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October 13, 2015

The Five: Tough broads

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 13th 2006 1:54PM
Helen Mirren TennisonWith Helen Mirren's Detective Tennison bowing out on Sunday's Prime Suspect finale, television is losing one of its finest tough broads.

Tough broads have feelings and faults, but they're nobody's baby. They also don't give a crap what you think of them. They dress for utility not for style, and they work -- usually in domains stereotypically belonging to men.

We'll miss you, Detective Tennison. You are the inspiration for this list of tough TV broads - the ones little girls and little boys can look up to.

5. Dana Scully, The X-Files
The skeptical half of The X-Files team. Nobody can work a pants suit and surgical knife during an alien autopsy like our girl Scully. Proof positive that smart is sexy.

4. Zoe Washburne, Firefly
The woman warrior loyal to both her captain and her husband. Forget you, Tyra. Muscle-bound Gina Torres defines "fierce." See was phenomenal in Firefly, but her suicidal assault in the show's resulting film Serenity was heart-breaking. It makes complete sense that she's married to Morpheus in real life.

3. Cagney and Lacey, Cagney and Lacey
Played by Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly, Cagney and Lacey were the prototype for tough, detective broads on television. The critically-acclaimed show was fraught with behind-the-scenes controversy over the definitions of femininity, women's relationships and what was thought to be the show's lesbian overtones.

2. Jeri Blank, Strangers With Candy
Not all tough broads are detectives or carry guns. Some tough broads are users, boozers and losers. Amy Sedaris' Jerri Blank can make a shiv out of a toilet brush, whip up her own homemade hallucinogenics and digs "the pole and the hole." You really don't want to meet her in a dark alley ... really.

1. Murphy Brown, Murphy Brown
A former alcoholic, just like our Detective Tennison, Murphy got back on the wagon and tried to keep the FYI team and the first Bush administration on the up and up. She was cranky, selfish and stubborn, but she was also very good at her job, ultimately compassionate and fearless. Sounds like a tough broad to me.

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How could I forget Buffy and Faith?

November 14 2006 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh God, I was gonna post Roseanne Conner too. He mom and grandmother were tough broads too. Since I'm there, might as well throw Joy from 'My Name is Earl' in there too.

Other notables would be CCH Pounder from The Shield and Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson. Both have stared down the dirtiest of the dirty and made them break.

November 14 2006 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Roseanne Conner- Was there ever a tougher broad on tv?

November 14 2006 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Aeryn Sun - Farscape

November 13 2006 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

Here's a few:

Rhoda Morgenstern
Mother Dexter ('Phyllis')
Danielle Rousseau ('Lost')
Marie Barone ('Everybody Loves Raymond')

November 13 2006 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kara Thrace (BSG)

November 13 2006 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A few more:

-Xena. She was a warrior. Don't have to explain this.
-Glenn Close's character in The Shield...that was a great performance.
-Kima from The Wire. That woman is tough as nails but has a soft center too.

Some others I'm not that familiar with (But I should be):
-Buffy. She slays vampires.
-Veronica Mars. I really should be watching this show more.

November 13 2006 at 2:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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