Tag Archives: Betty Gilpin

New Shows + Movies by Women — April 15, 2022

I want to take this week’s intro to talk about the range of new abortion restrictions that are sweeping state to state. As the news focuses on a hundred other things, please don’t lose sight of new abortion restrictions that just passed this week in Florida and Kentucky (this last overriding the governor’s veto). Kentucky’s is in effect, while Florida’s and an earlier ban passed in Arizona both take effect in July. Oklahoma and West Virginia have each passed a ban through one house of their legislature. Idaho’s is signed into law but is temporarily blocked by courts.

Texas-style bans have been introduced in state legislatures in 13 states. Trigger bans that would take effect upon Roe v. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court have been passed in 12 states and introduced in six others.

Partial bans on abortion pills already exist in Indiana and Texas. New bans on medication abortions have been introduced in eight other states.

In some good news, Maryland overrode a governor’s veto to legislatively protect the right to abortion this week. Many states are in the process of doing so, and some are taking the next step of enshrining the right to abortion within their state constitutions. Some are also considering sanctuary bills that would make it easier for women to travel to their state in order to access an abortion.

Some states have competing bills, with bans and protections both introduced. Washington Post has a useful rundown of the different types of bills being considered, and what stage each is at. Many women are already familiar with this fight. Men read this article, too. I urge other men to join with and support this fight for women’s rights. Our voices don’t need to lead here, but they should encourage other men to support women’s rights, and we should be making those calls to our state legislators and governors that encourage them to protect women’s right to choose.

Most politicians are still men who hire other men, which means these offices habitually dismiss the voices of women. They need to hear men supporting women’s rights and also telling these offices that we expect them to listen to women’s voices and not just ours. If allied men don’t figure women’s rights are worth actively supporting, then assume that allied men with responsibility and positions of power also figure that. They don’t change that attitude unless we do. We need to shoulder more of the work in support of this fight.

Let’s talk about new series by women this week. There are no new films.


Roar (Apple TV+)
showrunners Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
directed by women

The creators of “GLOW” adapt Cecelia Ahern’s collection of short stories in a dark comedy anthology about women’s often overlooked experiences.

Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Issa Rae, Alison Brie, and Betty Gilpin all feature at some point in the anthology.

Liz Flahive has written and produced on “Homeland”. Carly Mensch has written and produced on “Weeds” and “Orange is the New Black”. The pair both worked on “Nurse Jackie” and “GLOW”. Halley Feiffer, Janine Nabers, and Vera Santamaria join them as directors on “Roar.”

You can watch “Roar” on Apple TV+. All eight episodes are available immediately.

Swimming with Sharks (Roku)
showrunner Kathleen Robertson

Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger star as an assistant and her abusive boss at a Hollywood studio. Shipka’s Lou quickly learns how to outwit the manipulations of her workplace.

Kathleen Robertson starred in “The Expanse”. This is her first time writing and second time producing on a series.

You can watch “Swimming with Sharks” on Roku. All episodes are available immediately.

CW: sexual assault

Anatomy of a Scandal (Netflix)
showrunner Melissa James Gibson
directed by S.J. Clarkson

A sexual assault scandal erupts around a British politician and his wife starts to question all of the stories he’s told her. Sienna Miller stars.

Showrunner Melissa James Gibson wrote on “The Americans” and wrote and produced on the U.S. “House of Cards”. Director S.J. Clarkson has helmed episodes of “Jessica Jones” and “Dexter”.

You can watch “Anatomy of a Scandal” on Netflix. All six episodes are available immediately.

CW: image of man on fire

Verdict (Amazon)
showrunner Paula Knudsen
directed by Anahi Berneri, Marina Meliande

This Uruguayan show involves the investigation of a terrible crime that goes viral on social media. (There’s currently no English trailer, but the series is subtitled.)

Showrunner Paula Knudsen has written on the Brazilian and U.S. versions of “Julie and the Phantoms”. Directors Anahi Berneri and Marina Meliande have each made several South American films.

You can watch “Verdict” on Amazon Prime. All six episodes are available immediately.

Aoashi (Crunchyroll)
directed by Satou Akira

In this anime, Aoi Ashito ruins his chances of being recruited by a quality high school soccer club when he creates on on-field incident. He does catch the eye of one recruiter, though.

This is Satou Akira’s second series as director.

You can watch “Aoashi” on Crunchyroll. New episodes arrive Saturdays.

Hard Cell (Netflix)
showrunner Catherine Tate

Catherine Tate writes, directs, and stars in multiple roles in this British mockumentary that follows inmates and staff at a women’s prison.

Catherine Tate is generally regarded as the best of the “Doctor Who” companions since its reboot. She also starred in “The Catherine Tate Show” and in later seasons of the American version of “The Office”.

You can watch “Hard Cell” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

Like a Storm on the Horizon – “GLOW” Season 3

by Gabriel Valdez

I finished season 3 of “GLOW” as a thunderstorm moved in. You could see strobes of lightning shimmer from cloud to cloud. Where they parted, a branching fork seared an after-image when the sky went dark again.

The storm moved in an hour later, rained and thundered and split the sky. And then it was passed, this terrifying moment. You knew you were safe, yet there’s always some primal awareness that digs in during moments like these. It can feel fun.

Before the storm came, you marveled. You watched it rage on the horizon. There’s a sense of stillness when you can see what’s coming, and yet still anticipate it.

It was fitting because a storm can build and build before unleashing that rage, or withering away, before pelting you or keeping its distance on the horizon. Yet when it hits, and you knew it was going to, it’s not the fury of it that digs into you.

It’s the calm spaces in between that make you most unsettled. It’s the apprehension of what’s to come. It’s that stillness inside you feel so rarely these days that’s most out of place, most alarming.

Season 3 of “GLOW” builds and builds until the calm spaces in between are the ones that frighten you the most, that all of what’s been managed in these beautiful people’s lives will come falling apart. It’s a masterpiece of tension, in a comedy about wrestlers.

What makes it work is the knowledge that something’s going to hit, but you don’t know when, or how, or whether it will fizzle out or rage. And after, everyone still needs to continue. Everyone still needs to take the next step forward, sometimes together, sometimes apart. The show goes on.

It can do this as a comedy, as a drama, as a wrestling match, as a satire, as a sitcom, as a music video, as an art piece, as an ensemble comedy in some scenes and in others as a one woman show that rotates whose storm it is in that moment.

When I started watching season 3, the first few episodes felt like they were a little slow. The tension of the first two seasons so often rests in whether their mess of a show will succeed or fall apart at the seams. Now it’s not a mess. Now it’s professional. It’s relatively stable. To come together, the wrestlers often have to make it a mess because it’s inside that chaos where they work best as a community. That chaos is where they trust each other most.

Yet season 3 is all about the build-up, about those storms on the horizon. Where the show they put on is stable, the chaos is now in people’s lives. The stability even bores the characters sometimes, because it’s within that chaos when they know they have each others’ backs.

The step forward that “GLOW” takes in its third season isn’t about increased stakes. It’s about setting the viewer and the characters at odds. It has countless moments where what the viewer wants is directly opposed to what a character wants. That forces you to have to listen to them. Most storytelling strives to make you identify with someone. They do the work to make characters understandable and accessible. “GLOW” did a lot of that in its first two seasons. Its third says that’s all well and good, but what happens when the viewer has to do the work?

We’re all trained with story expectations, of who ends up where and why. What if a character wants something different? What if a character has needs that those expectations can’t fulfill? Then the familiar plot points that make us satisfied with the stories we see are at odds with what a character wants. If we care about that character, and we do, then we have to work to deprogram the story expectations we have.

Is season 3 as satisfying as the first two seasons are? No. That’s the point. I’d read that season 3 ends on a cliffhanger; I’ll be vague to avoid direct spoilers here. The season hints continually that it may be a life or death situation, or it may involve violence, but it copes with these things along the way. The cliffhanger is simply about one of the leads wanting something different from the other. It’s at direct odds to what the audience wants, and yet we know it’s the right thing for that character.

Questions about who lives and whether the show will survive are already answered, at least for the foreseeable future. Instead, we’re left waiting to see whether what we want wins out, or what the character wants wins out. It defines the season as a whole, and operates as a stunning cliffhanger.

If the audience gets to see what we want, it’s a failure for one of the characters. If the character gets what they want, it means the audience doesn’t get something we want. The cliffhanger is less about what happens in the story, and more about what happens in the viewer.

You’re not left in the middle of a storm, within drama or rage, tension or action. There were plenty of opportunities for this season to do exactly that. Instead, you’re left in one of the story’s quiet moments, in the calm and still space in between.