TV Creator AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO transformed television’s images of girls by creating “imperfectly perfect” female characters in her beloved TV series GILMORE GIRLS. In depicting independent, flawed, funny women, who weren’t self-hating, Sherman-Palladino paved the way for show runners like Lena Dunham, Michael Patrick King, Amy Poehler, Jill Solloway, Jenji Kohan, Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey.
Even her teenage characters in her more recent series BUNHEADS carry on apt, insightful, and honest conversations that do not revolve around boys. Mind you, the females like males, lust for them, and love them as friends, boyfriends, and equals, but they are as resolute about their passion for ballet. They also pass the Bechdel Test! As female show runners have proved themselves to critics and viewers, they are still not enough authentic portraits of women of color in central roles as well. Sure savvy TV creators, like Sherman-Palladino, Lena Dunham and Lorne Michaels can’t fix Hollywood; but maybe they were called out because they are sensitive enough to take note. That said, knowing how and when to take notes and when to ignore is a necessary survival skill in television.
Ultimately what sets Sherman-Palladino’s shows apart is her voice. Like Amy Heckerling, Woody Allen, and Charlie Kaufman, Sherman-Palladino is very much a “writer’s writer.” Her dialogue is fast, fun, references the cultural zeitgeist, and tongue-in-cheek.
In our conversation, the always hilarious Sherman-Palladino revealed that she is also self-aware. She admits she won’t coddle or even mentor. But she will paint a portrait of the painful and often hilarious tensions between who we are and who others want us to be.
The next Employee of the Month live tapings are December 18th at UCB and January 8th at Joe’s Pub in New York. To find out more, please go to: www.employeeofthemonthshow.com.