Yesterday Stuntdouble wrote about one of Entertainment Weekly‘s lists from their current classic list issue. Today I’m writing about another one of the many lists: a Top Ten list from Sarah Michelle Gellar in which she reveals the new classic male TV characters she wishes she could play. In response to this I have written Gellar a small letter. Eh hem.
Dear Sarah Michelle,
Can I call you Sarah? I’ll presume you’ve said no since I can’t hear your answer and we hardly know each other. I’m sure “Sarah” is reserved for the important people in your life such as your hubby Freddy Prinze Jr. I understand that you and I are, at this point, merely internet strangers. But I do hope that after you read this you will see that I am not so much a random blogger, but rather someone looking out for your best artistic interests and then just maybe you will email me begging me to please call you Sarah … and you in turn can call me Ree-ree.
Recently I came across the top ten list that you submitted to EW, “10 New Classic Male TV Characters you wish you could play.” Now I’m sure EW approached you with that topic and that you aren’t sitting around in your home in Hollywood somewhere cussing the breasts and reproductive organs that are preventing you from landing these testosterone required roles; but just in case you ever do have a private moment of truly wishing you could have played those roles I thought I would take it upon myself to offer you potential alternative roles that women have played that are on par with you classic male choices:
You chose: Ricky Stratton, Silver Spoons
Because: “He used to ride that little train around his huge house. I wanted that train when I was a kid.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: Punky Brewster, Punky Brewster
Because: OK, I admit I wanted that train too and the sports car-shaped bed he slept in, but that is no reason to pine for that role. Punky Brewster is a far meatier role for you than merely playing a spoiled rich kid. Punky was an orphan who was adopted by a widower. Hello? It is a kid actor’s dream role. Punky’s sparkly personality out weighs Ricky Stratton’s bank account. Her wardrobe is adorably free spirited complete with crazy color combinations, mismatched shoelaces and side pony tales. Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Ricky is tucking his salmon colored polo shirt into his chinos. Lame.
You chose: Sonny Crockett, Miami Vice
Because: “I also wanted to have a pet alligator.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: Dana Scully, The X-Files
Because: Alligators are dangerous. I know you kicked a lot of demon butt on Buffy, but a hungry alligator can move faster than any karate chop you can offer. Dana Scully doesn’t have any pet anything that I can offer you to compensate, but I can say her job is way more important than Sonny Crokett’s because she is saving us from paranormal creepy things that frighten me the world way more than any drug smuggler.
While Sonny Crockett is off cuffing the sleeves of his white blazer Scully is out saving the world from the freaky stuff – mainly aliens. I don’t know about you Sarah Michelle, but I sleep better knowing a smart character like Scully exists in our television repertoire, just in case we ever need to refer to it for advice in case of aliens do attack.
You chose: Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties
Because: (You didn’t give a reason for this one – maybe because you were actually pondering the role of our suggested female equivalent.)
Suggested Female Equivalent: Carol Seaver, Growing Pains
Because: She is just as smart as Alex and her family is just as large and loving. If you were to play Carol Seaver, you would have had the added bonus of not playing a Republican.
You chose: Thomas Sullivan Magnum, Magnum PI
Because: “Just because it’s Tom Selleck. I’d be anything Tom Selleck.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: Any of Charlie’s Angels
Because: Admittedly both Magnum and the Angels do have great legs, but that aside, the Angels’ roles are far juicer because they covertly sought out criminals. They use feminine wiles, aliases and private investigator know-how to solve crimes and put the bad guys away. Magnum is far more concerned with finding ladies than finding villains. Now why be a part of that?
You chose: Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Because: No reason.
Suggested Female Equivalent: Nancy, Weeds
Because: I know comparing the crime of marijuana drug dealing to serial killing is a bit of stretch, but there aren’t many female serial killers on TV to compare to (and that’s a glass ceiling that I personally welcome slamming into). None the less, Nancy and Dexter are both doing illegal things so there in lies the common thread. (Adding further difficulty to her already complicated career she has to balance not getting busted by the DEA with raising her two young sons alone.)
You chose: Hank Moody, Californication
Because: “If I was a man, I’d want to make out with as many hot chicks as David Duchovny gets to make out with.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: None
Because: Hmmm. I will choose to play naïve and pretend that nothing comes before that first comma in her sentence. Therefore, terrific answer, Sarah Michelle.
You choose: J.R. Ewing, Dallas
Because: No reason given.
Suggested Female Equivalent: Peggy Peabody, The L Word
Because: She is a scene stealer and just as rich as any oil tycoon from Dallas, Texas. Additionally, Peabody had much better lines. For instance on her way to visit her daughter in jail (yes jail, don’t judge her, Sarah Michelle) a prisoner makes a … shall we say sassy offer to Peggy and she replies, “Were I receptive to such a proposition, it would first require a full booty check. (pause) And were you to pass muster, baby I’d give it to you family style.” J.R. never had those kinds of retorts.
You chose: Eric Cartman, South Park
Because: “No one gets better lines on television than Cartman. Nobody.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown)
Because: Peppermint Patty has amazing lines too. Example: “Here’s my term paper, ma’am. Please judge it with mercy. Treat it as you would a newborn child. Which it is because I just wrote it this morning!”
Are you laughing as hard as I am right now, Sarah Michelle? I mean, I can hardly type this because the tears of laughter are streaming down my face. Sure Cartman has has some zingers in his day, but I think its safe to safe that Ms. Patty is well within his league.
Not only does Patty get the great lines, but she deals with daily frustrations such as trying to get her girlfriend friend that is a girl, Marcie, to stop calling her Sir. That has to get annoying. I can see the animated smoke coming out of Patty’s animated ears just thinking about it. I think this is a role full of conflict and humor that you would be terrific in.
You chose: Gunther, Friends
Because: “I just love the story: There was this actor, James Michael Tyler, who was in the background and everyone liked him, and they kept him around.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: Phyllis, The Office
Because: OK, that story is unique and definitely is not what happened in the casting of Phyllis, but in terms of quiet, quirky characters with limited lines in a series, Phyllis rocks. (And she is adorable holding all that yarn and crocheting needles.)
You chose: Samantha Jones, Sex and the City
Because: “She crosses all gender lines.”
Suggested Female Equivalent: None. Agreed! Touche, Sarah Michelle.
I hope this small list of alternatives was at the very least, insightful and awe inspiring. Since you have occupied one of the juiciest female roles in television (Buffy) I think it’s safe to say that you are more than aware of what women are capable of in television. Please feel free to consult me in any future list making you may be involved in.