The Atlantic asks a key question, 50 years after women across America hit the streets, protesting in the second wave of an international women's movement: Is Television Ready for Angry Women?
Marti Noxon, 53, is not new to Hollywood or television. She has written, produced, and directed TV shows and films for more than two decades. Perhaps Hollywood has caught up with her and the voices in her head that propel her forward. In a Time's Up, post-Harvey Weinstein LA world of mostly white male popular culture
'Dietland' is one of two projects Marti Noxon has in her pipeline, and 'Sharp Objects' is the other.
When Noxon showed an early episode of 'Dietland' to a male friend, he was both impressed, and appalled at "how prescient it was". “Of course I didn’t.” Noxon responded. “But I’ve been alive.”
"The past two decades have seen an unparalleled explosion of creativity in TV, beginning with 'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire', running through 'Breaking Bad' and 'Mad Men', and ending up with the zillions of shows currently being made for streaming networks and premium cable", writes Sophie Gilbert . "In prestige TV, men could be adulterers, drug dealers, murderers, gangsters, even serial killers, and still be sympathetic anchors for popular dramas. But the same wasn’t true for women, until recently."
On Marti Noxon's TV series 'Dietland', we enter the world of a modern women's magazine. Covers of previous issues are mounted on the falls. They feature limitless role models of young, beautiful white women and taglines that improve women's world like 'Scarves That Slim'. "The beauty closet, a serene, cathedral-like space, has floor-to-ceiling shelves labeled dark spot corrector, stretch mark reduction, skin lightener, buffing cream. The products on set seem to number in the thousands."
Everything is perfectly-appointed in the editor in chief's office and ready for Instagram. The cameras are rolling when a human tornado hits in the form of its occupant, Kitty, played by Julianna Margulies. The good wife is now an editor-in-chief. "Chairs are upturned, flowers are strewed everywhere, and magazine pages are in shreds. The aesthetic perfection has been thoroughly dismantled by a woman in a profound state of rage."
Joy Nash is also center stage in 'Dietland', a plus-size young woman playing the role of ghost writer for Margulies. As Nash confronts her own identity and self-image in the show, her writer self pursues the mystery behind a series of brutal attacks on men accused of sexual harassment and assault.
'Dietland' is something new, says Noxon. Arriving on AMC June 4 with a two-hour, 'Dietland' is fresh and ready to rumble. Noxon calls 'Dietland' “the fight-back part. The define-yourself-outside-of-the-system part. To change yourself to change the world.”
Not all the early reviews are kind, so be prepared. Too many threads going on is a common complaint.
AMC appears to be invested for the long haul, however. Variety reports that AMC has given a green light to a live talk show hosted by Aisha Tyler to air as a companion series to 'Dietland'.
“Unapologetic with Aisha Tyler” aims to put the spotlight on female empowerment, gender issues, body-image concerns, and other themes raised by the scripted drama that is described as a feminist revenge fantasy.