Co-Authored by Wendy Del Monte
I’m 19. My Mom is 47. We have a lot in common and then we have a lot of things NOT in common. Oftentimes we disagree on shows that we both enjoy. Let’s face it, we are in two different places in our lives!
I came upon my Mom cracking up, I mean laughing so hard she was wiping tears from her eyes and gasping for breath. I tuned in what she was watching, and I started laughing, too.
The Lyft Driver? Sherry? That’s exactly how my Mom is when she drives. Yup. That language. The driving. The FURY of people not following rules of safe driving. After we stopped laughing and I started paying attention to the show she was watching. I was drawn in. I asked her what she was watching and she told me: The Other F Word.
It s a 2 season series of short films available free on Amazon. In a nutshell, it’s the story of women figuring out life and how to live it. Sounds reasonable, right? The thing is, they’re all “F words” Forty or Fifty and life is different. It’s like a blending of Bad Moms, and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but for Moms, well, my Mom's age.
When I watched it with her. I had an epiphany. For as many changes that were happening in my life, there were changes happening in hers. For 19 years she’s been driving me around, arranging my life and now she’s worked herself out of the job- and she needs to find a new one.
She told me that when Caytha Jentis, the writer of the show was shopping the show around that “The script was praised and was told “someone should do it” but it wasn’t going to be them – the characters/themes in the show were too old.”. She was told repeatedly… it’s too hard a sell as it targets a ‘tough demographic’ .”
How could it be a ‘tough demographic’ if women over 45 control 66% of the wealth and are a large under-served audience?
My Mom was pretty upset hearing that, as was I.
We talk so much about empowering women, but is there an age limit to our support?
Caytha Jentis ended up self funding the show. Guess what? Produced on a shoe string budget, Season One of The Other F Word was released in September 2016 on Amazon’s self publishing platform and while the gatekeepers said that older women don’t significantly watch digital content, the show has been streamed daily since its launch – over a year now– been watched by nearly 1M unique views to date - comparable to Amazon produced shows, and has been one of Amazon Video Direct tops series for four months in a row! Season Two was released September 13th and the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. Celebrities like Juliana Margulies and Carrie Preston attended the NYC premier, and the first month out,it’s been viewed by 80K viewers - with no ad budget!
People are watching. Older women, younger women, every woman wants to hear stories about women of all ages. Turning forty isn’t a death knell. My Mom is closing in on fifty, and she’s one of the most vibrant, exciting, powerful people I know. I aspire to be like her- and take all that life throws at me and let it help me become a more dynamic person. She’s got a lot of changes coming her way, but isn’t that what life is about? Changes? And shouldn’t we embrace it?
Who decided that we don’t want to hear the stories of all women, older women included?
I wouldn’t be the young woman I am today without the older woman who supported and helped me. Why won’t Hollywood support them?
I support them. I’m thinking that other “F” words should support them, too. Words like “Friends” and “Family” . I think every young woman should watch this series, to see what we have to look forward to, and to prepare!
You can watch The Other F Word for FREE on Amazon. You do not need to be a Prime subscriber.