All About The Almighty Johnsons with the Fake Geek Girls Podcast – Episode 165 [Audio]

As we’ve all been advised, if you put something out on the internet folks will stumble over you and your work and offer you new opportunities.

That happened last month when Melissa Banks, who co-hosts the Fake Geek Girls podcast found an essay I had written and recorded to my blog in 2015 (How the Female Characters in The Almighty Johnsons were Misused – and how that likely lead to the early end of a great series…). 

All About The Almighty Johnsons with the Fake Geek Girls Podcast - Episode 165

It’s about a New Zealand show called The Almighty Johnsons and my opinion had to do with how I felt the writers had done a disservice to the female characters on the show. So here in 2021 Melissa and her co-host were planning an episode around the show, found my essay and asked for permission to quote it, which I happily gave.

If you know the Almighty Johnsons this whole episode will be of interest; if not my quote comes into the conversation here at 1:18:25  when they Introduce to the section on gender in the show and then at 1:19:22 – when they begin using my quotes.

Listen to All About The Almighty Johnsons with the Fake Geek Girls Podcast – Episode 165

Coming Soon: A chapter in a new book, Doctor Who: New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whitaker Era

There are many exciting steps along the way to having a chapter you’ve written about a beloved television show accepted into a book collection.

  • First you see the Call for Submissions, have an idea and send in an abstract.
  • Then they tell you they like your idea and want to include it in their collection.
  • Then you write the chapter and they send back minimal notes.
  • Then (that’s today) they send you the artwork for the cover and you smile all over again knowing other fans of the show will be reading your ideas as they consider the importance of the show to our culture. 

Coming Soon: A chapter in a new book, Doctor Who: New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whitaker Era

All those steps (except the cover page) happened recently on a couple of upcoming collections I’m contributing to but the other day this cover came along for Doctor Who: New Dawn: Essays on the Jodie Whitaker Era and I couldn’t be more excited that a show I originally watched on PBS back in Ohio and followed all these years then made their lead character a female and then I had the chance to write about how a writer could go about making such a culturally important change.

My essay is entitled ‘She is wise and unafraid’: writing the first female Doctor and a diverse universe for her to protect

The book itself will be out later this year!

“Let us simply celebrate good television” and Bridgerton [Opinion]

“Let us simply celebrate good television” and Bridgerton [Opinion] by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Leave it to NPR to get it right, which is why I’m posting this piece they did on Bridgerton (Netflix), the new show executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and created for television by Chris Van Dusen from the romance book series by Julia Quinn.

See ‘Bridgerton’ Is A Delicious, Raunchy Tale Of One Very Hot Family

Far beyond explaining the show’s popularity, this article interested me because it understood instantly that what works best and most binge-ably about this show is that

“Let us simply celebrate good television, made by a shop run by a woman who loves good television and written by people who are experienced in television.”

Bridgerton and

In fact, I found one of the cleanest, clearest descriptions of the difference between movie screenplays and television screenplays while listening to this.

“Writing television requires writing to the rhythm of the episode, not just the season. An episode must have its own shape, its own rise and fall… Obviously, in a serialized story, one episode will not be complete on its own when it comes to plot, but it should work on its own structurally. It should have a beginning, middle, and end.”

You could spend a whole semester in a writing class and not yet be able to define it so cleanly – or create a piece that demonstrates having digested that delightfully delectable tidbit. 

I also appreciated the note about how we may think streaming services invented binge-watching but

“Remember, binge-watching really came of age with DVDs, which didn’t have the Netflixian boosts of the auto-play and the credits-skipping and the part where they almost bodily shove you from one episode to the next episode. If you watched 10 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on DVD, it was because you affirmatively said yes, over and over.”

I would go so far as to say TV in general invented that because before streaming it had to make characters and stories so compelling you would remember to be in front of the TV set at the same time every week in order to keep up.

That’s quite a lot of television writing (and history) information to glean out of one short public radio piece. Kudos to NPR pop culture correspondent Linda Holmes. And because we learn so much from any writer’s origin story – don’t miss her story at the end of the online post:

“She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living-room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

Holmes was a writer and editor at Television Without Pity, where she recapped several hundred hours of programming — including both High School Musical movies, for which she did not receive hazard pay. Her first novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over, will be published in the summer of 2019.”


Rosanne Welch serves as Executive Director of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting. Television credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, Nightline and Touched by an Angel. Award-winning publications include When Women Wrote Hollywood, runner up for the Susan Koppelman Award for best edited book in feminist studies and Women in American History, named Outstanding Reference Source and added to the list of 2017’s Best Historical Materials, by the ALA.

New Essay Published: The Twenty-First-Century Western: New Riders of the Cinematic Stage

Once again I’m happy to have co-written a chapter with editor Doug Brode. — Westward Ho! The Women!: Frontier Females in Postfeminist Films

Our first was collaboration came in The American Civil War on Film and TV: Blue and Gray in Black and White and Color – this one gave me a chance to analyze female characters in westerns produced after 2000.

Sadly, you’d think their new-ness would have made for more interesting, nuanced female characters but, as I say in the chapter, the most well-rounded, honest and real representations of females in westerns in the (supposedly) 21st century came from one of the youngest characters (Mattie Ross in True Grit) and from one of the animated characters, who is not even a female human, but a female lizard (Beans in Rango). And once again, as I am finding more and more, whether the screenwriter was female or male often made a difference.

New Essay Published: The Twenty-First-Century Western

Focusing on twenty-first century Western films, including all major releases since the turn of the century, the essays in this volume cover a broad range of aesthetic and thematic aspects explored in these films, including gender and race. As diverse contributors focus on the individual subgenres of the traditional Western (the gunfighter, the Cavalry vs. Native American conflict, the role of women in Westerns, etc.), they share an understanding of the twenty-first century Western may be understood as a genre in itself. They argue that the films discussed here reimagine certain aspects of the more conventional Western and often reverse the ideology contained within them while employing certain forms and clichés that have become synonymous internationally with Westerns. The result is a contemporary sensibility that might be referred to as the postmodern Western.

Stephens College at Denver Pop Culture Con via Instagram

Stephens College at Denver Pop Culture Con via Instagram

Stephens College at Denver Pop Culture Con

One of the fun-nest things about many fun things at the Denver PopCon was the chance to see Stephens College film professor (and MFA alum) Chase Thompson debut his film Tampsen Air. He shared fascinating stories about the concept and the production work in the film with the audience- and the various other Screenwriting MFA alums who came out to show their support.

Learn more about the Stephens College Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting 

Learn more about the Stephens College Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting 

Look what arrived today! My essay – “How William Shatner’s Chest Inspired one (or more) Female Television Writers to Succeed in the Boys Club of Hollywood” is in Outside In: Boldly Goes

 Look what arrived today! My essay -

Look what arrived today! My essay -

Order your copy of Outside In: Boldly Goes Today

Look what arrived today! My essay – “How William Shatner’s Chest Inspired one (or more) Female Television Writers to Succeed in the Boys Club ofHollywood” is in Outside In: Boldly Goes – http://tinyurl.com/outside-in-boldly #book #essay #writing #startrek #sciencefiction #writer #writing #screenwriting

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