Monday, May 20, 2013

Shows About Women Shouldn't Just be About Being a Woman

Posted By on Mon, May 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

About a year ago, a YouTube channel started up, promising to tell women’s stories.

Since then the channel, WIGS, has accumulated nearly 40 million video views and 180,000 subscribers. It’s the #1 channel on YouTube for scripted drama.

WIGS uploads short films and inspiring documentaries, but it focuses on producing fictional web series. So far, there have been 13 series, each with a strong female lead.

Other than the main characters' gender, the shows don’t have much in common.

“Blue” was one of the first series to premiere on the channel. It stars Julia Stiles as a single mother with a 9 to 5 job that doesn’t quite make ends meet. To help cover expenses, she starts working as a prostitute. She’s well into her career when the series begins.

Another series, “Kendra” focuses on a post-op nurse who struggles to deal with the secrets her patients spill while under anesthesia.

WIGS even makes a run for being topical and empowering in “Lauren,” a series examining sexual harassment within the military.

I love the idea. The world needs more diverse, estrogen-fueled entertainment. I just wish it seemed a little less gimmicky.

Everything WIGS airs shares its same name with the female lead—Lauren, Serena, Rochelle, the list goes on. WIGS has 13 series and it's getting hard to keep the characters straight.

It's like they’re saying, “Here you go! Another webseries starring a woman. That’s enough to make you want watch it, right?”

Talk about poor marketing. When a new series pops up in my subscription box, all I see is a name and a face. I have no idea what the series is about. It’s easy to skip over.

Yes, these are women’s stories. But they’re not just great because they star women. WIGS needs to focus on the stories of the women they’re talking about, not just their gender.

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