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Why Greta Gerwig On A Sitcom Is A Good Thing For Female Storytellers

The indie film heroine is making her small screen debut…by producing, writing and starring in the potential new CBS show ‘How I Met Your Dad.’

To quote the catchphrase of Barney Stimpson, “it’s going to be legen—wait for it—dary.” While the series finale of How I Met Your Mother draws rapidly near, TV fans have taken solace in the fact that a spin-off series, How I Met Your Dad, is in the works. Executive produced by HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas and Up All Night’s Emily Spivey, the pilot will tell a brand new story of love and fate from a female protagonist’s perspective.

We admit that Greta Gerwig is one of the last actresses we ever expected to see in a sitcom, but the more and more we think about it…the more we love it. The role, which is being described as a “female Peter Pan,” is right in Gerwig’s wheelhouse. Was there a more loveable, frustrating, relatable character in movies last year than Frances in Frances Ha? We think not. Plus, Gerwig will also write for the show and serve as one of its producers should it get the green light.

Taking a cue from the indie film world, television is now placing a greater value on female voices.

Given the success of Lena Dunham and HBO’s Girls, it’s only natural that a network like CBS would pay attention. The all-important female demographic wants to see real women characters like themselves who are dealing with believable (yet heightened) challenges shared by all. No disrespect to Kat Dennings or Allison Janney, but CBS is in desperate need of female-driven interesting sitcoms that deal with real women’s issues.

And what better place to look for female storytellers and non-stereotypical actresses than independent film? Days before CBS announced Greta Gerwig’s involvement in the project, HBO announced that filmmaker Hannah Fidell will be adapting her 2013 indie, A Teacher, into a series with Mark and Jay Duplass executive producing. Only more indication that television, taking a cue from the indie film world, is now placing a greater value on female voices. And that’s wonderful. In the future, we can only hope that shows written and produced by women featuring vibrant female characters become the norm and not just a rarities.

Greta Gerwig should be cheered on and empowered rather than questioned. 

Surprisingly, Greta Gerwig is facing a lot of unnecessary flack for taking a role on a potential primetime series (remember, it’s still only a pilot). Ridiculous!  Just because Greta Gerwig might star on her own television series does not mean she has abandoned the indie film world. During his 9-year stint on How I Met Your Mother, Josh Radnor managed to write, direct and star in two indie features, Happythankyoumoreplease and Liberal Arts. Gerwig has more than enough talent and drive to do the same and then some.

Though, she may be in line for a bigger paycheck, Gerwig is by no means selling out.  We are confident that she would use this opportunity to share her considerable acting/writing talents, her unique voice and her distinct point-of-view with a wider audience.  She should be cheered on and empowered rather than questioned.  We certainly are in her corner.


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