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Television

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Mona Lisa Saperstein

Authenticity, Please: TV’s Jewish Ladies

by Rena Lubin

Television shows often reduce Jewish women to a few tired tropes, ones that are largely negative, or stereotypical.

Topics: Television
Broad City Lost and Found

The 8 Best Jewish Quotes from Broad City’s “Lost and Found”

by Larisa Klebe

A curated list of the eight best Jewish quotes from Season 5, Episode 6 of Broad City.

Ilana Glazer Cropped

My Intersectional Feminist Queen, Ilana Wexler

by Lily Drazin

“Madonna, Rihanna, Ilana!” That’s just one of the many unique jingles enthusiastically sung by none other than the ultimate feminist, Jewess, and queen: Ilana Wexler. Wexler, the fictional character from Comedy Central’s hit series Broad City, embodies every aspect of what it means to be a badass, world-changing, intersectional feminist.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Getting "Crazy" About History

by Rebecca Brenner

Rebecca Bunch is apparently a student of history... and I don’t just mean her relationship history.

Judge Judy

Judge Judy: Poetry Muse

by Jen Karetnick

Exclusively for JWA, Jen Karetnick shares two of her poems about everyone’s favorite Judge: Judy.

Topics: Television, Law, Poetry
Gertrude Berg and Amy Sherman Palladino

Yoohoo...Mrs. Maisel!

by Ava Berkwits

Gertrude Berg and Amy Sherman Palladino are two women who have brought Jews to television in completely revolutionary ways; as funny, approachable characters who are incredibly dynamic and unapologetically Jewish.

Topics: Television
Silhouette of a Girl

Fixing the Flaws in Perfection

by Ilana Jacobs

Every “perfect girl” I have ever met has been so humble, that they can turn a compliment into self-deprecation. It is so unbearably heartbreaking to me that these girls who are so marvelous all don’t know how marvelous they are. But the truly terrifying truth is that their humility and self-consciousness seem to be an essential part of being the “perfect girl.”

Midge Maisel Catskills Season 2

Review: “Mrs. Maisel” Season 2

by Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

Does The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel accurately portraying New York Jewish life in the 1950s, or is it caricature? One of our writers tackles this question in her review of season 2.

Topics: Television
Ilana and Abbi in Broad City Episode, "Witches"

Why I Rewatched Broad City's “Witches” For My Birthday

by Rena Lubin

For my 22nd birthday in December, I decided to rewatch Season 4 Episode 6 of Broad City—“Witches”and let it all sink in as another year goes by, another birthday passes, and I apparently keep growing older.

Topics: Feminism, Television
Sarah Silverman's I Love You America

I Love You, Sarah

by Larisa Klebe

In this particular political moment, Sarah Silverman’s latest project, her show on Hulu called I Love You, America, is exactly what I need.

Topics: Activism, Television
Cover Image of Michelle Wolf's The Break

Give Me The Break

by Larisa Klebe

Michelle Wolf isn’t a “nice lady,” and neither am I. Screw being nice. Netflix just cancelled The Break with Michelle Wolf after just one season, and I’m not having it.

Topics: Television, Comedy
Cover of Iliza Schlesinger's Elder Millennial

Respect Your Elder (Millennial)

by Larisa Klebe

Having watched all of Iliza’s specials, read her book, and watched much of her talk show, there are any number of aspects of her comedy I could talk about. I’d like to focus on what I see as her evolution as a feminist, paired with the rising trend of comedy specials that challenge our perceptions of what comedy can be.

Paris Geller and "Operation Finish Line"

How Paris Geller’s Jewishness Helped Me Understand Mine

by Rena Lubin

So, how Jewish is Gilmore Girls’ Paris Geller? I’d say, very.

While Gilmore Girls has a permanent home in my Netflix “Continue Watching” list and I tend to restart the series as soon as I finish it, I feel conflicted about the representation of Paris Geller, and of her Judaism.

Topics: Television
Composite Image of Amanda Knox and the Scarlet Letter Cover from 1934

The Scarlet Letter Reports

by Rebecca Long

In the 2018 Facebook series, The Scarlet Letter Reports, host Amanda Knox explores this idea: that the world wields a woman’s sexuality against her like a weapon. In each episode of the Broadly-produced show, she interviews a famous woman who has been attacked or disbelieved because of her sexuality or sexual history.

Topics: Feminism, Television
Willow Season 6

In Willow's Defense

by Rena Lubin

From my initial pre-teen viewing of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with my mom, to the countless times I have revisited the series since, I have always adored Willow Rosenberg, Buffy’s Jewish best friend who is lovable, dorky, and consistently overshadowed by the dramatic fight scenes, the messy romances, and everything having to do with Buffy Summers. That is, until the infamous sixth season when her witchy powers become her downfall.

Topics: Feminism, Television
Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondence Dinner

Michelle Wolf is (Still) not a Nice Lady

by Larisa Klebe

So, why do people think Michelle Wolf is Jewish (she’s not), and how has this misconception shaped some of the criticism that she’s received? Side note: Michelle, everyone thinks you’re Jewish anyway so why not just seal the deal? Join us!

Poster for The L Word

Taking an L? Maybe, maybe not.

by Emma Mair

First aired on Showtime in 2004, The L Word became the first ever TV series that documented the lives of an ensemble of queer women. Modeled after the life of creator, screenwriter, and director, Ilene Chaiken, The L Word includes a groundbreaking set of TV firsts: television’s first deaf lesbian, its first regularly occurring transgender character, and its first interracial lesbian couple. The L Word pushed social boundaries and explored taboo themes such as: bisexuality, gender nonconformity, same-sex parenting, addiction, and rape. Over the almost 14 years since the show was first aired, The L Word has received much praise for its intimate storylines, representative depiction of the lesbian community, smart humor, and affinity for drama. However, because a monolithic gay experience or gay culture does not exist, The L Word didn’t (and perhaps couldn’t) capture the full picture of what it means to be a lesbian.

Topics: Television
Fixer Upper Logo

Does Fixer Upper Need Fixing Up?

by Sofia Gardenswartz

HGTV’s Fixer Upper is my guilty pleasure. I could watch the iconic married duo Chip and Joanna “Jo” Gaines renovate houses for hours. They take run-down homes in Waco, Texas, and turn them into something straight off of Pinterest or Etsy. But while the show is certainly entertaining, I take issue with some of the more subliminal messages the show portrays.

Topics: Television, Children
Rachel Brosnahan

The Marvelous Concept of Imperfection

by Rachel Harris

My mother is an avid recommender. She sends me articles and book titles, offers topics to blog about—she even suggested I see Hamilton with my grandma when it first opened on Broadway (before it got super popular). Unfortunately, more often than not I just roll my eyes and ignore these recommendations (as us teenagers often do), and so I have yet to see Hamilton. In the spirit of not making the same mistake twice, I didn’t ignore her when she told me to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Topics: Feminism, Television
Cast of Runaways

You Go, Gert Yorkes

by Josephine Rosman

I’m a simple woman. I don’t need too much encouragement to start a new TV show. So when I heard there was a Hulu original series coming out that features a purple-haired, teenage, Jewish feminist with a pet dinosaur, I decided to watch it. And, I’m so glad I did. 

Topics: Feminism, Television
Sex and the City Poster

Feminism in Sex and the City: Looking Back and Moving Forward

by Sofia Heller

New York City. Quippy dialogue. Journalism. Fashion and shoes galore.

What’s not to love about Sex and the City?

Topics: Feminism, Television
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie: Bashert

by Rebecca Long

Because romantic relationships are so strongly emphasized and prioritized in our culture, we struggle to value platonic partnerships as equally meaningful. In truth, female friendships like the one between Grace and Frankie are often more complex, more reciprocal, more challenging, and more enduring than romances.

Topics: Television
Aaron Sorkin

Sorkin’s Game

by Dorrit Corwin

It feels like just yesterday I was an innocent fifth grader sitting around your kitchen table, discussing trivial fifth grade matters with your daughter, and taking vigorous mental notes on how to become a successful writer and beloved artist such as yourself. I assumed by 2018 I’d still be working on it, and you’d still be telling important stories the compelling way you do. Your work never ceases to leave me full of hope for humanity, and Molly’s Game is no exception. 

Topics: Television, Film

Carole Hart

Carole gave millions of children the affirming soundtrack to their childhoods. You can say a lot of things about Carole, but she left this world better than she found it.

Michelle Wolf (2016)

Nice Ladies

by Larisa Klebe

I’m not a nice lady. I express my (many) opinions loudly, I’ve perfected the sarcastic comment as an art form, and I’m the proud owner of both a copper IUD and a sweatshirt that reads “I’ve got 99 problems and white heteronormative patriarchy is basically all of them.”

Topics: Television, Comedy
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