News Column

BRIEF: 'Mary Tyler Show,' 'Sex and the City' laid groundwork for 'The To Do List'

July 24, 2013

YellowBrix

July 24--"The To-Do List" is not your grandmother's rom-com. But it owes much to female-themed movies and TV series that, in their own ways, have made sex possible for funny fictional women.

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show": As chronicled in the new book "Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted," the brainy 1970s sitcom found ways to slip references to birth control and Mary's love life past the uptight network suits.

"When Harry Met Sally": It was the love story of the late 1980s, but its funniest, least romantic moment was Meg Ryan imitating a faked orgasm during lunch at a deli.

"Sex and the City": The HBO series that debuted in 1998 went where no female-dominated TV show had gone before: right to the heart -- and specifics -- of how four single women embraced the show's title.

"Bridesmaids": The 2011 box office hit about the funny side of female friendship introduced the world to Melissa McCarthy's raunchy Megan, who turns flirting into a full-contact sport.

"The Heat": The current buddy cop movie allows McCarthy's tough-talking character to drop what has been estimated at more than 100 f-bombs-- something real working women usually can only do in the car ride home.

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