Sometime in the last year, Comedy Central became the friendliest place for feminist comedy on the small screen.
First came Inside Amy Schumer in the spring of 2013, a crass, honest, and of course hilarious meditation on female self-esteem and self-loathing. Schumer and her writing staff have produced a handful of viral sketches, among them a skit about how women don’t take compliments very well, a ruthless takedown of Aaron Sorkin’s pomposity, and a painfully on-point satire of female marginalization in gaming and the military.
To no one’s surprise, Comedy Central has renewed Inside Amy Schumer, which is equally popular among men and women and just enjoyed a critically lauded sophomore season.
Just as funny — though tonally quite different — are the broads of Broad City. Stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson aim for belly laughs through a combination of situational and absurd humor. As our TV columnist Sara Stewart previously wrote, “The joyful, goofy Broad City represent[s] something very different and entirely delightful: a world in which [gender] concerns are a faint hum in the background of New York City life, maybe a thing that’s happening in a midtown office somewhere, but not particularly relevant.”
While we wait for the returns of Schumer, Glazer, and Jacobson, Comedy Central will offer two more female-led shows: Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome’s Another Period and Charlotte Newhouse and Jillian Bell’s Idiotsitter.
Another Period sounds like a mix between Downton Abbey and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Shot in a reality format and created by and starring Leggero and Lindhome, “the comedy follows the misadventures of Newport’s first family, the Bellacourts, a family with nothing to offer the world, but who have so much money that it doesn’t matter. The show centers around the oldest Bellacourt sisters, Lillian (Leggero) and Beatrice (Lindhome), who care only about how they look, what parties they are invited to and becoming famous — which is a lot harder in 1902,” according to Deadline.
Idiotsitter, on the other hand, is a vehicle for the heretofore-undiscovered comedy genius Jillian Bell (who’s bonkers-good in a small-ish role in 22 Jump Street). Bell and Newhouse are the creators and stars of Idiotsitter, which began life as a webseries on Comedy Central’s site. Newhouse plays an unemployed young woman who becomes nanny to a rich nut (Bell) addicted to bad behavior and under house arrest in her parents’ mansion.
Watch the first episode of the webseries: