Amazon’s newest Prime TV reality show, “Tampa Baes,” reminds me of the NeNe Leakes of the world.
E.G. Daily, a New York Times journalist and specialist in queer publications, appears in the show “writing hot takes from hell.” Some feminists like her because her views seem to reflect our values. But a lot of people don’t like her because she doesn’t think half the women on the planet are “fat pansies” who will be happy if a man marries them. A lot of people who might read a bunch of her opinions about women (like her view that women who are happy to be “cookie cutter wives” should look for a “bae” rather than a husband) won’t bother to read what she has to say about men.
What struck me most about the show was that for a couple of hours each day, Daily would be allowed to portray reality TV media representations of gender (such as post-debate response videos of sportscasters vs. reality TV “Olympians” who clearly know their business) as if they were true to life. They are not. (But that is a whole other discussion.)
Tampa’s females enjoy every moment of the show, including a lesbian couple and a group of single ladies who react to news stories with a spin on it that is just “hyper-feminine.” Unlike “Orange Is the New Black,” these women don’t have serious storylines. They get trash TV representation just like everyone else. All the women expressed concern about Daily’s viewpoint but in their own ways. One called her “super fun to hang out with” while others offered more direct criticism. Not a “troll-free zone,” as the network terms it.
So, why does a network tout this show in light of the feminist response? Because, as Fergus O’Brien, managing editor of Vice’s Women’s site, can be quoted as saying: “You have to know how far up the tree Amazon has managed to get before pushing a show on what can only be considered a very small audience.”
This may very well be true. I know, I could have made more of this. For the record, I have been to NYC.