Jenna’s recent Laminate Freebie List post started a fair bit of discussion on the site and behind the scenes at AAR, and we began to discuss the possibility of making some other lists, and talking about what we’d do if we did. In the end, we’ve rolled two of our most popular suggestions into one, and have nominated the female characters we’d either most like to be or most like to be friends with.
Who I’d like to be:
CJ Cregg, The West Wing. When the series started, CJ was the press secretary and was eventually promoted to Chief of Staff. Poised, sarcastic, and powerful, CJ navigates a world designed by men with aplomb. I never fully bought that she was a disaster in her private life the way Sorkin wanted me too, more like she understood there were seasons of life and this season was about public service and that required all of her.
Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights. Mrs. Coach! Tough, compassionate, professional, supportive, with the best hair north of the Rio Grande, this lady is everything.
Geraldine Granger, The Vicar of Dibley. In another timeline of my life, I’d like Geraldine’s. Vicar of a small village church in England, she wrangles her flock expertly and hilariously, AND is married to Richard Armitage. PERFECTION.
Dana Whitaker, Sports Night. I would like to put a Season 1 only limitation on this one, because what the writers did with her in S2 is inexplicable. In Season 1, she’s the producer of a nightly sports news show. She has one scene in particular where she looks at someone who is being an idiot and says “you’re screwing up my show” that I use a gif from on the regular. Dana is an expert in her field, a fierce and loyal friend, and a strong lady. Wins all around.
Who I’d like to be:
Arya Stark, Game of Thrones. On my dark days, when nothing seems to be going right, I want to be Arya. She’s never seen a problem she can’t kill.
Edith Crawley, Downton Abbey. I loved how all of Edith’s dark clouds (and there were many of them) turned out to have a silver lining. I also loved how Edith slowly developed her own life, rather than simply caving in to the standards of her time and yet still maintained enough of a balance to fit in with the people around her. She was a highly imperfect character and I loved that about her, too. Everyone should have the chance to fall, dust off and get back up again. Edith gained wisdom from her errors, and I loved that about her too. When she told Mary, after Mary committed a truly heinous act, she was still around “Because, in the end, you’re my sister and one day, only we will remember Sybil… or Mama or Papa or Matthew or Michael or Granny or Carson or any of the others who have peopled our youth… until, at last, our shared memories will mean more than our mutual dislike” I thought it was the sagest advice I had ever heard on television on dealing with an unwanted family member.
Who I’d like to be friends with:
Jessica Huang, Fresh Off the Boat. I would love being besties with Jessica. She’s a writer, mother, realtor and wife and yet she still has time to keep up on modern culture and obsess over the weirdest things. She can be uptight and frantic but she can laugh about it too. Her dry humor and ability to cut to the chase in any conversation put her on the top of my TV friends list.
All the Characters on Call the Midwife, especially Trixie and Valerie. I love this show, love the compassionate, kind, caring people who inhabit this world and love the camaraderie they bring to their job.
Who I’d like to be:
Either Veronica Mars (younger me) or Tami Taylor (older me.) Both are, in different ways, smart as hell and women whose friends and lovers know they are lucky to have them. Plus, ending up with either Logan or Eric would suit fictional me just fine!
It’s tough to beat Willow from Buffy. BtVS is, at its heart, a show about the power of friendship. Without her Scoobies, Buffy would have been dead halfway through Season One. Out of all her friends, it’s Willow who is the wisest (sorry Xander) and the one with the greatest power. With Willow beside me I’m pretty sure I could do anything.
Okay, add my tally marks for CJ Cregg, Tammy Taylor, Willow, and Veronica Mars. I would love to be their best friend!
I’ll add to the list:
Penny from The Big Bang Theory. This girl loves to have a good time, she’s a wine expert, and you know she has a great wardrobe she’d let you borrow clothes from. Also, she loves to watch chick flicks and dish gossip. She’d be so much fun to go with on a girls’ weekend away.
Kaylee Frye from Firefly. Kaylee is the sweetest person you could ever meet. She is so sunny and optimistic. She is an open book who doesn’t hide her feelings about anything. I love that she takes joy in simple things – a perfect strawberry, a fluffy, frilly dress. Plus she’s smart as a button and can fix anything.
Ellen Degeneres: Both as the character from her sitcom and as herself as a talk show host, I cannot think of any person who seems like she’d be a better friend than Ellen. Plus, she’d have me laughing myself crazy all the time.
Amy Abbott from Everwood. How much I wish my high school life had been that of Amy Abbott! She’s smart, popular and pretty but not stuck-up or full of herself. She had real problems (far from a perfect life) but a family that loved her. Granted, she did go through a pretty bitchy phase in which I imagine it would have been terrible to be her friend. But in the end, she’s such a decent person.
SO MANY GREAT CHOICES.
Natalie Green from The Facts of Life. She’s a fellow ” chubby crayon” with artistic instincts and a sense of humor to spare. When I was a little girl she was 100% my role model and by the time canon ends she’s become the kind of girl you wanna sit back and crack open a bottle of wine with.
Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women. Another childhood role model. Some people might mistake Julia for being too hectoring and too brutally honest, but the woman would be one hell of an interesting friend to have.
Murphy Brown from Murphy Brown. Murphy is another childhood fave of mine (who’s about to get an onscreen revival this coming season!), I’d love to howl with her about the current political landscape.
Laverne DeFazio from Laverne and Shirley. Everyone needs a loyal, daring friend like Laverne when the chips are down. When you’re in trouble you want to be friends with the kind of person who’d literally go out on a ledge for you, and Laverne fits that bill.
Dorothy Zbornak from The Golden Girls. Who wouldn’t like to share wine and book conversations with Dorothy?
Ginny Baker from Pitch. Ginny is such a badass – who wouldn’t want to sit around and trade baseball anecdotes with her?
Princess Isabella from Galavant. I miss Galavant more than anything in the world – and Isabella, the swordfighting and fearless princess who is the center of the story would be one hell of a friend to have.
I agree with you completely on Call the Midwife. Those women are everything I’d want in a group of friends.
Lilian, the Evil Stepmother from The Charmings. This was a short-lived sitcom about what happened when Prince Charming and Snow White were transported into modern times and ended up living in Burbank.They were a cute couple, but the real fun was Lilian, who was also transported with them. She got all the great lines, or maybe she simply had better delivery. She was played by Judy Parfitt, an award-winning British actress who is now on Call the Midwife (as Sister Monica Joan).
Penelope Grace Garcia from Criminal Minds. The part of Garcia was written to be played by an older Latino man, but Kirsten Vangsness auditioned for it as a favor to a friend. She gave such a wonderful audition that t
hey just had to rewrite the character. In a very dark show, she is has been like a beacon of light for the other characters – comic relief tinged with assertiveness and humanity.
Elisa Maza, the NYPD detective in Disney’s animated Gargoyles series. She managed to be both tough and sympathetic and smart. Even learning that real gargoyles were alive in New York City didn’t put her off. In fact, she befriended all of the gargoyles, and even developed strong feelings for Goliath, the head of the gargoyle clan. Now if only Disney would bring the show back…
Betty from British sitcom Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Talk about your long-suffering wives! Betty is married to Frank Spencer, the biggest klutz in British sitcom history. (Betty was played by Michelle Dotrice, part of a famous acting family. Frank was played by Michael Crawford before he became more famous for the Phantom of the Opera stage musical.) But she was more than just the patient wife who scolded her husband with “Oh Frank!” She clearly loved her husband, even if his mishaps endangered their house and their lives.
I want to be Queenie from Blackadder.
Who I’d like to be:
I would like to be Buffy! To be that fit, assured, gorgeous but vulnerable enough to have great friends, and empathy! Oh, and Anthony Head as my mentor!
Oh to be Rose, in Doctor Who! I would love to fly round the universe with David Tennant amid all that humour, love and sexual tension!I would like to be Buffy! To be that fit, assured, gorgeous but vulnerable enough to have great friends, and empathy! Oh and Anthony Head as my mentor!
Who I’d like to be friends with:
Willow from Buffy. I would love to have her as my friend. So loving and gentle but a tough, loyal, kitty with claws!
CJ Cregg from The West Wing. She is funny, intelligent, kind and with a great sense of morality.
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She’s intelligent, shows she’s better than the boys regardless, but is incredibly loyal to Harry and Ron. Plus, it would be lovely to have a friend as obsessed with book research as I am!
Who are your TV/movie girlcrushes, girlfriends or wannabes? Drop by and let us know in the comments!