March 7, 2011


On the occasion of International Women’s Day, I round up eight of my favorite women protagonists on television, as I highlight why I like them…

My favorite character on my favorite show, Bree had to be on the top of this list. Brought beautifully to life by Marcia Cross, for the last seven years, Bree has been an impeccable personality throughout. A woman who epitomizes the spirit of the show (we all lead lives of quiet desperation); she is a model woman for many. Having been through the loss of a husband, issues with her children, alcoholism, a homicidal mother-in-law, giving away a successful business and then a divorce, she’s always risen from adversity. And while she continues to be one of the most resilient women on television, her characteristic red hair and classic sense of style also make her quite the icon.

2. Nora Walker | BROTHERS & SISTERS
Who hasn’t had a love-hate relationship with their mother! While she can drive you up the wall by finding faults in you and expressing views that you don’t always appreciate, she’s also the woman who can make everything seem alright, and make you feel protected like no one can. Sally Field portrays all that as the typical mom on the show. She can get annoying and interfering, but she always has her kids’ best interests at heart. A character so natural is really hard to not like!

3. Temperance Brennan | BONES
With all her science, facts, statistics, and logic, Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan can be quite unintentionally hilarious. Her obliviousness of certain situations is funny, and her knack for correcting almost everything everyone says has me screaming, ‘Thank YOU!’ all the time! Bones, played by Emily Deschanel, has stayed true to her character for years. Her brilliance as a scientist and her ability to fend for herself and survive always leave me in awe, while her desire to feel regular emotions, after basing her entire life on pure logic is really endearing.

4. Patty Hewes | DAMAGES
Ambitious, shrewd and absolutely ruthless is what Patty Hewes came across as initially. The more we discovered her, and got to know her story, she emerged as a multi-faceted, intriguing woman. Her personality that can intimidate anyone makes me love her character so much. Lonely after being left by a cheating husband and an ungrateful son, she still does all she can to protect the ones she loves. Moreover, the strength, courage and fierceness of the character seem so much more real with Glenn Close’s stellar portrayal of Patty.

5. Addison Montgomery | PRIVATE PRACTICE
She was one of my favorite characters on GREY’S ANATOMY, so when she went on to become the protagonist of her own show, I was thrilled. The class, sophistication and independence of Addison Forbes Montgomery are what I’ve always admired most in her. And even though her character has evolved over the last six years, and become more dependent on people, she still makes for one of the most interesting leading ladies on television, and Kate Walsh has always been consistent while playing her.

6. Meredith Grey | GREY’S ANATOMY
She had a tough life with no father, and an unappreciative mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, so it came as no surprise that Meredith Grey thrived on self pity, attention-seeking behavior and complaining about her life. However, the evolution that GREY’S leading lady has seen has been rather amazing. Meredith has, today, grown into a woman who can be a shoulder to someone else; someone who can shut up her complaining younger sister; and someone who can truly appreciate all the good things in her life. Ellen Pompeo has definitely done justice to both sides of Meredith Grey.
Another character who’s seen a terrific evolution over seven seasons, Gabrielle Solis is definitely one of the spunkiest women ever on television. From being a selfish, materialistic snob, she has grown into a caring mother and a lovely friend, while still retaining the spark that made us love Gaby right from the start of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Her political incorrectness and her impulsiveness make her the exciting woman that she is which made us notice her even when she didn’t have her stylish demeanor that suits her most. And Eva Longoria truly makes Gaby what she is!
We watched her raise four kids, survive cancer and then give birth to a fifth, while she got in and out of jobs, one of which was running a pizzeria with her husband. A woman who continues to shock us by her ways of getting things done her way, Lynette Scavo is definitely one of the most fascinating characters on television. One half of a beautifully portrayed marriage, she loves her family and like a lioness would do anything to protect it. Felicity Huffman is sheer and absolute brilliance in her portrayal of Lynette

And who are your favorite leading ladies on television? Please share your views...


  1. nice post. you've actually managed to bring out the subtleties that set these characters apart. bree's definitely my favourite woman on TV too. (what i also liked a lot this time is the layout. with the names and the shows and the photos and the small write-up on each) we like!

  2. Loved all the choices that you have made though I personally would have put Cristina Yang in there as well. Infact I think Mer had quite a mind of her own initially included with her whining now that I'm watching all the reruns. Mer is easily my favourite female character of all the shows I watch.
    Addie is definitely not the same strong character that she was on Grey's but can't fault Kate Walsh 'coz she is doing a good job on Private Practice too.
    Nora and Bones come in a close second for me since I'm really not a huge fan of Desperate Housewives. If I had to pick my favourite though I would go with Bree and Lynette.
    Also a little off beat choice but I think Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl) could have made the cut just for sheer entertainment.
    Agree with @geetanjali about the layout and pictures. Nice short and snippy. All in all a real nice read as always

  3. @geetanjali Thank you! I enjoyed doing this post as much as you enjoyed reading it.

    @wildcherry28 I would have loved to put in Christina Yang, Miranda Bailey, Charlotte King, Sarah Walker, Kitty Walker, Angela Montenegro, Camille Saroyan, Sue Sylvester, Callie Torres, Arizona Robins, Teddy Altman, Remy Hadley, Lisa Cuddy, Lily Aldrin, Robin Sherbatsky, Gloria Pritchett, Sarah Braverman, Julia Braverman, Penny (from TBBT) and maybe even more, but this one was only about leading ladies. And yes, I did think of Blair and even Serena, but those two girls are just not consistent. I still love them for entertainment's sake, but they didn't deserve to be up here with these other women. Maybe if I do a list of fun characters, I would feature them. Anyway, thanks again for reading my every post and commenting.

  4. nice post. you've listed most of my favourite rnvj :)

  5. @Fashion Bombay Thanks, Sonu... Nice to see a comment from you! :)

  6. I love Bones! But there's one character that I really liked on this 3-season HBO series called Deadwood. Her name is Calamity Jane. She's just such a hard head but she's got a lot of heart.
    I also love Carmela Soprano from The Sopranos and Jackie Peyton aka Nurse Jackie. Both played by the same actor and both so strong and vulnerable. As dysfunctional as their lives are, they'd do anything for their families.
    Last of love, Berta from Two and a Half Men. I love that show and even though Berta is no leading lady, she's funny as hell.