Rachel Maddow is calmly comfortable with her intellect and her journalistic instincts, and she's not really going to apologize if her competence threatens a viewer. In terms of female talking heads, she is sui generis.
I don't know about you, but I see being a stay-at-home parent as a job,
and it's sort of insane that it's one of the few workplaces where you
get on-the-job critiques from total strangers via a talking box. Sure,
you can turn off the TV, but why should you have to?
It's easy to point fingers at narrative television sometimes and claim the writers are foisting outdated and unfair gender roles onto the audience and therefore, by extension, society. Reality TV pokes a lot of holes in the Big Hollywood theory, because the people who thrive on reality TV are the ones who are crafting -- and benefiting -- from a stock trade in stereotypes.
When it takes shows explicitly set on other planets, in other universes and in alternate realities to consistently bring us complex female characters not hemmed in by sexist narrative conventions, it is time to take a look at what's going on in shows set on this planet.
Dating can be confusing -- especially when one or more parties links emotional milestones to consumerist signifiers. And yet ... somehow, the solution is probably not to buy cheap accessories at Target.
Give yourself the gift of an L&O:SVU marathon. In a TV landscape where women are routinely shown as hyperemotional and unprofessional, watching the no-nonsense Detective Olivia Benson is a cool, calm drink of water.
If there is a better metaphor for the corrosive spiritual effects of internalizing the dehumanizing commercial definition of "beauty" than the soul-sickened doctors of "Nip/Tuck," I haven't seen it on TV.