Who says women aren’t funny? Certainly not those voters who picked the nominees for the 71st Primetime Emmys. They probably don’t even know it. But history has been made.
The first time that female-fronted shows dominated the comedy series category was in 1955, when “I Love Lucy,” “Our Miss Brooks” and “Private Secretary” made the cut.
The next time lady-led shows were the majority occurred in 1989, 1990 and 1991. That was when CBS’ “Designing Women” and “Murphy Brown” (which won twice) as well as NBC’s “The Golden Girls” brought some gender parity to TV’s funny business. It took until 2018 to repeat such a trifecta in the form of Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” which won the trophy, plus Netflix’s “GLOW” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Well, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day –and it’s a new record as guy comedies have stepped aside this year. With such male-dominated series as “Atlanta,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Silicon Valley” out of the picture, the door has been opened for more shows with women in the lead, both in front and behind the camera, to claim a spot on the ballot.
Yes, hitman “Barry” is back and the family-driven “Schitt’s Creek” earned its first spot ever in the category. Otherwise, it is pretty much ladies’ choice what with a repeat of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amazon’s “Fleabag,” Netflix’s “Russian Doll,” the seventh and final season of HBO’s “Veep” and NBC’s “The Good Place.”
One could write a treatise comparing “Mrs. Maisel” to “I Love Lucy,” both about ’50s housewives who pursue a career in show business. But these two series made in different eras led the way for more female-driven comedies despite being decades apart. And we the viewers are the beneficiaries.
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