There isn't much on television these days that blows my skirt up, so when I find a program that does, I want to let everyone know about it.
My latest discovery is "The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet." I stumbled upon a link to the show's Web site and was riveted to the two episodes I was able to stream. You can catch the show in the U.S. on Lifetime, which surprises me since that channel has been the home of "Movie of the Week" type dreck for as long as its been in existence. From what I've seen, "The Conversation..." is the anti-Oprah, with de Cadenet conducting thoughtful interviews with strong, outspoken women like Jane Fonda, Diane von Furstenberg, Melissa McCarthy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Silverman and others. Watching it was indeed a revelation.
For years I've been hating on Oprah because I believe her message to the women of the world is that it's okay to be weak. The message of "The Conversation..." is the polar opposite. The show depicts women who aren't afraid to go after what they want, and aren't afraid to admit that they've made mistakes. They don't rely on men for happiness and they believe that strength and independence are two of the most important things women should have. Most importantly, they believe that a woman should not fall victim to societal stereotypes about perfection - both physical and emotional.
There was once a time when strong, outspoken women were considered scary feminists. Now, post-Oprah, it seems we are more willing to accept the role of a strong female in society. I find it ironic that Oprah's OWN network is floundering on the brink of implosion in the face of this one little show that has the guts to talk about things like titties, and a plethora of topics that matter to most women; not to mention favourite sexual positions and things you would tell your 14 year-old self if you could. I found the candour refreshing after years of watching Oprah cackle and screech about all the things that were important to her, as opposed to what is really important to women in general. When you make it to the pinnacle of your own media empire, it's only a matter of time before you become so insulated that you lose touch with what's important to the masses. The chickens have come home to roost in Oprah-land and for the first time in a long while, she's going to have to own up (pun intended) to a potential failure.
While I must admit to some degree of schadenfreude about Oprah's current boggle, I would love to see "The Conversation..." succeed beyond the limits of a home on a whiny little cable channel to something more along the lines of, say, Charlie Rose, or even Bill Maher. Women have valuable things to say and we need strong outlets for our voices. The show is a bit too risqué for the comfort level of the networks, but I'm hoping that despite its venue it manages to survive. I am committed to regular Internet viewing, and I'm hoping my readers will follow my lead and check it out. Men too; you might just learn something.