This week’s episode of Sirens was an exercise in flipping the script on gender stereotypes. Want to see a bunch of women get as aggressive and dangerous as their male counterparts? Set them loose in a sample sale at a high-end boutique. Want to see a group of first responders wither like Southern belles on a humid day? Have them try to deal with a gigantic python that has wrapped itself around a woman’s neck.
OK, so the show is still playing up to some stereotypes with a bunch of ladies not only physically assaulting one another over the possession of a dress, but also offering up snarky comments about fashion choices. But it is a worthy effort, and after all, they do let one of the female EMTs turn out to be the hero of the python situation. You know, by actually picking the thing up after it slithered into the fire station rather than trying (and failing) to axe it in half or pump it full of lead like the men did.
Being a sitcom, there’s really no reason to read that much into this episode. It’s just simply hilarious to watch Johnny, Hank, and Brian freak out when trying to help this young woman that crashed her car into the fire station, because said python (named Lord Byron, no less) had wrapped itself around her neck. It’s equally funny to watch a bunch of firemen who would have no problem running into a burning building wig out at the sight of this gigantic snake. It’s even funnier when one of the men is Lenny Clarke, who shows up to save the day (“It’s got no arms or legs, and I’ve got two of each. I like my odds.”) and then comes running out of the firehouse in a panic.
I was less invested in watching Theresa, her sister Maeve, and Billy try to negotiate the chaos of the sample sale, if only because there was little variation to the story. Every time they returned to the shop, it just consisted of more antics with young woman wrestling over the same sweater or handbag. Even watching Maeve tackle a shoplifter—not because she was stealing but because she was about to leave with a dress that Maeve wanted—came as no surprise. But, heck, they had 22 minutes to fill and they had to come up with something, right?
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.