The AfterEllen.com Huddle: Brooders We Love

The last installment of Twilight premieres today (or last night, if you’re a superfan), and we’re going to be saying goodbye to Kristen Stewart as the broody Bella Swan. She’ll go down in history as one of the ominous personalities that we’ve grown to love, part of a gaggle of women that are sarcastic, witty, self-deprecating or just plain dark. Some of them even write songs about it. So, group, who is your favorite brooding babe?

Erika Star: Ally Sheedy is the ultimate in brooding, both in life and art. Her character Allison in The Breakfast Club still exemplifies how I felt in high school — weird, awkward and full of ennui. And then, years later, she managed to outdo herself as Lucy the listless and dissatisfied, drug-addicted photographer in High Art. Which I think we can all agree is the sexiest cinematic brooding ever.

Dara Nai: Brooders who hold onto their broken hearts and personal slights make for great songwriters. And brooders who walk around all sullen while dressed in black are cool and mysterious, but not very good company. The best brooders are the ones who turn their inner angst outward, spinning it into sarcastic gold. That’s why I love Daria Morgendorffer and her grown-up, chain-smoking equivalent, Heather Mooney (Janeane Garofalo) from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. I’ve met KStew. I’d rather hang out with Daria and Heather.

Grace Chu: I’m going to have to agree with Dara that brooding girls just don’t do it for me unless they turn it outwards, having the courage to make dark yet hilarious commentary about the absurdity of life as it is — and how everyone around them is out of touch with reality. Gals that just brood — well — they just look constipated, and no one likes impacted bowels. So at the risk of being unoriginal, I’m just going to give it up for Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane, the suburban high school version of The Muppets‘ Statler and Waldorf, curmudgeonly characters that say what you — and those annoyingly cowardly folks that just brood silently — are afraid to say out loud.

Punky Starshine: I’m going to have to go with our Pretty Little Liars. Sure, they’re adorable when they’re goofing around on set or saying hilarious things like “You have the subtlety of a hand-grenade,” but when their plans of enjoying an innocent masquerade or romp in the woods are thwarted by evil once again, they put on the hottest, broodiest expressions before breaking everything in their path to find out who ran them under with a car, sent them snuff/porn videos of their dead best friend or framed/threatened/killed/kidnapped their lover.

Lucy Hallowell: I was going to go with Watts or Idgie Threadgood per usual and then I realized that Lisbeth Salander just laughs at the “brooding” of those ladies. She’s like, “oh you think you have problems? I have the evil, secret, Swedish police after me along with a former Russian gangster who is actually my dear old dad (who BTdubs I tried to kill as a wee lass) and my half-brother who is a giant who feels no pain, a secret lair, and a demeanor so shut down people think I’m autistic.” That’s how you brood, bitches!

Ali Davis: Clarice Starling. She’s never going to stop worrying about saving us all.

Dorothy Snarker: I would go with Daria Morgendorffer, aka, the original Misery Chick. But I always go with Daria for everything. So instead, just this once, I’ll cast my vote for Winona Ryder‘s character Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice. Because no one before or after rocked Goth angst like that spiky banged, black-garbed, pale-skinned teen brooder. I mean, can you top a suicide note revision that reads: “I am alone.” [Strike that] “I am UTTERLY alone.” Yeah, now that’s brooding.

Mia Jones: I’m going to say Claire Danes as Angela Chase in My So-Called Life. Because, like, you know when you like someone — and you want them to notice you, but then they do — and then you worry about whether or not you chose the right color of Manic Panic to dye your hair that weekend?

The Linster: Nobody broods like Angelina Jolie. She even broods with her brood. And her Brad. Shall I stop now?

Jill Guccini: Fiona Apple because, you guys, this world is bullshit.

Heather Hogan: For me, it’s Taylor Swift. I know she’s gotten a lot of backlash lately for not giving a grad school caliber gender studies answer about feminism in that Daily Beast interview, but despite not being able to pin down a definition of the ever-changing movement of living outside the patriarchy, I think she is a super rad young lady who is thriving (almost) organically in a very male-dominated industry that pretty much forces women to market themselves as sluts or virgins. And she hasn’t capitulated to that shit. Her brand is about being sweet and fun and legitimately talented, but when she broods, man, she broods. I like it when she stomps around hollering about how he should’ve said no and gone home. And I like it when she’s sobbing her teardrops all over her guitar. And I like it when she hollers, “You’re not sorry!” And I particularly like it when she calls out John Mayer for dicking around with a teenager’s teenage feelings. And, frankly, when she’s listing all the ways that mean person is going to burn in hell in “Mean,” it’s like, that’s the kind of thing that would make even Alanis Morissette high-five you. T-Swizzle seems like a real nice girl, and also like she will f–king cut you if you deserve it.

Dana Piccoli: I’m going to say Adele. It looks like it’s actually painful for her to smile. Gorgeous, torchy, and oh so wonderfully sullen. No one can write those songs and not be the diva of Broodsville.

Marcie Bianco: Kat Dennings, 2 Broke Girls.

Trish Bendix: I always connected best with the brooders. Must have been my inner-gay outsider. I’m going to go with Julia Stiles as Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You. She listened to Joan Jett, The Raincoats and Bikini Kill. She was more interested in feminism than fashion, and yet she could still get down to “Hypnotize” in the middle of a party before hitting her head on the chandelier because, oh yeah, she was dancing on a table. She wanted to go to Sarah Lawrence, writes poetry, reads Sylvia Plath — she was everything I wanted to be. And she said this: “Romantic? Hemingway? He was an abusive, alcoholic misogynist who squandered half of his life hanging around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers.” MY SPIRIT ANIMAL.

Emily Hartl: My absolute favorite brooding female is, hands down, “Hope is Emo,” a long-expired YouTube sensation that’s few episodes were (are) worth playing over and over again.

What brooder do you love the most?

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