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July 7, 2010

Women in Television Who Break the Mold

10. Carrie Heffernan (The King of Queens)
The King of Queens isn't my favorite show in the world, but I always thought Carrie was an interesting character because she's a 180-flip from the stereotypical sweet, docile housewife. She's a career woman, not overtly nurturing, bold, outspoken, and I don't really see her taking crap from anyone, least of all her husband.

Arthur: Darling, I need to borrow the iron.
Carrie: Dad, I told you, if you want a grilled cheese sandwich, I will make you one!

9. Ren Stevens (Even Stevens)
I rioted when Even Stevens was taken off the air. Seriously, I loved that show. Louis and his friends made the show funny (you gotta love Beans!), but I related to Ren, the over-achieving older sister, more than anyone. Ren was the typical goody-two-shoes, but she was also incredibly smart and able to compete with Louis's pranks.

Ren: May I please have permission to FedEx Louis to Timbuktu before June-Marie gets here?
Eileen: Absolutely not. UPS is so much cheaper.

8. Harriette Winslow (Family Matters)
I think Harriette was one of the more underrated characters on Family Matters. The squeaky-voiced, over-the-top Urkel may have stolen the show, but Harriette was the epitome of fierce elegance, the perfect rational balance to her family's crazy schemes. And she was never afraid to put someone in their place; I loved that!

Carl: You know you were rude to that guy, Harriette.
Harriette: I simply put out his cigar.
Carl: In his soup.

7. Allison Dubois (Medium)
The first time I saw Medium I was blown away. Not only am I in love with Allison's husband, Joe, the show is just so different. Allison Dubois "breaks the mold" because she's incredibly stubborn, impulsive, intense, and willing to do whatever it takes to catch the bad guy, even if it means (occasionally) bending the law.

Allison: I don't wanna get up. You're right, I'm depressed.
Joe: You know what depression is? It's unchanneled anger.
Allison: Thank you. Thank you . . . I'm still not getting up.

6. Special Agent Dana Scully (The X-Files)
I'm sure women like Dana Scully make most of us wish we were kick-butt, gun-totting FBI agents. She is just so cool, calm, and collected, not to mention fiercely intelligent and self-sufficient! She completely shatters the stereotype that women are dainty little flowers that can't make it in a "man's world."

Mulder: Do you believe in the afterlife, Scully?
Scully: I'd settle for a life in this one.

5. Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)
Roseanne is a farcry from the typical bubbly, sweet, nurturing mom we usually see on TV, but that's probably why the show was so successful. She represented a woman who was loud and demanding, but who could still be a good mom; she just wasn't always lovey-dovey about it.

Roseanne: That is not funny! You're grounded until menopause!
Darlene: Yours or mine?
Roseanne: Your father's!

4. Jill Taylor (Home Improvement)
I always liked Jill on Home Improvement because she was the anchor that kept Tim, in all his inane and dangerous wackiness, grounded. Not only that, she was smart, funny, hard-working, responsible, understanding . . . all while juggling college and three unruly boys. Now that is a modern day superwoman!

Tim: You lied in church on Christmas Eve? Watch out for those lightning bolts. God doesn't like that stuff.
Jill: At least I'm not begging the Almighty for two touchdowns . . .

3. Elaine Benes (Seinfeld)
Elaine is arguably the most sane character on Seinfeld (one of my favorite shows of all-time). She's smart, confident, independent, crafty, and incredibly liberal/pro-choice. But she's also vain, shallow, and judgmental - which is great, because you almost never see a woman on TV portray those qualities in a believable way.

Gwen: I have lost my fiance, the poor baby!
Elaine: [Australian accent] Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

2. Dr. Temperance Brennan (Bones)
Bones freakin' kicks a--! Ahem. Sorry about that. But seriously, this is an amazing show. Dr. Temperance Brennan proves that the busty, blonde airhead stereotype is vastly overrated, and brains are so in this year! She certainly kicks butt and shatters any stereotype about what a woman is "supposed" to be.

Special Agent Booth: You're a smart-ass, you know that?
Dr. Brennan: Objectively, I'd say I'm very smart. Although it has nothing to do with my ass.

1. Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Out of all the women I used to watch on TV, Clair Huxtable was always my biggest role model. She embodied so many amazing qualities: strength, confidence, self-righteousness, brains, etc. Sure, I liked the fact she was a caring wife and mother, but I loved that she wasn't afraid to speak up when certain men in her life (most notably Sondra's husband Elvin) got out of line.

Clair: Cliff . . . there are three idiots in the kitchen.
Cliff: You have to be a little more specific than that.

Of course, these ladies are only from shows I watch or have grown up with, so it's very possible I left out some deserving candidates. You can nominate your own favorite TV heroine by leaving a comment, but make sure you tell us why she "breaks the mold"!