I have consumed a great deal of TV in my time on earth. I’ve spent hours upon hours upon decades sitting in front of glowing screens and soaking in sweet, sweet episodic tales. Television is truly my second (and only) boyfriend. We’ve laughed together. We’ve cried together. We’ve had sexual intercourse together (aka I’ve watched fictional couples hump each other as I got to it on my own). More than anything else, TV has inspired me, and being a hardcore feminist I’m most inspired when I see hilarious, strong, layered, memorable female characters driving their own killer stories.
I connect with my favourite small screen ladies on a level so deep, so mighty, that I’ve fantasized about what it would be like to step into their shoes. I’ve closed my eyes and pictured taking on every Julia Louis-Dreyfus persona. I’ve stood in front of the mirror and acted out countless monologues written by Joss Whedon. I’ve purposely “eaten night cheese” in hopes that it would bless me with a Liz Lemon-like career. I’ve gone as far as blow-drying my hair, applying make-up, and putting on a silk blouse before getting into bed pretending that I’m Olivia Pope and I need to be ready to save humanity at a moment’s notice and damn it I need to look good while doing it! I take this whole “emulating not real people” thing seriously. What other characters’ lives do I want to usurp? Every babe in the below list. Warning: SPOILERS FROM LIKE TEN YEARS AGO.
1. Buffy Summers from Buffy and the Vampire Slayer
I definitely relate more to Willow, but I continue to crave the physical strength, high-kick abilities, and David Boreanaz lip kissing experiences of the slayer. I want purpose! I want action! I want hot, steamy, vampire soul-taking virginity-losing apocalypse-making naked times!
2. Elaine Benes from Seinfeld
I’d like to master the domain of Elaine not only because she’s one of the funniest TV characters the world has seen but also because she taught me my happy dance, which is her infamous thumb-waving, leg kicking, god awful routine. Nothing brings me more joy than mimicking that number on a Saturday morning in my underwear.
3. Selina Meyer from Veep
My ultimate dream would be splitting myself in two so I could be both Elaine and Selina at the same time. The cherry on top of the sundae would be if Elaine WORKED for Selina. The two of them trying to get along at the White House = guaranteed perfection.
4. Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights
I think of Tami Taylor as a realistic version of Buffy. She too has saved dozens of teenagers from demons (their inner demons). She’s smart. She’s generous. She’s bloody powerful. After years of being “the football coach’s wife” she told her husband she wanted HIM to relocate with HER so SHE could pursue HER career. Fuckin’ A Tami. Fuckin’ A.
5. Lucy McGillicuddy Ricardo from I Love Lucy
If I could stomp grapes and store chocolate in my mouth like her I think I would finally be fulfilled.
6. Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development
I want my catchphrase to be “If that’s a veiled criticism about me I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it.”
7. Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
I was never a huge fan of Gilmore Girls however I was quite envious of Lorelai’s rapid wit. She fired off zingers a mile a minute. If I could speak that quickly and that cleverly I would have made a million dollars by now as a professional conversationalist.
8. C.J. Gregg from The West Wing
I got a lot of issues with Aaron Sorkin’s writing but I am grateful for his finest creation: C.J. Gregg. I would toss on her White House Press Secretary turned White House Chief of Staff pantsuits any day of the week.
9. Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons
It’s no surprise that Millhouse is completely obsessed with her. So am I. She’s brilliant, driven, kind, environmentally friendly and can play the saxophone. Gimme a red dress, spiky hair, four fingers, and hand me a note that reads “You are Lisa Simpson” ‘cause I hella want to be.
10. Kima Greggs from The Wire
I fell hard for the badass goddess Kima Greggs in her very first scene when she embarrasses her male counterparts Herc and Ellis. She finds the second gun in the drug dealer’s car which they claimed wasn’t there. She’s better than them and they know it. More importantly, she knows it.
11. Carla Tortelli from Cheers
When I was a server I tried to imitate Carla as best I could, but I ended up sounding more like Diane. Story of my life.
12. Peggy Olsen from Mad Men
Peggy’s journey will go down in the history books as one of the greatest character arcs of all time. When I look back at episodes from season one she is unrecognizable, and that makes me idolize her even more. One day I’d like to put my feet up on MY desk in MY office and tell MY employees stories that begin with “You know, I started out as a secretary and now look at me. NOW LOOK AT ME UNDERLINGS! I OWN YOU. I OWN EVERYTHING!”
13. Xena from Xena: Warrior Princess
“Aiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi!” is a strong contender for my Dream Catchphrase.
14. Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation
She’s one of the few characters on TV that calls herself a feminist and that alone is reason enough for me to swoon. Her framed photos of Hillary Clinton also do the trick.
15. All of the women from Firefly
I want to lead like Zoe. I want to fix stuff like Kaylee. I want to seduce like Inara. I want to go batshit wild on a bunch of Reavers like River.
16. Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls
“Like I’m the only person who’s ever mixed a margarita in a sailor’s mouth!” is also in the running for Dream Catchphrase.
17. Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers
And the second best catch phrase would be “Why don’t you try speaking in words instead of your damn dirty lies!” said in Kristen Schaal’s prodigious voice.
18. Crazy Eyes from Orange is the New Black
She’s got feelings and so do I. I wish I could express mine via exquisite poetry like she does.
19. Miss Piggy from The Muppet Show
She’s ambitious, aggressive, confident, and in love with a man who is half her size. She is a hero to us all.
20. Jackie Harris from Roseanne
I’m genuinely on my way to becoming Jackie, if I’m not already there. I have an older sister and a brother-in-law who are the spitting image of Roseanne and Dan. I have a nutso mom and an absent dad. I know I’ve been a police officer in a past life. I mostly do laundry at my sister’s place. And I’m much happier being single than being with a dude I don’t like, plus I’m also TOO SASSY FOR ANY MAN. So I guess that means I just want to be myself? If that’s the case, right on, sister. You go me.