Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Every College Woman Should Be Watching Samantha Bee

As a busy college student, it can be difficult to feel that you are keeping up. Whether it’s sacrificing one assignment for another, taking on an extra shift for a co-worker, or missing a night out with friends for the third weekend in a row, there is a seemingly constant sense of deficiency. While it’s understandable that this is the time of our lives in which we learn to prioritize and balance, there remain certain elements that should never be compromised. Alongside one’s own mental health and academic dedication persists a new necessity crucial to every college woman: keeping up with politics.

In an age where women’s sovereignty and rights are increasingly under attack, it is imperative that women of all ages stay informed. That includes the hardworking college student. Reading local and national newspapers each day is one great option. Listening to NPR on your drive to school, or while you’re getting ready in the morning, is another. Personally, I like to read The New York Times Daily Briefing when I arrive early to class or have a break in between. For millennials in general, though, our preferred knowledge medium is through the screen. Television shows and YouTube clips dominate our shared information outlets, and the most conducive way for many of us to learn is through visuals. Thankfully, among the various cable news channels competing for our age demographics’ attention, there endures one woman equipped to tell us the truth.

Samantha Bee found her break in political satire as a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2003. For the next 12 years, Bee established herself as the humorous yet politically pertinent female voice of the show. She used her satire to uncover the hypocrisy and absurdity of those she interviewed, as well as the deeper issues at hand.

Upon announcing that she would no longer serve as The Daily Show’s longest-running correspondent in 2015, Bee began work on her own satirical news show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Less than a year later, she hosted her first episode and changed the status quo of late-night comedy.

Full Frontal is without a doubt one of the most comically biting, issue-driven shows on television. Bee is an unapologetic feminist, and has zero qualms about calling out bigotry at every turn. She swears like a sailor and pointedly directs her satirical wrath at those committing injustice. She’s the friend you want with you at the bar – and at the legislature – representing you both playfully and politically.

An important element for Bee in creating the show was to feature diverse voices both on the show and in the writer’s room. She and Full Frontal’s showrunner, Jo Miller, developed a plan to recruit “pockets of people who don’t formally have access to this world, who want to be in this world, who have no idea how to get there, and who demonstrate some skill in some capacity and a passion for it.” This inclusion is surely a significant factor in the show’s success, as its comedy is relatable to wider audience. It is also likely a factor that prompted Bee’s production of the “Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” held the same night as the actual Correspondents’ Dinner, in which poor media tactics as well as Donald Trump were skewered, with proceeds to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Every episode of Full Frontal is informative and thought provoking, touching on issues often overlooked by larger, more mainstream media outlets. She has consistently covered the Syrian refugee crisis, giving a human face to an issue that has become so politically charged. She’s addressed the deceit of “crisis pregnancy centers.” She even sat down with young Trump supporters over a year ago.

One of the most notable pieces Bee and her team have accomplished was the in-depth report of Russian interference in our elections. Oh, and she did this the week of the November elections. Let that sink in: months before larger news outlets and our own government began investigating Russian interference, the Full Frontal team had traveled to Russia, conducted interviews with alleged internet trolls, and produced a stirring segment on the seriousness of this issue. Clearly, her voice is one to be heard.

What makes Samantha Bee so valuable to audiences is that she attacks all people and all institutions guilty of wrongdoing with no exceptions. In her March 2017 segment, “Checking in with the #Resistance,” Bee laments the fact that Democrats have inexplicably low voter turnout rates. “While smug Democrats can brag they’re better at spelling, they fall short in one area that is slightly more important,” she explains. The summer before the 2016 election, Full Frontal also conducted a piece on the inane nature of “Bernie Bros”—the very people who considered themselves to be progressives, but refused to align themselves with Hillary in order to defeat Trump. The segment interviewed Bernie Sanders supporters during the Democratic National Convention, and highlighted the complete hypocrisy of voters who would rather ally themselves with Donald Trump than with a Democratic candidate other than Sanders.

Similarly, she targets the responsibility of white women to step up their roles in being present for groups other than themselves. While Bee celebrated the historic nature of the Women’s March in January, she also made the effort to call out certain white women by saying, “Going to the Women’s March was like waking up from a nightmare to find the monster was real, but all your friends were there with sticks and torches and unflattering hats to beat back the darkness. If only we’d known sooner that all you have to do to get white women to show up to a protest is to give them a craft. We’ll keep that in mind the next time some white lady turnout would be helpful [cue image of Black Lives Matter poster].”

If your hesitance in watching Full Frontal has been that its perspective is purely from the left, here is your rebuttal. Bee’s ability to address the issues that both political parties are plagued by is not only refreshing, but it’s what an audience especially comprised of women needs to behold. We must be able to take in information that is critical of those attempting to prohibit our success, as well as the information critical of ourselves. We must be able to ask ourselves if what we are doing is enough, and Samantha Bee is the woman challenging us to do so. You can watch for the entertainment, but what will capture you to stay is the relevance and introspection the show demands. In a climate where women are being told that they are not enough, that they can be trampled over, it is important to not only have the knowledge that we are sufficient, but to also continually have the hunger for next level of success. Samantha Bee demonstrates that we are not in this alone, nor only for ourselves, but rather as a collective force. Her show emphasizes that unity, and keeps us awoken to that fight. I sincerely hope you tune in.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee airs on Wednesdays at 10:30pm on TBS.

Abbey is an Ohio native currently caught between the charm of the Midwest and the lure of the big city. She loves all things politics and pop culture, and is always ready to discuss the intersections of both. Her favorite season is awards season and she is a tireless advocate of the Oxford Comma. Abbey will take a cup of lemon tea over coffee any day and believes that she can convince you to do the same. As a former English major, she holds the power of words near and dear.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️