By Natalie Issa
I love TV shows. I love TV shows. And I know that might make me sound like a crazy couch potato that just watches Netflix all day, but I don't care. TV is a medium that a lot of people have access to, and it gives people an opportunity to put unique stories out there. Not to mention that TV series gives stories and characters ample time to develop and grow-- oftentimes, much more than movies.
So yes, I love TV shows. But even I have to admit a lot of shows sometimes lack unique and "realistic" leading ladies. More often than not, we're presented with beautiful "Mary Jane" characters-- pretty, good at everything, sassy, and completely generic.
But there are some TV series that shy away from the norm, unashamedly presenting the public with completely realistic/kooky/unusual lead female characters. So now, I proudly present five of my favorite unconventional leading ladies on TV.
1. Miranda, “Miranda”: A delightfully kooky character from BBC, Miranda (played by comedian Miranda Hart from “Call the Midwife”) is a single, 6’ 1” joke shop owner in her mid-thirties. Miranda is the type of character that finds herself in many ridiculously crazy and awkward situations, yet somehow you can’t help but relate to her. Desperately in love with the dreamy chef Gary, Miranda weaves through her messy life with a hilarious combination of slapstick humor and side looks to the camera.
2. Mindy Lahiri, “The Mindy Project”: Okay, we all know about the wonderful Dr. Mindy Lahiri. And I love her for many, many reasons. A thirty-something year old successful, professional Indian woman who’s living a hot mess of a life. Talk about relatable. Mindy proves that you can be in your thirties with a successful career and still not have your life completely together. In some way or another, Mindy is all of us—navigating through her chaotic love life, proudly illustrating her celebrity knowledge, proclaiming her love of food, and still getting some things majorly wrong. Mindy represents what I think my future will most likely look like, and personally, I can’t wait.
3. Peggy Carter, “Agent Carter”: Who doesn’t love Captain America’s favorite butt-kicking SSR agent? Pretty much everyone has a major crush on her, for oh-so-many reasons. Her no-nonsense attitude is perfect both on the job and in her personal life, while her hands on, face-to-face combat skills rivals any mans. And perhaps one of the coolest things about Agent Peggy Carter is that she manages to be one of SSR’s finest agents without sacrificing her femininity. She throws punches with perfectly painted nails; runs after bad dudes in heels (and, oftentimes, in a smokin’ dress); and questions the enemy with a killer red lip and expertly curled hair. I salute you, Peggy Carter, the hero we truly deserve.
4. Geraldine Granger, “The Vicar of Dibley”: Geraldine Granger, or just Gerry, is another gem of a female character from BBC. Plopped in the middle of the sleepy hamlet of Dibley, Gerry experiences some opposition from the locals due to her status as a single woman vicar. But does she let that get in her way? Definitely not. Gerry is a delightful character for many, many reasons. While she loves her job and has a good head on her shoulders, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. A confident plus-sized working woman devoted to her parish, she’d do almost anything to help the (mostly elderly) citizens of Dibley. And she does it with such a hilarious sense of humor. Plus, she has like a major crush on Sean Bean. What’s not to love?
5. Jane Bingum, “Drop Dead Diva”: All right, so Jane’s story might be a little crazy. Jane the lawyer is really Deb the model, who occupied the plus-sized lawyer’s body (in heaven) right after Deb died in a car crash. A little confused? Don’t worry—they make this perfectly clear in the show. Jane is constantly breaking female stereotypes, combining Deb’s love for fashion and beauty and Jane’s insane intelligence and lawyer skills. Perhaps what I love most about the show is that Jane radiates confidence, dating a slew of men and dominating both in the court and the most sophisticated bars. Her plus-sized body isn’t seen as a negative, and isn’t a main plot point that holds her back.
Fear not, fellow TV show-lovers. There's plenty of wonderful unconventional female characters out there. You just have to know where to look.
(Image via screencrave.com)