Is Miranda Hart the Marmite of comedy? It seems you either love her eponymous sitcom, or you loathe it with a passion. Opinion in our office was somewhat divided this morning, when we were discussing her recent triumph at the British Comedy Awards. Most of us love her, but a couple were incensed that a show like Miranda could even be nominated for an award, let alone win it.
‘It represents everything that annoys me about women in comedy,’ said one person, who shall remain nameless. ‘Why do women always have to be ungainly, romantic failures in order to be funny?’
Fair point. If you’re fed up of Bridget Jones-alike hapless women running about and accidentally flashing their knickers in various embarrassing scenarios, then this is possibly not the show for you. But is this strictly a problem with women in comedy? Aren’t most male characters in sitcoms equally futile, flailing characters? (Think about the male characters in Spaced, Black Books, The IT Crowd, Dad’s Army to name but a random few. Even Steve Coogan in BBC2′s The Trip comes across as a man persecuted by success rather than self-congratulatory). Is it just that we’re more aware of it in the women we see in sit-coms, because there’s a lack of decent alternatives in other television genres? Is television just overcrowded with female characters who spend a lot of time obsessing about relationships and showing their underwear — whether it’s funny or not?
What do you think? Is comedy harsher on female characters? Is it television in general? Or are we being a little oversensitive on a Monday?
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