Yes, you read the title correctly, “Chick Shows”. These shows, according to the mass audiences, are for girls and girls only. Today’s question asks if it should stay that way, or if there’s more to these than once thought.
To those who aren’t sure of what a “Chick Show” is, you’ll find it’s meaning in the name itself. It’s a television program that either has a large female or intends to have one. Although television was quiet when it came to these over the summer, the Autumn breeze brings with it the return of the sub-genre, with shows like American Horror Story and Grey’s Anatomy premiering.
The latter in particular is especially prone to attacks by men who turn it away because in their minds, it’s “just a girly show with hot guys for the sake of having hot guys”. They have reason to believe this, as the series starts with our protagonist, Meredith Grey waking up next to a half-naked Derek Shepherd, discussing how they’d forget the night ever happened, only to find out they have the same job as a surgeon, with Derek mentoring Meredith in hopes of her becoming the amazing miracle-worker of a doctor her mother was way back when. And while they are quite a few characters that only seem to be there to be attractive that get added faster than you can say “Mark Sloan” or “Jackson Avery”, and not to mention the sexual tension is raised to the max at some points, it’s still an extremely compelling drama, with the characters tackling matters that raise the stacks higher than expected for a show about some work relationships in a hospital.
Now on it’s 13th season, Grey’s Anatomy has been through a lot, and if it isn’t clear on why it’s been able to have this many seasons, I’ll give you a hint: it’s not about the sex. What Grey’s Anatomy does best is pulling an audience’s heartstrings in almost every episode. This is an emotional show, and it makes sense why. You have to remember, the show takes place in a hospital where doctors and surgeons have the lives of dozens placed in their hands every day, and some situations are more dangerous than others. For example, early in the show’s run, there was an episode where a train crash leaves a random man and woman impaled by a large pole. They soon grow a strong bond for each other while the doctors realize that the only way to get the pole out of them would involve a process where one of them would have to die. Any other show would take a whole season to create something as emotional as the scene where natural selection takes it’s hold and kills off a character who audiences literally just met 20 minutes ago. Scenes like that are the reason Grey’s Anatomy works.
Another show that is referred to as a “Chick Show” is American Horror Story, an anthology series that takes place in many different time periods and many different places, ranging from present day New Orleans to Massachusetts in 1964. The show took some hits from critics and audiences in it’s fifth season, dubbed American Horror Story: Hotel, for being way too sexual when it didn’t have to be, and understandably so. There are many characters in the series who portray sexual themes, and even more plot devices that center the same idea. A character in Hotel even has a bright pink neon sign that reads “Why are we not having sex right now?” I’m supposed to be writer, and I can’t put into words how downright nasty this show can be sometimes.
However, the show does have a lot of strong spots. The characters are portrayed by brilliant actors and actresses, with so many heavy hitters, like Evan Peters, who’s now more commonly known by the superhero crowd as Quicksilver in the X-Men movies, Sarah Paulson, who also played a part in another series by the creator of the show, Ryan Murphy, when she played Maria Clark in The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, Lily Rabe who’s been nominated for awards on 3 occasions because of her work on the show, and not to mention Jessica Lange. While Peters, Paulson and Rabe are some of the most amazing young actors and actresses to ever hit television screens, Jessica Lange’s experience and skill pushes her above every single possible competitor, which is funny considering many of the characters she plays in the show had an interest in some form of theater arts, or at least being the center of attention and strives to be the star of the show no matter what. Is it a coincidence that the fifth season tanked in ratings compared to it’s predecessors while also being the first season Lange wasn’t in? All in all, with or without Jessica Lange, American Horror Story is a strong show that shouldn’t be underestimated.
American Horror Story and Grey’s Anatomy aren’t the only big boys, or rather, girls, on the block, though. Ever heard of Glee? Pretty Little Liars? Vampire Diaries? Gossip Girl? If not, the rock you’re living under must be pretty large, because these shows are heavyweights in the world of television. There’s something about all of these shows that makes them stick out among the rest, giving them their own identities, their own style, and theoretically should allow them to be watched by anyone – male or female. Sadly, this isn’t the case, and I don’t use the word “sadly” lightly. Why wouldn’t guys love these shows? Glee has some of the best covers and mashups of songs in a long time, and was pretty funny at times. Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl gave audiences compelling mysteries and drama at every turn, always leaving viewers guessing. Vampire Diaries, while it could first be mistaken as “Twilight: The TV Show” as even I once called it, is more than that. The shows adds magic and resurrections and unlike the final film in the aforementioned series, Vampire Diaries has legitimate climaxes that lead to legitimate character deaths and also legitimate and satisfying conclusions to stories and character arcs. Someone explain how The Twilight Series still enrages me three years after it’s conclusion.
Before I get too off track, know that just because a show is intended for girls doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it too. Just because games like Call of Duty or Battlefield are meant for men to play doesn’t mean a girl can’t top some leader-boards. More men should be giving these brilliant shows their time in the masculine spotlight, because what happens then just might surprise them.