I’m always suspicious when an entertainment executive claims to know what young women are looking for.
But there was something particularly infuriating about the pitch given by Rod Aissa, senior vice president for original programming and development at Oxygen Media, at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., last week.
Apparently what I’ve been looking for all my life is a Birkin bag, my mother to judge my teen-age dating decisions and a man to pop the question after humiliating me.
I have no problem with the idea, as Aissa put it, that “a viewer who is living life on their own terms … wants to watch shows that are fun, have emotion and passion, but yes, they have to have key ingredients of high stakes and drama.”
I don’t know what “living life on their own terms” means exactly, but fun, emotion, passion, high stakes and drama are what I like in my TV. It’s why I cried when Ben Wyatt proposed to Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation,” and why I’m excited about FX’s new drama “The Americans,” which stars Keri Russell as a Soviet spy embedded in 1980s Washington.
Check out Oxygen’s lineup:
“Fat Girl Revenge,” which follows women who “have a score to settle” with people who made fun of them at their prior weights. (Fun!)
“Find Me My Man,” a matchmaking show based on the idea that we’ve got an Ideal Husband waiting for us out there, and the reasons we’re not meeting him are all about us. (Emotion!)
There’s “Too Young To Marry,” which is based on the idea that it’s really hilarious to make fun of teen-agers who think they’ve found True Love. (Passion!)
And finally, there’s “Propos’d,” a combination prank show-proposal program in which, Aissa said, men who are dating “fiancezillas” “get a little revenge, a little payback time for her. She’ll get the ring, but in a very, very surprising original way.” (High stakes!)
That’s not even to mention the already-airing “All My Babies’ Mamas,” a reality show about a young man and the host of women seeking child support from him. (Drama.)
It’s news to me that as a young lady, I’m obsessed with past slights, single because I’m a flawed, gross person, or that some day I’ll deserve to be punished for getting married. If that’s living life on my own terms, I’d rather not.