Patriarchy, beware. Three's Funny Girls are back for a third season and this time the creators of the female-driven sketch show are unapologetically making it with just women in mind.

Earlier this month, producer Bronwynn Bakker told the Herald the series, starring comedians Rose Matafeo and Laura Daniel, has been guilty of being a bit soft in presenting women's opinions on certain matters. But not any more.

"This year I've just gone, 'You know what? This show's called Funny Girls, and while I watch it with my husband [who] thinks it's really funny, there's going to be a whole lot of guys out there that won't like it'," she said.

So Bakker, along with the show's exceptional team of writers, directors and actors, aren't worrying about catering to a male audience. But does Funny Girls live up to that promise of being made just for women?


I conducted a little investigation to find out.

Rather handily, and especially so for the purposes of this experiment, I am a woman. But I decided I also needed a male viewer as a counterpoint for my study.

I told my partner he needed to sit down and watch the first two episodes of Funny Girls' new season with me, so as to gauge and contrast his reaction to what was unfolding on screen.

"Do I have to?" he asked.

"Yes, it's science. Or something."

He didn't argue.

Two episodes later, it became pretty clear how strongly the content resonates with women. Or this woman, anyway.

Still part sitcom and part sketch comedy, Matafeo and Daniel use this season to navigate a variety of topics which, for better or worse, are especially near and dear to women's hearts.


Subjects covered in the first couple of episodes include the sexism shown towards the Bride of Frankenstein ("Come on Dean, you don't introduce a woman by saying who she's married to!"), choosing an "abortion friend", and the familiar unease women feel whenever they have to walk alone at night (illustrated with a bouncy song and dance number where the chorus is, "I hope I don't get mugged, murdered or raped.")

The gender pay gap also gets a mention, with Matafeo and Daniel telling producer Pauline (played by the always hilarious Jackie van Beek) that they didn't write the last 12 per cent of a sketch as a political statement about the matter.

But the show is at its best when their sketches take these burning issues to the most absurd levels.

The running gag throughout the first episode about the #MeToo movement going after God for impregnating the Virgin Mary without her consent is sublime, especially when we head to Heaven PR for God's dressing down by his handlers.

"For God's sake, God!" guest star Teuila Blakely spits out, as further allegations come to light about Eve being forced to be naked in a garden with a man she hardly knows.

Funny Girls also explores the plights of motherhood, most notably through sketches starring a snarky Mary Poppins and Mama Bear of Goldilocks fame.

How I laughed when Mama Bear told Papa Bear, "I'm too busy cooking for you and Baby Bear to eat my own goddam porridge". This is mostly because I have uttered almost the exact same line approximately 100 times since having children.

My partner was bemused as to why I thought it was so funny. But then he usually gets a chance to eat breakfast.

And that seemed to be par for the course over the two episodes. I laughed my ass off. The man of the house chuckled here and there, before wandering away halfway through the second episode to do the dishes.

It would appear – anecdotally, at least – that the makers of Funny Girls have made good on their promise to keep this season firmly focused on the female perspective.

That premise is helped in no small part by the fact Matafeo, Daniel, and their supporting cast deliver this patriarchy-skewering comedy with a sharp wit and perfect comedic timing. Sure, a couple of the sketches are duds, but they are few and far between.

This third season is clever, subversive - and yes, very funny - and this woman is making it appointment viewing.

Funny Girls screens on Fridays at 9.45pm on Three.