The scripted television lineup is rife with winks and nods to the political drama playing out on the news. Aside from sheer entertainment value, these shows say something profound about the political landscape: Women politicians are not an anomaly.
Both in her portrayal of Leslie Knope and in her own life, Amy Poehler's actions make her stand out as an empowered woman while her talent has made her stand out as a comedian.
In my day job, performing for folks is a gas, and I am very tickled to make a nice living as a professional jackass, but it is the production of sawdust and shavings that brings me the most profound satisfaction.
Long before a single Zuccotti protestor waving a cardboard sign decorated with protest art was ever arrested, Robert Lederman had been there, done that.
One of my favorite shows is Parks and Recreation. I recently had the chance to sit down, drink iced tea and talk with staff writer, Aisha Muharrar, who is both insanely talented and a much more patient iced tea drinker than me.
If two female characters have scenes together, are they talking about something other than their love lives? It's amazing how few movies (only two of the Academy Award nominated pictures this year) and TV series pass this test. Pretty Little Liars, however, would pass this test with flying colors.
Instead of ignoring a character's irritating attributes, sometimes shows just turn right into the skid. When the narrative acknowledges flaws, those same flaws can become endearing parts of what make a character great.
Women's friendships can be some the most abiding and intimate relationships they will ever forge. So where are all the nuanced, honest depictions of female friendships on TV?
Even as Romney continues to bring out his rotating cast of high profile endorsers like Christie, John McCain and Tim Pawlenty, Ann is still his best surrogate.
This week, as I watched some of network television's most popular comedies -- and I recognize that "popular" is judged on a sliding scale here -- I realized that even if I never get to see the Party Down catering company serve cheap wine at another Hollywood bat mitzvah, that show's legacy is as alive as it's ever been.
For more than half a century, TV hipsters have had a profound effect on American culture. These characters taught many of us the importance of oddball tastes, wardrobe thrifting and (perhaps more importantly) the ever-lasting power of snark.
2011 gave us the best season of Parks & Recreation to date, a somewhat miraculous 4th season of Fringe, and Eric and Sookie finally hooked up on True Blood, so all in all, not too shabby. But I think we can all agree, there's certainly room for improvement.
It is without further adieu that I share my Top Five Holiday Moments From the 2011 Television Season. Grab some eggnog and enjoy.
Looking at HBO's recent move -- the canceling of male-driven shows "Hung," "How to Make it in America," and "Bored to Death" and the renewal of the Laura Dern-fronted "Enlightened" -- it's become even more apparent: TV is now the land of women. And that's not a bad thing.
The weirdest thing about my list of the best television shows of the year is that "Mad Men" is not on it. This December, it feels odd not to be writing about the exploits of Don Draper and his fellow ad men and women. But the good news is that 2011 was a very good year for television, even without Roger Sterling's witticisms and Don's flings and existential crises.