The second season of the HBO series premieres this month, and Fresh Air critic David Bianculli says "these young women — these girls — really are changing and growing and adapting to tough life in the big city."
Fresh Air's TV critic reviews two new cable shows featuring strong female leads: TNT's Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter as a troubled detective, and the FX channel's Damages, starring Glenn Close as a powerful and ruthless attorney.
Actress Mary Tyler Moore. She starred in the Emmy award television show "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and the film "Ordinary People." She is now starring in a new CBS series "New York News," a drama about life at a fictional New York newspaper, and has recently written her autobiography, "After All," (Putnam's Sons).
TV critic David Bianculli reviews "Chantilly Lace," on the Showtime cable network. The telemovie stars JoBeth Williams, Lindsay Crouse, Helen Slater, Jill Eikenberry, Martha Plimpton, Ally Sheedy, and Talia Shire. The plot revolves around a reunion of old friends, but the lines and action are mostly improvised by the actresses.
Television producer and screenwriter Allan Burns. He co-created "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Rhoda," "He and She," "Lou Grant" and "The Munsters," a body of work that has earned him 8 Emmys. Burns has a new series this fall on NBC titled "FM." It's about the on-the-job and at home travails of a public radio program director. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)
David Marc considers his new book about classic sitcoms as a kind of autobiography: each show he reviews reminds him of the time in his life when he first watched it. He joins Fresh Air to talk about the history and politics of television comedy, especially in how it restricted the roles of women and people of color.
Guest critic Leslie Savan says the portrayal of women in recent television commercials reflects what she calls the "gal" archetype -- clumsy but charming, and always insecure, they never have the upper hand at home or work.
Curtin is an alumnus of Saturday Night Live, and now stars in the sitcom Kate & Allie. She joins Fresh Air to talk about the direction of her new show and some of her favorite SNL sketches. Curtin also reflects on how actresses and women writers on SNL always had to fight for airtime.
Television Critic David Bianculli reviews the new ABC series "China Beach." Like "M*A*S*H," "China Beach" features the medical corps that tend to the wounded. But unlike "M*A*S*H," most all the main characters in "China Beach" are women - the nurses who work in the operating rooms and run the USO clubs - and the setting is Vietnam.