Slate's TV columnist Troy Patterson parses the programming on the three women's television networks today, and, reading Patterson's descriptions of each lady network, I had to wonder: could the networks be categorized using the ultimate post-modern archetypes, Sex and the City characters? It is the Most Important Show of Our Time, after all. The answer I came up with?:Of course they can.
With its rude, slutty and unapologetic programming, Oxygen is clearly Samantha. Strippers fellating beer bottles, plastic surgery advocating Janice Dickinson and her modeling agency, and re-runs of Absolutely Fabulous just scream Samantha with their combination of glitter, foul mouths and trash. (Remember when Carrie caught Samantha blowing the UPS guy? Total Oxygen material.)
Wedding-obsessed WE: Women's Entertainment is Charlotte. WE has four shows devoted to the wedding-industrial complex: Bridezillas, Platinum Weddings, My Big, Fat Fabulous Wedding, and Rich Bride, Poor Bride. [Jesus. -Ed.] WE also reflects Charlotte's overwhelming sense of entitlement (of course she deserved a multimillion dollar Park Avenue apartment as compensation for a failed marriage!). Of WE's newest offering, Party Mama$, Patterson opines, the level of entitlement has "previously [been] seen only on MTV's My Super Sweet 16".
Finally, Lifetime, the old guard of women's television channels, is Carrie. Lifetime has a serious side, like Carrie, with its made-for-TV movies about "terminal diseases and/or children in peril." But, as Patterson says, Lifetime is "quaint and mildly daffy," with its Will & Grace reruns and embrace of psychics. Just like Carrie, who enjoys a "mildly daffy" pun, loves hanging out with her main gay Stanford, and is always wearing those mystical head wraps!
But whither Miranda? Where's the kind of judgmental, career woman-oriented programming? I guess Star Jones does have that show on Court TV, and Miranda does say the phrase "I'm a lawyer," at least once per episode, but it's not really a perfect match. Television executives take note! A major hole in lady viewing must be filled post-haste!