Press-Republican

FYI...

January 12, 2013

Slate: The Oxygen network thinks young women want horrible TV

WASHINGTON — I'm always suspicious when an entertainment executive claims to know precisely what young women are looking for. But there was something particularly infuriating about the pitch given by Rod Aissa, senior vice president for original programming and development at Oxygen Media, at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., this week. Apparently what I've been looking for all my life is a Birkin bag, my mother to judge my teen-age dating decisions and a man to pop the question after humiliating me.

I have no problem with the idea, as Aissa put it, that "a viewer who is living life on their own terms . . . wants to watch shows that are fun, have emotion and passion, but yes, they have to have key ingredients of high stakes and drama." I don't know what "living life on their own terms" means exactly, but fun, emotion, passion, high stakes and drama are definitely what I like in my TV. It's why I cried when Ben Wyatt proposed to Leslie Knope on "Parks and Recreation," and why I'm so excited for audiences to get in front of FX's new drama "The Americans," which stars Keri Russell as a Soviet spy embedded in 1980s Washington. It's the rest of Aissa's argument that had the critics sitting around me worried that I was about to break out in rage-hives.

Because check out Oxygen's lineup: shows with names like "Fat Girl Revenge," which follows women who "have a score to settle" with people who made fun of them at their prior weights. (Fun!) Then there's "Find Me My Man," a matchmaking show based on the idea that we've all got an Ideal Husband waiting for us out there somewhere, and the reasons we're not meeting him are all about us. (Emotion!) There's "Too Young To Marry," which is based on the idea that it's really hilarious to make fun of teen-agers who think that they've found True Love. (Passion!) And finally, there's "Propos'd," a combination of a prank show and a proposal program in which, as Aissa put it, men who are dating "fiancezillas" have their turn to "get a little revenge, a little payback time for her. She'll get the ring, but in a very, very surprising original way." (High stakes!) The clip of "Propos'd" they showed us featured a man who staged an arrest so that his girlfriend would be terrified she was about to lose him when he finally popped the question. And that's not even to mention the already-airing "All My Babies' Mamas," a reality show about a young man and the host of women seeking child support from him. (Drama.)

It's news to me that as a young lady, I'm obsessed with past slights, single because I'm a flawed, gross person, or that some day, I'll deserve to be punished for getting married. If that's living life on my own terms, I'd rather not.

Rosenberg writes about culture and television for Slate's XX Factor. She also contributes to ThinkProgress and theatlantic.com. @AlyssaRosenberg

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    The numbers are clear: Apple is selling fewer iPads.

    August 1, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 27, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 26, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 25, 2014

  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014