Skip to main content

The No. 1 Ladies of Television


Recently, on an internet forum that I frequent which dabbles in cult film and television discussions, the question arose of who we thought were the 10 best television characters of all-time. It helped to see others' choices, as it reminded me of certain no-brainers I was ashamed to have forgotten upon first thought (Emma Peel, Columbo, etc.), but what really niggled at me was the paucity of females on our lists.

At first, when reading the selections of others, the lack of female characters stood out like big neon lettering, and I shook my head in dismay at what I assumed to be unintentional sexism. Then, it came time to add my Top 10 and... I was stuck. Seriously, there would seem to be a dearth of solid women on television, especially in recent years.

Understand that this list isn't just meant to consist of characters that you like, or think of as pretty cool peeps. No, these are the 10 Best TV Characters of All-Time. They are meant to be near-iconic, or at least exceptional. And, honestly, determined as I was to have at least 3 females included, one of the picks (Barbara Douglas) doesn't really belong (love her as I do).

Here, then, are my choice, in alphabetical order:

Lenny Briscoe (Law & Order)

Lt. Columbo (Columbo)

Doctor Who (Doctor Who)

Barbara Douglas (My Three Sons)

J.R. Ewing (Dallas)

Inspector Morse (Inspector Morse)

Emma Peel (The Avengers)

Frank Pembleton (Homicide: Life on the Street)

Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore Show)

John Steed (The Avengers)


So, dear reader, what say you? Is it a fair list? Am I forgetting anyone - male or female?

The thing that still bothers me is the inability to come up with any women who should make the list (besides the three I included, and one of them being an admitted stretch of inclusion). Emma Peel and Mary Richards are shoe-ins, definitely. Who else? Miss Ellie from Dallas? Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show? Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show? One of the gals from Cagney & Lacey? I'm not sure that any of them fit the bill.

Of course, such lists are subjective, so perhaps I've got it all wrong?

Comments

  1. Well, yes it's subjective. However, you're also right in that there are not many iconic female characters (and fewer leads). I would add Lucille Ball as a leading icon for sure. The one lady from L&O:SVU? I can't think of her name (but I don't know the names of any of the characters on that show, really). Punky Brewster (whoever played her)? The character is an icon, if not the actress.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.