Saturday, 12 March 2011

Poll Result: who is TV's best female role model?

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Last week I asked you to vote for who you think is the best female role model on television. The actress who best represents what little girls should aspire to be when they grow up, essentially. The results were, perhaps inevitably, very worrying in places! Maybe a few people didn't quite understand what a role model is? We live in a world where Paris Hilton and Katie Price are considered role models, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. Of the 65 votes, here are the results:

There was absolutely no love for Glee's Amber Riley, Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn, V's Elizabeth Mitchell, Damages' Glenn Close, Chicago Code's Jennifer Beals, No Ordinary Family's Julie Benz, Glee's Lea Michele, Damages' Rose Byrne and True Blood's Rutina Wesley. I was very surprised Rose Byrne didn't receive any votes, particularly as she plays a very intelligent and principled lawyer on Damages. Surely that's someone women should aspire to become. Jennifer Beals also plays the "chief of all cops" in The Chicago Code, but that show's admittedly not very well-known right now. Maybe Beals would attract more votes if this poll was running in 2012.

5th. Anna Paquin & Indira Varma + others – 2.86%
The "other vote" option was used by just seven people, who believe the following women are great role models: Cheryl/Carol (Archer), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), June Brown (EastEnders), Amy Mason (Outcasts), Amber Tamblyn (House), Kirsty Young, and Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation.) A few nice picks there, but also some confusing ones. I'll leave you to decide which is which! Anna Paquin (True Blood) and Indira Varma (Human Target) received one vote each, from the suggested options on the poll itself.

4th. Elisabeth Moss, Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney - 5.71%
4th. Archie Panjabi, Christina Hendricks, Edie Falco - 5.71%
There was unfortunately a huge six-way tie for fourth place. Laura Linney (The Big C), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) & Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) The only concern I have here is wondering if people chose Edie Falco for playing strong female characters in Nurse Jackie and The Sopranos, or if people think her pill-popping character in the former is something to aspire to. I guess she has a proactive, compassionate side and stands up to the men in her life? My pick was Julianna Margulies, incidentally; intelligent, attractive, a great mother, good wife (of course), a fine mediator, respected, etc. It's hard to see a downside to her character Alisha Florick.

3rd. Karen Gillan - 8.57%
A surprise third place goes to Karen Gillan (Doctor Who), who plays The Doctor's boisterous companion Amy Pond. She's certainly a confident, intelligent young woman for people to look up to, like an older fun-loving sister, so I don't have too much of a problem. I just didn't think so many people would pick her as someone to tell your daughter/niece they should emulate -- and not just because she plays a strip-o-gram!.

2nd. Yvonne Strahovski - 14.29%
Second place goes to the lovely Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck), which is a more understandable placing. Tough, sexy, kind, loyal, friendly, physically capable, career-minded -- her character Sarah Walker has lots of good qualities. It's easy to see why you'd choose her as a positive role model, although there are perhaps moments when she can become too much of a sexual clotheshorse.

1st. Anna Torv - 17.14%
A few years ago, I would never have thought Anna Torv (Fringe) would win this poll, but she really found her groove this season as FBI Agent Olivia Dunham. Smart, sassy, intelligent, loyal, guarded, it's easy to see why people think she makes a good role model. Her character's an important cog in a man's world, able to play up her femininity when required while never relying on it. Olivia had a tough upbrining (experimented on, abuse), but she's a great example of someone overcoming a difficult childhood and succeeding in the world. if nothing else, I'm glad this poll found a deserving winner.

Any thoughts on the results? Were any actresses cruelly snubbed by voters? Is it a terrible shame a few choices weren't much higher in the rankings?