Television

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Collection

Elizabeth Swados

One of the youngest playwrights ever to have a play produced on Broadway, Liz Swados was unafraid of tackling heavy subjects like politics, racism, and mental illness.
A Sampling of Netflix's Stand-up Comedy Offerings

Netflix and No-Chill?

by Delaney Hoffman

I am the funniest person I know. Out of all of the aspects of my identity, my sense of humor is probably my favorite. I say my jokes loudly; I laugh at the things I say even if nobody else does. Shari Short asserts in her article, "Jewish Funny", that humor is a common ground for Jews. Self-deprecation and sprinklings of Yiddish go a long way when identifying fellow members of the Tribe by jokes alone. 

Topics: Television, Comedy
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer

The Broads are Back

by Larisa Klebe

That’s right. The much anticipated third season of Broad City is finally here! YAS KWEEN! After a hiatus which ardent fans like myself would classify as an eternity, Abbi and Ilana have at long last returned with their shenanigans, their pot, their feminism, and, as we learn from season three’s opening sequence, their multi-faceted bathroom use.  

Miss America Pageant, 2014

Pageant Problems

by Abby Richmond

Bess Myerson, the one and only Jewish Miss America, was crowned winner in 1945. Jordyn Rozensky’s 2013 JWA blog post, Here She Comes….Miss America, discusses the influence Myerson had on America and on the Jewish community following her big win. Myerson was the first Jewish woman to win the pageant, and she experienced significant antisemitism as a result. Despite these challenges, Myerson channeled her fame into doing good—she became active with the Anti-Defamation League and launched a successful political career. 

Topics: Feminism, Television

Ilene Chaiken

Ilene Chaiken was a successful screenwriter and television producer for years before she had the chance to develop material close to her heart into a successful show, The L Word.

Judy Gold

Standup comedian Judy Gold won two Daytime Emmys for her work writing and producing the Rosie O’Donnell Show in 1998 and 1999.

Fay Kanin / Jill Soloway

Television Trailblazers

Bringing Real Stories to the Small Screen

Carly Zakin

Carly Zakin teamed up with longtime friend and fellow journalist Danielle Weisberg to create theSkimm, a daily newsletter aimed at sparking the interest of millennials who often avoid traditional news sources.

Danielle Weisberg

Frustrated by friends who didn’t share her passion for the news, Danielle Weisberg joined forces with longtime friend Carly Zakin to create theSkimm, a digital newsletter for millennials.

Amy Heckerling

Amy Heckerling’s quirky directorial style and her knack for discovering fresh angles on classic stories led to her popular and critical successes with films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless.

Sarah Treem

Television writer Sarah Treem’s work with Hagai Levi, adapting In Treatment for an American audience, led to their collaboration on the Golden Globe-winning The Affair.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hailed as the “Scream Queen” for her 1978 film debut in Halloween and her work in other slasher films, Jamie Lee Curtis defied expectations through her roles in A Fish Called Wanda and The Heidi Chronicles.

Jill Soloway

Jill Soloway’s mixture of curiosity and empathy for unusual characters, from funeral directors to people suffering from multiple personality disorder, earned her multiple Emmy awards for her creation of Transparent.

Amy Schumer

On her award-winning sketch comedy show, Amy Schumer has used humor to call attention to feminist issues from ageism against women in Hollywood to the pervasiveness of rape culture.

Sarah Silverman

Comedian Sarah Silverman has used her raunchy and irreverent deadpan humor as much to raise awareness about issues like women’s health as to entertain.

Chelsea Handler

When her confession in a DUI class left people rolling in the aisles, struggling actress Chelsea Handler launched a brilliant new career as a comedian.

Estelle Getty, 1985

Icons for the New Year: Estelle Getty

by Tara Metal


When actors make it big later in life, they usually have a long history of smaller roles and near misses to back up their rise to fame. There’s no such thing as an overnight success, and so on. Estelle Getty’s journey to her star-making role in The Golden Girls was really just that—an overnight transformation—though it may not have felt that way for Getty.

Topics: Television
Mad Men

Mad Men TV Club: Farewell, Mad Men

by Tara Metal and Judith Rosenbaum

Since the return of Rachel Menken in Season 7, JWA's Judith Rosenbaum and Tara Metal have been having a blast writing about Mad Men on the blog. After Sunday's series finale (sob!) they had one last chat about Don's legacy, Peggy's love life, and Joan's feminism.

Topics: Television

Sally Bronston

A high school freshman, Sally Bronston had to grow up fast, taking on new responsibilities for her family and community.

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer

For Women in Comedy, A New Jewish Voice

by Sophie Edelhart

Jewish women are having a moment. At the end of 2014, Flavorwire published an article entitled “2014 Was—Secretly—The Year of the Jewish Woman.” It profiled Jewish women who made news in culture in the past year: Abbi Glazer and Ilana Jacobson of the Comedy Central show Broad City, Jill Soloway, the writer of the groundbreaking show Transparent,  and Jenny Slate, the comedian who starred in the romantic comedy Obvious Child, among others. 

Topics: Television, Comedy

Lainie Breaux

Having just given birth days before the storm, Lainie Breaux was focused on the needs of her new baby in the chaos of evacuation.

Sally Bronston

Committed to youth leadership long before Hurricane Katrina, Sally Bronston lobbied on behalf of her community through the New Orleans Youth Leadership Council before turning to a career in journalism.

Lainie Breaux

When the hospital tending Lainie Breaux’s newborn son temporarily lost contact with her during Hurricane Katrina, Breaux used her fifteen minutes of fame to call attention to the plight of others devastated by the hurricane.
Partners of Sterling Cooper

Mad Men TV Club: Work Life Balance

by Tara Metal

The struggle between career and family is one that women have wrestled with for decades, and there seem to be no easy solutions on the horizon. Work vs. home. “Office wives” and romantic partners. Kids or promotions. The battles rage on, illuminated by think pieces and parsed by university studies, but the essential question of what is most worthwhile and meaningful in life remains unanswered.

Topics: Television
Rita Lankin's Book, The Only Woman in the Room

The Only (Jewish) Woman in the Room

by Rita Lakin

I was Jewish and a woman and had no idea that neither was welcomed or acknowledged in the world of television writing in the 1960s. Not that such topics were on my mind when I was forced by sad happenstance to become widowed at the age of 31 and left to support my three young children. I had to get a job.

Topics: Television
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