This time I will list my favorite leading female characters because I managed to finish this list before the supporting list of males I consider as best – basically, I’m having trouble with my men. Totally opposite situation is taking place with the ladies, where I managed to write down a list three times faster and I’m surprisingly content how the final arrangement came out.
Yet again, there are no more than one character from one show present in this list because I wanna have a bit more variety than that. Addition to that, general theme of my favorite leading females seems to be humor or at least some form of comedic value. I tend to like my women funny as supposed to serious and dramatic. Some exceptions of course but as I look at my final lineup, I would say that 90% of the characters do have a funny bone in their body and that just happens to be a question of taste. But if you think of it, the leading male list had also a lot of funny guys as well!
Those who almost made it to the list:
Hanna Marin in Pretty Little Liars, Fiona Gallagher in Shameless, Nora Walker in Brothers & Sisters, Belle in Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne in Revenge.
Carrie Mathinson in Homeland
Portrayed by Claire Danes
As the second season of Homeland is about to start, I keep going back to the thought of how amazing this character in that series actually was. My only and probably all time favorite serious female character who just had that extra something that made her so great. Carrie Matihnson is far from perfect and that is what I like about her, her mental state is shaky and as her illness progresses, everything about her falls apart except her ability to do her job. By the end of the first season she started to scare me a bit, not to mention her total breakdown which proved that Danes deserved the Golden Globe. I guess I also liked that I was literally afraid for her and the feeling of sympathy was overwhelming because while many female characters cause trouble for themselves, which I hate, Mathinson has it in her genes. But at the same time I hate her for being dishonest which makes her character embody contradiction and that is thrilling in a good way.
Lorelai Gilmore in Gilmore Girls
Portrayed by Lauren Graham
When I developed an unstoppable need to drink an unhealthy amount of coffee every day, I knew Lorelai Gilmore had made an impression on me. Not to mention the similar need to be overly sarcastic and a bit goofy. She is the character who some might dislike a lot and others love to bits and pieces, I will be the one in the love category. She is funny, she is carefree, she is loyal and she doesn’t let her mistakes define who she is. I liked her from the moment I saw her, the character who I wished to be and not because she was a child-like grownup but because she is kind of a role model of parenting as well. Not that I would act as she would but I’d like to think that I would have such a close relationship with my daughter. I also want to add that Lauren Graham is also one of my favorites in the Parenthood series but I didn’t feel like her character was strong enough to make it to this list – besides her Braverman reminds me of Lorelai because they both are much more out there and very memorable! Great chemistry with Alexis Bledel who plays her daughter makes her worthy of being in this list for a very long time if not permanently.
Veronica Mars in Veronica Mars
Portrayed by Kristen Bell
First teenager to be listed as my favorite will be the clever detective named Veronica Mars and I’m proud to call myself a big fan. I liked the show which sadly ended way too soon (it had three seasons) because I loved this character too much to let go. She actually reminds me of Stiles Stilinski in a way that she as well is a character who embraces sarcasm a lot, not to mention the intelligence! Veronica solved crimes, she was the better version of Nancy Drew and I envy her a lot when it comes to brain and ability to learn new skills. I remember watching the show and wanting to be as cool as she was and that seems to be the kind of approach I’m taking with this list: I like those female characters I relate to or want to be like! And as I said, I would be honored to be as smart and witty as Veronica Mars because I would feel safe knowing all the details of my possible suitors if I ever had one. There’s nothing like a background check to tell a guy you are interested in him! In addition, I respect the way Veronica handled the typical teenage problems, rather than be like every other teenager on TV, she didn’t let those things define her – very Lorelai thing to do.
Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Portrayed by Sarah Michelle Gellar
I see a certain theme forming at this point, not only I like my women funny and sarcastic but my favorite female leads also embody the strength and willpower I lack of. Buffy Summers is a good example of that type of character and she is only made better by the sci-fi element of the show I re-visited couple of years ago and fell in love with. There haven’t been many girls like Buffy because while she is the so-called chosen one, she is also the popular girl in school. Contradicting the fact that not all misfits are great grounds for being superheros! I think that is why I like this character so much, instead of becoming popular she grew into being a better person and a part of a family that was nerdy and weird. Her relationships with vampires was much more appealing and compelling that the Twilight saga and less over the top than True Blood. All in all, when I think of Buffy I actually think of the whole series as a whole and I kind of like that about this character.
Pamela Swynford De Beaufort in True Blood
Portrayed by Kristin Bauer van Straten
Simply known as Pam, the prodigy of the viking Eric and now the owner of the bar I really want to go to, she is by far my favorite female vampire. Previously, Pam’s character portrayed the sass and personality everybody seemed to like but these couple of seasons have really showed her more softer side and my outlook on her changed. When her past was finally revealed I started to love her even more – she is strong now but she was as strong when she was merely a human! The only thing I do dislike about her character is her connection to Tara. I hate that strong minded and mostly stupid character and now I have to stand her while she is with Pam – hopefully not for long. I don’t get that but I can’t help myself to be a bit intrigued by this situation, Pam is such a classy vampire that she might end up turning Tara’s character around for me – influential like she is! I feel as if it is also important to mention that out of all the True Blood female leads, she is the only one I have loved from the beginning without constantly going back and worth – she came and she stayed as one of my favorites from season 1 and is still my favorite.
Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy
Portrayed by Sandra Oh
From all the ladies in the long running Grey’s Anatomy, which last finale is never going to be seen by me because I can’t stand the decision to kill off Lexie, Yang is the one I like the most. She has regularly been the best character out of all the mistake making leading roles with her own surprising take on life. From the strong and unbreakable woman to a weak yet determined doctor, Cristina has suffered a lot since the show begun. She has protected her man while risking her own career and she has loved a man but is not able to give him the baby he wants. I respect her and how she sees herself, even her decision not to be a mother because I find it logical and interesting. Not all the characters have that kind of permission to not become a mom, but Yang with her principles and love for her job, has those characteristic locked down. I don’t agree with her but man, I do appreciate her! And if you start to think of it, she has that dry and bit of a sarcastic vibe going on with her humor so no surprise she made it into the list.
Phoebe Buffay in Friends
Portrayed by Lisa Kudrow
Making it a bit higher on the female list than the leading man from the same series, Phoebe Buffay from Friends is probably my all time favorite naive blond with a kind heart! My cat has been named after her although the kitty possesses the personality of Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula, the other half of the funny and musical masseuse. Phoebe doesn’t need humor to protect herself but it sure seems like she is very good at it, not to mention the weird quirks she has in almost every episode about everything. The season I completely fell in love with her was the one where she met Mike (I know it was in the end but I felt like that was the moment she grew up) – I thought it just made her shine and her character just came to life! Everybody in their circle thought she was a bit weird and a lot out there (somewhere) but nobody ever judged her on that (except some doubting looks) because she did have a rough past which actually never got in her way. Thanks to Phoebe, we also saw her step-brother’s story line which is also one of the best ones from the show! As I write about her I can’t help myself to wonder off to think about her songs as well, those were just too crazy not to be funny!
Jessica Day in New Girl
Portrayed by Zooey Deschanel
More known as Jess, the quirkiness of Pheobe Buffay continues in a new show that is soon going to start off its second season. It took only a season to fall in love with this character, luckily not totally as weird as she was shown in the beginning, but still as loving and adorable. She gets along with the guys because they love her like a sister (or something more) and who wouldn’t? I feel like Jess is strongly connected to Zooey Deschanel’s own personality and that is infectious to a TV-show fanatic. I also feel like she as a person and as a character has a lot of room to grow, to become even more memorable and funny but I wouldn’t place her anywhere else in the list any time soon, she is the solid third place. Even though she reminds me a lot of the fourth place character, she is totally different but I can’t pinpoint it. Maybe it is the fact that Jess has troubles with love life because she is socially awkward in a way that it makes her uncomfortable while it makes the audience laugh.
Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries
Portrayed by Nina Dobrev
Cutting the funny with a character that is a bit more serious. So, not only is this woman undeniably beautiful from head to toe, she is smart and kind with a lot of courage underneath that fragile body. Elena was not my favorite from the start, she earned her right in the top of the list by being the opposite to the famous vampire lover Bella Swan – she didn’t want to be a vampire! The decision she made was groundbreaking for me and her character because finally there was a girl who didn’t want to live forever just because she was in love with a vampire. She saw the meaning of life as something she wanted to enjoy and go through like a normal person and I applaud Elena’s decision enthusiastically. Sadly, as the new season is approaching with the last seasons cliff-hanger being that she is now a vampire, her place in this list is definitely in jeopardy but I still respect the character for being different than all the other vampire girlfriends we’ve encountered these past few years. The strength to want to be human just shows how strong Elena actually is and I can’t help the fact that I might have a slight girl-crush on her as well.
Peyton Sawyer in One Tree Hill
Portrayed by Hilarie Burton
Starting off with this piece of information: Peyton Sawyer is hands down my favorite female character of all time! When I wrote down the title of the list she was immediately put down as # 1 and she will remain as such. She hasn’t even been on air anymore but she was on air a bit longer than some of the characters in this list but still far less than Pheobe Buffay for instance, yet she beats all the rest by a mile. To prove my love for this character I’m going to admit that I stopped watching One Tree Hill after she left the show – the show just needed Peyton and I wanted to remember OTH as great rather than mediocre. On to the character: my reasons of love for her go beyond her characteristics and mostly due to my own life experiences while I grew up watching the show. I connected to her and I wanted to be like her – strong and talented! She made a lot of mistakes but in the end her talent and passion for music gave her opportunities to start a successful career and life in general. Her relationship with Jake also happens to be my all-time favorite One-True-Pairing (in other words, OTP – how fangirl of me) – which leads me to a question… is anyone interested in seeing a list of my favorite true TV pairings?
PS: By looking at this list and having two more to write about the supporting roles, I’m quite happy with my TV character lists. I know I will need better systems while ranking them because I have trouble with my men at the moment and thinking of OTPs is already making my head hurt. Oh the sufferings of a fangirl/blogger – can’t go crazy over everything and has to organize her obsessions!