In recent years, TV program makers have thankfully moved away from portraying women as weak and ineffectual, and the past few decades have seen a number of strong female characters featuring in some high-profile shows. Here are five that have helped to stem the tide of negativity.
Daphne Moon (Frasier)
Originally hired as Martin Crane’s live-in physical therapist, Daphne Moon eventually went on to win the heart of Niles, Frasier’s brother. Played by English actress Jane Leeves, Daphne’s character gradually evolved into a tough and resolute woman who managed to hold the family together during a series of crises. Ultimately, she was the glue that maintained the group as a functioning, cohesive unit.
Carmela Soprano (The Sopranos)
Long-suffering, hard-working and almost constantly stressed, Carmela Soprano is forever struggling to do the best for her family in the face of a steady stream of difficulties. Played by Edie Falco, she has to contend with Tony’s philandering, AJ’s lack of direction and Meadow’s burgeoning social conscience. Despite this, she manages to remain positive and strong from the first episode of this saga through to the last.
Monica Geller (Friends)
Although Friends was perhaps originally seen as something of a lightweight frothy comedy show, it became a hugely popular show and, because of its longevity, a chronicle of the lives of six New Yorkers. Monica, played by Alabama-born Courteney Cox, developed into the strongest of the three female characters, and in fact was generally the voice of reason and sanity within the whole group.
Alexis Colby (Dynasty)
Perhaps the bitchiest character ever to appear on our screens, Alexis Colby was beautiful, sassy, powerful, wealthy and downright nasty. Brilliantly portrayed by Joan Collins, Alexis always knew what she wanted and exactly how to get it. Throughout the 1980s, TV viewers were enthralled by the scheming and plotting, and of course her legendary rivalry with Krystle Carrington, wife of her ex-husband, became a weekly staple for fans of the show in all four corners of the globe.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)
Despite criticism from some quarters, Sex and the City has provided many positives for women, and central to the show’s success has been the portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw by Sarah Jessica Parker. Carrie, a writer and the narrator of the show, is tough, opinionated and complex, and can swing between moments of tenderness and stridency in an instant. The show was a huge success all over the world, and led to the making of two blockbusters movies as well.
About The Author: David Showell is a fan of TV shows. He lives in England and works for a car hire company that offers cheap deals to people visiting Spain.