In response to Media Myth Debunked: HBO’s ‘Girls’ Struggles to Find Audience:
I have no evidence for this so I’m a little embarrassed about posting this (but not so embarrassed I won’t post it, note).
But based on my experience, it does seem to me that if Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media like a show, suddenly one cannot escape hearing about it. It’s suddenly ubiquitous.
How many people watched Sex & the City? I don’t know, but based on the never-ending mentions in the media, you’d think the ratings on that were 100.00. 100% of the public was tuned in every week to see the exploits of Samantha, and the cute one, and the promiscuous one, and the other one.
I don’t know the politics of Mad Men (though I have heard-tell that it largely about delivering a frisson of satisfaction for liberal women about the dastardly men of the late 50s), but I’m going to guess here that Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media are Huge Fans, because dang, if I have not absorbed whole plotlines of the show just by reading Maureen Dowd’s column. (Tell a lie, I don’t read her column. No one does. But you know what I mean.)
And Mean Girls. Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media like Mean Girls a whole heck of a lot. Tina Fey — you go girl! You make this stubbornly mediocre high school dramedy! You honor Susan B. Anthony with your abruptly-plotted morality tale about Girls Saying Mean Things About Other Girls.
Big Love? It’s even worse than the usual soap opera because now the dude is outnumbered 3:1 and sometimes 4:1. Not even Bill Paxton has a chance with those numbers arrayed against him. But Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media found it just fascinating.
And now Girls.
Men like some TV shows too — Archer, Justified, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But no one talks about them in the media. You’re not surrounded by constant references. Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media don’t like them, I guess.
The only show that men like that gets some mention is Game of Thrones, but I suspect it gets mentioned not because men like it but because Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media also like it (or, at least, do not object strenuously when their male partners put it on).
90% of the Premium Cable Series that get all the hype are shows beloved by Middle Aged Liberal Women Who Work in the Media. I’m not saying their opinions are worthless, nor that their preferences are objectively wrong.
But do we have to hear about them all the time? Are the tastes and preferences of only one narrow cohort of the population considered Objectively Good Taste?