Where Will Jen Kirkman's New Show Fall on the Comedian Spectrum?
This week in ladies getting TV shows, Chelsea Lately panelist and comedian Jen Kirkman has landed her own show on FX, Jen. The show will follow a recently divorced woman (Jen Kirkman, of course), who's in her mid-30s and doesn't want kids and "once always did things the way you were supposed to but is now following her gut" (whatever the hell that means). Kirkman will write, produce and star in the show, while Chelsea Handler plans to executive produce.
Imaginary high-fives for more lady power in media, but also, can comedians write about anything other than themselves? Sitcoms singularly focused on a slightly-different-but-eerily-similar character to the starring comedian run the gamut in terms of quality: for every Louie there's a Whitney, for every Seinfeld there's a Are You There, Chelsea? Hell, even Liz Lemon and Mindy Lahiri are more or less parallel universe versions of Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling.
As exciting as this show is, it's also equally terrifying. Chelsea Handler hasn't quite gotten the stink from Are You There, Chelsea? off of her yet, and Kirkman's work on Chelsea Lately isn't exactly inspiring. But Kirkman exhibits a knack for storytelling in her own standup, and stories about women who aren't yearning for a baby are few and far between.
So will Jen be another great sitcom about the absurdity of a comedian's life or will it be filled with hacky stereotypes and fake laughter? Right now, there's no way to tell. But hey, having another show created by a woman means that there's only a better chance of having realistic representations of women on television. After all, it's been a banner year for women in television, but there's still a long way to go.