Amy Poehler: Television is good for Women

So at the New Yorker Festival this weekend, Amy Poehler spoke out about TV vs. Film:

Amy Poehler, the star of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” doesn’t buy into the conventional wisdom that television is inferior to film. As she told the New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy in their conversation this evening, Poehler believes that television is way ahead of film in at least one important category: its depiction of women.

“I think films are kind of catching up in a way to where television has been for a long time. Television is still, in my opinion, the best place for female characters,” she said. “I’m so down with TV right now. Everything I watch is on TV and I love everything on TV and I think most TV shows are better than movies—there, I said it.” Poehler’s favorites? “Mad Men,” “Hoarders,” and “Breaking Bad.”

Levy described Leslie Knope, the earnest small-town politician Poehler plays on “Parks and Recreation,” as her “favorite feminist on TV.” Poehler, too, identifies with Leslie’s can-do spirit. “I don’t think believing one person can make a difference, or change is going to come, means that you’re silly or that you’re uninformed,” she said.

There is, however, at least one crucial difference between Poehler and her onscreen counterpart: “She loves to go camping, and I do not.”

Do you agree with Poehler? Is TV better than film? I have to say, I think she might be right – as Mindy Kaling recently pointed out in an excerpt from her book published in the New Yorker;

I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world. For me, there is no difference between Ripley from “Alien” and any Katherine Heigl character. They are equally implausible. They’re all participating in a similar level of fakey razzle-dazzle, and I enjoy every second of it.

It makes sense, then, that in the romantic-comedy world there are many specimens of women who—like Vulcans or Mothra—do not exist in real life.

And it’s true – it feels like women in popular and blockbuster films can only be stuck in certain ruts – while anything even remotely different is risky or “completely new”. But I wonder if TV is any better – I will certainly agree that ther are more female TV characters I love for their progressive spirit than there are female movie characters. But for every awesome female character, there are 4 men with nagging wives.

What do YOU think? Which is better/worse? Or are they both equally bad? Leave it below!

Think we should watch Parks & Rec next? Vote for it!


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