Northern Exposure: Eve

Eve was an occasional but memorable character on Northern Exposure. She was a hypochondriac, which might pass for a female stereotype. She kidnapped Joel and held him hostage in her cabin in an attempt to force him to treat her imaginary disorders. That’s where the stereotype falls apart. She’s crazy and cunning, and through the […]

Northern Exposure: Shelly Tambo

While the lead female in Northern Exposure may have been ripped apart to prove that women without men are neurotic lunatics, the rest of the women in the show are actually pretty interesting. Shelly Tambo was the blond teenage airhead beauty pageant winner who was on her way to marry Maurice when she fell in […]

Northern Exposure: Maggie O’Connell

I recently watched the first three seasons of Northern Exposure on DVD, and it struck me the same way it did almost fifteen years ago. At first, all of the women in it are pretty interesting, except Maggie. Maggie, from start to finish, is a neurotic mess. And whatever the writers intended (don’t know, don’t […]

Roseanne: a real “typical sitcom family”

Since the 1950’s, we’ve been awash in a sea of sitcoms about supposedly typical families. That is to say, white middle class English-speaking Christian familes including two parents and a number of kids born within the marriage. And most people seem to have internalized that format as a societal norm, despite all the many, many […]

“Baby, if you ever wondered…” WKRP: Mrs. Carlson

Welcome to the final installation in my WKRP series, which started with Jennifer Marlowe and continued with Bailey Quarters: Mrs. Carlson, played by Carol Bruce. Mrs. Carlson owed a conglomerate of companies, of which WKRP was only a floundering part. She was ruthless and tyrannical. Almost everyone was afraid of her – even those who […]

“Baby, if you ever wondered…” WKRP: Bailey Quarters

Yesterday I wrote about Jennifer Marlowe (Loni Anderson) from WKRP, the woman who used charm and beauty to get what she wanted. Today I’m continuing with Bailey Quarters, the woman who uses her brains. Bailey had a well-earned degree in journalism, and she was stuck working for a complete fool (Les Nessman, played by Richard […]