Looking for the most popular character trope on TV right now? It’s not a gritty male antihero who is terrible to women but only because he’s had a hard life., nor is it a popular girl who seems mean, but secretly has a heart of gold (though those are certainly popular options!). Rather, it’s a character that many of you might be able to identify with–a single woman. Maybe it’s just the particular shows I choose to surround myself with (as far as I can tell, there’s never been a gritty, character-driven drama with a strong female lead that Netflix hasn’t suggested I watch), but, from Liz Lemon to Peggy Olson, it seems like the single women has always held a special place in the pop culture lexicon.
This media obsession makes sense, in a way. Unattached women are interesting, since it’s been a relatively short amount of time since a woman could feasibly be unattached, and wasn’t conscripted to getting married and settling down as soon as possible. This makes, as many people have already realized, for really great TV. So, let’s check out the best single ladies in TV:
Liz Lemon, 30 RockI mean, duh. You can't write a list about single women on TV without including Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, since she is basically the icon for single girls everywhere. She's the head writer for a moderately-to-severely unpopular sketch comedy TV show. She gives great relationship advice, despite not having much success in her own romantic life. She eats night cheese in a snuggie. All things that you can relate with, I'm sure. p>Image source:Wikipedia
Peggy Olson, Mad MenAll my fellow Mad Men stans ("Mad Fans," as nobody calls us) know that Peggy Olson might be the most inspirational single woman character of TV. She starts off as a secretary in a (deeply misogynistic) 1960s ad agency, then, though a series of promotions and savvy career moves on her own part, becomes the creative copy chief at the agency. Peggy's also single for most of the series, which, in the 1960s, was not exactly the norm. Because of this, she's often shown prioritizing her career over her personal and romantic life--in other words, she breaks the glass ceiling many, many times over. p>Image source:Wikipedia
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The CityOkay, so Carrie Bradshaw might not really count as a totally "inspirational" single woman. While she was viewed as a near-revolutionary example of an independent, unattached woman when Sex and the City first aired in the late 1990s, lots of issues with Carrie's character become apparent when looking at her through a present-day lens. While it's cool that she's a sex columnist, and doesn't feel the need to be attached to anyone all the time, her blatant shopping addiction and constant need to wax lyrical about shoes gets more than a little annoying. Basically, the Carrie Bradshaw character is extremely post-feminist, which means that she gets to enjoy all of the benefits of feminism without actually putting in any work.(Plus, Carrie's character is probably directly responsible for making a generation of young girls think that they could afford a New York City apartment on a weekly columnist salary, which is actually ludicrously unattainable.) Still, though, Carrie is certainly iconic, and for that, she certainly deserves a spot on this list. p>Image source:Wikipedia
Selina Meyer, VeepOn Veep, Selina Meyer is the first female President of the United States. She got the position through the backdoor, sort of--she was the Vice President first, then became President when the previous one resigned--but she still is the President, while also being totally single (she was married before, then get a divorce), which is cool. Is she a good President? Does she even like her job? Not really! But that doesn't really matter, since it all makes for really, really great TV. p>Image source:Wikipedia
Donna Meagle, Parks And RecreationFor the majority of Parks And Recreation, Donna Meagle's whole thing is that is is single and extremely DGAF about it. In fact, she has legions of men pursuing her, most of whom she turns down with a definitive "meh," because she is in the game for Number One and Number One alone. At the end of the series, she does settle down, but she continues to be defined by her single-lady legacy. She invented the phrase "treat yo self." Ginuwine is also her cousin. I don't know. She's the coolest. We should all try to be like Donna Meagle, really. Image source:Wikipedia
Olivia Pope, ScandalI'm not sure if Olivia Pope can really count as a true single lady, since she's always bouncing from one alleged love of her life to the next. (In fact, I stopped watching the show altogether about a year ago after realizing that I literally DGAF about whether or not she chose Fitz or Jake). But, for the most part, Olivia Pope gets it--like, she is able to balance a super high-powered, emotionally fraying career with the caretaking of her totally insane parents, as well as maintaining an excellent outerwear collection. p>Image source:Wikipedia
Elaine Benes, SeinfeldJulia Louis-Dreyfus, the actress who played Elaine, once described her as a "fraught, single, angry woman who is trying to find her way in New York and who is probably in love with Jerry Seinfeld." Same! But really, Elaine is, in many ways, the best character on Seinfeld. She dates a lot, but she never really gets attached to anyone, and is intelligent and self-assured, but also superficial, neurotic, and a little bit selfish. Basically, she's allowed to have many of the same attribute that male characters are usually given without any backlash. p>Image source:Wikipedia
What do you think about these characters? Did I forget any great ones? Let us know in the comments!
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