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Great TV characters, like great artists, aren't always appreciated in their time. And plenty of great women on television have had to fight a steep uphill battle to earn fans' respect — even if the men in their lives are literally doing crime. We've all seen it before: Complicated male protagonists get a vigorous defense, while complicated ladies get scorned.
It's time to give it up for the misunderstood killjoy wives. It's time to talk about the sci-fi ladies who blazed trails and the underrated comic forces on long-running sitcoms. Too many female characters have been failed by their shows or their fans. At best, they're ignored. At worst, they're hated, always for offenses as unique as they are: falling in love with the wrong person, choosing hard work over glamour, moving on, speaking up, staying quiet. Miranda Hobbes was too serious. Phoebe Buffay wasn't serious enough.
Audiences - Critiques - Years - Years - Ladies
Audiences in 2019 are more attuned to these critiques than we were 20 years ago, or even five years ago. But even now, the most interesting ladies on television don't always get their due. To celebrate Women's History Month, TV Guide is kicking off a weeklong salute to TV's most underappreciated female characters. We've rounded up some of our favorite unsung heroes from the past few decades — whether they're actual heroes, morally ambiguous, or straight-up dirtbags, but really, really funny about it. Check out our coverage below, and be sure to check back throughout the week as we pay homage to more underrated women on television.
For all the progress Sex and the City made pushing boundaries when it came to portraying female sexuality on screen, it was still built within the confines of patriarchal restrictions and for an audience shaped by these norms. Miranda (Cynthia Nixon)...
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