These Shows Happen to Feature Women

By  · Published on August 9th, 2016

One Mississippi and Take My Wife are promising series from some of the best female comics around.

Two shows created by and starring prominent lesbian stand-up comedians are premiering on major streaming services in the coming weeks. And the best part? Both series portray realistic, hilarious, and complex characters where their sexuality is secondary to the stories they wish to tell. In a fantastic interview with the writers/stars of one of the shows, Take My Wife, Caroline Framke from Vox explains the quality that I believe both of these series share:

“The operative phrase here is “happen to be” [a lesbian couple]; this show has no interest in sensationalizing their sexuality or congratulating itself on portraying it faithfully. They’re just people, trying to do a job, and make us laugh along the way.”

Look, I’m a straight white guy. I can’t claim to understand the importance of this. I’ve never had to go out of my way to see characters who represent me on the screen. Still, I wanted to recognize how lucky we are to live in a time when talent people like these shows’ creators are given the opportunity to produce their ideas. But that’s not the main reason I wanted to write an about these programs. To put that reason simply: They look AWESOME.

The first of the two shows, One Mississippi, is an auto-biographical “traumedy” from the mind of Tig Notaro. Along with Diablo Cody (Juno), Notaro writes and executive produces the series that condenses a particularly bad year of her life. In 2012, Notaro’s mother passed away, she was diagnosed with cancer, and she went through a major breakup. In the show, Notaro’s character trades L.A. for her Mississippi hometown after her mother’s unexpected demise. The trailer below highlights the show’s dual strengths: gut-wrenching drama and gut-busting comedy.

Amazon released the trailer after introducing the new series at a Television Critics Association (TCA) panel yesterday. The show is the newest collaboration between Notaro and fellow EP Louis C.K., who used his website to launch the hilarious 2012 comedy special that helped propel her even further into stardom. Along with C.K., the series is executive produced by M. Blair Bread (Louie), Kate Robin (Six Feet Under), and Dave Becky (Master of None). Look for One Mississippi when it premieres on September 9th on Amazon.

The second series, the aforementioned Take My Wife, focuses on the semi-fictionalized lives of Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher as they attempt to balance their romance and their burgeoning careers in comedy. The real-life couple utilizes their superb chemistry and the benefit recent history (they married six months ago) to analyze relationships with a realism that is often missing on television. Plus, they take the opportunity to shine a light on difficult subjects regarding race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Unlike One Mississippi, which doesn’t premiere for another month, this show’s six-episode season debuts on August 11th on Seeso. Having only seen the pilot, I assure you that it’s amazing, but you don’t have to take my word for it. You can find the first episode along with the stellar interview I mentioned above here. And if you’re not sold yet, then check out this trailer before you inevitably queue up the pilot:

So there you have it! I’m stoked that these two great shows are premiering in the next few weeks, and you should be too. Along with recent hits like Lady Dynamite from Maria Bamford (who appears in an episode of Take My Wife), these series represent the amazing results of the work of dedicated, talented female comedians. Let’s hope they find as much success as they deserve and inspire more networks to pursue projects from creators outside the norm.

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