Over the ages, and still to this day, women have often been misrepresented in television. The female characters either adhere to the ditsy, feminine, infantile stereotype; to the “tomboy” category — rigid, unsmiling, cold but tough as nails; the mother; and the temptress. These are loose interpretations of the different archetypes of women, but you better believe that every female stereotype has been played out time and time again and magnified on television over the years. However, there are some women in television who make us proud. Here are just a few female characters who take the spotlight and own it:



1. Lucille Ball in “I Love Lucy”

Lucille Ball in " I Love Lucy" (nwhm.org)

Lucille Ball in ” I Love Lucy” (nwhm.org)

This show is an absolute classic. Although the character “Lucy” in “I Love Lucy” fits the domestic female stereotype typical to the 1950s, Lucille Ball is hilarious in this show. She was essentially the first female comedian to self-produce and take the lead role in her own show (Desilu Productions). Besides that, Lucille and her husband were a dream team on this show in equal parts, with Lucy taking the spotlight in most episodes; her endearing and spunky personality plays off Desi Arnaz’s Cuban charm.

 

 

 



2. Tina Fey on “30 Rock”

Liz Lemon from 30 Rock (sheckys.com)

Liz Lemon from “30 Rock” (sheckys.com)

When NBC show, “30 Rock,” first came out, protagonist and lovable curmudgeon Liz Lemon became a sort of spirit animal for women everywhere. The character, inspired by Tina Fey herself, is head writer for her NBC TV show “TGS” (loosely based off of “Saturday Night Live”), and the person everyone depends on to come through. Liz Lemon is funny, clever, strong, a bit cynical, and above all, human. We see lots of women on television, but we do not see enough human women portrayed on television; that’s what the character of Liz Lemon provides for us.

 

 

 



3. Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, and Aubrey Plaza on “Parks and Recreation”

Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins "Parks and Rec" (zap2it.com)

Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins “Parks and Rec” (zap2it.com)

We love the women on “Parks and Recreation” for many reasons. Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope provides an example of an extremely passionate, dedicated, ridiculously funny personality, and a very strong woman. Too often in television, we see petty rivalries and backstabbing between women. The relationship between Leslie Knope and her best friend Ann Perkins, played by Rashida Jones, and the relationship Leslie has with all the women in the office is beyond perfect. Leslie’s type A personality and fierce loyalty make her into the best and most dedicated friend in the world, especially when it comes to her ladies, whom she is constantly showering with affection and encouragement (watch the Season 2 episode called “Galentines Day”).

 



4. Mindy Kaling on “The Mindy Project”

Mindy Kaling, "The Mindy Project" (eonline.com)

Mindy Kaling, “The Mindy Project” (eonline.com)

Ever since “30 Rock” ended last year, there has been a need for another go-to human woman on television. Lucky for us, Mindy Kaling bridged this gap with her own show, FOX’s “Mindy Project” which brags an all star team of writers, Kaling included, and some great female (and male) characters. In the show, Mindy Kaling plays a professional OBGYN working at her own practice in Manhattan, who also happens to be what some may call “relationship-challenged,” and is also hilariously human.

 

 

Who are you favorite and most relatable female TV characters? Let us know in the comments below or find me on Twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda