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TV Thread

Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 2:42 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Veep [HBO, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus]

Scottish-born Armando Iannucci might need no introduction, as he's been behind some of the best British comedy of the past two decades.

The Day Today [1994], based on the radio series On the Hour, was a nearly perfect piece of work, satirizing the nightly news with a grandiose absurdity. An influential hit, the series seems to predict both The Daily Show and The Office (thanks to a very similar segment entitled "The Office"), and launched Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge character as well as Chris Morris' all-powerful newsman, as seen in the equally brilliant Brass Eye. Coogan and Iannucci spun the clueless radio and TV presenter Alan Partridge off into the excellent chat-show spoof Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge on both TV and the radio. Partridge returned for two series of the very popular mockumentary I'm Alan Partridge (1997, 2002-3), although by this point this was a case of diminishing returns. Partridge returned in 2010-2011 for a rather good little webseries, Mid-Morning Matters, and a feature film, Alpha Papa, which has yet to be released.

The Saturday Night/Friday Night Armistice (1995) also spun off from The Day Today, and in contrast to The Day Today's nonsensical stories featured Armando behind the desk reporting on the events of the week. In one segment, Armando got O.J. Simpson to autograph a folded piece of paper reading "I DID IT." Armando continued to take an interest in absurdist topical humor, with pieces like 2004: The Stupid Version, Gash, and Time Trumpet. He also presented his own sketch-comedy series, The Armando Iannucci Shows. Although not quite as charismatic a performer as Chris Morris or Steve Coogan, Iannucci nonetheless comes across as intelligent and funny as his writing would suggest.

The Thick of It has been another iconic hit, airing with 17 episodes and an American movie (In the Loop) from 2005 to 2009. Featuring realistic, often improvised dialogue, the savagely funny series followed the inner workings of the British political system at their most petty, ineffectual, childish and mundane. The first six episodes starred Chris Langham as the vain, bumbling politician Hugh Abbot. A very popular comedian at the time, Langham had started out on Not the Nine O'Clock News, and starred in series like Help and People Like Us, which I'd highly recommend as well. Langham had also written for and appeared on The Muppet Show and The Jim Henson Hour. He was sent to prison on pornography charges in September 2007, which effectively ended his comedy career.

Rebecca Front, a reliably likeable performer who'd also starred on and written for The Day Today and Knowing Me, Knowing You (and Big Train), took over as Nicola Murray. However, it was Peter Capaldi as the foul-mouthed, Machievellian political puppetmaster Malcolm Tucker who became the series' most popular character. All that … fucking swearing informed the tone of the series, which continued to depict the British Government with its pants down, endlessly failing over petty and pointless public relations mistakes.

In 2009, Iannucci directed a feature film titled In the Loop, in which Malcolm Tucker and Jamie McDonald become pawns in an international political game. Other Thick of It actors play similar but different characters to those they play in the series. James Gandolfini, Steve Coogan and Anna Chlumsky appear. The film is just as good as the series and suggests how an American version of the series could work.

In 2006, Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz produced an American pilot for The Thick of It, directed by Christopher Guest and starring John Michael Higgins, Oliver Platt, Michael McKean, Alex Borstein, and Wayne Wilderson. ABC did not pick up the show for its 2007 Autumn schedule. Iannucci was quoted as saying "It was terrible ... they took the idea and chucked out all the style. It was all conventionally shot and there was no improvisation or swearing. It didn't get picked up, thank God."

Which finally takes us to Veep. Premiering in April 2012, the series stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, a vain, ineffectual American Vice President navigating an embarrassing series of public relations blunders.

Yes, it's The Thick of It reimagined for American television, with Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell doing it right. If you've seen The Thick of It, Veep is an equally funny sister series. If you haven't, the series stands on its own.

There's a great cast. Anna Chlumsky (My Girl), who also appeared in In the Loop, plays Amy. Tony Hale, Arrested Development's Buster Bluth, plays Gary, Selina's loyal aide. Matt Walsh of the Upright Citizens Brigade plays sad-sack communications director Mike McLintock. Walsh has been a reliable guest star on every comedy show ever made in the 2000s, so it's nice to see him as a regular. Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, and Sufe Bradshaw also star, with Kevin Dunn joining in season 2, and Gary Cole (Office Space), who could be a much calmer Malcolm Tucker type. Andy Buckley (The Office's David Wallace) appeared in season 1.

For her part, Seinfeld star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is perfect as the lead, likeably playing a rather shallow, unpleasant person. Now 52, Dreyfus has retained her beauty as well.

Veep has chosen not to have the President on-screen, or to reveal the political party of the characters.

It's a funny series showing how shallow, nonsensical, image-obsessed and chickenshit our political process really is, and it's also quite an achievement that Iannucci and Blackwell's style of humor didn't have to be changed at all for American audiences. The humor isn't really topical or America-specific, but it is believable, and full of crushingly funny moments.

P.S.: Chris Morris has directed three of the episodes, which is nice to see considering he's kept a fairly low profile recently. Following The Day Today and Brass Eye, in 2000 he created Jam, a surreal, darkly dreamlike sketch comedy series based on his 1997-1999 radio series Blue Jam.

In 2005 he and Charlie Brooker created Nathan Barley, a mediocre series spoofing trendy, gadget-obsessed media wannabes. Charlie Brooker became better known for Screenwipe and its spinoffs, funny series in which he watches and comments on recent television (as well as news and video games and the year in review), as an angry television viewer watching from home.

In 2006 Morris played the eccentric, Brass Eye-like boss on the first episodes of The IT Crowd, his first series where he wasn't also the head writer. In 2009 Morris directed a good, if flawed, feature film called Four Lions, following a group of bumbling, Three Stooges-like Middle Eastern terrorists.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 4:59 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Seven years after its cancellation, Arrested Development is back, and better and worse than ever. And also mostly the same.

I've seen plenty of bad reviews of the new season of Arrested Development, but these are generally knee-jerk comments by people who haven't watched the entire thing yet. They watched one or two or four episodes and decided that it was terrible and not the same as it was. Show creator Mitchell Hurwitz has crafted a hugely complex story here, and it does take awhile to really get going. At first, only the episodes starring GOB (Will Arnett, episodes 7 and 11) really stand out as being quite as piss-your-pants funny as Arrested Development's best. But the final four episodes are equally good, and reach the level of anything Arrested Development ever did.

The progression here is arguably similar to the way the series progressed originally. I am of the opinion that the Arrested Development pilot didn't completely work, and when I first watched it I didn't click with it and decided not to continue further. The pilot is largely setup. On a technical level, it's somewhat awkward, with overexposed outdoor location shooting, not terrific sound quality, and a cast that are still figuring out their characters. The show's key elements - vaguely documentary-style shooting, almost wall-to-wall music, running jokes, and a cast of self-absorbed characters that bounce off one another as actors - seem forced here, as if the people involved aren't yet 100% aware what sort of show they're making. The music in particular often drowns out the acting.

Things start to click even by episode two, and there are plenty of classic and much-quoted moments in Arrested Development's first few episodes, but still, the first season feels slower than the second and third. The shorter third season often comes off as too cartoony, with goofy storylines like "For British Eyes Only." But the pace increases as the series goes on, particularly since it's developed its famously layered running gags. Every episode of Arrested Development builds on and benefits from the episodes that came before. A shorthand is developed, where quick little gags appear referencing previous episodes. Some are subtle and only obvious on rewatching, freeze-framing and careful viewing. The series is extremely dense, with a very high joke-per-minute ratio. So watching the early episodes often feels like setup for the running gags we'll enjoy later. And they do feel slow at times.

So yes, the first episodes of Arrested Development Season 4 are a bit slow, and a bit of a slog to get through. They're slower than anything in the original series. There's a lot of story here, a lot of setup, and the show's new, unusual format - longer episodes following one character at a time - deflates the show's humor somewhat. The show really comes alive when characters interact with one another - Michael and George Michael, Michael and GOB, Buster and Lucille - and we don't get enough of that here. We get more story, with Ron Howard's narrator being used more than usual, and not for comedic purposes.

We also get more show. The Netflix series has 15 episodes, but these are longer than the 22 minutes an American network would give us. Episodes range from just under 28 minutes to just under 38 minutes, with an average in the 33-minute range. This makes this season significantly longer than season 3, and in the same ballpark as seasons 1 and 2. But this doesn't mean you're getting the same concentrated dose of layered, complex comedy as in the original series. I would say that season 4 is more complex, and the writing is every bit as sharp and clever as the original series, but you won't be doubled over in laughter and having to pause the episodes so you don't miss something. With no real time limit on the length of these episodes, the series takes its time.

And it's building. It's building to something bigger, which it arguably never gets to. Like the original series, the running gags start to pile up onto themselves, and the story piles up onto itself, leading to a final five or so episodes that are every bit as piss-your-pants funny as the best of the original series.

Along the way you'll sit through five or so episodes that are just as interesting as the original series and give an amusing insight into the characters, but which don't pack nearly the same punch.

Arrested Development season 4 is a puzzle, an enigma. It's a finely-tuned piece of clockwork, to a level you rarely see in any television series, let alone a sitcom. Every episode follows one of the Bluth family, and we see events from their perspective. The other characters are having their own storylines at the same time, and as each episode unfolds we get new information that changes the meaning of what we've seen previously, in often hilarious ways. Sometimes it's obvious enough - if a character's face is unseen, or if they're not seen clearly, there's probably a reason for that. Often, the series only shows us part of a conversation, then shows us more of that conversation, or a longer version, in a future episode. This feels a bit convoluted and withholding, and not nearly as much fun as the original series, but it pays off. It's no accident that the last few episodes are the best of the bunch; we have enough information about everything that's happening at that point that we're in on the joke. The early episodes also test our patience by asking how much time we really want to spend with characters like, say, George Sr.

Jason Bateman's Michael is an entirely different creature in Season 4 as well, and his episodes can be a bit hard to watch for that reason. Michael was often the funniest and most likeable character in the old series, since he was the most "normal" - his family being otherwise full of the cartoonishly self-absorbed. Michael was the straight man, the glue that held them and the show together against all better judgement, and his reactions to whatever nonsense they were up to gave the show a lot of dry humor. Without his toxic, selfish family to react against, we quickly realize that Michael's toxic and selfish too, in his own way - a desperate, haunted failure ruining the lives of those around him. This was something that the original series increasingly hinted at as it went on - that Michael is no angel, and is only likeable or cool or normal or competent by comparison. We often saw that Michael tried hard to be moral and do the right thing, but didn't necessarily want to.

The new series puts Michael to the test, and it's a test he eventually fails. Michael's scenes with George Michael are among the best in the new series, but they're also often dark and haunting. The series can be cartoonish, but neither Michael nor George Michael is a one-note cartoon character and their actions have real consequences. The series chooses to end on them, and leave things unresolved.

Funnier are the scenes between Michael and GOB. Will Arnett's gravel-voiced, incompetent magician is all ego and bluster, but with a terrified child somewhere in his eyes, and Arnett probes that side of GOB hilariously here. It's a brilliant performance, especially when playing opposite Ann Veal [Mae Whitman] and Tony Wonder [Ben Stiller], desperate for friendship, attention or love. GOB's episodes far outshine the ones preceding them.

There are dozens of cameos by the stars of other comedy series, and dozens of supporting characters and guest stars from the original show. This is by no means half a reunion. The show creators seem to have invited everyone back that they possibly could. It's a who's who of comedy. Rewatching the original series, you often see actors in small roles who are now famous as the stars of other shows and movies. Some of them were famous then. This series has the same feeling.

The major new guest stars are, in general, extremely well-cast. Isla Fisher is predictably adorable as love interest Rebel Alley. Terry Crews plays a very funny Herman Cain-like politician. Maria Bamford plays a fragile drug addict whom Tobias unfortunately takes under his wing. Max Winkler does an acceptable job impersonating his father Henry, while Seth Rogen fails to convince as a young Oscar. Kristen Wiig, on the other hand, does a broad and spot-on impersonation of a young Lucille Bluth, to the point where you actually want more with her. And who better to play the brother of Liza Minelli than 70s Broadway legend Tommy Tune?

It's difficult to resurrect such a beloved series, considered by many to be one of the great sitcoms of our time, on par with Seinfeld and The Office. Unlike those series, Arrested Development only lasted three seasons on FOX. It was a critical darling and award winner, but FOX claimed they didn't know to promote the show. Certainly it never fit in with the fratboy sensibility FOX has traditionally cultivated. As Maeby put it, "Why are we even going after this idiot demographic?" The last few episodes of a shortened season three actually referenced the show's woes, and the network notes stating that the shows' characters weren't likeable, and that they get into complex problems with no quick and easy solutions.

I'm reminded of the idiotic promos that Eliza Dushku and Summer Glau of Dollhouse and The Sarah Connor Chronicles had to do for FOX … "Heyyy boys" type come-ons that showed FOX figured its viewers would watch for "hot chicks" rather than the unfolding mysteries, dense storytelling and social commentary Dollhouse for one was actually delivering.

Fan-favorite cult series like Red Dwarf, Futurama and Family Guy have all come back from cancellation with varying levels of success. Futurama lost its heart to an extent and became similar to late-period episodes of The Simpsons, going for lots of easy jokes at the show's own expense. Family Guy conquered the "idiot demographic" successfully, perhaps too successfully, becoming the big hit its first seasons never were. I haven't watched enough of the Red Dwarf revival to really comment, but its heart was certainly in the right place.

But unlike Firefly, Arrested Development was not designed for a cult audience. It was and is a mainstream American sitcom, very Los Angeles-y and staffed by industry veterans. Ron Howard produced and narrated. Jason Bateman starred. The show's only crime was being so well-written and funny that it didn't make sense to cancel it, even though critics knew it as "the best show you're not watching." Seinfeld was not high-rated either, early on. FOX showed enough faith in the show to keep it on for three seasons, but it came to an end regardless. David Cross ranted about the failure of FOX to market the show at the very end of the season 2 gag reel:

Since the show's cancellation, its entire cast have been very much in-demand as actors, and it was difficult to get them back together for the new season. Only two scenes were shot featuring the entire main cast together- a scene intended to directly follow the season 3 finale, and a get-together in Lucille's apartment. For the rest of the season, we usually only see two main cast members together at one time, and there is plenty of green screening to bring characters together when scheduling didn't permit it. There's one awkward scene between GOB and Oscar in the final episode, for example, and sometimes a closeup of an actor will stand out badly as being green-screened, including certain shots of guest stars like Andy Richter, Liza Minelli, and Henry Winkler. These are generally shots which were probably an afterthought or reshoot. Lucille has a cathartic song number in a Tobias episode, which for some reason was shot greenscreen - badly - rather than putting her against a simple pink wall. There is probably a lot of greenscreen in the new season, it only standing out when it doesn't work. Digital matte special effects of the model home and a sauna cave are quite bad as well.

This, combined with the intricate and often obfuscatory storylines, could easily lead to a coldness and disconnected feeling in the series itself. And to an extent, it does. These characters are designed to play off of one another, and on paper it probably shouldn't work to have a solo Buster episode, for example, although the resulting episode is still easily one of this series' best. This is a great cast of actors who you want to spend more time with, and so the whole series works. But it's still a shame that there's not more interaction between the entire family; the series suffers somewhat for it.

It's well worth rewatching the original three seasons, or at least large chunks of them, before diving into the new episodes, as there are tons of callbacks to the previous episodes, and little jokes that require a good knowledge of the show's events and guest stars. I ran a marathon of the whole thing on my Livestream, watching episodes when I felt like it, and this helped me a lot in appreciating what was going on.

There is some borderline racist humor as the Funkes visit India and the Bluths maintain a shaky relationship with the Chinese. The Chinese in particular are shown in a cartoonish, stereotypical way. Sexuality and gender issues are a bit problematic as well, especially in George's storyline. However, this sort of thing has always been in the series' DNA to an extent. In series 3's "For British Eyes Only" arc, we visited "Wee Britain" and met various British characters not played by British people. That arc even gave us "Wee Britain's" one American restaurant, which portrayed America as cartoonishly ridiculous as well. Jokes about Halliburton and Herman Cain and America in general have always been in the background somewhere, so the series is, to an extent, an equal opportunity offender. The series is realistic in comparison to The Simpsons or Family Guy, which have always worked hard to portray other countries in the most ridiculous way possible. Great Britain, certainly. And if you visit Japan, you're going to get attacked by Godzilla … a joke which Arrested Development did as well, but much more cleverly. At heart, this is a very silly series, and a series which is also about American egocentrism, so we shouldn't really expect more than cartoonish depictions of other countries here. But scenes with a Chinese women's prison gang feature Mahjong, a man in drag, and drawn-out jokes about how they pronounce things. The show should really be better than that.

The cast are now ten years older than when they shot season 1, and it shows to an extent. This makes scenes set immediately after the season 3 finale feel a little strange, but the original series was like that too. It never had any issue with sticking Jeffrey Tambor or Jessica Walter in a wig and shooting unconvincing "flashback" scenes. This has occasionally been treated as a literal joke, such as sticking L.A. news anchor John Beard into a "70s" flashback. [Beard returns in a big way for season 4, and is terrific.] Age certainly shows on the series' younger stars, Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat, though they've lost none of their charm, and are given a lot of great stuff to do as actors.

There are, as ever, a lot of subtle jokes that the internet will be discovering gradually, I'm sure - like how George Michael replaces one embarrassing celebrity name with another.

So, did Arrested Development mount a perfect comeback, just like it never left? That's up to you. There's a lot of evidence either way. My feeling is that if you give the new series a chance, you'll come into it feeling that a lot of things have changed and the pace is much slower, but that by the end you'll feel it's exactly the same show, and had a really rewarding experience. The whole season is up to standard, and nearly half of it is up to the show's best standard.

In the end, the problem with Arrested Development Season 4 is the same problem season 1-3 had. There simply isn't enough of it. Mitchell Hurwitz and the team wrote this complex new storyline with the expectation that it will lead to more of this stuff. Many storylines are left unresolved, especially in comparison to the way the season 3 finale tried to tie things up with a little bow. Characters like Lucille Austero and Steve Holt and Rebel Alley are still a big question mark, to say nothing of the plans and schemes and huge mistakes that the entire main cast have been building toward the entire season.

There's supposed to be a movie. There should be a movie. This is already planned out and written, and needs to occur so that we can see more of this, see more of what this storyline has been leading to. The series shouldn't end like this.

And I mean that as the highest compliment possible.

So, recommended? Obviously. While some of it is a bit odd in comparison to the original, it's obviously a series that every fan of Arrested Development needs to see and love.

And if you've never seen Arrested Development, you've missed one of the greatest American sitcoms of our time. So, get on that.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:44 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
So, Agents of SHIELD. Fun. Skye is awful so far. The leads are pretty generic in general, and the script overly glib, but it lives up to the idea of delivering Marvel-style action on a TV budget. It remains to be seen whether the actors and ensemble will start to really gel and be interesting in the manner of Joss Whedon's previous series.

This always takes awhile. Buffy got good somewhere in the second season. Angel took six or ten or twelve episodes to become what it became. Firefly was really gelling when it got cancelled. Dollhouse had some awful episodes early on and started to click around episode six.

The SHIELD cast are nobodies right now, just ciphers enjoying ludicrous futuristic technology. It's easy to wish that they'd pulled in people Whedon has worked with before, like Alan Tudyk or Enver Gjokaj or Amy Acker (again) or Jewel Staite or whatnot. Although the pilot pulls in guest stars J. August Richards (Gunn from Angel) and Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, who will presumably recur. There's also Ron Glass (Book from Firefly) in a small part, and of course Clark Gregg starring as Agent Coulson.

The strength of a Whedon show is its ensemble, and we'll see how these characters develop, and which new characters might be added in time. With any luck they'll become really interesting characters by the end of the season.

With the Marvel movie universe coming to TV, this has all the makings of a hit. I hope it runs for a long time and achieves the quality of Whedon's other TV series.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:19 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:16 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Community is back, and Dan Harmon's brought back the darkness and fearlessness that made the show unique. We barely survived a mediocre season by other showrunners. Donald Glover's lines are particularly good - a shame that he's leaving the show after only a few episodes this season.

I'd forgotten that Sherlock could be good, and was good in the past two series for the first two episodes of each, falling apart only at the end. That does tend to color your perception.

The Moriarty ones in particular seemed to have all the worst excesses of Doctor Who, without the excuse of science fiction.

This series has been very good so far in its first two installments, and we'll see how it goes from there. ... o1_500.jpg

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:36 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:18 am
by Garrett Gilchrist ... nd-this-is

Great scene, and 'Basic Intergluteal Numismatics' is the best Community episode title since 'Basic Lupine Urology.' The show is back!

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:23 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:41 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
So J. August Richards' Agents of SHIELD character is actually Deathlok, a known Marvel character. That's nice. He deserves that. I've stopped watching the show, but hey.

Re: TV Thread

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:17 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
My Little Pony referencing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. With the character played by Star Trek's Q, John De Lancie. Funny, but yeah, that show has gotten too male driven. ... 16/photo/1

I think the fandom has affected the flavor of the show in a way that doesn't sit all that well with me. I'd rather have a "good show for girls." The show's not ruined or anything, but it's ... gone in a direction.

It's being purposely made for male and female audiences. Many would say primarily male. What a world.

"Power Ponies" was clearly not written for the same demographic as earlier generations of My Little Pony. Nor is the above image.

I respected season 1 as a "girl's cartoon show" which didn't brainwash young female viewers in the way that something like Winx Club would. Male viewership was just a bonus. We already have every other "funny cartoon show" to appeal to a teenage+ male audience. What we don't have a lot of are shows which give a positive message to young girls. We need more of that.

There is a Winx Club CGI movie which my niece watched which horrified me with its gender roles and writing. The Winx Club are Sailor Moon-ripoff magical girls, but they always seem to need men to save them. They're weak and saddled with high school drama - If a boy doesn't like her, her life is OVER! And she'll never stop crying. The boys are princes who talk like surfer dudes. There is so much disempowering social brainwashing here that I don't even know where to begin.

We need more shows which show female characters as important, smart, independent and capable. My Little Pony, in this incarnation, was and is a good example. But I suspect all the wrong lessons have been learned from it.

One of Lauren Faust's stated core concepts for My Little Pony was to show there are many different ways to be a girl. The ponies aren't human Barbie dolls either - they're simply ponies, so it's one of the few series that doesn't tell girls what they're supposed to grow up and look like.

The Equestria Girls movie accomplishes exactly the opposite goal. They all have the same character designs now, as stick-thin, badly designed anime Barbie dolls. But most telling is that now they all have basically the same eyes. That's as good as taking the characters' souls away.

It was very clear that Hasbro wanted a corporate, Barbie-ized toyline and film, and those were the guidelines, complete with all sorts of brainwashing, disempowering messages built into it all. "This is how to act when you reach high school/puberty."

Having been given that, the usual show crew did an okay job with it, softening its impact compared to something like Winx Club. They made a normal sort of My Little Pony episode, with much worse character designs.

In the early 80s, many animated shows for young children - very young children especially - were all about working together, and not having an individual identity. They were about being a follower, not a leader. Most of the Smurfs can't really be told apart. Homogenization. Being like everyone else. Not an individual. Not a leader. Not questioning the status quo. A real reaction against the 60s and 70s "rebellious attitude," in a new conservative decade.

The messages that media send the young are very dangerous - these messages shape them for life. And it's all about shallow materialism, conformity and weakness in the face of authority.

Remember girls, when you hit high school, you've got to look like this and dress like this and act like this, otherwise you're basically worthless. Buy stuff. Wear stuff. Makeup. Boys. This is your worth.

Well, that's encoded in pretty much all media. As bad as that is there's far worse in girl's shows these days (and in the past too).

I did a monologue once about how gendered Disney films are - about how if you switch the gender of the protagonist they all sound like horror movies, or just very disturbing.