My latest on NPR: Zooey Deschanel and Kristen Wiig prove 2011 was Year of the Funny Female
When my editor at NPR and I were trying to figure how to sum up the year's TV trends without doing a snoozy, typical list, I simply thought back on the trend which impressed me the most while watching TV and the movies this year.
The Rise of the Funny Female.
True enough, women have been kicking it on Saturday Night Live for a while, as stars such as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have spun their most excellent work there into their own TV shows and movies. (and when I tried to ask Parenthood star Lauren Graham about the trend in Los Angeles this July, she stoppped me with a look that seemed to ask if I'd been living under a rock for the past decade or so. "Hasn't it always been that way?" she said.)
Still, it felt like the trend hit a new high this year, from the success of Zooey Deschanel's The New Girl on Fox and 2 Broke Girls on CBS to Kristen Wiig's dominance of SNL and her movie Bridesmaids.
Just watching Poehler, Fey, Laura Linney, Edie Falco, Martha Plimpton and eventual winner Melissa McCarthy take the stage at the Emmys this year -- hosted by another amazingly funny woman, Jane Lynch -- you had the sense you were watching history made, somehow.
Anyway, that's what today's NPR commentary was about; check it out below, along with a new Year's Eve treat from Deschanel and her pal, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt: