June 19th, 2007

on a steel horse I ride

Tread lightly, he who lives in hopes of pussy

As long as I'm getting myself in trouble for saying potentially sexist shit, here is something I have goggled at for years now.

A disproportionately high number, by Hollywood standards, of the writers of Deadwood are women.

Television writers are part of a notoriously exclusionary boy's-club atmosphere. For decades -- and not just in the early days of TV, but continuing up to the present time -- all-male writing staffs are far more often the norm than they are the exception; it's not uncommon to find long-running shows that have never had a female writer*. The average representation of male to female writers in television is just under 5:1; in some genres it's much lower. (Apparently, the sole exception is daytime drama, or 'soap opera', and even there it's not parity, it's just a slightly larger male presence, say about 1.5:1.) On almost any TV show -- cable or network, comedy or drama, late-night or prime time, you'd expect male writers to outnumber female ones at least threefold.

Yet on Deadwood -- one of the most, for lack of a better term, masculine shows in recent memory, a show reeking with the situational sexism of its time and place, a show seeped in machismo, violence and the sexual and physical abuse of women -- you have near-parity in the writing staff. Of its 36 episodes, 20 were written by men and 16 by women. In the second season (my personal favorite, and the one that I think best captures the show's essence and appeal), the majority of episodes -- seven of the twelve -- were written by women. No season featured less than a third of the episodes penned by women.

For reasons that I cannot quite articulate, and which probably have to do with me being a hopeless pig, this surprises me. I would think -- and this is not a value judgment, merely a confession -- that if any show in recent memory would have a writing staff dominated by men, it would be Deadwood. And yet here we are.

Commence your hatin'.

*: Let's dispense with this conversation by saying I KNOW that this is because of rampant sexism and generations of bad hiring policies, and not any reflection of talent. I don't condone, I just recognize.
the one with your name on it

The Tony Bus is Coming

So I've been playing with this thing for a while now, and I've come to some conclusions.

1. The most thematically appropriate song to use with it is "Eat the Menu", from the second Sugarcubes album. Not only does the 'menu'/food-related theme mesh nicely with the visual, but if you time it just right, you can get Einar Orn and Bjork's vocals to synch up fairly well with Tony and Carmela's dialog. Try it: http://www.ludickid.com/Eat_the_menu.mp3

2. The funniest song, on the other hand, is "We Like to Party (The Vengabus)" by the Venga Boys. Because, well, just listen: http://www.ludickid.com/The_Vengabus.mp3

As an aside, "Yackety Sax" works amazingly well, as it does in most situations, but it is regrettably too short to properly match up with the clip. END TRANSMISSION