What about the ladies?

30Aug08

The National Post recently published an article touting “TV’s most inventive minds,” which they name as Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse), Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Heroes, Pushing Daisies), JJ Abrams (Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show), and Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck).

Of course, I noticed the distinct lack of women/women-identified folk and I’d like to pretend that I’m all shocked and stuff, but I’m not. There are not a lot of women executive producers in Hollywood. Of the shows that I watch regularly, I can only think of three off the top of my head that were created by women: Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls), Barbara Hall (Judging Amy, Joan of Arcadia), and that Kauffman woman from Friends.

Oh, and these are all American men. Because our TV is the most important.

Anyway, as far as who is actually mentioned on the list, I can get behind three of the five. If we’re talking about inventive, Joss Whedon and Bryan Fuller definitely fit into that category. Both men have a unique ability to use the supernatural to explore aspects of humanity and to create memorable, relatable characters (with perhaps the exception of Angel on that last point). I haven’t seen much of JJ Abrams’ work, with the exception of season one of Felicity, but I know enough people who enjoy Lost and Alias that I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, Seth MacFarlane? Josh Schwartz? Schwartz seems to only be included on that list because he knows how to create shows that market well to the younger crowd. And while I liked Family Guy before it came back to TV, I would hardly call MacFarlane inventive. American Dad! follows the same formula of Family Guy and The Cleveland Show is a Family Guy spin-off.

I think Greg Berlanti (Everwood, Brothers and Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone) deserves a spot on this list. He somehow manages to involve me and make me care about all of his shows’ characters.

As for the fifth spot, I’m not sure. If we’re narrowing the list to only men, maybe David Chase (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos) or Glenn Gordon Caron (Medium, Now and Again, Moonlighting). If this list were to become a co-ed affair, I’d have to do some research.

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