My Ode To Underrated Female Characters In Television

There are many female characters  I don’t believe get their adequate screen time or appreciation so here are some of my hand-picked favorites.

 

Also prepare for spoilers for some of these.

 

 

Mona Vanderwaal: Pretty Little Liars

 

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Things that make her great: Mona has literally been around since the pilot, and a season regular since season 3. Not only that but she is the Original A and probably the best so far (sorry über A but I don’t have faith you will pull anything off) Mona is a wealth of info and skill that the liars never seem to tap and always seem wary despite the fact she at this point is as much as a victim of as any of them.  She pretty much always helps when they ask or are too big of wimps to do something themselves. Full on kween status.

Things that get her overlooked: I think honestly the writers have no idea what to do with her now that she isn’t all Hannibal Lector-y in Radley anymore. They don’t want add her to the group because they already have an HBIC with Alison DiLaurentis and there isn’t enough screen time to add her with all the bullshit Ezria scenes that eat up the time.

 

 Harmony Kendall: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel

 

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Things that make her great: Harmony is pretty funny especially once she becomes a vampire. She also is an OG of the Buffyverse being the only character (besides Angel) to be in the unaired pilot of Buffy and the series finale of Angel. From being a mean girl at Sunnydale High to being an incompetent secretary at Angel Investigations she has delivered some of the best comic relief in the show’s history.

Things that get her overlooked: Harmony’s beginnings are pretty boring. At Sunnydale her character was pretty one note and sparsely used. She started to gain some fan favor in her later years on Buffy but she faded out of the show before she took off too big. On Angel the show’s last season was kind of a sinking ship so it was hard for viewers to notice her while the rest of the show is crashing.

 

Sheila Jackson: Shameless

 

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Things that make her great: Joan Cusack mostly.She is just a gem in that role and really brings animation to Sheila. An agoraphobic housewife who enjoys some pretty kinky bedroom play is like a mad lib from the gods. She also demonstrates the struggles of having an extreme anxiety disorder with real grace.

Things that make her overlooked: That show has a lot of drama going on and Sheila isn’t usually in the center of it so she is easy to look by. Shelia is mostly a supporting character who gets intermittent screen time but I would love to see more of her.

 

Maeby Funke: Arrested Development

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Things that make her great: Maeby is the neglected, snarky daughter we all can relate to. Maeby is smart and a go getter. She utilizes her parents absence to upstart a career in the film industry. She also might be a little self-serving but she adds that dry sarcasm that makes it worth it.

Things that get her overlooked: Mostly her parents (Lindsay and Tobias) are two of the funniest characters on the show and her weird incestual story line with Michael Cera is kind of a turn off.

 

Stacy Rowe: Daria

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Things that make her great: Stacy is for sure the sweetest of Sandy’s clique. She is the insecure welcome matt of the group but she shines in rare moments when she stands up for herself. She seems to care the most about Quinn and has her own interests and genuinely whats to be a good person but is like many high schoolers; a little lost.

Things that get her overlooked: Her whole thing is being overlooked.

 

Jill Price-Gray: Weeds

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Things that make her great: Jill is a controversial choice because she is kind of a bitch. Here is a true story, Nancy Botwin is the worst and needs someone to bring down a peg. Sure many people hate her and our hearts yearn for Celia but there is something so great about a sisterly distain.Also who doesn’t love a hyphen?

Things that get her overlooked: She’s not Celia Hodes.

 

Bonnie Swanson: Family Guy

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Things that make her great: Bonnie’s dry and subtle distaste for her husband Joe are honestly some of the secret best jokes on the show.Also Jennifer Tilly’s voice is iconic.

Things that get her overlooked: Bonnie isn’t very funny the first several seasons.

 

Madeline&Louise: Gilmore Girls

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Things them make them great: Honestly these girls, I tell ya. They are super realistic early 00’s girls compared to the hyper competitive classmates at Chilton. (I’m pretty sure Louise is wearing a puka shell necklace in the gif) These girls straight up care more about scoring some D versus getting into the Ivys AS THEY SHOULD. They are really loyal to Paris Geller for who knows what reason. She can’t add to their popularity yet they agree to her roller coaster of liking and hating Rory as Paris decrees.

Things that get them overlooked: Not enough screen time as they are basically lackeys and even though repetition is painful I still think it would’ve been wise to include them in the Yale lifestyle.

 

Joan Callamezzo: Parks and Rec

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Things that make her great: Ummm..have you met Joan Callamezzo?. She runs this town. She literally steals every scene she is in. Her “gotcha” stickers, her confession that she stole her gym teacher’s husband, and her blatant narcissism make anyone of us want to be on Pawnee Today.

Things that get her overlooked: Idiots over look Joan.

 

Hazel Wassername: 30 Rock

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Things that make her great: Hazel is the best combination of Jenna and Tracey. She shares Jenna delusion of fame but Tracey’s ridiculousness. Kristen Schaal (voice of Louise on Bob’s Burgers if you didn’t know) commits to this part beautifully and even nails their live episode.

Things that get her overlooked: Hazel is up against a steady stream of wonderful guest stars on 30 Rock.

 

Francine Smith: American Dad

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Things that make her great: American Dad in general is a dark horse in my opinion but Francine is the secret weapon. Her squeaky voice, her very traditional housewife persona, but also her don’t-give-a-fuck-joie-de-vivre is amazing. (I hope everyone enjoyed my french)

Things that get her overlooked: That whole show is overlooked.

 

Vanessa Bayer: SNL

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Things that make her great: I think Vanessa Bayer is a treasure. Bar Mitzvah Boy is one of my very favorite reoccurring characters. Her ability to shift from Hannah Montana, to a midwestern mom to Rachel Green to a russian model make her one of the most versatile cast members on the show.

Things that get her overlooked: Timing is the issue. Vanessa joined the show with Nasim Pedrad, and Abby Elliot (both who have since departed) while Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph was on the show so all of those girls had big shadows cast on them. Then Aidy Byrant, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong joined the show after the Kristen/Maya era and those girls are all amazing but she wasn’t quite in their pledge class so I believe she just joined at an awkward time.

 

Jocelyn: Bob’s Burgers

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Things that make her great: Jocelyn is voiced by the same actor as Linda Belcher (John Roberts) which is already win. She has some of the best one liners of the other school kids.

Things that get her overlooked: Jenny Slate as Tammy is kind of hard to share the stage with due to her dominating personality.

 

 

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