sci-fi/fantasy TV shows. (The exception was a brief mention of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) I find it hard to believe that there were no influential female (or formerly female-identifying) creators in animated or genre TV up until now, especially considering how sci-fi/fantasy has often been much more focused on themes of inclusion and equity than other media in the past. I don't mind if the book is intended to have a narrow focus, but the book should have stated that it was only looking at contemporary live action TV shows, instead of dismissing genre and animated TV entirely. One showrunner who could have been included is Rebecca Sugar, the creator of Steven Universe, an animated sci-fi/fantasy TV show that pushed boundaries forward for women, queer people and other historically marginalized groups.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Lemaster

    A little slow at the start, but then this transforms into a highly entertaining and nuanced exploration of how women fought like hell to break into the television industry. Beware of some spoilers if you aren’t up to date on the shows mentioned (particularly the sections on dramedy and Orange Is The New Black). Otherwise, read this immediately! You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for all the trauma, pain, and frustration that dozens of women endured in order for us to see more of ourselves reflect A little slow at the start, but then this transforms into a highly entertaining and nuanced exploration of how women fought like hell to break into the television industry. Beware of some spoilers if you aren’t up to date on the shows mentioned (particularly the sections on dramedy and Orange Is The New Black). Otherwise, read this immediately! You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for all the trauma, pain, and frustration that dozens of women endured in order for us to see more of ourselves reflected on the screen, with greater diversity and with greater authenticity. I’m leaving this one with a more empathetic view of Roseanne Barr and Amy Schumer (I know, I know - that’s why you should read it too!!), a better understanding of the significance of Transparent and different depictions of gender identity in our culture, and most of all a renewed commitment to supporting, promoting, and loving TV shows made by, with, and for womyn.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Romero

    This book looks at how these women fought to get where they are and to be treated as equals with the men who are primarily running television/film.  While I thought the book started out strong and ended strong, the middle was little more than telling us about the series episodes and what they meant. While I enjoyed reading about the women, I felt like this book was more about the shows themselves. Much of this information everyone knows, so it wasn't shocking or even surprising.  If you are a fan o This book looks at how these women fought to get where they are and to be treated as equals with the men who are primarily running television/film.  While I thought the book started out strong and ended strong, the middle was little more than telling us about the series episodes and what they meant. While I enjoyed reading about the women, I felt like this book was more about the shows themselves. Much of this information everyone knows, so it wasn't shocking or even surprising.  If you are a fan of one of these shows, you will probably find it interesting.  I did not. Netgalley/Atria   March 06, 2018

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    As it is practically impossible for me to be a casual fan of anything TV-related, this book seemed like it was made for me. A book about female showrunners and executive producers? YES PLEASE. Upon finishing it, though, I would say it helps to be a fan of these women and their shows. Did I love the "Murphy Brown" chapter, the "Gilmore Girls" chapter, and the Fey/Merriwether/Kaling chapter? Of course. But a good chunk of the other women Press focuses on are at the helm of shows that I don't watch As it is practically impossible for me to be a casual fan of anything TV-related, this book seemed like it was made for me. A book about female showrunners and executive producers? YES PLEASE. Upon finishing it, though, I would say it helps to be a fan of these women and their shows. Did I love the "Murphy Brown" chapter, the "Gilmore Girls" chapter, and the Fey/Merriwether/Kaling chapter? Of course. But a good chunk of the other women Press focuses on are at the helm of shows that I don't watch or even particularly like, and while I respect them and their contributions, I wasn't hugely interested in learning more about what went on behind the scenes. But the fact that there are women out there making shows that I don't like? That's amazing. We need more of that.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clementine

    This is a well-researched history of female-created television shows and the way progressive female characters have become more and more common. There's a nice exploration of the cultural periods each show belongs to, though I would have liked even deeper acknowledgment of mass culture as a reaction to social and political movements. I wish there had been more focus on the role of women who aren't just creators/showrunners/writers, because female editors and crews play a huge part in the way a s This is a well-researched history of female-created television shows and the way progressive female characters have become more and more common. There's a nice exploration of the cultural periods each show belongs to, though I would have liked even deeper acknowledgment of mass culture as a reaction to social and political movements. I wish there had been more focus on the role of women who aren't just creators/showrunners/writers, because female editors and crews play a huge part in the way a show takes shape and we are slowly seeing more women in every type of production role. Feminist media critics also need to cut it out with the Lena Dunham worship. It's utterly bizarre how Press was able to acknowledge Dunham's various fuck-ups while still maintaining that she is ultimately a positive force in the media landscape and that the real reason she is so hated is because she puts her naked size 10 body on television. Referring to her "disarming humor" is a grossly inadequate euphemism. Dunham traffics in shock value at the expense of pretty much every population that she doesn't belong to, her "feminism" entirely self-serving. Like, come on, we need to move past this.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie Virginia

    3.5 I really wish I had liked this more. Something about the writing put me off, and I think I would have liked a little MORE - both of content and of analysis. There were also a few errors or inconstincies in the recounting of shows' dialogue and plot. I am admittedly a super nitpicky person who watches much too much television, but these mistakes changed the book for me. I'm not saying that an author needs to love or memorize everything she references, but some parts did feel a little obligatory 3.5 I really wish I had liked this more. Something about the writing put me off, and I think I would have liked a little MORE - both of content and of analysis. There were also a few errors or inconstincies in the recounting of shows' dialogue and plot. I am admittedly a super nitpicky person who watches much too much television, but these mistakes changed the book for me. I'm not saying that an author needs to love or memorize everything she references, but some parts did feel a little obligatory or cursory, like they were included even though the author wasn't that familiar with them or that the show or interview in question hadn't been revisited recently.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nichola

    A great look back at the influential women who have moved our television watching selves forward culturally by producing, writing, show running, and creating work showcasing the female point of view and the female experience. Some I knew about, some I sort-of remembered, and some led me to new shows. TV as a media form is always interesting in the dual power to reflect an experience and create a space for acceptance of a new experience, and these women fought hard and made the most of their oppo A great look back at the influential women who have moved our television watching selves forward culturally by producing, writing, show running, and creating work showcasing the female point of view and the female experience. Some I knew about, some I sort-of remembered, and some led me to new shows. TV as a media form is always interesting in the dual power to reflect an experience and create a space for acceptance of a new experience, and these women fought hard and made the most of their opportunities to have an impact.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

    Love pop culture? Fun foray into how women are reshaping television. Nine chapters covers various women, starting with Murphy Brown and Roseanne as heirs to Mary Tyler Moore, upending the traditional domestic woman. Leading to chapters on Gilmore Girls and Shonda Rhimes paving the way for New Girl, Mindy Kaling, and more. The final chapters are on Jenji Kohan from Orange is the New Black and Jill Soloway from Transparent. Thoroughly enjoyable read with fun pop culture tidbits and a feminist tilt.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    As an unabashed tv-holic, I really enjoyed this examination of female led comedies and dramas. I found it really interesting to learn how shows like Murphy Brown, Gilmore Girls and more came about and the troubles the female producers/writers/showrunners ran into from their corporate overlords. I would be curious to see an addendum/second volume that went into newer shows like Fleabag and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This one in particular because of the way it ended. If you enjoy behind the scenes tv h As an unabashed tv-holic, I really enjoyed this examination of female led comedies and dramas. I found it really interesting to learn how shows like Murphy Brown, Gilmore Girls and more came about and the troubles the female producers/writers/showrunners ran into from their corporate overlords. I would be curious to see an addendum/second volume that went into newer shows like Fleabag and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This one in particular because of the way it ended. If you enjoy behind the scenes tv history, this is a must read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Interesting and thoughtful. Historical perspective on groundbreaking shows like Murphy Brown but also discussions of industry & cultural impact by newer shows by female showrunners such as Gilmore Girls and Orange is the New Black. Highly recommended for T.V. fans. ***This review was originally posted under the same book but with the title "The New Girls", which is what came up when I scanned the barcode. Interesting and thoughtful. Historical perspective on groundbreaking shows like Murphy Brown but also discussions of industry & cultural impact by newer shows by female showrunners such as Gilmore Girls and Orange is the New Black. Highly recommended for T.V. fans. ***This review was originally posted under the same book but with the title "The New Girls", which is what came up when I scanned the barcode.

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