Two Broke Girls

December 27, 2011 by staff 

Two Broke GirlsTwo Broke Girls, Beyonce’s hit song “Run the World (Girls)” could very well have been the theme music for the world of comedy in 2011.

One month after the song’s April release, “Bridesmaids” — a movie seen as a risky box office proposition when it first came out — landed in theaters, drawing in audiences (of both genders) in droves.

Some $169 million later, having quickly surpassed the records for highest grossing female-driven comedy and highest grossing Judd Apatow-produced comedy, it has also helped transform Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and the rest of the cast into major stars while also racking up Golden Globe and Screen Actors’ Guild nominations.

So, looking back, why was it seen as so risky? Quite simply, as “Bridesmaids” co-star Ellie Kemper put it to CNN earlier this year, “There aren’t a lot of huge studio films with huge female ensembles.”

Kona Gallagher writes for and pointed out that, “We still have a long way to go in the way women are portrayed, especially in movies. For every ‘Bridesmaids,’ there are three depressing rom-coms in which a woman derives her self-worth from the success of her relationship.”

Time will tell if that changes.

There were also some changes on the small screen this year.

As “Bridesmaids” surprised just about everyone in the movie business, the major television networks (otherwise known as “SNL’s” Wiig, “Mike and Molly’s” McCarthy and “The Office’s” Kemper’s day job employers), picked up a number of comedy series with female protagonists, all of which have since been successful enough to get a full season order.

In fact, the only sitcom with a lead male character to get picked up for the remainder of the season is Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” on ABC, as opposed to quickly canceled male-centric shows like “Man Up” and “How to Be a Gentleman.”

If there is one big star to come out of this TV season, it is Zooey Deschanel, whose show “New Girl” has beaten lead-in “Glee” in the ratings on several occasions.

“Zooey Deschanel is a genuine breakout star,” said TV critic Ed Bark of the site UncleBarky’s Bytes. “Without her, maybe that show wouldn’t work. She really makes the show. I instantly liked it, because she brought something very distinctive and appealing.”

Deschanel’s quirky (or “adorkable,” if you will) character is based in large part on “New Girl’s” creator, first-time show runner Liz Meriwether.

“I think probably (after) ‘Bridesmaids,’ there’s just sort of a feeling of more trust from the people in charge that women actually want to see shows and movies that are written and created by women as opposed to sort of shows created by men that women are just supposed to like,” Meriwether told reporters in November. “I feel like that trust just from a business sense is really important for empowering more women (who create) shows.”

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