Bleats

Give The Girls A Call, The First Wives Club Reboot Is Coming To A Small Screen Near You

Don't get mad, get everything.

Throughout our lives, we encounter films that make us want to fist bump the sky and tackle each day with unbridled enthusiasm. It doesn’t happen often but when it does – it’s powerful.

For me, there are three movies that perfectly capture this inspirational magic: Legally Blonde, A League of Their Own and The First Wives Club.

There’s something about strong women coming together to support each other, while exacting their revenge on the people and situations that have held them back that really tickles me. Funny that.

Victory in the face of adversity is always a crowd-pleaser, and when this success is enabled by capable ladies – I’m all for it.

Naturally, when the First Wives Club reboot was announced through the Paramount Network, and we discovered was actually going to be a television series – I was excited but nervous.

I had a lot of questions.

So here they are…

1. Is the cast of characters still going to be focused on women in their mid-late forties?

The casting for the original 1996 film wasn’t just genius (hello, Goldie Hawn, Better Midler and Diane Keaton are all actual living legends) – but it was also incredibly important to see women above the age of 30 having their experiences represented on screen. Will the reboot tick this box? Or go for a younger demographic?

2. Will the television show include the toe-tapping tune from the original film, “You Don’t Own Me”?

Note to producers: We need a rousing song to get us out of our seats and dancing along the hallways with our best buds by our sides.

Do not deprive us of a dance. You would be deeply foolish to do so. I’m still feeling the 2015 version of “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace, and would be very OK with them resurrecting this tune for a killer final scene in the very first episode.

3. Will the reboot cover topics that go beyond breakups and horrible husbands, including fat shaming, alcoholism, ageism and loneliness?

What made the characters in the original film so relatable was that beside having issues with their former partners, they were each battling demons of their own. Brenda (Bette Middler) suffered from body image due to her supposed ‘heavy’ weight, Annie (Diane Keaton) had major self-esteem and confidence issues, and Elyse (Goldie Hawn) was a lonely alcoholic who spent most nights drowning her sorrows with bottles of vodka.

4. Will they get the original stars to make a guest appearance? Because they all still hang out and that would be all-time.

OK, so it’s been a while, but back in 2011, Bette Midler tweeted a picture of the gang hanging out at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Internet exploded with anticipation of a First Wives sequel. So… yeah we’ve been waiting nearly seven years. Please – let’s get them all together for a cameo in the show, even if it’s just for five minutes.

5. Are we going to see some diversity among the women represented in the film?

It’s been confirmed that Girls Trip co-writer Tracy Oliver will be penning the half-an-hour episodes, so hopefully this also means we’ll see a range of female characters having their stories explored. Not just rich and privileged white women who are able to legitimately afford to buy a warehouse in New York City to renovate and turn into their headquarters.

6. Will we enjoy some truly inspired dialog?

The original film featured a script that wasn’t just tight – it was full of quotable lines and sick burns. Scott Rudin will be co-producing the series (he produced the original film), so we’ve got high hopes.

Bring it on, we’re ready to feel inspired all over again (and on a weekly binge-able basis at that).

Pilot Season Is Underway And Women Are Finally Claiming Their Rightful Place At The Top of The Directors Throne

Across America there are 75 broadcast pilot series currently in production. 24 are being directed by women.

It’s a busy time in Hollywood right now, and with pilot season in full swing, a number of new television shows and their crews are preparing to battle it out for the top spot across ABC, NBC, Fox, The CW and CBS.

By hooking audiences across the country and throughout the world with emotionally engaging stories and multi-layered characters we’re sure to love – or love to hate, these new shows have the potential to create on-going opportunities for women in the film and television industry.

Now, for the best news.

According to data compiled by Vulture, the number of women and people of colour in the director’s chair this year has risen to an all-time high.

As of right now, out of 75 pilots currently in production across the major networks, 24 are being directed by women.

This time last year, this number was down to just six women directors out of the 70 pilots being produced.

We are totally here for the jump in numbers and all the opportunities this potentially presents for women in Tinseltown.

It seems Reese Witherspoon is pretty happy about it too.

Reese like many actresses in Hollywood, has been passionate and outspoken about her views on representation within the industry for years, campaigning regularly for more stories by women, for women.

Vulture’s numbers (while taking into account gender) also looked at race and nationality, and revealed that out of the female directors working on pilots right now, three are women of colour, and three are Latina.

This might not sound necessarily impressive, but it’s a positive step, because this number is officially up from last year when all six female directors where white.

By encouraging more women into the director’s chair, it’s just one of the many ways the industry can get numbers up, keep them up, and help change the narrative around women and their stories.

 

We got this, girls.

We need female directors, producers, and actors to explore these stories, and ensure the way women are portrayed and represented on stage is accurate, fair, and inclusive.

While many of the women surveyed already have experience directing or producing film and television, as Vulture points out, the opportunity to work on a television pilot can be “an important step to gaining legitimacy and authority” within the industry.

Let’s just hope this is the start of something positive for the industry, rather than a fluke or one-time deal.

Women need to be presented with regular and considerable opportunities if we want any of this to ever equate to real-life change.

Tracey Spicer Aims To End Workplace Sexual Harassment With The Launch of NOW Australia

As the old saying goes, nothing changes if nothing changes, and journalist Tracey Spicer is determined to light the spark of a nationwide revolution.

Tracey Spicer has teamed up with Australia’s most creative performers, entertainers, and public figures to bring awareness of workplace sexual harassment to the forefront of Australian discourse.

NOW Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that will provide real-world advice and support to those suffering from sexual harassment at work (regardless of what industry they’re in), to ensure these instances are recognised, documented, accounted for, and appropriately managed.

Spicer’s end goal is to tackle these issues head on now, so the next generation of girls and women won’t have to unnecessarily suffer through employers, co-workers, or employment systems that make it incredibly easy take advantage of female workers.

The NOW Australia site offers visitors a chance to donate to the growing cause (guys, take note this would be a great way to support the women in your life), and also provides a consultation option for victims so they have guidance on what to do or where to go in the event that they are harassed.

Joining Spicer in her quest are some of Australia’s most talented women, including Isabella Manfredi, Tina Arena, Deborah Mailman, Missy Higgins, Mahalia Barnes and more.

Basically, it’s a killer who’s who list of female Australian talent.

So, why is this all so important?

Because the statistics are horribly grim, and especially now after everything with Weinstein and #metoo, we cannot ignore the reality of the world we live in – a world where women are still marginalised, abused, and harassed on a daily basis.

It’s truly terrifying to think that if Spicer and those within the NOW Australia team hadn’t taken it upon themselves to launch this initiative, no work would be going into changing the structure of institutions or the laws that are meant to keep individuals accountable for their actions, and victims supported and safe.

Determined to end the silence and shame that often follows victims before and after speaking out, Spicer’s call for change, and determination to connect women from all areas of life with support and advice, is so desperately needed.

Spicer is already receiving requests for help from women who have nowhere else to turn.

 

jac_wood5This is awesome! We so desperately need an organisation here in Australia to help people have their experiences heard. The current loop hole for State Government employers is that a person has no support from our very own Human Rights Commission for sex discrimination and/or sexual harassment in the public sector workplace. A STATE PUBLIC SERVANT HAS NO AVENUE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IF THEY EXPERIENCE SEX DISCRIMINATION/SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE. My case is current and I have all of the documents from my workplace and the AHRC who terminated my complaint. How do I get my experience heard and use it to have this ridiculous loophole closed?

 

Now Australia will continue crowdfunding for a month, and then start connecting with victims and survivors.

To donate to the cause (do it for yourself, your sisters, your friends, your mothers, your aunts) click here and help to put an end to systemic sexual harassment in Australia.

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