by Morgan Green; Communications Coordinator, Women In Film
With the release of the second season of “Chewing Gum,” and the very last episodes of “Girls,” Spring 2017 is already an unusually good time for women in comedy.
Last week I watched the whole new season of Michaela Coel’s “Chewing Gum” in one go. (Only six episodes! But I would recommend that others try and make it last.) It made my day better, because it’s brilliant and because I’ve never seen anything like it. Despite the fact that it deals a lot with the mundane, it’s a total jolt from the TV comfort I’ve grown used to. Not to give anything away, but in the last episode, there’s a moment where Tracy breaks into song, and this song shatters all kinds of assumptions about what a particular moment in a woman’s life should look like. It’s also just too funny to let viewers stay mad or sad.
The first season of “Girls” premiered around the time I was buying my cap and gown for undergrad, and despite complexities and misgivings, I always remained a faithful watcher of the show. The work is filled with moments that I relate to almost fiercely, and others that seem designed to alienate my loved ones and me. This last season has felt to me like the maturation of the show, like a justification for my fidelity. Episode 3 was particularly fraught and daring (crossing over beyond even dark comedy), and last week’s penultimate episode, directed by WIF Board Member Nisha Ganatra, tenderly intimated Hannah Horvath’s path forward — toward forgiveness and self-reflection.
There’s plenty more women-authored comedy to look forward to — so much, in fact, that I’m really going to have to restrain myself or end up in a binging wormhole. Series premieres include “I Love Dick,” which Roxane Gay called “by far some of the best television,” Tracey Wigfield’s “Great News,” EP’d by Tina Fey, and “Girlboss.” The series version of “Dear White People,” premieres later this month,” with female creatives including producer and WIF Board Member Stephanie Allain, and Tina Mabry directing two episodes. “Jane the Virgin” continues to go strong.
Comedy provides relief from the troubles of the world, not just as a form of escape, but often also as the source of a particular kind of insight. In a time when the phrase “girls aren’t funny” still persists, I’m proud to see women making so much strong and hilarious content.
Women in Film is based in Los Angeles and is a sister organization of Women in Film & Video. Click here to subscribe to the Women in Film Newsletter!