Why Those ‘Woke’ Feminist Movies and TV Shows Are So Bad

When does a television show cross the line from entertainment into propaganda?

Consider the upcoming Netflix show, GLOW. The setup is promising. The series is a fictionalized look at the female wrestling franchise (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) from the 1980s. Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin play dueling wrestlers fighting more than just each other.

Spoiler alert: They’re fighting sexism!

We won’t know the details of the show itself until it starts streaming June 23rd but the trailer offers some hints that this will be an offering to warm the hearts of social justice warriors.

The tease starts strong, as a wannabe actress reads the “male” movie part at an audition by mistake. Of course, the role is far meatier than the character she showed up to land. The rest of the clip mocks stereotypes and the male gaze; it’s a tour de force of politically correct writing. “I get it. Women can do anything men do. Blah, blah blah,” one clueless male says.

It gets worse.

“This is about justice. This is about holding on to what’s ours,” an unseen female character declares. Exhausted yet?

Let’s be honest: The original GLOW appealed not to budding feminists but to adolescent boys eager to see scantily clad women in scripted battles in the wrestling ring. That’s understandable. You can’t argue with hormones.

But in rewriting the GLOW story for today, the show’s creators have made a disappointingly predictable choice to cater to feminist sensibilities rather than to just entertain.

That would make it part of a frustrating trend.

Proudly vulgar and proudly feminist comedian Amy Schumer’s new movie, Snatched, drowns in overt, “You go, girl” moments, for example. And last year’s Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ladled on the feminist bromides thanks, in part, to a pair of female screenwriters tasked with overseeing the production for that very purpose. We expect movies to have casting agents and key grips, but “woke” consultants who act as ideological script police? No thank you.

Audiences aren’t buying this aggressive brand of feminism. Snatched is under-performing at the box office. Neighbors 2 bombed, generating roughly a third of the original film’s box office bounty. Turns out being woke isn’t helping comedy, or feminism. More often than not it crushes both.

Being woke first and foremost restricts comedic impulses. Writers put empowerment and equality above making audiences laugh. As with any film or TV show, starting out with an agenda is a mistake. And audiences can smell it a mile away.

The old writing saw, “Show, don’t tell,” applies to Hollywood as well as wannabe novelists. Too often today’s feminist comedy tells, and tells some more. That isn’t persuasive art. It’s lecturing the audience about how they should think, act and, most importantly, feel.

Entertainment can be a persuasive way to address social ills. The recent drama Hidden Figures earned Oscar nominations because it’s a powerhouse film, not a lecture. You didn’t need the three female stars breaking character for some analog virtue signaling.

We saw their lives, their obstacles, and their tenacity in the face of racism. And we cheered.

Saturday Night Live alum Tina Fey also found an excellent balance between comedy and political signaling. Although she is outspoken about her liberal political views, on her show, 30 Rock, she rarely let social arguments outweigh the comedy (and as a result produced a show that enjoyed excellent ratings for many seasons). It’s a lesson Schumer and her feminist comedian cohort would do well to heed.

Battling systemic injustices in the arts can be a good thing. Doing so with a ponderous hand, and with an eye toward appeasing Social Justice Warriors, is something else entirely. It’s definitely not funny.

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  • Rob

    Death to feminism

  • BorderGuard

    Zealous feminists are barely human, ugly, beasts.

  • Nick Berio

    Go “Sexy Star” on “Lucha Underground”

  • Aaron1960

    Hollywood & their nationwide entertainment allies have made it easy to ignore their product. I find the reviews and commentary of SJW ‘woke’ songs, episodes and movies more entertaining these days.

  • Wild Bill Kinda

    Feminists can’t get over how they’re ignored by men. They just need to shave more and eat less, then men will begin to notice them.

    • ThewlynOh ✓certifiable

      “shave more and eat less” – holy s**t, i spit my coffee out at that, LOL – good one

    • carl Jung

      shave more? i haven’t seen a good bush in years!

  • Bill Dalasio

    Being woke first and foremost restricts comedic impulses. Writers put empowerment and equality above making audiences laugh.

    It’s the Meredith Baxter Birney Syndrome. The television show Family Ties was originally supposed to be a vehicle for Meredith Baxter Birney. Instead, Michael J. Fox ran away with the show in the role of Alex Keaton. The reason was simple – Birney’s character was “perfect”. Her character was always in the right in arguments. Her character’s behavior was always sensible and reasonable. She was modern feminist (at the time) motherhood’s ideal. Michael J. Fox’s character, on the other hand, was flawed, made missteps and was regularly the butt of jokes. But, here’s the thing, “perfect” isn’t funny. We laugh, not when everything is just as it should be or as we expect it should be, but when something is off.

    And it’s here that I think so much of the feminist “message comedy” fails. If you’re pushing an agenda, your agenda can’t be flawed, silly, or the butt of the joke. Otherwise, you wind up undermining the very agenda you’re seeking to advance. But, it’s those things that make something funny.

    • dtrumpet

      To be perfect is to contradict human nature. It seems that feminists will never gain wisdom if they cannot accept their on flaws. They are so busy blame men for everything that the degrade and hamper their own progress as human beings.

  • seePea

    Actually the original GLOW did appeal to young girls.as well , and was intended to. The producers didn’t want to limit their audience. So the “girls can be tough and athletic too” message was not provided as a “club over the head” but in an entertaining way.And they got both genders in the targeted ages they wanted.

  • Danny

    Since Moonlight won for Best Picture, a virtually unknown movie about homosexuality featuring a black cast, the SJW of Hollywood still won.

    • l3randon

      Not unless the NEA starts funding movies.

      • Danny

        What does funding have anything to do with it? These movies are being made regardless of the audience that will or will not watch them. If you are watching them, you’re paying them anyways.

  • Stephen J.

    Hidden Figures earned Oscar nominations because it’s a powerhouse film, not a lecture. You didn’t need the three female stars breaking character for some analog virtue signaling.”

    Did we see the same film? Hidden Figures felt like one of the clunkiest most lecture-y films I’d seen in years; it was a paint-by-numbers Lifetime Network special about a message nobody argues anymore (“Jim Crow Bad! Civil Rights Good!”) with a big budget, tin-eared dialogue, protagonists who aren’t allowed to have any realistic human flaws or any conflict not about the racism, and a score of almost nothing but on-the-nose mood cues. The only good things about it were the leads’ actual performances (a feat even more impressive given the lackluster lines Henson, Spencer and Monae actually had to deliver) and the tension of Col. Glenn’s first rocket flight, and the only reason it got the Oscar noms it did was because it would have been the kiss of death in Hollywood for anyone to say it wasn’t actually that great a film.

    And 30 Rock‘s ratings weren’t nearly as high as suggested, either; a network not interested in supporting Fey’s politics wouldn’t have kept that show on the air nearly as long as its numbers should have justified. But that’s a whole other rant.

  • BostonLiberty

    Stay Woke! <– more incoherent babbling from the 'in crowd' lefty libtards roaming the streets of America these days. One of my neighbors (very white, liberal, and pwnd by his FemAlpha wife) was saying 'woke' this weekend, and it was literally painful to hear. I was surprised he didn't have a Bernie tattoo under his Trayvon Lives! t-shirt.

  • Rock

    “As with any film or TV show, starting out with an agenda is a mistake. And audiences can smell it a mile away.”

    Can they? Or maybe they do and just don’t care. I of course say that because I see that this trend has gone on for a number of years and people still give them the ratings and money at the box office by seeing this stuff. Also, one thing the author and even our commenters have to consider…we’re not like most people. We read. We like to use our minds for critical thinking. In your heart of hearts, can you say that about “most people.” Sure they’ll read a caption if the photo is compelling enough, but for the most part it seems that people just don’t like to think for themselves, so they flock to an ideology that makes them feel comfortable, regardless if it presents a fantasy of reality or if its contradicting. It’s just a good idea to them.

  • Pantalones

    gay