Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bad Feminism, Bad TV

Is this what happens when a woman's bid for president and a writers strike coincide?

This spring, Fox will air a new reality show called "When Women Rule." Here's how reality guru Mike Darnell, who's overseeing the project, describes it for Variety:

"You take 12 attractive women who feel like it's still a man's world and who think they've hit a glass ceiling, and you give them their own society to run. Then you take 12 macho, chauvinistic guys who also think men rule the world and see how they survive in a world where they're literally manservants. ... They'll have to obey every command from the women."

The cliches at play here are so tired they're not even worth commenting on. Ok, one comment. Can you imagine anything more counterproductive? Master's tools, master's house and all that. Jeesh. But don't worry. These man-eaters aren't ugly feminists. They're "attractive women." Phew. And we all know that women who think that sexism still exists are really just out to punish men.

"Payback can be a bitch," Darnell said.

According to Fox Entertainment prexy Peter Liguori (what's a prexy??), the show is a sociological experiment:

"What it's doing, in a very Fox-like fashion, is testing social mores," he said. "This is a social experiment and not a sexual experiment. We decided, why not create this Petri dish of a society and see what happens."

Fox-like indeed. But here's my favorite part:

"The other part of the show becomes, what will the women do," Darnell said. "Will they be able to create a great society or will they fight with each other?"

Oh goodie! I can hardly wait for the ensuing catfight, cuz catfights are so sexy. Catherine Price over at Broadsheet does a great takedown, based on the press release. I join her in prayer: May the writers strike be resolved soon. Save us from more bad "reality" tv.