Lena Dunham’s New Comedy Pilot Will Be The ‘Mad Men’ Of Feminism
Sometimes I used to watch Mad Men and get kind of frustrated with how thwarted the female characters on that show were. I know, I know. It was the time and that was very much the reality of how women were treated and expected to act back in the ‘60s. But, still, sometimes it was hard to watch the mistreatment and male-centered plot lines and not think about the fact that there was a whole other world happening during the same years that Mad Men took place, and that world involved a lot of women.
Which is why it was music to my ears when I heard that the latest project from Lena Dunham, Max, got picked up by HBO. The comedy pilot, about a 1960s female magazine writer who gets wrapped up in the women’s lib movement, seems like the absolute best of both worlds to me.
Because as much as I loved Mad Men, it’s hard to watch as a modern woman. Spending an hour every week watching women get mistreated never sat well with me. And even though the show itself made that treatment an issue, it never went as far as to put women’s issues first. The female characters on Mad Men were always supporting parts. They were always side plots. Or, if they did become big enough to take over an entire episode (or a majority of one, let’s be real), their agency was always extremely limited by their gender.
But Dunham’s new project promises something even better. We can travel back to the 1960s and see it all from the female perspective. At last! All of the amazing costumes and outdated jokes, but with a fresh, feminist perspective.
With Lisa King slated to play the female lead, Maxine, you can count on the women’s rights, women’s issues, and the women’s lib movement taking center stage on this show. The fact that it’s created and directed by one of the country’s most outspoken feminists — Dunham is slated to direct the pilot — definitely doesn’t hurt either. In addition to Dunham’s role in the show’s creation and direction, other Girls team members are hopping on board to help out. Jenni Konner and Ilene Landress will executive produce the series.
You mark my words, this show is going to be a huge hit. A perfect blend of period comedy with women’s issues. How could it not be a combination like that?