10 girl crushes: My favorite ladies of TV

I just love the wit and wisdom of Dr. Temperance Brennan.


On the way to work this morning, I was thinking about Bones. That got me thinking about Dr. Brennan, and how much I love her character, which got me thinking about some of the other cool ladies on TV right now.

My co-blogger, Mark, has said that we are in a Golden Age of TV. I tend to agree – there are so many good things to watch right now. Part of the appeal of many of the shows I watch is the strong leading lady. It used to be that such strong women on TV were few and far between. Of course, the ‘90s gave us Dana Scully and Buffy Summers, two monoliths of TV womanhood. But to my knowledge there has never been a time when so many women dominated the tube. And the great thing about these leading ladies is that they are such diverse characters – gone are the days of the token strong-willed woman trying to eke out a living among the boys. Here are some ladies of note.

  • Dr. Temperance Brennan (aka Bones, of Bones) – Leader of squints and lover of guns, she’s a highly objective scientist who blows away the stereotype of the overly emotional woman.
  • Annie Walker (of Covert Affairs) – This rookie CIA agent doesn’t need a partner to take down the bad guys in her way. She’s spunky and fresh, not your typical tough girl, and she’s a one-woman wolf pack.
  • Fiona Glenanne (of Burn Notice) – How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You build bombs. You rescue boys. You kill bad guys. You have impeccable style. You have such a sharp sense of humor.  And I love the way you say, “Shall we shoot them?”
  • Debra Morgan (of Dexter) – She’s hot mess when it comes to the opposite sex, and she’s got a mouth like a sailor. In seasons past, her vulnerability bordered on annoying, but this year she has really come into her own.
  • Liz Lemon (of 30 Rock) – LL is the funniest woman on TV, simply put. She’s a proud nerd who’s not afraid to admit to wearing a bathing suit as underwear. Need I say more?
  • Margene Heffman, Nicki Grant and Barb Henrickson (of Big Love) – Three very different women (who I am counting as one, polygamist girl crush), married to one man. In four seasons, each has shown strength of character and vulnerability. The complexities of their relationships to one another go beyond the challenges of polygamy, and delve into the differences between each one’s ideas of what it means to be a woman, wife and mother.
  • Caroline Forbes (of Vampire Diaries) – Not the obvious choice from this show (that would be the main star, Elena), but I really like Caroline. And what’s more, I think she’s a good example for young ladies. Last year, she was shallow and mean. But over time, her character grew (and changed into a vampire) into a much deeper person capable of true friendship, love and compassion. This season, she has weathered her change with grace, and even stepped up to the plate to help Tyler handle his own change. She’s a nice example of how a young woman can transcend the cliques, gossip and stereotyping of high school.
  • Olivia Dunham (of Fringe) ­ – Olivia is a smart agent who follows her instincts. She not only solves mysteries in our world, she crosses to other universes as well. She is a fascinating character, capable of great emotional depth as well as detachment.   
  • Myka Bering (of Warehouse 13) – Myka left her gig with the Warehouse at the end of last season following the debacle with H.G. Wells. But if you ask me, the empathy she showed for H.G.’s loss added a new dimension to her previously businesslike demeanor. But don’t get me wrong – I have always appreciated her focus on being the best agent she can be, and putting that before her personal feelings.
  • Pam Swynford De Beaufort (of True Blood) – Again, not the obvious choice, which would be Sookie Stackhouse. However, I just love Pam. Classy and ruthless, she is equally commanding in the pleather Fangtasia costumes as she is in her two-piece pink suits.

Fringe noir

I loved this week’s episode of Fringe. Granted, I am always a bit anxious for the next mythology episode, but I also really love the “monster of the week” episodes, and this one was no exception.

In case you missed it, the show was basically a film noir mystery made up by Walter to explain the sudden disappearance of Peter. His tremendous guilt really came through in the narrative, but it was also fun and lighthearted throughout. Olivia looked amazing in her ‘40s detective era clothing and makeup, and so did Peter.

I also loved Nina, Broyles and Astrid, who are normally very serious but showed a lighter side in this episode.

The brief musical interludes were also very well done, and quite revealing of the characters’ true feelings – take Olivia’s song “For Once in My Life” to Peter and Walter’s bittersweet rendition of the “The Candy Man Can” from Willy Wonka. The singing corpses were hilarious.

I also loved the ending, with Walter’s bleak and depressing finale upstaged by Olivia’s niece, and her perfectly innocent desire for a happy ending.

I’m hopeful that Olivia will find Peter next week. What about you? Did you like the look and feel of the episode?

What Would Walter Do? Just about anything for Peter….

Fringe was so great last night that it’s hard to know where to begin. Actually, on second thought, I’ll begin at the beginning – with the amazing throwback credits. The opening was so geektastic that I replayed it not once, but twice. And even mentioning it now makes me want to watch it one more time for fun.

Of course, the throwback credits were perfect for this episode, which largely took place in flashbacks to 1985, when Walter took Peter from the alternate universe. Heavy on mythology, this installment answered one of the biggest questions – why did The Pattern start happening? We now know that it started with Walter opening the first portal and thereby tipping the natural balance between the two worlds.

I am so impressed with John Noble, who plays Walter Bishop. His character is at once endearing and off-putting. He is ever the loving and devoted father, but also the mad scientist, obsessed with his work and blind to the repercussions of opening the portal. His lack of remorse for kidnapping the alternate Peter is chilling, but I found myself sympathizing with him in the end as he said, “You can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child.”

I can’t wait until next week. I really have no idea how Olivia is going to handle this new knowledge, and the anticipation is going to be pretty hard to contain for a full seven days.