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Ms. Hart Goes to City Hall

Image used under a Creative Commons license courtesy of trainman74.

So, Perez Hilton is, predictably, mocking the idea of a new show starring Melissa Joan Hart as a local politician trying to balance work and raising her neice and nephew. I’ll admit, the whole attempt to climb on the “manny” bandwagon (She apparently hires one. Humor theoretically results.) sounds kind of lame. But otherwise, this feels like a show I’d definitely give a shot. First off, does anyone remember how much fun Hart was in Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch? She was fresh, charming, engaging, and did well in the kind of small-town setting her new show will replicate, but with the wider frame of reference that comes with growing up.Second, the idea of a spunky-gal politician show is a terrific idea. Men always get to hold office on television, whether somberly in shows like 24, aspirationally, as in West Wing, or as an enabler of their downfall, like in The Good Wife. Women don’t, even though women are, slowly but steadily, taking on roles in the political life in our nation. When they’re in public service, they’re often slightly ridiculous do-gooders, like on Parks and Recreation, even though getting into political life is harder for women in certain ways: if they’ve got families, they’re expected to continue primary-care duties for them, if not, they’re suspected of being gay or defective. This new show may not live up to that complicated balance. But I’m glad someone is giving it a try.

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