Sunday, July 15, 2012
The Jennies Boom Through the Comedic Gender Gap
By observing the Boom Jennies’ show “Mischief” at the Etcetera Theatre, after a couple ciders, I was surprised by how similar female humor in the United Kingdom is to that of the United States. Last year, the movie Bridesmaids was released and I remember each time that the movie was summed up by a presenter at an award show, they mentioned how this was the movie that enabled women to be “allowed” to be seen making getting food poisoning while trying on bridal dresses as humorous. This made me question why this type of humor was readily accepted as funny when performed by a male, but seen as crude or dirty when acted out by a female. The Boom Jennies pushed the envelope for me again in their presentation. It was everything that a comedy show with only female actors should be- funny, ditzy, a bit rude, and totally sarcastic. In one of their many scenes, we are shown the three girls discussing one of their boyfriends as if he could be “the one”, but he is quickly made out not to be when the girlfriend brings up the odd way he uses his hands. Once the girlfriend acknowledges this, the two friends see this as a green light to fill her in on how they truly feel about his weird functionality. This depicts a classic situation of how women are rarely ever 100% honest with one another for fear of what the outcome could be. However after they hear a supposed go sign from the listener, then the floodgates are open, and that is when women are really honest. This seems to be a much different interaction when it comes to men because seldom do they care about petty things such as the way a woman picks up objects or handles her steering wheel, but they appear to be candid with one another whenever they wish to be; much like male comedy, which is always candid and pushes beyond any limit barely there to begin with. When trying to be humorous, female characters are usual portrayed as ditzy and annoying, which usually irritates me, but the way these actors played with facial expressions and body movement, they continually surprised me with their range of talents. For example, they put together an art class scene with a nude model that twisted her body into difficult positions that she could not even hold long enough for the artists to begin their work, but the facial expressions that both the model and the artist made were priceless. At times their faces almost looked pliable as if made from putty, which takes guts to perform in front of a live audience. For men this would seem normal to make awkwardly horrified facial expressions during a comedy scene, but seeing women perform the task made it that much funnier.