Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Who Do You Wish You Were?

I recently saw an online article about the 100 most memorable female TV characters. I enjoyed going through the list because it was a trip down memory lane. I picked out a few of my favorites (and two who aren't on the list but I'll explain when I get to them). They are in no particular order.

Brenda Leigh Johnson of The Closer -- Kyra Sedgwich portrays a southern woman who heads up the Priority Homocide Division of the Los Angeles police department. She's smart, she's strong and she don't take no crap off nobody. Her interrogation techniques, which she learned when she worked for the CIA, are shrewd and usually result in a confession. That's why they call her The Closer. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Maddie Hayes of Moonlighting -- Maddie wasn't content to sit on her shapely rear when her modeling career ended. Instead, she waltzed into the Blue Moon Detective Agency, which had been purchased as a tax shelter, and decided to make it a working agency instead of a goof-off agency. And we all remember the clever banter between Maddie and David Addison. I still ask why they had to ruin it by having them sleep together.

Laura Holt of Remington Steele -- When no one would hire her as a private investigator, she took the name of a typewriter and a football team and created a fictitious boss. Then the jobs rolled in. All was well until Mr. Steele showed up. Uh oh.

Flo Castleberry of Alice -- She had big hair, a big attitude and a big mouth. When the boss got too grumpy, she'd deliver her famous response: "Mel, kiss my grits!"

Pepper Anderson of Police Woman -- Another strong cop but still very feminine. She was one of the first female TV cops and women's applications to police academies all over the country increased after the show's first season.

Julia Sugarbaker of Designing Women -- You can see why I like Julia Sugarbaker here. I can't believe she's been gone almost a year.

Olivia Benson of Law & Order: SVU -- Another tough female cop, Olivia is the product of rape but every day she works fearlessly to help other victims of sexual abuse. And it doesn't stop there. Mariska Hargitay, who portrays Olivia, began a foundation to help these same victims and works tirelessly to make a difference.

Uhura on Star Trek -- I was a fan of Star Trek from day one. I remember my sister and I watching it on the black and white portable TV in our bedroom -- the TV with the rabbit ears and fuzzy picture. Lt. Uhura (did you know her first name was Nyota?) was a role model for black women. Astronaut Mae Jemison credits Uhura with giving her the desire to become an astronaut. Uhura and Capt. Kirk also shared one of the first interracial kisses on TV.

And who was #1 on the list?

Mary Richards of The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- She turned the world on with her smile and inspired women everywhere. She was originally supposed to be a divorcee, but in 1970, the network execs were hesitant to make a divorced woman the main character of a TV show. So she became a single woman who's gonna make it on her own, and she did. Her character was a huge statement for the women's movement. There's even a statue in Minneapolis showing Mary tossing her hat in the air, a scene from the opening credits. Remember the "M" she had hanging on the wall of her apartment? I always wanted an "M" and now I do cause I'm gonna make it after all.

Not on the list was Kate Beckett of Castle. And why would I like Beckett? Aside from the strong, female cop thing (are you seeing a pattern here?), she gets to work with Castle. What more could you want?

But if I could be any character on TV, I'd be Penelope Garcia of Criminal Minds.

Forget the crazy look. OMG she has access to the most awesome set of search engines and databases in the world! I did a research job for a client last year and began to delve into the world of Google Scholar and the Alabama Virtual Library. But to have access to Penelope's world. I could, as Maven Linda said, "find Coronado's gold."

So who do you want to be on TV?

P.S. You can see the whole list here.


Cheryl said...

I would like to be the Captain on the Starship Enterprise. I can't remember her name but I think it would be cool to be in charge and go where no woman has gone before!!!

I like the The Closer but her accent drives me absolutely crazy. I wish she'd spend some time down South and learn to speak Southern .

Great post! Made me go down Memory Lane too.

Smarty Pants said...

I'm probably the only one that wants to be a cartoon, but Daria Morgendorffer is probably my number 1 pick. Sarcastic, non-conformist, smart... only thing I'd have to change is her shoes. Doc Maartens were so 15 years ago.

Second choice, Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote. A bestselling author with a charming house in New England. Sold. Of course, that means each of you will either end up dead or accused of murder because that's just how she rolls. :)

Last choice, Karen Walker from Will & Grace. Funny, tell it like it is, with a gay BFF. Sounds just up my alley.

Anonymous said...

My favorite character is Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay). Olivia is highly professional, very intelligent, humane, compassionate and fair. And besides, Mariska Hargitay is very beautiful. Inside and out. I love.

Maven Linda said...

I don't want to be any fictional character, I want to be Candice Olsen. Just think -- getting paid to go to furniture showrooms! That's my kinda gal!

verification word: protert. That's evidently a tert that is now paid to do whatever it is that terts do.

Smarty Pants said...

If we're talking real people, I want to be Samantha Brown, the chick the travel channel pays to go on trips and cruises and get massages and eat food. That has to be the best gig, ever.

Angel said...

I can't think of one person as a whole that I'd like to be. But I love Penelope's smarts and sassiness, her sexy banter, the tough but fluid grace of Lara Croft from the tomb Raider series, a bestselling author with a cool research gig like Castle, and, oh, is there a mom on tv with 8 hands and an unflappable nature? Cause I need to be like her too...


Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of NCIS and I love the character Abby Sciuto played by Pauley Perrette. In addition to being smart, Abby is perky and just plain cute. I could live with being smart, perky and cute.