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Rashida Jones Gives Us Justice for the Sitcom Wife Character With Kevin Can F*** Himself

Let the wives be more than just tropes.

Rashida Jones starred as Ann Perkins in Parks and Recreation

Is there any female character more put upon than the wife of the protagonist? Whether it be dramatic epics (all my love and defense is aimed at Skyler from Breaking Bad or Margaret from Boardwalk Empire) or sitcoms (to list them all would take months), fictional wives are forced to play the straight woman to their husbands’ antics, serving as disapproving grumps or the first thing to go to cause them manpain.

Thankfully, Rashida Jones and AMC (the original home of the hated TV wife) are partnering for a sitcom that will finally fight back against the wife tropes, with Kevin Can F*** Himself.

The title is probably a reference to the sitcom Kevin Can Wait, which killed off the wife character following first season. The series, as described in a press release from AMC, posted by Entertainment Weekly, reads:

Kevin Can F*** Himself, (working title) from creator Valerie Armstrong (SEAL Team) and executive producers Rashida Jones and Will McCormack through Le Train Train (Claws) explores the secret life of a woman we all grew up watching: the sitcom wife. A beauty paired with a less attractive, dismissive, caveman-like husband who gets to be a jerk because she’s a nag and he’s ‘funny.’ Our series looks to break television convention and ask what does the world look like through her eyes? Alternating between single-camera realism and multi-camera zaniness, the formats will be constantly informing one another as we ask what happens when this supporting character is presented as a real person? And what if that person is pissed?”

I’m already in love. This tackles so many tropes that I hate on a primal level: the woman trapped in a relationship with a guy who doesn’t deserve her, the “funny” man vs. the “nagging” woman, and the fact that these women are rarely presented as being people. I love the idea that this is coming from a majority female creative/producer team too, because this is the kind of story that really needs women behind the camera to avoid all the tropes—or subvert them head-on.

Ann (Rashida Jones) gets angry in Parks and Recreation

Jones has always been one of my favorite comedic actresses, as well. As the resident straight woman of Pawnee, Jones held her own against the rest of the zany characters of Parks and Recreation, and I’ve tended to always love her work. The release doesn’t make it clear whether she will be playing the wife or not, but I hope she is, because it seems like a perfect fit for her talents.

Honestly, this sounds like a great idea for a comedy in general. As sitcoms have moved away from men behaving badly for laughs, or all-white groups of quirky friends, they’ve become increasingly funnier because they’re not relying on the same jokes we’ve heard twenty thousand times before. Kevin Can F*** Himself looks to become a biting commentary on the way women in sitcoms can be written as compared to their husbands or boyfriends, and the fact the show is on cable means they can push the boundaries a little more than network television can.

Count me in. If there are two things I love (besides franchise films, coffee shop AUs, and my cats), it’s critiquing misogynist tropes and well-written comedy. This is 100% relevant to every interest I have.

Ann (Rashida Jones) fights with Leslie in Parks and Recreation

(via Entertainment Weekly; Image: NBC)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.