Smart TV About Women Leaders: Borgen And VEEP

Media and entertainment play a role in social change. I’ve heard it speculated that The Cosby Show helped pave the way for an Obama White House and, who knows, maybe all the black Presidents in movies and television helped voters visualize a black man in the real Oval Office.   Will and Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy may very well have eased the way for Americans to become more comfortable with same-sex marriage.

The same thing might be said for women being portrayed as political leaders. Two recent, and very different, television series portray women leaders in realistic, non-patronizing ways.

The first show that I recommend checking out is Borgen (it roughly translates as "Government"),   a Danish drama about a fictional female Prime Minister. It was recently awarded a BAFTA (The UK’s equivalent to the Oscars and Emmys) and originally aired in Denmark not long before they elected their first woman Prime Minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The second season begins on LinkTV tomorrow.

Another favorite of mine is HBO’s VEEP.   Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the mishap prone Vice President, Selina Meyer. The show isn’t cheesy nor is it patronizing to the protagonist. There aren’t discussions about Meyer being the “first woman VP” nor do we hear overly earnest discussions about policy. It's just snarky fun.   Here’s a trailer.