CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History

January 25
7:39 2013

BWW TV World is thrilled to present our weekly Critic's Cut: slicing the best (and the worst) moments of pop culture into ten little digestible pieces.

Critic's Cut runs every Friday, presenting television's 'Best Of' moments, characters, shows, and more!

This week's edition presents the women that moved televised feminism forward. These ladies (and those that played them) aren't just admired for their acting prowess. Those featured had a stake in making TV no longer a man's world - they were embodiments of the best that humanity had to offer, genderized roles be damned.

CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History

10) Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker)
The Manhattanite at the center of THE SEX AND THE CITY, Ms. Bradshaw, will never win a Nobel Peace Prize for her fornication-focused column. But the fact that she questioned everything - literally everything - and found a way to live with the answers, even when she didn't like them, was a lesson many learned right alongside her. She's no activist, but it would be absolutely ridiculous to claim that Bradshaw wasn't a source of empowerment for women (and a lot of men) in the late 90s with a premium cable package.

CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History

9) Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore)
THE Mary Tyler Moore SHOW
Anyone can make it! Equal pay, discrimination in the work place, Mary Richards rose above it all. She was a proud, intelligent single woman, one of the first on TV, and proved that the whole 'man's world' business is just a load hock.

CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History
8) Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner)

Sydney Bristow may have saved the world a lot, but my god, Sydney Bristow was lame. Like, potentially the most BORING super secret agent ever. Did ANYONE actually find her interesting? Whatever. She was like 007 as a female librarian. And that's exactly why she's a legend. She was wickedly intelligent, the source of a centuries old prophecy, but didn't rely on her sexuality to forward her sleuth. Bristow may have looked like a Bond girl on the outside, but she was a total nerd on the inside. And that's way more admirable that being able to hide a knife in a tube-top. Though she could totally do that, too.

CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History
7) Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen)
Brown proved that anyone - women or men - can do it all. Brown became a single mother, was the anchor for the fictional morning show FYI, and for your information, she was about as ambitious and scrappy as journalists come. To Brown, controversy meant nothing - except that you were doing your job right.

CRITIC'S CUT: The Most Empowering Female Characters in TV History
6) Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
Listen up, everyone! Liz Lemon does it right. There aint' nothin' wrong with climbing into bed with a Cheesy Blaster or two. That ain't no dealbreaker. Lemon, and Fey herself, proves there's nothing pathetic about being who you are - and what you're not. Just remember: "You're a star, you're on top, somebody bring you some haaaam!"
Sidenote: don't ever try to make Cheesy Blasters. There's a reason why those things don't actually exist.


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Tyler Peterson Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He studied Public Relations and Creative Writing at Loyola University Chicago while working part-time for BWW on evenings, weekends, and occasionally during classes. He has also been involved in the Chicago theatre industry, working in media relations and publicity with Margie Korshak, Inc.


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