We've already had a look at some of the cast photos, but now we have a full rundown of what NBC is ordering up for its Fall schedule. Unlike last year, where there seemed to be a few shows that I'd like to watch - NBC now having cancelled them all - NBC appears to have chosen to fill the airwaves this year and next year almost exclusively with pure awfulness, probably figuring based on this year's ratings that if it produces anything decent, no one will watch it, so why bother with half-decent, which takes some effort, when you can have river effluent instead.
After the jump, we'll take a look - yes, there are clips - at NBC's new shows, to see if there's anything at all that looks good out of Revolution, Go On, The New Normal, Animal Practice, Guys With Kids, Chicago Fire and Do No Harm.
There were two big US fantasy sitcoms of the 1960s that took on board women's changing roles in society, not by showing them at work but by showing them as more than just 'mere' housewives and people with ideas of their own: I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched.
I Dream of Jeannie saw Barbara Eden appear at first to be 'every man's dream' - a sexy blonde genie with magic powers, willing to do whatever he commanded.
However, as a pre-JR Larry Hagman was about to discover, even slaves have minds of their own and Barbara Eden's Jeannie very definitely had a will of her own, throwing Hagman's life upside down - the star of the show was clearly Eden rather Hagman and Tony the astronaut spent most of his time keeping up with Jeannie, rather than the other way round.
Here's a little minisode version of the first episode to give you an idea. Surprisingly, it was written by Sidney Sheldon (yes, the fabulously successful author).
Meanwhile in Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery played Samantha, an apparently normal young American woman, who meets and falls in love with a very normal American man Darrin (Dick York at first, then Dick Sargent). Except it turns out that Samantha is a witch and with just a wiggle of her nose, she can make more or less anything happen.
Samantha wants to be a normal housewife but somehow, usually thanks to the efforts of her mother Endora, she always ends up having to use her powers for some reason or other. And as with I Dream of Jeannie, this was a show very much about the female lead rather than the male lead, what she wanted, what she was prepared to do to fit in with society and more.
Here's the pilot episode:
In both series, the set-ups evolved, with Jeannie eventually marrying Tony and having a family with him, and Samantha also having a daughter, Tabitha, and a son, Adam.
Five years after Bewitched ended in 1972, and we're in a post-Rhoda world, where the single young, sexually liberated working woman is now a valid subject for a comedy. And although it was just five years later, Tabitha has apparently grown up into a young woman working in the LA television industry. Cue an ABC sitcom called Tabitha starring Knots Landing's Lisa Hartman and Robert Urich from Vega$ and Spenser: For Hire. Here's the opening credits that explain everything.
So, as we all know, not a lot of women read comics. Or at least superhero comics. There have been lots of theories as to why this should be, largely put out by men. However, at least one of these theories is that there aren't any good representations of women in comics – that the female characters that there are are secondary, aren't well characterised and are usually sexualised for the benefit of younger male readers, making female readers not seem very welcome.
Now DC hasn't been doing particularly well here, with only about 7% of its readers female. But at least it has a few titles with female leads: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Voodoo, Batgirl, Batwoman, Birds of Prey, and Catwoman, for starters, although some treat their female characters better than others. Over at Marvel, the situation is far worse, with the last female-led title, X-23, following hot on the heels of Ms. Marvel and Black Widow in getting cancelled.
That's right – there's not a single superhero title with a female lead at Marvel.
Now you'd have thought that with the largest opening movie of all time, The Avengers/Avengers Assemble, at the box office right now, it would be a golden opportunity for Marvel to capitalise on the fact that there's a superheroine in the line up – Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow – who, thanks to the mighty word processing powers of Joss Whedon, gets to kick arse a lot, isn't second-fiddle to the men, and isn't there to be someone's girlfriend.
In fact, you'd be right. Look! It's Marvel's The Avengers: Black Widow Strikes, a prequel to the movie available in comic stores now.
Brilliant. All those women going into movies, seeing a decent superheroine character. They'll pick up Black Widow Strikes, see there's nothing to fear from the medium and hey presto, loads of new female comics readers, right?
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.