Too Female? #TooFemale

Last Monday, I found out that CBS had passed on the new Nancy Drew TV series. Not because the pilot tested badly (it tested really well) but because it was “Too Female”.

My only reaction was: Ugh!

CBC Ottawa’s All in a Day talked about it that night.

Sarah Shahi – Filming ‘Nancy Drew’ in New York City 3/19/2016 -
Sarah Shahi – Filming ‘Nancy Drew’ in New York City 3/19/2016 –

What do they mean by Too Female?

It could mean a lot of things but mostly it means that they believe that it won’t appeal to their core demographic. Which is apparently mostly men between the age of 18 and 49. Which is the demographic that most networks seem to be targeting.

That’s why you get a kickass character like Detective Kate Beckett (Castle) and Doctor Constance Brennan (Bones), but the studio insists that they work with a male lead. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the male is just boring like Body of Proof where the male cops were about as interesting as the corpses. (Mostly less.)

Rarely do you get a mystery show where you have a female lead that isn’t saddled with a male partner to appeal to the “male demographic”. Other than Veronica Mars and Murder She Wrote, the only one I can think of is Rizzoli & Isles.

Does Gender Matter?

From a story perspective; no. You can tell a fantastic story with a male or a female lead.

From a demographics perspective; I don’t know. I’m not your typical man and I can’t speak for all men. I enjoy female leads, and I think a smart intelligent character is awesome. Female led shows have done well in the past; Veronica Mars, Buffy, Xena, Murder She Wrote, Star Trek Voyager, etc.

I have gotten more than one funny look when I’ve mentioned my love for Gilmore Girls or Disney Princess movies, so the stereotype is there.

The one place that it absolutely matters is in representation. I can turn on the tv and press any combination of buttons and there’s a huge chance that I’ll end up on a show with a main character that looks like me. (White male, 18-49) There are good guys that look like me, bad guys, smart, dumb, etc. etc. etc.

We don’t have the same for women. It’s improving but it’s not there yet.

And that’s not mentioning other gender identities, sexual preferences, cultures, ethnicities, etc.

What Can We Do?

Find and Enjoy the #TooFemale shows out there with well written female leads. Share your love on social media, buy the merchandise, go see the movies.

My experience is limited, but the following TV shows have female leads that kick ass (figuratively and literally) and are still on the air. Check them out, and if you love them let the world know:

There are LOTS more but these are the ones I’ve watched and enjoyed.

While you’re feeling active, sign the Agent Carter to Netflix petition.


Go and shamelessly enjoy all the “Too Female” shows. They’re usually better written anyway.


Random Musings June 16th, 2015

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I hope you enjoyed Part 3 of Only Human, last week. I’m enjoying getting into the head of this character. She’s an interesting combination of awkward and intense.

Today’s going to be a random set of musings. Feel free to skip to headings that are more your taste

Critique Group

I was asked to join a Critique Group. My first reaction was utter panic. I’ve heard terrible things about writers groups in general; all kinds of horror stories about people critiquing the wrong things or just tearing you down for fun. Yikes.

Then I heard who was in the group. One is a writing coach, at least two are published authors, and all of them have a lot more experience in the writing community than I do. Double Yikes.

I dithered and waited and then finally decided to join and see how it was. (I could always run away arms flailing in fear in needed.) Turns out I had nothing to worry about. We had our first session last night and I read the first 2000 words of Everdome. They seemed to really like it which gives me hope. They were supportive and super friendly. (They could be holding it all in to pounce on me later… Naw…?)

Sometimes it really pays off to get out of your comfort zone; especially as a genre writer in Ottawa. The people here are fantastic

Time and Writing

I spent three months thinking about and planning Parasomnia before I started writing it. Then I took ten months to write it. Two months for the first edit. Then there were the Weditor and Beta readers 1 and 2 (All super-fast) and my further edits. I’m not over a year and a half into this novel and I’m almost ready to send it to Beta Reader 3. Once they’re done I’ll have another full edit and another pass by the Weditor.

If all goes well I’ll have something to pitch and submit by end of October which will mark 2 years of working on the book. That is an immense amount of time and energy and all that is before I start submitting it to agents and publishers.

Oh and that’s nothing compared to A Study in Aether (Which started as The Mitten Wizard) I started writing that in November 2009. It’s gone through 3 titles, 1 complete re-writes and a dozen readers. Heck one publisher still hasn’t gotten back to me and I submitted it almost 2 years ago. (My rant at the complete and utter lack of professionalism of that publisher will have to wait for another day. Let’s just say I will NEVER submit, or buy, another book to/by them.)

It just takes a lot of time.

New Sci-Fi Television

Dark Matter

I watched the first episode of Dark Matter last night and I enjoyed it. It’s not an action Sci-Fi but the action in it is really good. The characters are interesting and likeable. (My wife and I had fun naming the Firefly/Stargate archetypes)

It shows promise and has a good mix of humour, intrigue, and special effects. I’ll definitely be watching next week


Speaking of next week, I’m really looking forward to Killjoys; a new Sci-Fi about space bounty hunters by the creative crew of Orphan Black. (Awesome!)

Check it out:


I’m just finishing the Emerald Spire Superdungeon with my players and it’s been fun. It’s a giant dungeon written by some of gaming’s best designers. It feels a little light on story but it’s a lot of fun.

This weekend I’m starting Character Creation on a homebrewed setting I’m calling the Pandora Archives using my custom made system FADDS (Four attribute Dual Dodecahedron System). I’m totally Nervouscited!


Ok! There’s roughly 36 hours before the Kickstarter A Match Made in Austin is finished and they’re $400 away from their goal.

I’ve already pledged at the $45 level that would get me a hardcopy book and a copy of the game. Seriously how many times can you say you’re getting a game and a book for $45.

If you want just the physical game it’ll be $25 (Seriously an awesome card game for $25???)

Please GO SUPPORT IT! (I want my copy…)


That’s it for today.


Go Support A Match Made in Austen… NOW!