Julie Plec Gets Her Own TV Block On Thursdays At The CW & It's Another Step Forward For Female Showrunners
This fall, The CW is giving a whole new meaning to the saying "Thirsty Thursday," as our favorite vampire shows move to their new time slot. That's right, now you can get double the fun (or terror, however you look at it) on Thursday nights because The Originals and The Vampire Diaries will now air back to back. Not only is this amazing news for fans everywhere, but this is also incredible news for other female television writers out there as Julie Plec, the creator of the two shows, becomes one of the network's frontrunners — following in the footsteps of Shonda Rhimes over on ABC.
With Rhimes’ new TV show picked up by ABC just last Thursday, it seems like television is finally starting to make some changes. Cue female domination! Seriously though, the scarcity of female writers today is actually astounding. In the past, Rhimes has been the only one of her kind to have such a powerful hand in how shows are created and run, so it's a breath of fresh air to know that now she won't have to do it alone.
Aside from her shows being wildly successful among audiences, Rhimes does a phenomenal job of creating characters that are not only diverse but also relatable. Where in the past television plots have often been one-sided in their narratives, Rhimes writes an entirely new story for her characters in interesting and captivating ways. While critics praise her for diversifying how we view television, Rhimes says she is simply "normalizing" the television landscape by "making TV look like the world looks." And that's exactly what we need more of.
It should be recognized that not only do women have the same ability as men to write compelling and entertaining stories, but they also have an entirely different story to tell. What I mean to say is that, as women, we have different backgrounds that have helped shape our personal identity. We experience things differently, but, most importantly, we see things differently. That is why we are so drawn to the stories that writers such as Plec and Rhimes create, because they write them from a perspective we haven't heard before. To truly "normalize" television like Rhimes suggests, we need more writers like these two. Writers that tell stories that not only appeal to the viewer, but stories that challenge the viewer to think critically about the world around them.
Not only can this be done by adding more strong female writers, but this can also be done by adding more strong female characters. In the past few years we've caught a glimpse of it with shows like Jane the Virgin and Orange Is the New Black, but, most times on television, these female characters come out more as generalizations than real people. A woman doesn't have to wear a pantsuit and fight crime to be considered strong, just like a woman being married to a successful businessman doesn't make her weak. Writing a good story doesn't necessarily mean writing what is the norm; writing a good story ultimately means relating both the plot and characters to your audience. Honestly, sometimes it pays off to take a risk — just ask Plec and Rhimes.
Hopefully, the face of television will continue to evolve, but, in the mean time, I look forward to see what else these female writers will do with their careers and, more importantly, what other narratives they will write for their shows.
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