Cool parental units: "I just love my rotten little brats."

One of my favorite shows when I was nine or ten was Clarissa Explains It All. No matter how awesome I thought Clarissa’s hijinxs were—her best friend climbing up to her bedroom window to come visit was especially cool—I couldn’t convince my mother of the show’s greatness. It turns out whatever the show lacked in writing or characterization is not what my mother opposed, rather she hated how Clarissa’s parents were portrayed: as clueless ditzes who had no idea what was going on in their daughter’s life. 

I don’t think my mom was expecting Clarissa’s parents to be the Bradys, but she simply expected parents—even TV parents—to be active in their children’s lives. Over the past few years, I’d say she’s gotten her wish.

Even though the “mom role” is one that some actresses disregard because it is one of the few roles available to women of a certain age, plenty of actresses have shown that these roles are more than just the agreeable wife and/or oblivious mother, they have meat to them.

One of the first in a trend of active parents was Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) on Gilmore Girls. The show centers on Lorelai and daughter, Rory, who live together in a small town in Connecticut. Their parent-child relationship is more like that of best friends or sisters, since Lorelai had Rory when she was only sixteen.

Although the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls received funding from the Family Friendly Programming Forum, many other family groups complained that the show was portraying teenage pregnancy in a positive light. Quite the opposite, since Lorelai was often encouraging Rory not to make the same mistakes that she had and was active in her daughter’s life, whether it was schoolwork or dating.

An even more realistic and down to earth counterpart to Lorelai Gilmore is Friday Night Lights’ Tami Taylor. Not only is Tami fiercely loyal to her family, but she is committed to bettering the students that she counsels at Dillon High School and later, East Dillon. As guidance counselor, she tries to be open and honest with her students and has been known to take some of them under her wing. One example is Tyra Colette, who Tami sees something in that Tyra’s family and Tyra herself don’t even see. Tami knows Tyra wants to get out of Dillon, so she pushes her to be diligent about her schoolwork and apply to four-year colleges rather than community college. 

Tami is played perfectly by the wonderful Connie Britton. I dare you to watch Tami and not want her to be your mom, your cheerleader, your mentor. This is not even touching on the fabulous parenting and coaching skills of Tami’s husband, Coach Eric Taylor. The two of them are a force to be reckoned with.

Cool parents have also taken up residence on movie screens in recent films featuring teenage protagonists.

In Juno, in which “quirky and quotable” (per Jiminy Glick) high school student Juno MacGuff gets pregnant, her parents, Mac and Bren (played by J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney, respectively) keep cool heads. They’re supportive of their daughter’s decision to put the baby up for adoption. Through her pregnancy and meeting the future adoptive parents of her child, Juno experiences the pressures of adult life, but she is able to talk to her parents, especially her father about these events.

Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) tells a simple lie in Easy A that rapidly spins out of control at her high school and starts to damage her reputation. Instead of fighting back against the rumor mill, she goes along with it and lets everyone in her high school think she’s sleeping around.

Olive’s parents, Rosemary and Dill (I know, I know—Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci) were the highlights of the movie. They have witty repartee, but most importantly, trust their daughter and let her do her own thing. Even when the circumstances of Olive’s situation become more suspect—such as her wearing clothes to school embroidered with a scarlet A—Olive’s parents simply ask if they need to be concerned and when she tells them no, they let her have her space. There’s also a great scene between Patricia Clarkson and Emma Stone, where Olive is coming clean about the situation to Rosemary.

Back to the small screen, the most recent mom role that is more complex than it first appears is Sarah Braverman on NBC’s Parenthood. Several years after Lorelai Gilmore, Lauren Graham takes on the role of Sarah, a single parent who moves her two teenage kids from Fresno back to her childhood home in Berkeley. Sarah, who works as a bartender and did not finish college, feels outpaced by her siblings Peter and Julia and at times, outparented. However, Sarah’s relationship with her children is my favorite on the show, especially her bond with her daughter, Amber (Mae Whitman).

Amber is not happy about having to start over in a new town and she often rebels against her mother, but at the same time, they seek solace in each other when they most need it. Sarah knows Amber is smart and encourages her to strive for more than she did—namely, a college education. Graham and Whitman give effortless performances and make their mother/daughter bond realistic without being cloying. Their tenuous bond was the heart of the show in its first season and I look forward to seeing it develop even further.

Mad (Wo)Men: "Whatever can be on your mind?"

The close of the fourth season of Mad Men may contain one of my favorite scenes from the series—a scene that did not last much longer than a minute. I’m talking, of course, about the scene between Joan and Peggy after hearing that Don Draper got engaged to his 25-year-old secretary, Megan.

It’s taken four seasons, but the show has finally given us two female characters that I genuinely care about. The journey, at least in my opinion, has been a little rough.

Elisabeth Moss has always been excellent in the role, but I found the character of Peggy painful to watch for the first couple seasons. During her start at Sterling Cooper, she was constantly the butt of jokes by the ad men she worked for, mostly because she was not viewed as being “classically pretty” like the other secretaries.

Although I admired Peggy’s work ethic, allowing her to become the first female copywriter at Sterling Cooper since World War II, I still didn’t understand a lot of the personal decisions she made. Sleeping with Duck Phillips? A little unsure of who she was personally and still finding her way professionally, I found it hard to sympathize with her, but all that has changed in the span of a season.

Peggy has never been hesitant to voice her opinions to Don, but this season it became clear how much Don thinks of Peggy as an equal. The episode, “The Suitcase,” solidified the character of Peggy Olson. She confides to Don that she knows what she’s supposed to want, but how none of it seems as important [to her] as what happens in the office. Peggy, despite her personal choices (after all, we all have foibles), is the 1960s career woman, who continues to fight for equal footing in a man’s world.

I love that Don and Peggy’s relationship took on a more personal tenor this season. Not only will Peggy voice her opinions about work to Don, but she feels comfortable questioning his personal decisions as well. And he’s comfortable enough with Peggy to let her without flying off the handle.

The great thing about Mad Men is a viewer may see a character one way, but later on their actions and choices reveal he or she to be different, perhaps more complex than the audience may have originally observed. This certainly seems to be the case with Joan Holloway (now Harris). In the first season, it’s clear that as the office manager at Sterling Cooper, Joan is the “queen bee” among the women of the office. She seems to be the 1960s version of a “mean girl,” since she often makes fun of Peggy for her prudish wardrobe and lifestyle.

At first it seems that the goal for this ‘Marilyn’ is to marry wealthy so that she can quit Sterling Cooper and become a housewife, but we’ve seen that Joan is not that simple. During the second season, Joan becomes engaged to Greg, a doctor, and it seems she will have the epitome of every girl’s dream. Although Joan is happy with her engagement, she’s afraid that quitting the world of Sterling Cooper will result in her being a bored and lonely housewife. When she offers to help Harry Crane read soap opera scripts to determine ad placement, she finds herself enjoying the work. Hoping that Harry will require her help full-time, Joan is disappointed when a few days later, Harry hires a clueless man to take over her ad placement duties.

This season, as the new firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce is on the verge of collapse, Lane Pryce tells Joan that because of her dedication and hard work, the (male) partners have promoted her to Director of Agency Operations. However, because of the firm’s financial troubles, he cannot offer her a salary bump. Joan takes this in stride, but later, alone with Peggy, her fellow in the trenches, complains about how if there was any celebration about her promotion, it must have been “while (she) was pushing the mail cart.” Joan also tells Peggy that she learned a long time ago that she wasn’t going to get satisfaction from her job. Peggy replies, “That’s bullshit!” Whether she is calling Joan on her fib or saying that Don’s engagement is not long for this world, it’s an interesting statement on what these women of 1965 put up with in the work place.

As long as Matt Weiner & Co. keep writing scenes like the one from Sunday night's finale, I'll keep watching.

The Good Wife: 2x01, Taking Control

I’m really happy with the way CBS is handling The Good Wife. With maybe the exception of Friday Night Lights, I think it’s the best network drama out there. (And is FNL still a network drama if it's aired on another channel first?) 
Julianna Margulies said she was looking to do a cable show—more flexible scheduling for an actress who has a family and meatier roles for women—but that she read the script for the show and fell in love with Alicia Florrick. “It was a cable show that just happened to be on a network,” Margulies said during The Good Wife cast panel at The Paley Center for Media in April.
I couldn’t agree more. It handles all the adult issues that its cable equals do and it does it with deft writing and stellar acting week after week.
On a channel that is known for its procedurals, CBS has let the creators of the show, Robert and Michelle King, forge their own path. As Margulies tells it, at first the scripts were monitored to be about 60% procedural, 40% character-driven, but after glowing reviews and nominations in its first season, the network has released the reins and let the show explore what it does best: layers. Not the layers of law, although there is certainly that too, but the deeper fibers of these characters and who they are, why they do the things they do, and what it means in the larger scheme of the show.
The season premiere was no exception.
Last year the show left us at a press conference of Peter Florrick’s. Alicia is waiting to “stand by her man” as it were, when she receives a call from her boss and old flame, Will Gardner (Josh Charles). She tells him she gets the romance between them (and so does everyone else, viewers included), but that she has a family, she needs a plan. As Alicia is about to step out into the spotlight to support her husband, her phone rings again. It’s Will.
The premiere on Tuesday night picked up where the finale left off: Alicia’s phone ringing, Will’s name on the caller ID. Being practically forced on stage by Peter and her husband’s campaign manager, Eli Gold (Alan Cumming), Alicia leaves her phone to the devices of Mr. Gold. Upon seeing two voicemail messages from Will—in one of which he confesses his love for Alicia—Gold deletes the message that could throw a loop into his grand plans to have Peter return to the state’s attorney’s office a renewed golden boy.
The chemistry between Will  and Alicia is one of many things that makes the show  great, these two characters with some sort of romantic past, but which the audience does not know much about, other than they knew each other in law school and Alicia ended up with Peter. I didn’t expect the writers to up the ante so soon by having Will and Alicia share a kiss late in season one, but it was done so beautifully that their relationship wasn’t cheapened. It breaks my heart to see Will and Alicia interact now—Will thinking that she got his messages and chose to ignore his confession, Alicia having listened to only the first message, therefore thinking he wants their relationship to remain purely professional—there’s so much sadness and confusion between them, but the complications in the relationship keeps them interesting and the audience’s anticipation high.
Even though I was hesitant to watch in the first place, because I didn’t want to watch a show about politicians’ scandals, something that seems to constantly be making the rounds in the 24-hour news cycle, I liked the season starting with a new scandal involving a politician from Colorado. It cleverly shows that no matter how much time has passed, it doesn’t reverse what Peter did to Alicia and his family. I’m guessing we will see Alicia realizing and dealing with that fact this season.
Other than the Alicia-Peter-Will love triangle, the premiere reminded me how strong the supporting cast is and how genuinely likeable they are. Once again, the writers are great about giving these characters’ storylines complications. In this first new episode, we saw a competing investigator, Blake (Scott Porter), go up against Kalinda (Archie Panjabi). He already seems to have flustered the unflappable Kalinda, so it’ll be interesting to see where that arc goes.
Diane introduced a new partner, Derrick Bond, to the firm of Lockhart and Gardner. Although it’s clear that Bond is someone Diane has dealt with in the past, the scene at the end of the episode with Will and Derrick “bro”-ing it in his office and Diane looking on was well-played. I’ll be curious to see if Diane starts to feel left out of the boys’ club this season. Maybe that means she and Alicia will get closer, which would be lovely. Any chance for more scenes between Baranski and Margulies.  

Four TV Shows with Strong Women (That You Probably Aren't Watching)

Although strong roles for women in film seem to be few and far between, with cable and premium television programming becoming so popular, many female actresses are turning to the smaller screen.

Over the past few years, Showtime has centered several of its shows around female leads, but with a twist. These main characters are not black and white. These women have flaws. They may make questionable decisions, but they are trying to do what is right for their family, for themselves. They’re human. 

Edie Falco plays Jackie Peyton, a nurse, a mother, and a prescription drug addict. Nurse Jackie displays Jackie’s indiscretions—taking a couple Vicodin to get her through the day, having an affair with a co-worker— but also focuses on the empathetic side of the character. Even with her rough New Yorker exterior, Jackie cares about her patients, her co-workers, and her family. 

The half-hour dark comedy has been paired with United States of Tara in Showtime’s lineup. Tara is another series that focuses on a woman with a seemingly normal life: Tara Gregson has a caring husband, Max, and two teenage children, Kate and Marshall. But Tara also has dissociative identity disorder, which means her family rarely gets to see wife, mother and artist Tara; they are more often dealing with her other identities, which include Buck, a motorcycle riding veteran, flirty teenager “T,” and old-fashioned housewife, Alice.

Tara struggles to balance raising her family with finding out more about her disorder and what she can do to fix it.

Toni Collette plays Tara, for which she was awarded a Best Actress Emmy in 2009 and a Golden Globe in 2010. On Sunday, Falco was awarded an Emmy for her work on Nurse Jackie

The supporting cast of characters on both Jackie and Tara are strong as well. Even though the half-hour format and the twelve-episode seasons do not lend as much time to explore these characters as audience members may like, it’s another reason to come back for more.

The programs on basic cable channels such as AMC and premium channels like HBO and Showtime may be getting a lot of press lately, but there are still quality shows (with strong female characters, no less) on network television.

One female who does not get recognized enough is Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. The half-hour comedy is shot in the same mockumentary style as The Office, so many critics were quick to write off the show as a carbon spin-off. (See what I did there? Carbon copy? Carbon spin-off?) However, in the second season, it’s really come into its own.

Leslie Knope is not a female Michael Scott. Leslie is the assistant director of the Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana. She and Michael Scott both overestimate the importance of their jobs, but unlike Mr. Scott, Ms. Knope has a better reason. She’s a civil servant and her enthusiasm for improving Parks Department programs and the love for her community is touching.

Even though her overt enthusiasm is sometimes portrayed as being grating to her friends and colleagues, Leslie Knope is the type of person (and the type of character) that everyone loves. Her friends and co-workers would do anything for her, because they know, if the situation were reversed, she would do the same.

As intriguing as it is to watch dark comedies about dysfunctional families, sometimes it’s nice to take a break with a show that has a lot of heart and makes you laugh out loud.

Speaking of bureaucracy, Chicago politics provides the background for the new CBS hit, The Good Wife.  
Peter Florrick, a Chicago state’s attorney, has been accused of corruption as well as being involved in sex scandal. The show focuses on his wife, Alicia’s story, and how she handles her husband’s crimes. The show was inspired by Eliot Spitzer’s scandal, as well as other politicians, including John Edwards and Bill Clinton. Knowing the basic premise, TV viewers may ask why they would want to watch a show focusing on an issue that is a common item in the news and overplayed in the 24-hour news cycle.
Most politicians’ wives are portrayed by the media as blindly standing by their man, but I sympathized with Alicia. Some of that empathy may be a credit to Julianna Margulies, who is excellent in the role, but when Alicia decides to not divorce Peter, it’s easy to understand her reasoning. She wants to protect her family and keep her children’s lives normal, especially after they have been through so much turmoil.
Ms. Florrick does not waste a lot of time feeling sorry for herself. She seeks out work as a lawyer. Through her new job as a junior associate at Lockhart and Gardner, we meet a supporting cast of strong women. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) is one of the firm’s partners. Alicia, who was hired by an old law school friend, Will Gardner, feels that Diane does not approve of her working at the firm, but throughout the season, it’s clear that the two women have a mutual respect for each other.
Another strong supporting female is the firm’s private investigator, Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi). She and Alicia often work together on cases, Kalinda providing a cynical, pessimistic counterpoint to Alicia’s idealistic view.
Many TV viewers may get turned off by thinking that The Good Wife is a show about law and while that is certainly part of every episode, it is ultimately about a woman who has watched her life fall spectacularly apart and is trying to piece it together again. 
In all of these women’s flaws and quirks, there is also an ability to relate to them. We see slivers of ourselves.
So why aren’t you watching?  

Laura Linney: Having Desserts and Liquor

In recent years, premium cable channel Showtime has provided meatier roles for women than either Hollywood studios or network television offer, especially for actresses in their 40s or 50s.

But Showtime has built its brand on the very idea. The main characters in Weeds, Nurse Jackie, and United States of Tara—all women—are layered, complex personalities that are not clearly good or evil.

It’s newest black comedy, The Big C, stars 45-year-old Laura Linney, who plays a wife, mother, and teacher who has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

In a recent New York Times profile on Linney, Showtime’s Robert Greenblatt is quoted: “For us, it’s more: who are the extraordinary actors whom the critics like and who will garner awards? All of that is good publicity for us. And our audiences respond to so-and-so with an Oscar nomination or an Emmy.”

Greenblatt, formerly president of entertainment, kept a list of actresses over 40, which included the likes of Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand. Until recently, Linney was on the list as well.

Like Keener, Patricia Clarkson or Allison Janney, fellow actresses of her generation, Linney’s career did not start gaining speed until her mid-30s.

Educated at Brown, then Juilliard, and the daughter of playwright Romulus Linney, many probably assume that Linney's career was an easy climb. However, her parents divorced when she was only six months old, and she grew up in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother, who worked as a nurse in New York.

After she completed her graduate studies at Juilliard, she started her acting career in the theatre, with parts in Six Degrees of Separation and The Seagull. She had minor roles in several films, such as Dave, and spent several years acting on public television, in the miniseries Tales of the City. Her performance in The Truman Show as Jim Carrey's hired actress wife caused critics and audiences to notice her.

"What gave us all an additional challenge was that those of us who were cast to play the actors, we were playing an additional role. So we did all this elaborate back-story. So I made up my actress name Hanna Gill, who plays Meryl Burbank, who is married to Truman Burbank. So we did all this double layering of character work not really knowing what was going to come through. I'm glad that some of the people who have seen the movie can say that they can actually see it in all of us,” Linney said of her role.

In 2000, Linney received her first lead role, in the smaller indie film, You Can Count on Me. She played Sammy, a single mom, whose life is complicated by her new boss and her aimless brother's (Mark Ruffalo) arrival in town. She was nominated for her first Academy Award.

Her success over the past decade has not been limited to one medium, however. She returned to the stage for Uncle Vanya and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. She received a Tony Award nomination for the latter as Elizabeth Proctor.

Director Clint Eastwood, who cast her early on in his 1997 thriller Absolute Power, worked with her again in 2003’s Mystic River. Her role in Love Actually is what the majority of pop culture consuming population would remember her as. Recognizable to many, Linney’s diverse career and wide expanse of roles has allowed her to reach a certain level of fame, but not be an A-list star. Linney prefers it that way, saying she’s often mistaken for Helen Hunt or Laura Dern, and citing that theater fans are more likely to recognize her than movie-goers.

“All I wanted was a life in theater. It is the big surprise of my life that I also work in film and television. It is all much bigger than I ever imagined it would be,” Linney said in response to a New York Times reader’s question in June 2010.

A part in Kinsey (2004) garnered her another Academy Award nomination, as did her role in 2007’s The Savages, in which she co-starred with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

But, Linney adds, those nominations have been invaluable. “It’s helped to keep me working, quite frankly.”

Back on the boards, Linney received two more Tony nominations, for Sight Unseen in 2005, and most recently, as a war photographer in Time Stands Still, a role she will reprise in the October at the Cort Theatre.

Reviews are already coming in for Showtime’s The Big C, which premiered Monday night, and many of them praise Linney for being pitch perfect. Not surprising, considering she has three Emmy Awards for her work in Wild Iris, Frasier, and John Adams.

Linney fits well into Showtime’s stable and hopefully by displaying this wealth of great actresses—no matter their age—studios and networks will take note. Showtime’s formula of strong female characters is working.

But Linney says it the best herself: “A lifetime of work, particularly where you get to see an actor grow and change, is better than becoming a rock & roll movie star.” 



The Age of Laura Linney - NY Times
IMDb - Laura Linney
Internet Broadway Database

Patricia Clarkson: Do the work.

It seems like every year when those one or two women-centric films do well, there is an article expressing surprise that *gasp* women will go see movies that feature women. How novel!

The most recent study by the Motion Picture Association of America showed females make up 52% of moviegoers. Two million women over 60 go to the movies once a month or more. Yet roles for women, and thus films for women, are not plentiful. 

In an article written by Stephen Witty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger about the dearth of films that feature women, he quotes Maggie Renzi, John Sayles’ producing partner: “I don’t get it. I’m 50, smack in the middle of the Baby Boom, and everyone’s rushing to sell me cars and insurance and credit cards. Why aren’t they rushing to sell me movies?”

While studios are slow to take notice of this untapped market of women, independent movies seem to be giving women a slightly bigger voice. And it’s all about baby steps, right?

Namely, Cairo Time, which was released in a few cities August 6, is a one-two punch in terms of women and film. Writer-director Ruba Nadda delicately portrays the romance and danger of Cairo as the audience follows Juliette (Patricia Clarkson) through her own physical and emotional journeys there.

Clarkson is a familiar face, a character actress, and at age 50, Cairo Time provides her her first leading role.

Known for her sultry voice, Clarkson was born and bred in New Orleans, where she grew up among four sisters. She studied for two years at Louisiana State before transferring to Fordham University in New York and graduating with a degree in theatre arts. She attended the Yale School of Drama to obtain her MFA.

Her whiskey voice and classic features made it difficult for Clarkson to get cast in her 20s.

“I've always had this deep voice, so I think it was tough sometimes for directors to cast me as the ingĂ©nue. Because I'd walk in and look a certain way, then open my mouth and have this...voice! So I think I sort of grew into my voice, my face, my body as I got older,” Clarkson has said.

She tried out Los Angeles at age 28, earning a role in The Untouchables as wife to Kevin Costner’s Elliott Ness. However, Clarkson returned to New York and spent most of her time in the theater, among smaller roles in TV and film. She acted in several plays, including Eastern Standard, Raised in Captivity, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, Three Days of Rain, and The Maiden’s Prayer, for which she earned an Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award.

“Things got weird,” Clarkson, in a recent New York Times profile, has said about a dearth of roles early on. “Things suddenly just became very difficult for me. I had to dig way deep down inside and figure out: Do I have the stamina? Can I withstand this hailstorm of rejection to get what I really want?”

In 1998, Clarkson played Ally Sheedy’s drug-addicted muse, Greta, in the indie film, High Art, director Lisa Cholodenko’s (The Kids Are All Right) directorial debut. Roles in The Green Mile and Far From Heaven kept her visible, before she had perhaps her most prolific year in 2003.

Clarkson had roles in three critically acclaimed movies that year, from a callous cancer victim in Pieces of April, a grieving artist in The Station Agent, to a mom who tells her son how it is in All the Real Girls. Clarkson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Station Agent, as well as earning a special acting prize for her work in the trio of film at the Sundance Film Festival.

“I was somewhat typecast as suburban "mom" type roles early on,” Clarkson said. “But now I look back and I realize that I really came later in life to a kind of career.”

Returning to her theater roots in 2004, she played the role many would say she’s born to play, Southern belle Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Kennedy Center.

Clarkson also earned two Guest Actress Emmy Awards for her work as Frances Conroy’s sister in HBO’s Six Feet Under.

Writer-directors seem to be especially attracted to Clarkson’s charms, as Woody Allen has recently cast her in two of his films, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and again in 2009’s Whatever Works. And director Martin Scorsese sought her out for a role in his latest film, Shutter Island.

At age 50, when many actresses are struggling to find any roles, much less good ones, Clarkson has carved out a niche for herself, playing emotionally complex women. (And maybe the occasional "mom role". She will play Mila Kunis’ mom in the upcoming film, Friends With Benefits.) But with Clarkson, even the “mom roles" have a bit of an edge to them.

Clarkson was quoted in a recent Salon feature as saying she equates her willingness to do the work with her continued success: “Oddly, I think the stronger you become as an actor, the stronger your self becomes, your confidence in who you are. I think the most seductive part of acting is to act, is to actually do the work. There’s nothing sexier than being on a set and really working your butt off, and taking a journey.”



New Jersey Star-Ledger
The New York Times

This decade of women

There seems to be a whole cache of women in Hollywood who have been designated “character actresses”. Many of these women have the acting chops to be leading ladies. Incidentally, many of these women also fall in the same age range: their 50s.

This blog will center on profiles of these fabulous female actresses of the stage and screen, as well as those behind-the-scenes (writers, editors, cinematographers, etc.)

Even the title of the blog is an homage to one of the women working in the industry. It’s a line from The West Wing episode, “The Supremes”, which was written by Debora Cahn. When Toby asks Josh what he thought of Justice Evelyn Baker, a judge that Josh is vetting as a Supreme Court nominee, Josh says, “I love her. I love her shoes…I love her mind.”