no limits: sex, drugs, and motherhood in the showtime dramedy

Between 2005 and 2012, Showtime Networks premiered several female-driven half hour shows that mix drama and comedy, including WeedsNurse JackieThe Big C, and United States of Tara. These shows tell unique stories, but they also all celebrate socially transgressive mothers, like a pot-dealing suburban widow and a pill-popping nurse. In my thesis, I aim to expand the premium network conversation beyond HBO and its legacy to examine how the Showtime female dramedies, and their variants, utilize generic hybridity to align us with deviant women and develop Showtime’s brand as an edgy, provocative channel with, as their slogan suggests, “no limits.”

Senior Film Studies thesis written for Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Received High Honors in May 2017.