Research Seminar: ‘From 'Unruly' to 'Fastidious': The Evolution of Female Authorship in UK Television Comedy’

This paper explores how female authors in UK television comedy, from 2010 to 2020, balance ‘unruly’ subversiveness with ‘fastidious’ crafts(wo)manship

This paper explores the dynamic landscape of UK television comedy through the lens of female authorship, examining how women have navigated the industry’s evolving terrain from 2010 to 2020. I delve into the relationship between the ‘unruly’ and ‘fastidious’ aspects of female comedic voices, or more specifically, the subversive laughter incited by women’s transgressive characters, alongside the meticulous craft behind the scenes that shapes these narratives. I argue for a re-evaluation of the ‘unruly woman’ trope, advocating for a recognition of the careful, demanding, and collaborative efforts that constitute the ‘fastidious’ comic writer/performer.

Dr Laura Minor is a Lecturer in Television Studies at the University of Salford, UK, specialising in feminist television studies, comedy, social class, and British media. She is set to release her first monograph, Reclaiming Female Authorship in Contemporary UK Television Comedy, in the summer of 2024 (Edinburgh University Press). She is also co-authoring a book with Dr Anthony Smith titled Television Goes Back to the Future: Rethinking TV’s Streaming Revolution (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024). Currently, Laura is Co-I on the AHRC-funded project 'What's on? Rethinking class in the television industry'.