Sunday, May 19, 2013

Monday Listicles: Kick-butt women on the screen

This week's Monday Listicles is favorite characters in movies or TV, so I thought I'd travel down memory lane and write about characters I've admired and wanted to emulate throughout the years. So here goes!

1. Laurie Partridge in "The Partridge Family" (Susan Dey)

She sang in a family band, was a brunette like me, and got to sing with David Cassidy (my teen idol)!  I also liked her in LA Law later on. Check out this great clip of the battle of the sexes between Keith and Laurie Partridge (embedding disabled). Makes me want to get hold of old Partridge Family episodes--loved that show!

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie (Melissa Gilbert) 

She was adventurous, inquisitive, and so not girly! She was loved by her family and stood up to bullies.

3. Samantha Stephens on "Bewitched"
(Elizabeth Montgomery)

While my sister loved Jeannie in "I Dream of Jeannie," I preferred "Bewitched." I didn't like the way the major could lock Jeannie up in a bottle when he didn't like the way she was acting. Samantha had much more power in her household. The show had lots of eccentric characters, and Samantha was smart, savvy, and magic.

4. Julie McCoy on "Loveboat" (Lauren Tewes)

She got to organize all these fun activities, run the show, and live on a cruise ship! (Which I know is not nearly as glamorous as it sounds!)

4. Claire Huxtable on "The Cosby Show" (Phylicia Rashad)

She was the COOLEST mom...whip-smart, hip and stylish, and wise, and a professional working woman as well! She knew how to keep everyone in the family in line, and do it in the nicest way. Love this clip:

5. Wanda Gershwitz in "A Fish Called Wanda" (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Okay, she was a criminal...but she knew what she wanted! I love this scene of John Cleese speaking in different languages as foreplay: I can relate to her in finding accents sexy! And I love romances between American women and British men, of course. We first saw this movie in Japan, and we were the only ones laughing in the theater!

6. Yentl (written, directed, and acted by Barbra Streisand, based on the story by Isaac Bashevis Singer)

I might be one of the few people who loved this movie, but love it I did! I could relate so well to the character Yentl, who wanted to study yeshiva but couldn't because she was a girl. This is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes:

7. Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen), Julia Sugarbaker in "Designing Women" (Julia Carter), and Dorothy Zbornak in "The Golden Girls" (Bea Arthur)

The 80s and 90s were a heyday for great, strong sitcom roles for women! That's not even mentioning Roseanne. So often in my life, I have wished I had the chutzpah of any of these characters...not afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what is right...and call bullshit on what is wrong!

Here's a classic clip of Murphy--she was a great role model for strong women--incredibly bright, strong-willed, opinionated, and feisty:

8. Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Minerva McGonnagal (Maggie Smith) in the Harry Potter series--love them both. Harry would have been nothing without them. I love Maggie Smith in "Downton Abbey" too. She always has the best lines, in both Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.

9. Sally anything! From "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun" and "Norma Rae" to her recent role in "Brothers and Sisters," where she played a passionate mother bear, I love everything she's in...and the fact that she spoke out for gay rights to honor her son. Love her.

10. Megan in "Bridesmaids" (portrayed by Melissa McCarthy)

Where to start? She totally ruled that movie, which I loved! She's the best! My favorite scenes were the air marshal ones (and later learned that was her real husband!) and the come-to-Jesus discussion she had with Annie.

So many more I could have included...but this trip down memory lane has made me want to explore some of my old favorite shows. I've never showed my kids "The Cosby Show," for example--time to start!

Check out other favorite screen characters at The Good Life by Stasha.


  1. OMG, I have hermoine granger and Claire cosby on my list too! Oh man I forgot about Sally Field and Megan from Bridesmaids.

    LOVE Your list babe!!!! GOing to watch the bridesmaid video now.

  2. I absolutely LOVED Brothers & Sisters. So sad that it is not still on! You have SUCH a great list your take on the topic!-Ashley

  3. I loved your list!!! I adored the P-Family and Little House!!!! I'd add Luna to the Harry Potter list if I was doing it. She was awesome.

  4. All the Designing Women made my list!! I love me some Murphy Brown too!

  5. I was trying to narrow down my list because it could have been 100 people long... Otherwise Hermione & McGonnigal would definitely have been on my list as well!

  6. Very cool list! Ours is quite similar! Loved me some Claire Huxtable! I had Sally Field on my list too!

  7. Oh my gosh, Bridesmaids was so hilariously, painfully funny. I think I hurt myself watching that movie.

  8. Love your list! Yentl - I haven't seen that movie in years and I loved the clip you included. That Barbra is amazing. And the clip with Claire Huxtable is one of my favorites too. You included such a great variety of strong women - fabulous.

  9. Fantastic List!!! Love Claire Huxtable and Wanda....but Julia Sugarbaker is the tops for me.
    Well....actually the only one who could possibly best her is Ouiser Boudreaux.

    Love that you choose all women. fantastic.

  10. I completely forgot about Samantha from Bewitched (she was funny) and Claire Huxtable (so smart... and could lay down the law with such a sugary sweet yet stern voice).

    Happy belated Listicles Monday!

  11. If you haven't seen 'This is 40' you must!! Melissa McCarthy at her finest! I loved Murphy Brown and Loveboat.