“A Leslie Knope In A World Full Of Liz Lemons”

“Why did we love Liz so much? In part, I think, it was because women — that is, career-minded, often-single, mainly white, middle-class, able-bodied, cisgendered women — weren’t used to seeing representation of ourselves on TV. How many women bosses were there on primetime? How many who were as interesting, as talented, or as funny as Liz? Who didn’t also look like they were moonlighting as faces for Covergirl? Who were candid about their issues? Who bought a wedding dress that later turned into a ham napkin?
But Liz is also deeply flawed — and maybe that’s why we liked her…
During the run of 30 Rock, Liz became more flawed, her comedically-bad choices and qualities blown up for laughs. The Liz who bought all the hotdogs just to make a point about righteous waiting was written nearly into oblivion, leaving behind a character who was basically a series of issues, stuck together with used chewing gum and sadness…
Now, compare Liz with another TV heroine, Leslie Knope, who also went through a character reinvention. Whereas Liz slowly became a caricature of flailing white womanhood, Leslie was empowered by the writers, growing into a powerhouse, a politician, and an example of actually having it all…
To be likeable as a woman, it seems, you have to ensure that you’re also non-threatening and slightly useless. You have to point loudly to your “flaws,” but not your, you know, actual flaws. Perpetually single? It’s definitely because you sometimes eat too much cheese stew, and not because you have never figured out how to actually be a caring, intimate, ambitious partner.”

Related: Parks and Rec as therapy. Such a necessary and wonderful show.