Television and the “Woman in Jeopardy”


Allison Yarrow investigates the plight of the “Woman in Jeopardy” on 1990s television. She points both to real-life women like Mary Jo Buffacuoco, Amy Fisher’s victim, and the numerous main characters of made for tv movies that populated the airwaves. Says Ms. Yarrow in part,

Network executives told the press that Jep films empowered women characters, enabling them to assume qualities they weren’t normally given by television writers and producers. Women in Jep could “cajole, demand, infiltrate, investigate and settle scores,” all in the name of offing a threatening man-monster, said one magazine. These women didn’t need a hero to free them; they could save themselves, and did so in an arsenal of skimpy outfits. Of course, in reality, Jep was a gimmick to sate audiences who wanted to see women suffer and dole out abuse on TV.

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