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.