In the spirit of Cyber Monday, let’s pack this post with not one, but two — two! — items to get you geared up for the final week of November. Because where we we be if this world didn’t afford us the opportunity to spend hundreds of dollars with one click of a computer mouse and an Amazon account, I ask. Where. Would. We. Be?
Netflix, ye of the cute red envelope, made an announcement Monday, and that announcement was immediately heralded by the four people still upset that the National Hockey League has yet to resolve its problems. From Edgar Alvarez at Engadget …
“History would kindly tell us that this isn’t the very first deal Netflix and Warner Bros. have struck in past months — and, well, chances are it won’t be the last one either,” Alvarez wrote. “Earlier today, the streaming giant announced it had reached a new agreement with the California-based studio which will bring a hefty amount of new content to subscribers in Canada.”
And what would that content be, the disembodied voice asks? How about television shows “The Vampire Diaries” and “Fringe?” Still not sold? Then, how does the taste of “The Hangover Part II” and “The Dark Knight Rises” sound?
OK. OK. I’m not all that thrilled either. “The Hangover II” was so otherworldly bad, and all those people who swear by the Chris Nolan “Batman” movies need to place their hands on a burning stove. But even so, this is a big deal for the expansion of the world’s most recognizable streaming machine. Besides, this also means “Horrible Bosses” will now be offered to our friendly neighbors to the north, and who doesn’t love watching Charlie Day be The Character Of Charlie Day with two of the most lauded Jasons in recent memory?
Take note, though: These movies and TV shows will be available for only a limited amount of time, so if you are still looking for that one thing to get you through the hockey lockout, you may want to take advantage of this while you can. Unintended benefit: The two-headed monster that is Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger won’t be the worst thing in Canada for however long these movies are offered. Seriously, guys. “The Hangover II” was unbearable.
Shut up. Women are funny.
In case you failed to see what I blabbed on about last month (thank you, no one), Slate’s Alyssa Rosenberg took to the World Wide Internet on Monday to quickly note a very interesting tidbit from Stephen Falk’s blog post about his cancelled show, “Next Caller Please,” that dealt with the importance of women comedy writers in mainstream television. From Falk via Rosenberg …
“I will brag about something for a second, though,” he wrote. “I can now say with certainty: if you ever find yourself in the position to get to put together a comedy writing staff, and then you complain that you can’t find enough funny women … Nay, if you already have a show on the air and you have like 12 guys and 2 women: you didn’t look hard enough. I insisted on having as near even as possible ratio of females to males (not including me they were 5:4), and aside from getting to be smug about it, it just makes for better energy and perspective in the room to have an even gender balance. Do it.”
Rosenberg then goes on to throw some numbers at us: 30 percent of writers employed on TV shows during the 2011-12 season were women while only 15 percent in 2010-11 were female. More startling? 68 percent of the series on television in the 11-12 season didn’t have a single woman writer on staff, period.
She follows that with some stuff from Dan Harmon, he of “Community” fame. At the risk of completely ripping off her piece, I’ll abstain from giving too much away about that. What I will do, however, is say this:
It is always strikingly unsettling to read these pieces and come across these numbers that highlight the constant disparity among comedy writers in America. It’s 2012, people. Check that. It might as well be 2013. Why is this still even a conversation? Why do female writers get overlooked in such a disturbing fashion? It seems preposterous that the gender line is even still being considered, doesn’t it? There should be absolutely no novelty in hiring a woman for a television show. Much like the rest of the world, you, television people, should hire a woman because a woman is the best person for the job. There should be no handicap. There should be no prejudice. These numbers should not exist. Women are funny. Men are funny. That’s all.
Excuse me while I step down from my soapbox now.