On television, there's no shortage of portrayals of young, aspiring writers. From ruthless journalists to confessional novelists to sensationalist writers, current TV shows offer us a wealth of female publishing hopefuls. And while this inspires a new generation of women to make themselves heard in a largely male-dominated landscape, the growing number of TV portrayals of female writers reflects how the world represses young voices in general—and young, female voices in particular.
Onscreen, women struggle as unpaid interns but are saved by, in April's case, a surprise job opportunity in season two of Parks and Recreation. But in real life, about one in six 18-24 year-olds are unemployed and those who land coveted internships often go unpaid.
In fictional TV narratives, job interviews and negotiations are opportunities for farce. Especially when the manager is male and his subordinate is female, TV writers grab the opportunity to intersect career milestones with heterosexual complications. But when labor economics converge with gender in the real world, the result is far from uproarious.