If you haven’t watched Call the Midwife, you definitely should consider doing so– particularly if you’re interested in shows that place women at the helm both in the writers’ room and in the actual program. The British show (which airs on PBS) is set in a 1950’s impoverished London neighborhood, and chronicles the stories of young female midwives and the nuns they live with in a local convent. Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, the show poignantly and tactfully tackles conversations of gender, class, race, etc. and is quite charming to watch. Read this NYT article for an idea of all the reasons the show deserves more attention than it currently receives.
(Still from Call the Midwife, https://www.google.com/search?q=chummy+call+the+midwife&espv=2&biw=1600&bih=721&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjR4Lvvnf7PAhXo44MKHX_qBC8Q_AUIBigB#imgrc=30BP3ID-wfXQlM%3A).
One character in particular seems to fit well into the same narrative as Rosanne Barr in which the personas of female characters demand “that [they] remain somehow ‘outside’ mainstream power structures” and “flout the common television standards of trim and toned protagonists” (McLeland). That character is Chummy, and this Slate piece describes her as having a “height and heft” that “seem to give her more body parts to tangle and trip over” (Bosch). She doesn’t look like her co-workers and she doesn’t speak like them either, and yet she is one of the show’s most lovable characters. Unlike Rosanne, however, Chummy is both incredibly kind and, at times, stiflingly insecure about herself and her body. She steals the show more so than most of the characters and in a way that makes her accessible to a wider array of viewers. I find her especially endearing. The development of her relationship with Peter felt really authentic, and I found myself rooting for the two of them when they decided to marry and have a child.
Anyways, the show is written by the granddaugher of a British suffragette, “has feminism hard-wired into its DNA” and really wonderfully “addresses moral challenges like prostitution and the contraceptive pill with bracing pragmatism” (Catsoulis 2016). It’s just really good TV in my opinion, and you should absolutely check it out.