When I grew up, broadcast television was by far the media that impacted me the most. The extent to which I watched and took after TV is ridiculous when I think back on it now, but as young, naïve and lonely as a I was then, it was my savior. This was in the early 2000’s and broadcast TV has actually come a pretty long way since then. Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are many, many problems to the content as it is today, but compared to the kind of shows I was watching as a kid, children today can watch more inclusive and varying shows with more diverse characters.
Broadcast TV, as with film, has been dominated by men both on screen and behind the scenes since it’s beginning, and that has definitely shaped the available content. In the early 2000’s when I was looking for female role models on TV, there were only two good enough for my standards; Xena of Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most other female characters back then were still mostly interested in their family or finding Mr. Right, but Xena and Buffy kicked ass and fought for the greater good. In broadcast TV today there are many more characters out there who remind me of them (and you can probably still catch Xena and Buffy on syndication…) and I know that if I had been able to see this many great female role models on TV as there are today, well, who knows what I could’ve learned?! Again, there still a long way to go, women are still severely underrepresented and misrepresented on TV compared to men, but at least it’s an improvement from the 50’s and 60’s sitcoms – and from the early 2000’s content I grew up with.