Why TV Female Characters Never Rocked Until Now

I have a crush on an older woman. She is smart. She is elegant. She is powerful. She is savvy. She seems to always be in control. Her name is Diane Lockhart, and she is a fictional TV character.

I, personally, for some time now, have been tired of watching TV shows that seem to use cliché, after cliché, after cliché in portraying female characters. I wanted to see a show about a female character who is smart, funny, sophisticated, loves her life and enjoys being a single career woman. How difficult is that?

Apparently it is more difficult that you would imagine. We have plenty of complicated, smart, hot and sophisticated male characters on TV (Don Draper anyone?), but TV female characters simply… stink.

What are we usually being fed by the TV producers?

How can we enjoy, relate, sympathize and identify with someone who is:

  • An old wired-too-tight spinster with no sense of style and in perpetual need of attention. 
  • A loud and obnoxiously desperate single woman who is exhibiting a constant feeling of longing of years passed, looks lost and children not had. 
  • A tyrant, a fire-breathing dragon, who is bitter, and disappointed, and quite neurotic and ultimately void of any understanding of people. 
  • A senseless and humorless female boss who constantly lashes out against men with or without a reason. 
  • An overwrought career woman who feels buried under a tremendous feeling of guilt caused by her choice of a career over her family.

Aren’t you tired of all these overused clichés? I was too, till I discovered The Good Wife that airs every Sunday on CBS.

I am a big fan of this show. One of the reasons this show hasn’t failed me yet is its female characters, especially the show’s portrayal of Diane Lockhard, a middle aged woman in the position of power and authority.

  • She has a complicated outspoken personality. 
  • She does not hide her political party affiliation. She is not afraid to show that she is a feminist (and a damn sexy one.) 
  • She (finally!) loves her life and does not try to re-arrange it with the help of some man. 
  • She is a sophisticated intellectual and an art admirer. 
  • She is witty, smart and funny, and she manages to stay in control when everyone around her, including her male law partners, are rolling deep in emotional ruin. 
  • She is not afraid to show her strength to chauvinistic men. 
  • A handsome man still can make her pulse race (go for it, Diane!) 
  • And of course, I want her wardrobe (she is definitely not a Joan Rivers type!)

I think I want to be Diane Lockhart when I grow up.

I don’t know what kind of revelation happened to CBS and The Good Wife writers, but I applaud them for FINALLY giving us a female character (not a cliché of genre) that stands apart from every other female character on TV.


14 thoughts on “Why TV Female Characters Never Rocked Until Now”

    1. Never watched Bones. Seems like a good one though. Buffy… oh Buffy… I really never liked her. 🙂

  1. I know what you mean about tired female roles and reactions. I particularly detest it when a woman character is shown to be standing by helplessly while the big strong men fight it out. I can tell you that Mrs. 101 would be right in the thick of it, kicking the villain in the nads or sticking a shiv in his ear.

  2. I’ve never watched The Good Wife. I’m not sure why.

    I think TV is actually doing a good job of breaking down stereotypes on some shows. Lydia (Regina King) on Southland is kick ass; Max and Caroline from 2 Broke Girls have the potential to be stereotypes but right now, they’re definitely not; and the female characters on Once Upon a Time make the show worth watching because of how powerful they are.

    Oy. I just realized how my TV I actually watch.

  3. Great post Aloysa! CBS should look to you as an additional writer! I saw a preview of the Good Wife. Seems like a great show. Speaking of Buffy, I hate to say it, but my wife and I have been watching Ringer. Silly fun.

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