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Top Ten Favorite Female Characters
My White House
sunclouds33
I got this idea from 12_12_12, a veritable source of good fandom ideas. I will note:

1. Maybe this isn't *technically* my top ten favorite female character list. I wanted only one entry per TV show to keep things diverse. So that's why there's certainly no Buffy Summers and arguably Abbey Bartlet or Betty Draper.

2. These are not my graphics. I suck at making graphics. I trawled through Tumblr and went out like a thief (but I"m crediting!)

3. Maybe I got a little overzealous with the quotes- but I really wanted to find quotes that I don't see around a lot but I absolutely love, especially from the more verbose characters. But I also wanted to focus on the barn-burners, especially from shows that really don't get a play on the Internet like The Sopranos.


WILLOW ROSENBERG- BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

Willow: Look! We found stairs! Buffy didn't find stairs, no sir!

Willow: Don't worry. I won't do anything that could be interpreted as brave.

Willow : I feel lousy.
Giles : Turkey came out rather splendidly.
Buffy : Oh, it was yummy.
Willow : It's just...Did you see me? Two seconds of conflict with an indigenous person, and I turned into General Custer.

Willow: Mom! I'm not acting out - I'm a witch. I make pencils float. I can summon the four elements! Well - two elements - but four soon! (then) And I'm dating a musician!



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Buffy: We need to find him. Ampata's the mummy. Willow: Oh. (absorbs the information and smiles) Good. (realizes its implication) Xander!

Willow: Well, what's their ultimate agenda? I mean, okay, yeah, they-they neuter vampires and demons. But then what? Are they gonna reintegrate them into society? Get them jobs as bagboys at Wal-Mart?


2. CJ CREGG- THE WEST WING

C.J.: The president said he wanted deficit reduction worked into this budget. I said it should be 50%. Was that not clear?
Herb: We thought it was along the lines of, "I'd like a pony".
Fred: Nobody actually expects to get the pony.
C.J.: I want the pony.

C.J.: The President will be monitoring the situation in the China Sea as well as Hartsfield's Landing. Any of the new people not know about Hartfield's Landing? Hartsfield's Landing is a town in New Hampshire. Population 63. While the rest of New Hampshire goes to the polls at 8 AM tomorrow, all of the 42 registered voters of Hartsfield vote at one minute past midnight, or a little over two hours from now. Hartsfield has accurately predicted the winner in every presidential election since William Howard Taft, who, by the way, was founder of the seventh-inning stretch wherein we sing, "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," music and lyrics by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer. It's all part of the service here at Claudia's House of Useless Knowledge. That's a full lid. Thank you very much.

C.J.: Look, they take this job away from me, I got nothing. I don't have a cat. I could get one, but I don't have one. Frankly, I'm not wild about cats. I don't hate them. I'm just not... I could learn to like them, I guess, if I...



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C.J.: You guys are like Butch and Sundance peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder-filled rapids 300 feet below, thinking you better not jump 'cause there's a chance you might drown. The President has this disease and has been lying about it, and you guys are worried that the polling might make us look bad? It's the fall that's gonna kill ya.

C.J.: National Organization for Women's gonna hate that.
JOSH: I know.
C.J.: Women seeking abortions should not be required by law to be lectured at.
JOSH: Yeah, but you're gonna help me out there, right?
C.J.: Yes, I will. I will once again betray the Sisterhood...Okay, I saw you, you, you, and you roll your eyes.
LARRY: You weren't even looking at me.
C.J.: I felt you.


3. SALLY DRAPER- MAD MEN

Sally Draper: [to Joan] You have big ones. My mommy has big ones too. And I'm going to have big ones when I grow up.

Sally: Then why are you going?
Don: I'm not going. I'm just living elsewhere.
Sally: That's going. You say things and you don't mean them. And you can't just do that.

Sally: When I think about forever, I get upset. Like the Land O' Lakes butter has that Indian girl, sitting, holding a box. And it has a picture of her on it, holding a box. With a picture of her on it, holding a box. Have you ever noticed that?

Sally: Are you looking for a chick?
Don: I am
Sally: Miss Farrell told us about that when we went to the farm. But she says that those eggs can never become a chicken, even though they come out of a chicken.
Don: Why's that?
Sally: Because they're from the store! And you know what else? If you hold an egg up and it has veins in it, you can shake it, then eat it.
Don: Really?
Sally: It's called addling.



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Sally: She went to Juilliard early.
Betty: She did? When?
Sally: Did you want her to say a tearful goodbye to you?
Betty: Well, frankly, yes.
Sally: Consider yourself lucky. She was so stuck-up. She kept saying how she really was going to "look back on this time fondly." She acts like she's 25 because she uses tampons.

Don: You need to make arrangements to be out of classes December 1st.
Sally: My calendar is full.
Don: Honey, you have to. It's the law.
Sally: Well, I wouldn't want to do anything IMMORAL. You know what? Why don't you just tell them what I saw?


4. ARYA STARK- GAME OF THRONES (Cersei Lannister was ridiculously close to being my Game of Thrones rep. Ask me tomorrow- the answer may be different!)

Beric: He was a good man, Ned Stark. He's at rest now, somewhere. I would never wish my life upon him.
Arya: [sadly] I would. You're alive.

Arya: You promised you'd help me.
Jaqen H'ghar: Help was not promised, lovely girl. Only death. There must be others. Give a name, any name.
Arya: And you'll kill them? Anybody?
Jaqen H'ghar: By the Seven New Gods and the Old Gods beyond counting, I swear it.
Arya: All right. Jaqen H'ghar.
Jaqen H'ghar: A girl gives a man his own name?
Arya: That's right.
Jaqen H'ghar: Gods are not mocked. This is no joking thing.
Arya: I'm not joking. A man can go kill himself.
Jaqen H'ghar: Un-name me.
Arya: No.
Jaqen H'ghar: *Please?*
Arya: I'll un-name you.
Jaqen H'ghar: Thank you.
Arya: *If* you help me and my friends escape.
Jaqen H'ghar: [scoffs] This would require more than one life. This is not part of our bargain.
Arya: Fine. Jaqen H'ghar.
Jaqen H'ghar: A girl lacks honor.




Arya: Joffrey... Cersei... Ilyn Payne... the Hound...
[Arya hears a woman prisoner crying, begging Polliver to give her some food. She watches Polliver beating the woman with a club]
Arya: ...Polliver... the Mountain.


5. CARMELA SOPRANO- THE SOPRANOS

Tony.: Besides bringing the fucking chairs down and sign the fucking trust! She was a grown woman who was kicked around. And she's been on her own and she had to fight and struggle!
Carmela: Unlike me? Is that it?
Tony: Yeah.
Carmela: [shouting] Who the fuck wanted it like this? Who the fuck pissed and moaned of just the idea of me with a fucking real estate license?
Tony: Well, you sit back for 20 fucking years all you did was fiddle with the air conditioning and fucking bitch and complain! And fucking bitch, bitch, bitch to me! TO YOUR PRIEST! FUCK IT!
Carmela: Who knew all this time you wanted Tracy and Hepburn? Well Tony, what about all the thousand other fucking pigs you had your dick in over the years? The strippers, the cocktail waitresses, were they all your best friends all of them too? You fucking hypocrite.

Carmela: This is such a crock of shit I'm sitting here thinking I should protect my children from the truth about their grandmother on the one hand. On the other I'm saying to myself what kind of example am I setting? Evading and smiling and passing out cheese puffs over a woman we know was terribly dysfunctional who spread no cheer at all
Hugh: I'll speak if I want to, who do you think you are? Minister of propaganda? We suffered for years under the guilt of that woman, years she estranged us from our own daughter ruined how many Goddamn Christmases I don't even want to count
Tom: Here here
Carmela: From beyond the grave even, this is a woman who didn't want a funeral. You, all her children, [pointing to Tony Janice and Barbara] ignored her wishes only after she passed away. By the way she didn't want a funeral. She didn't a remembrance of any kind. Why? She didn't think anybody would come. She wouldn't write down her memories for her grandchildren because she figured nobody loved her enough to read them because she knew there was a problem!










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Tony: Uncle Jun, how was Boca?
Junior: Wonderful. I don't go down enough.
Carmela: That's not what I heard.

Carmela: I am intimately acquainted with the Soprano curse. Your father, your uncle, your great-grandfather who drove the donkey cart off the road in Avellino, all of it.”

Carmela: The minute I met Tony, I knew who that guy was. On my second date, he brought me and my mother each a dozen roses and my father a $200 power drill.
Melfi: Not the typical story of young love.
Carmela: And I don't know if I loved him in spite of it..or because of it. Parents weren't like that. And I knew, whether consciously or not, I knew that behind that power drill, there was probably some guy with a broken arm, you know, or worse.
Melfi: And you coped with that, how?
Carmela: I'd go to my priest, and I would cry, and say how bad I felt about how my husband made his money, but that was bullshit. Because there are far bigger crooks than my husband.


6. ELAINE BENES- SEINFELD

Landis: [interviewing Elaine for a job] Not many people have grace.
Elaine Benes: Well, you know, grace is a tough one. I like to think I have a little grace. Not as much as Jackie O...
Landis: You can't have a little grace. You either have grace or you don't.
Elaine Benes: Okay, fine. I have no grace.
Landis: And you can't acquire grace.
Elaine Benes: Well, I have no intention of getting grace.
Landis: Grace isn't something you can pick up at the market.
Elaine Benes: [annoyed] Alright, alright, look, I don't have grace, I don't want grace, I don't even say grace, okay?

Elaine Benes: Although one wonders if "War and Peace" would have been as highly acclaimed as it was if it was published under it's original name "War: What Is It Good For?"
Lippman: What?
Elaine Benes: Yes. Mr. Lippman. It was his mistress who insisted he called it "War and Peace." "War - What Is It Good For" [singing] Absolutely nothin'!






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Elaine Benes: What a dope! Uh... excuse me. Umm... I'm sorry. This is... this is kind of embarrassing but there's no toilet paper over here.
Jane: Are you talking to me?
Elaine Benes: Yeah. I just forgot to check. So if you could just spare me some.
Jane: No, I'm sorry.
Elaine Benes: What?
Jane: No I'm sorry, I can't spare it.
Elaine Benes: You can't spare it?
Jane: No, there's not enough to spare.
Elaine Benes: Well I don't need much. Just 3 squares will do it.
Jane: I'm sorry. I don't have a square to spare. Now if you don't mind.
Elaine Benes: 3 squares? you can't spare 3 squares?
Jane: No, I don't have a square to spare. I can't spare a square.
Elaine Benes: Oh, is it two-ply? Cause if it's two-ply, I'll take one ply. One ply, one, one! puny little ply, I'll take one measly ply.
Jane: Look, I don't have a square and I don't have a ply.
[She flushes and leaves]
Elaine Benes: No, no, no, no! Don't! Don't! I beg you!


7. ATIA OF THE JULII- ROME

Atia of the Julii: Octavian, my honey, who would you rather killed you?
Gaius Octavian: I'm old enough to take care of myself, mother.
Atia of the Julii: Oh, that's my brave boy.

Atia of the Julii: A large penis is always welcome!

Atia of the Julii: [to Livia] You are swearing now that some day... some day you will destroy me... Remember, far better women than you have sworn to do the same. Go and look for them now.

Atia of the Julii: I don't want to go north. North is ghastly.



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Atia: Whose glory is Octavia's marriage?
Octavius: For Rome.
Atia: Rome, who is he? I don't know him. Does he have a sister too?

Octavia: I was at an orgy, mother. It was an orgy.
Agrippa: EARLY, EARLY stages of an orgy. The Bacchic ritual hadn't begun!
Atia: You stupid drunken slut. It's that bitch Jocasta's fault, she the one that's led you astray.
Octavia: So, I was at an orgy. Who cares?
Atia: What do you think your brother will do if he finds out?...Whilst he's at the forum preaching piety and virtue to the plebs, you're at an orgy sucking slave cock?! How do you think that looks? He'll banish you at the very least.
Octavia: No, he won't...and I sucked no slave cock. Hadn't gotten to that part yet.


8. EMILY GILMORE- GILMORE GIRLS

Emily Gilmore: I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening. And I know you've heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear. You, young lady, your person and your existence, have never, ever been, not even for a second, included in that list.

Emily Gilmore: You do not just leave a person a note.
Emily Gilmore: [quoting the letter 16-year old pregnant Lorelai left for them] "Dear Mom and Dad, I'm in labor. See you later, Lorelai." You do not leave your house when you're having a baby without telling your mother. You say, "Excuse me, Mom, I'm having a baby, give a ride to the damn hospital!"

Sookie: I was just wondering if it's ok to set up a buffet in the dining room?
Emily: I don't know. What do you think Pennilyn Lott would do? You think she'd set it up in the dining room? Because personally I think we should toss some cheese cubes in the coffin, stuff some toothpicks in her mouth, and let the people go to town!






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LORELAI: Was that her real name -- Sweetie?
EMILY: No, her name was Melinda. Sweetie was a nickname.
LORELAI: Why?
EMILY: What do you mean, why?
LORELAI: I mean, how did they get Sweetie from Melinda?
EMILY: They didn't get Sweetie from Melinda. Sweetie is a nickname.
LORELAI: Yes, I know Sweetie was a nickname, but usually, a nickname comes from a version of your name, or there's a story behind the name or something.
EMILY: She was sweet. That's the story.
LORELAI: Okay.
EMILY: She had a very sweet nature.
LORELAI: Hm.
EMILY: Well, what kind of story did you want, Lorelai?
LORELAI: No, that's fine. She was sweet. They called her Sweetie. It's a good story.
EMILY: No, really. Exactly what kind of story about my recently departed friend would amuse you?
LORELAI: Mom, it's not to amuse me. It's --
EMILY: All right, fine. Sweetie's father was a very poor man -- so poor that Sweetie and her four siblings all had to sleep in a hollowed-out tree trunk because the house was only big enough for their parents. One winter, there was no food, so Sweetie crawled out of her trunk, wrapped her feet in newspaper, and walked forty miles in the snow to the nearest town, where she stumbled into a candy store. The owner took pity on her and gave her bags of candy, a dill pickle, and drove her back to her family. He promptly offered a job to her father, who gladly accepted and eventually owned that store and turned it into one of the most important candy emporiums in the world. And that is how she got the name Sweetie. There, how was that?
LORELAI: Now, that was a pretty good story.

9. CARRIE MATHISON- HOMELAND (Arguably, my most controversial choice. Even with myself. In the limited places that I find Homeland conversation on the 'net, it's bashing Carrie. She's a VERY difficult character- the rugged action heroine but with all of the messy toxic qualities of a grim dark male hero from the alcoholism to the inability to connect with her kid to the ill-advised, manipulative sexual liaisons. And those qualities don't exist separate from her work- they're baked in. But then on top of that, she bothers the trendy social justice people and the law order types alike because she's flops widely from being a wooly-headed "everyone deserves a second chance" idealistic softie in how she prosecutes to being a rock-ribbed virulent pursuer of terrorist who venerates the CIA and its need for absolute power and refuses conventional displays of guilt when innocent people die and get hurt from the war that she's fighting.

However, while I've been frustrated with how she flip-flops on her own War on Terror and how she's led to one position or another by her particular passion or indignation of the day, I'm appreciating it more as portrait of how fifteen years after 9/11, most people don't know exactly how to feel on the War on Terror and the role of the US in that conflict.

Carrie Mathison: How did you swing this?
Carrie Mathison: Swing what?
John Redmond: Four days ago, I got the call tapping me as chief. Then yesterday, Lockhart suddenly reverses his decision.
Carrie Mathison: What?
John Redmond: That's a perfectly innocent question.
Carrie Mathison: You really want to know how I did it? I asked nicely.
[pauses] Oh, and, John? Clean yourself up. I can smell the booze from here.

Carrie Mathison: It reeks, you know, your bullshit. Do I want to be friends with a demented ex-soldier who hates America, who decided that strapping on a bomb was what the answer to what ailed him, despite his daughter, his son, people who loved him in real life and not in the mind-fuck world of Abu Nazir? Who in the end didn't have the stones to go through with it but had no problem sending me to the nuthouse? Yeah... no thanks. I don't think I need a friend like that.
Nicholas Brody: Ok. Not friends.
Carrie Mathison: So what are you going to do now, you going to kill me? Blame it on rough sex, maybe? How long can you get away with something like that?
Nicholas Brody: I've had a pretty good run so far... I seem to be good at this, if nothing else.



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Carrie Mathison: So what do you say... when people ask you what it was like over there?
Nicholas Brody: As little as possible.
Carrie Mathison: But if they insist?
Nicholas Brody: I lie. Tell them stories they want to hear.
Carrie Mathison: It's the lies that undo us. It's the lies we think we need to survive. When was the last time you told the truth?


10. DIANE LOCKHART- THE GOOD WIFE

Diane: I just don’t wanna be blind sided.
Will: Have you noticed that you’re turning into me? All those sports metaphors?
Diane: A better version of you.

Judge Cuesta: You know you only have four hours left, counselor.
Diane: I do, Your Honor. It’s very dramatic.
Geneva: Objection! The defense is trying to manipulate your affection for the dramatic, Your Honor.



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Diane: You know why I was made partner? Jonas Stern was sued for sexual harassment, and he needed to show that he had a female partner. That's all. When the door that you have been knocking at finally swings open, you don't ask why, you run through. That is the simple fact. No one is here to make it comfortable for you. No one is here to appreciate your moping, so this is my advice to you, take a minute for yourself, put on your best gracious voice, find a way to wear a smile, and then come into the conference room ready to thank the equity partners for giving you this opportunity. Because what is given can quickly be taken away.

Alicia: If I were a man, you would never have asked me that.
Diane: Oh, come on. This is about two people trying to run a law firm. This has nothing to do with sexism.


(In a pattern, I just love Diane for saying what's what to Alicia and shattering Alicia's faux-sanctimony. I know that Alicia got the last word and the storm out in that last sexism exchange- but I'll just leave it as Diane's last word because that's the one that I virulently agreed with.

This is a Alicia Florrick-appreciative LJ but I scoff at St. Alicia, as I would on anyone being called a Saint BUT ESPECIALLY Alicia who I don't even regard as a particularly good person by any standards including her own show's.)

Honorable Mentions (besides the ones I already named from the same TV shows): Tara Thornton (True Blood), Skylar White (Breaking Bad), Taystee Jefferson (Orange is the New Black), Juliette Barnes (Nashville), Annie Edison (Community)

You know, it's really a failure on Downton Abbey's part that I just watched the series finale a few days ago. I did enjoy it. I should be feeling sentimental. It had a lot of female characters. But I can't get excited about any of them to put them on the Top 10 or even the Honorable Mention list.

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THIS POST!!

Diane Lockhart, I LOVE HER! I'm actually not following this last season, I got bored at some point, but I think I'm gonna catch up with the last episodes because I wanna see how it ends. Diane is my fave lady.

Arya and Sally, tiny sassy girls! Emily Gilmore, so underrated! I love them! And also Willow.


The Good Wife's definitely gone downhill. For starters, less Diane! I'm in it till the bitter end, though. As a mostly-procedural, it can't go too wrong when there's an interesting case. It just doesn't fire on as many character and long-term arc cylinders.

Ha! I was thinking about Arya's and Sally's similarities once I started the post. (If I'd picked Cersei, it'd be about Cersei's and Atia of the Julii's deeper similarities.) I love them. Matt Weiner made a comment the other day that if he was doing to a spin-off of MM, it'd be about Sally because of all the characters, that's who he's really interested in how she ends up and that's all down to Kiernan. And I agree. It's really a tall order for a small child to end up as one of or the most interesting character on an emphatically adult TV show like MM or Game of Thrones. It's partly the writing- but I think I give most credit to how Maisie and Kiernan are prodigies. I mean, Arya is great in the books too- or at least the first one that I read. However, I think it's a reality that books lend themselves more to children's story than film/TV. That's certainly the case for Bran. In part because child actors aren't as experienced, but also because of the rules and gymnastics on how to direct a child in a grown-up show. Like how Kiernan wasn't allowed to watch MM until like just before S7 aired because she was too young so she was operating without context on the other scenes. And because children usually don't take part in the visual salacious appeal- and it's groundbreaking that Arya is in such bloody scenes and Sally is in such sexual scenes.

Speaking of spinoff, Emily is who I'm most interested in seeing in the revival. That played a role in why she beat Lorelai and Rory today.

Always Willow = <3

Edited at 2016-03-12 06:30 pm (UTC)

Hey all the great people from the shows I watch! And I love Carmella from, uh, the first six eps of The Sopranos. (One of these days...I will get to seven.)

"A girl lacks honor" seems like something that could be a tagline for many here -- where "honor" is NOT the same as goodness. Willow, Sally, Arya, and to some degree Elaine and Diane have that...upstart subversiveness and ethical pragmatism (within the respective bounds of their series). So too do Buffy and Skyler in different ways. With Sally and Diane especially there's also an awareness of their own privilege (in the ways that they have it) and ambivalence about it. (This is also true-ish of Buffy, but it's a little different -- what I'm talking about is not "superiority-inferiority" complexes, but Sally being told by Don that she is a beautiful person and will have to cope with that, or Diane's speeches to Alicia.) Cersei has some of the upstart subversion but fundamentally believes or wants to believe in Lannister privilege which puts her in a different category of sorts (I think it's true of Carrie too but I haven't watched enough Homeland to be sure.)

LOL @ Diane vs. Alicia. (Also Geneva is perfect in that line. I haven't seen season seven yet; I hope that there is some opportunity for Geneva to do something cool. She reads to me like she is perpetually caught at the moment in her development where Lilah was when she started desperately milling around for her gun in her purse in "Dead End" -- distracted, panicked, harried, and also somehow afraid to speak up for herself, quietly simmering and sad, without ever actually passing through to the next phase.)

"A girl lacks honor" seems like something that could be a tagline for many here -- where "honor" is NOT the same as goodness. Willow, Sally, Arya, and to some degree Elaine and Diane have that...upstart subversiveness and ethical pragmatism (within the respective bounds of their series).

I really love this! I adore "A girl has no honor" as a theme for my favorites! IMO, it also applies to CJ Cregg, Juliette Barnes, Annie Edison, Taystee Jefferson, and Tara Thornton.

I know what you mean about awareness of privilege when it comes to Sally/Diane versus Buffy and then Arya/Willow. It's clear question of the universe and the role of the characters. A physically dangerous world where Buffy/Arya/Willow are child soldiers, by turns hunted and brutally by malignant people but also ignored or suspect by other people. Or Sally and Diane living the One Percenter life of peace, despite their challenges and Sally's trauma, especially Betty's looming death at the very end.

Thinking about it, Sally and Diane do use their IMO ultimate privilege of wealth as a shield against their more personal slings and arrows of oppression. In some weird ways, they almost embrace the classist and hierarchical nature of their world or perform embracing it to twist things to their advantage. And that's what makes them survivors- even though they occupy a rarified place in the world and in Sally's case, she's been handed it as a child. (Of course, it's highly plausible that Sally grows up into a Diane! The age is even about right.) It gets to the heart of Diane's "I'm a wealthy partner because I swallowed the indignity of being used for my gender. Checkmate, my success proves that it was the right move." I think it's even of a piece of how Diane positions herself as Alicia's benevolent, trail-blazing mentor who THUS ACTUALLY HAS DISCIPLINING POWER over Alicia because Will did act like a man and hired Alicia because he had a crush on her and that's a male senior partner's cliched prerogative and while Diane had to accept that, she could use her hard-fought power and reputation as a feminist attorney to get some control over the situation, including supervisory power over Alicia during the hiring process so Lockhart Gardner's associate hiring process is something other than Will's dating service.

Or Sally dealing with seeing Don in flagrante by applying to Miss Porters and Don's money and Betty/Henry's prestige guaranteeing her admission or Sally expecting Glenn's awe at Don's apartment will grease the wheels on a better date, despite his gender/age power or even how Sally really commits to her family as the upper-class cliche of a piece of work mom and a dad who remarried a woman whose practically Sally's age when she performs in front of her Miss Porters' friends.

Now, Cersei does that twisting of her inherited status to beat the slings and arrows of her other forms of oppression all the time. However, obviously, it's both more offensive and less subversive than how Sally and Diane do it. It's cool how Diane beating back Alicia's "I personally don't feel honored and genuflected to enough" dressed up as feminism/integrity crusading is a little reminiscent of Sally beating back Glenn's rationalizations for enlisting in Vietnam for Social Justice pro-civil rights reasons. "You know what? Have fun at Playland. Just remember that those kids are the same age as the one's you're going to be murdering in Vietnam!"

Edited at 2016-03-12 08:17 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I mean, Buffy, Willow and Arya have some specific sorts of privilege, whether it's slayer powers, some economic security & genius intellect, or having the one father in Westeros with both the means and the inclination to arrange and encourage fighting lessons for a young woman. However these are pretty heavily blunted by the downsides that come with the life they are thrust into. There is some ambivalence in Diane and Sally about their life, but they are more clear on the ways in which they have specific advantages that give them a leg up on *avoiding*/traversing major problems which others don't have, as opposed to "things that slightly mitigate the horror of being a child soldier with loved ones dropping left and right violently." Whereas, Cersei recognizes that there is injustice in the way men vs. women are treated but largely believes that she is indeed superior to all other women.

It's interesting. I think I would see Diane as somewhat crass if I thought Alicia really did have a Saint Alicia objection to the partnership offer -- which is to say, a genuine feeling that since she has not earned the partnership, she should not take it under false pretenses. However the idea does seem basically to be that she believes she has earned the partnership and it is difficult for her ego to find out that the partnership was not all on the up and up. (I'm reminded of Skip's comment about Cordelia's ascension. It takes more than three years to make partner In The Universe legitimately, too.)

I think Alicia had a mix of an ego/St. Alicia objection to the partnership. Alicia was under the impression that she deserved it and it hurt her ego to find out that it was a partly a scheme to raise money. However, she never really acted like she wanted to turn it down. Instead, Alicia was somewhat fishing for an affirmation that her legal acumen earned her the partnership along with an opportunity to make a "righteous" stand against that improper way of doing business so Alicia could feel like she told truth to power before she inevitably accepted the partnership. Diane resented both, knowing that Alicia remained interested in accepting the partnership. Diane was annoyed that Alicia wanted an extra pat on the back as if being made partner in a big firm (albeit a little down on its luck) wasn't enough and that Alicia was acting morally above the place where she works and where she wanted to accept the partnership. And I think Diane knows that Alicia would probably do the same slightly unorthodox money-raising if she was a partner, walking a mile in Diane's Manolo Blahniks, because Diane's seen Alicia pull clever fast ones to advantage her firm and herself constantly and heck, that's partly why Alicia was made partner.

Of course, Diane wasn't 100 percent right. She and Will did hide the ball on all of the reasons why they were making Alicia partner. Although IIRC, Alicia knew the firm was having financial problems and could make an educated choice on whether she had enough faith in L&G to put up a capital contribution. And to me, that's the germane point. (Plus even though the firm was a little strapped, my impression is that the equity partners were will taking home nice pay, better than associate pay.) As long as no one is conning anyone, it's an OK way to raise money as long as Alicia's partnership agreement is still honored after the firm raised enough money to get past the hurdle. (Which it absolutely was.) As the show explores, it that scheme was unfair to anyone, it was unfair to a young associate who was on that border to make partner because of merit but hasn't accumulated wealth. And they weren't a part of Alicia's decision-making. Although even then, Alicia really does have her advantages and challenges from how she's a middle-aged woman who used the first part of her life to marry well. I think it overall helps and pushes her over the top (case in point, the Carey v. Alicia competition in S1) but Alicia, in her way, did "earn" the cachet to be a source for a partnership contribution and a partner-of-interest because of her husband and she suffers from those choices every day on a personal level.

I will add though Betty's imminent death strips some of Sally's privilege, especially in context for how her life progressed from 6 to 16 which is its own skyscraper descent although shaded with her own greater power to make her voice heard and be aware of the situation as she precociously matured. She still has a lot of advantages. However even more than the other Draper kids, she's really taunted with the better childhood she could have had if Betty and Don made healthier choices.

However, of course, that has a role in Arya's and Buffy's story too- a dramatic come-down as a child. But yeah, Arya and Buffy were plunged into a war and Sally wasn't and that's an overpowering difference. You could argue that Willow also had a come-down as a child as she was plunged into the war and had to deal with death and tragedy and injuries- but IMO, Willow only somewhat sees it like that and puts it out of her mind (but it's there- see her reaction to Vamp Xander's manipulation) until arguably Buffy's death and certainly Tara's death. Arya feels the pain of the come-down, partly because she imagined a fun life as a rough knight as a high-born girl and reality ended up being a horror-show version of that. For Buffy, it's the opposite where Buffy had Sansa-expectations who had to live as an Arya. Their arc is direct refutation of pre-series expectations. Willow didn't have exciting expectations pre-series- so even horror feels like at least a *life* since it comes with the camaraderie and productivity of soldiering.

Edited at 2016-03-12 09:32 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I agree. Also:

"but Alicia, in her way, did "earn" the cachet to be a source for a partnership contribution and a partner-of-interest because of her husband and she suffers from those choices every day on a personal level."

Absolutely. In s6, Cary earns a *lot* of cachet from the Bishop case, which I think puts him in a worse overall worst-case-scenario position than Alicia is really in. But before then -- like, Alicia's hands are tied by her difficult, bad marriage, which is also necessary for her to continue ahead at the firm. I wish that they had been able to examine a little more of the Will-Peter dichotomy actually in how Alicia's relationships with those men help and hinder her -- I mean, obviously they spent a lot of time on it, but what I mean is there are *SPECIFIC* issues that they could have dwelt on more, like, for example, if Will would have to ask Alicia for favours from Peter more, or the extent to which Alicia needs to be on good terms with both men in order to keep her place at LG secure. I mean, it sort of went there. I'm not sure exactly what I want that I didn't get.

(My name is William and yet I *still* almost wrote "Willow" when I typed out "Will," which is a little disturbing.)

Agree on Willow vs. Buffy and Arya. The real issue is that Willow did not particularly feel she had a life before Buffy's arrival, as you say. Willow *is* ambivalent, even from "The Pack," about Buffy's arrival and what it means, but the biggest thing that she was conscious of losing is Xander. (Well, "and Jesse" if we take that on board. Jesse occupies not much space in my headcanon, to be honest.) She lost a certain amount of security, but it's hard for her to perceive that as a loss when her relative security pre-series didn't bring her any happiness. But with Xander, there is the "three's not company anymore" realization that Buffy's presence has disrupted them. I think that Tara's loss, and to some extent Buffy's, was what really clued her into what she lost because of *this life*, though it's still hard for her to be nostalgic about the pre-WttH time until Xander tells her that there was *something* in kindergarten-Willow worth preserving, after which I think she's much more clearly aware of the costs of this life (with "Anywhere But Here" as one of the clearest statements in the Buffyverse about the personal cost of staying in the fight).

It occurs to me that "I have no grace" is also kind of in the "a girl lacks honour" category.

Oh hey, I just found this out, did you know that Joss stated in the Serenity Visual Companion that the book he read immediately after The Killer Angels, which *also* inspired Firefly, was a book about Jewish Resistance Fighters in WW2? I know we can interpret this as PROBLEMATIC but I think it's more that there are genuinely heroic aspects of the Serenity crew's rebellion (esp. when it comes to sheltering the Tams) in addition to the more ambiguous civil war stuff.

wish that they had been able to examine a little more of the Will-Peter dichotomy actually in how Alicia's relationships with those men help and hinder her -- I mean, obviously they spent a lot of time on it, but what I mean is there are *SPECIFIC* issues that they could have dwelt on more, like, for example, if Will would have to ask Alicia for favours from Peter more, or the extent to which Alicia needs to be on good terms with both men in order to keep her place at LG secure. I mean, it sort of went there. I'm not sure exactly what I want that I didn't get.

No, I know what you mean. The Peter/Alicia/Will dynamic and how it relates with romance and her career is really explored- but yeah, there's some honest dimension that's missing. For me, it's that when Alicia is actively fighting with one guy, she's cozy and getting favors from the other. While Will's alive, we never quite see exactly what Alicia is made of as Our Heroine or more pointedly, we never see the converse of how she relies on at least one guy in her corner at all times by seeing her unable to call on/use both for help. If Will is painted as pointedly mean, suddenly Peter gets warmed and fuzzied up to be Alicia's guy.

Even though Alicia's the main character, she still doesn't get a story as interesting as supporting!Joan in S5 when Joan's had it with being Roger's Rich Man's Mistress and she's finally thrown Greg out.

Agree on Willow vs. Buffy and Arya. The real issue is that Willow did not particularly feel she had a life before Buffy's arrival, as you say. Willow *is* ambivalent, even from "The Pack," about Buffy's arrival and what it means, but the biggest thing that she was conscious of losing is Xander. (Well, "and Jesse" if we take that on board. Jesse occupies not much space in my headcanon, to be honest.)

I agree with this too, especially how Willow mainly feels losing Xander and Jesse isn't a big part of my pre-series head-canon. TBH, my main head canon for Jesse is that there were times that Xander was insensitive and gravitated to Jesse even though Willow was his true best friend and that was a part of Willow's pre-series insecurity and part of why Xander, despite his home insecurity, was more surface at-ease socially. Other than that, I have little use for pre-series Jesse to screw with my Xander/Willow =BFF opinions or as some stick to beat Xander/Willow/Joss Whedon for their The Harvest reactions by viewing him as super meaningful, although I get the impulse.

You know, I could see S1 Arya having fun if Ned figured out that he was a target and he gathered up Arya and Sansa to run away and hide out in the woods to make a perilous, adventure filled journey back up to Winterfell. Sansa'd hate it and Ned would be too clued into the danger and the loss of his position enjoy himself, but Arya could really like adventure if she just had her family alive and she convinced herself that the rest of her family was safe at home base of Winterfell. It's just how the murder of her father inaugurated her life as a boy-soldier that destroyed the whole life from the get-go.

Willow is much the same way. I don't want to underrate what losing Jenny meant to Willow, but Jenny died in school doing a computer project. Her motive was evil-fighty but she didn't die in action. It was just a much a cautionary tale to protect civilians doing peaceful activities in Sunnydale human turf as any Student Death #3432. Willow starts having regrets about The Life when Buffy died and then is filled with regret over their war when Tara dies because Tara stays dead. Willow really can't be all, "And that all worked out OK!" ala Angel about deaths that stick.

It occurs to me that "I have no grace" is also kind of in the "a girl lacks honour" category.


LOL.


Oh hey, I just found this out, did you know that Joss stated in the Serenity Visual Companion that the book he read immediately after The Killer Angels, which *also* inspired Firefly, was a book about Jewish Resistance Fighters in WW2? I know we can interpret this as PROBLEMATIC but I think it's more that there are genuinely heroic aspects of the Serenity crew's rebellion (esp. when it comes to sheltering the Tams) in addition to the more ambiguous civil war stuff.

I didn't know that. Actually, I don't even want to be the girl who cries out Problematic but I'd be cooler if Serenity was inspired just by WWII resistance fighters than particularly Jewish resistance fighters. I agree that there were heroic aspects to the Serenity crew, but no one but River was being hunted for their intrinsic qualities since birth and yeah, the conflict in Firefly didn't seem nearly as morally clear-cut as WWII.

Although, I don't find the Jewish resistance fighters as obnoxious as comparing the outer planets + Serenity crew to the American Confederacy without any evidence of racial slavery en masse. And the Serenity crew diametrically opposed to any slavery that they encountered from a particular planet- i.e. Jaynestown. IMO, the Serenity crew aren't quite Jewish resistance fighters but they're closer to the former than the American Confederacy!

No, I know what you mean. The Peter/Alicia/Will dynamic and how it relates with romance and her career is really explored- but yeah, there's some honest dimension that's missing. For me, it's that when Alicia is actively fighting with one guy, she's cozy and getting favors from the other. While Will's alive, we never quite see exactly what Alicia is made of as Our Heroine or more pointedly, we never see the converse of how she relies on at least one guy in her corner at all times by seeing her unable to call on/use both for help. If Will is painted as pointedly mean, suddenly Peter gets warmed and fuzzied up to be Alicia's guy.

Even though Alicia's the main character, she still doesn't get a story as interesting as supporting!Joan in S5 when Joan's had it with being Roger's Rich Man's Mistress and she's finally thrown Greg out.


Ha, I think that's exactly it. And while Alicia can reject Peter (to different degrees) after Will's death, she still "gets to" idealize her/Will and see him as the one that got away, rather than someone she actively has to choose to keep away from permanently while also avoiding Peter. I don't actually think that her whole story should be *only* rejecting both, but given how much focus those ships have on the show and on how Alicia defines herself (and how her career goes...) it is an omission that there is no period where that is true. I think that they missed the opportunity to have Alicia...totally on board with both guys. I think there were some periods where this was true-ish (where she was on okay terms with both).

In actuality there are three powerful men in Alicia's life consistently in the show (up until Will's death) (four if you count Eli who I don't because he's too closely associated with Peter, five if you count Zach because I don't think his hacking is at power levels yet, six if -- well anyway), where Cary is the third. And Cary is the one case where there's no romantic tension, and is probably the healthiest relationship. In a way Cary, Will and Peter all have different strengths and weaknesses (advantages/disadvantages) as lawyers but especially as men. I think the answer might be that if she were most distant from Will or Peter, she'd get cozier with Cary, not romantically but, well, what actually happened (merger).

I really wanted to find quotes that I don't see around a lot but I absolutely love, especially from the more verbose characters.

I had the same dilemma. Some quotes are classics for a reason but I always feel the impulse to dig out something more obscure. :D

Jaqen H'ghar: A girl lacks honor.

:'DDD

I still haven't gotten very far into The Sopranos (I found it pretty exhausting to watch, I need more energy before I can go back to it) but I adored Carmela from the moment she adjusted her wine glass so she could throw it in Tony's face if need be. Heh heh heh.

This is a Alicia Florrick-appreciative LJ but I scoff at St. Alicia, as I would on anyone being called a Saint BUT ESPECIALLY Alicia who I don't even regard as a particularly good person by any standards including her own show's.

THANK!!!!!!!! I appreciate Alicia as a character, but fandom buying into her own press can be irritating, LOL. IMO she's a narrative archetype we've been somewhat oversaturated with in recent years... I think it's in the very late stages of deconstruction and/or dying out, though.

Emily Gilmore: I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening. And I know you've heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear. You, young lady, your person and your existence, have never, ever been, not even for a second, included in that list.

I remember this episode! It's Gilmore Girls at its best. The show looks so bright and fluffy and yet it has some really hardcore undertones that can bubble to the surface and make for great drama. I thought Richard was going to have a heart attack when he got all red in the face with Christopher's parents.

I would have seriously considered putting CJ and Diane on my list, only I didn't think it was fair to include characters where I hadn't even watched a full season of their shows. Though on the other hand I think it speaks to their awesomeness as characters that I love them despite not really getting into their shows...

Edited at 2016-03-12 08:23 pm (UTC)

I had the same dilemma. Some quotes are classics for a reason but I always feel the impulse to dig out something more obscure. :D


I know, right? And I don't want to be lopsided with the characters too. CJ Cregg/Carmela Soprano talked A LOT over their seven season character-driven shows, more than two-season show (Atia) or a procedural where most dialogue advances the weekly plot (Diane).

I remember this episode! It's Gilmore Girls at its best. The show looks so bright and fluffy and yet it has some really hardcore undertones that can bubble to the surface and make for great drama. I thought Richard was going to have a heart attack when he got all red in the face with Christopher's parents.

I recently wrote elsewhere that Emily and Richard's approval was VERY conditional and that's problematic. However, their *love* for Lorelai and Rory couldn't be more unconditional. I love how Lorelai experiences it in that ep in multiple ways. Richard getting red in the face against the Haydens, but also Richard still holding a grudge against Lorelai for running away with Rory.

CJ and Diane are so inspiring! I have a bit of a predilection for dark or socially awkward characters. But CJ and Diane really bring a humanity to being....always witty, always brilliant, classy, expensively dressed and perfectly coiffed career women who've reached the top of their influential, powerful fields. I never feel like I'm watching a standard Strong Female Character TM just set up to be admired, but instead real, but exceptional people. Of course, the writing is a big part of that but Allison Janney and Christine Baranski are the irreplaceable ingredient. I hope you get around to watching TWW and The Good Wife!

CJ Cregg/Carmela Soprano talked A LOT over their seven season character-driven shows

xDDD

I recently wrote elsewhere that Emily and Richard's approval was VERY conditional and that's problematic. However, their *love* for Lorelai and Rory couldn't be more unconditional. I love how Lorelai experiences it in that ep in multiple ways. Richard getting red in the face against the Haydens, but also Richard still holding a grudge against Lorelai for running away with Rory.

YES. That aspect of Lorelai's relationship with her parents drives so much of the show, and the actors play it brilliantly. Like the scene where Emily says (re: Christopher) that "He adores you, he's always adored you, but you keep him at arm's length, just like you keep everyone at arm's length!" And then the fight devolves to the point where Emily just yells as an ultimatum, when you get pregnant YOU GET MARRIED, IT'S WHAT YOU DO!!! Or the scene where Emily's so deeply hurt because Lorelai didn't tell her she was having money problems because she just doesn't want to be indebted to Emily. Or the ep where Rory stayed out all night by accident and Lorelai and Emily fell asleep waiting for her and they have a huge blow-out about it because it reminds them of Lorelai getting pregnant by Christopher. The show doesn't sugarcoat or oversimplify any of it and watching Lorelai trying to navigate that tricky space between knowing and appreciating just how much her parents love her, while wanting to live in a way they haven't sanctioned and struggling with the fact that they try to impose their own POV/interpretation of events on her. It's just an amazing story. And it was fascinating to hear ASP's direct thoughts on it in that interview you quoted to me. It's definitely one of her Pet Themes and I'm curious to see how it pops up in the revival.

But CJ and Diane really bring a humanity to being....always witty, always brilliant, classy, expensively dressed and perfectly coiffed career women who've reached the top of their influential, powerful fields. I never feel like I'm watching a standard Strong Female Character TM just set up to be admired, but instead real, but exceptional people.

SO MUCH THIS. IDK I find it hard to find portrayals of Professional Women that really deeply satisfy me, at least as a percentage of the total # of narratives out there. There's always something that chafes or doesn't quite click. But CJ and Diane are pretty much perfection, IMO. Just glorious.

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