Women are angry! Lizzie and Sarah as feminist critique

Rosie White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This essay examines the BBC comedy pilot Lizzie and Sarah as a dissonant account of contemporary femininities. With reference to work on the grotesque, and to contemporary television comedy's use of the grotesque as a strategy, I argue that this uncommissioned pilot episode offers an incisive critique of contemporary anxieties about middle-aged women and teenage girls. While the narrative employs parody and hyperbole to humorous ends, critical commentary around the show, from its producers and from broadsheet journalists, indicates that it overstepped boundaries in terms of its account of heterofemininity. Comparing Lizzie and Sarah to makeover shows on British television, the episode constitutes an ironic feminist makeover, with its protagonists choosing to kill their oppressors rather than submit to the disciplinary regime of heterofemininity. A close analysis of the dialogue, costumes and mise-en-scene is deployed to read this comedy as a scathing commentary on the continuing limitations of television femininities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-426
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2013


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