9/6/08

Naughty and Nice

Ever noticed that when there are two female characters in a movie or TV show, they often fall into the "naughty and nice" formula: the beauty queen and plain Jane, the vixen and girl-next-door, or simply the bad and good.

Right now, think of any TV show or movie that featured two lead characters who are women. I can pretty much guarantee that they follow this formula. Here's some examples I thought of.

I've put the naughty in yellow and nice is in blue. While your reading through these, ask yourself which you most often liked best... yellow or blue, naughty or nice. I think it may say something about you - I'm not sure what, but I think it does.

Jennifer Marlow was WKRP's gorgeous, blonde receptionist who overshadowed Bailey Quarters. In the earliest episodes, station manager Arthur Carlson could not even remember who she was or whether "Bailey" was a man or a woman.




Melanie Wilkes, the epitome of purity and kindness, loved Scarlett O'Hara even though Scarlett would spend the duration of "Gone With the Wind" (1939) trying to steal Melanie's spineless husband.

Tina Louise played Ginger Grant (an amalgam of Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant), the glamorous movie star, while Dawn Wells played Mary Ann, a simple, innocent farm girl from Kansas.


Joyce DeWitt played the down-to-earth florist, Janet Wood, on the TV sitcom "Three's Company". Suzanne Somers played her roommate, the ditzy blonde Chrissy.


The epitome of the naughty and nice formula may be the two female members of Mystery, Inc: fashion plate Daphne Blake and the short, bespectacled Velma Dinkley.

Every week on the television show "The Fall Guy" (1981 -86) Colt and his gang were assigned to apprehend a fugitive from justice. Colt's sexy young protege was Jody Banks played by Heather Thomas. His boss, Terri Shannon, was played by Markie Post.

In the 1982 movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a naive high school freshman, and her popular friend is the sexually experienced Linda Barrett (Pheobe Cates)... or so she says. This movie also featured a pair of naughty and nice male roles of Ratner and Damone (sp), which was again repeated in the Fast Times clone The Last American Virgin.

The 1987 John Hughes film Some Kind of Wonderful stars Lea Thompson, the popular girl who is the object of Eric Stoltz's affection, and Mary Stuart Masterson as the tomboy who wants to be considered as something other than a "friend". Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Amanda Jones (Thompson's character) but refused it, ending her relationship with writer-director John Hughes.

On the 1980's television drama "Dynasty", Linda Evans plays Krystle, a geologist, whose arch-nemesis is her husband's scheming first wife, Alexis, played by Joan Collins. I don't think Joan has it in her to play the "nice" role.

The television sitcom "Just Shoot Me!" featured the heavy drinking and sexually promiscuous ex-model Nina Van Horn, and Maya Gallo, who was intelligent but had a naivete about life.

Veronica Lodge is rich and stylish, and Betty Cooper is a middle class girl-next-door. They are best friends and worst enemies, and both fight for the affection of Archie Andrews.

In the critically acclaimed and prematurely cancelled TV show "Freaks and Geeks" (1999-2000), the smart and morally upstanding Lindsey Weir tries to fit in with the "freaks", a group which included the outspoken and rebellious Kim Kelly. Note: the girl who played Lindsey also played Velma in the Scooby-Doo films - I guess the "nice" role is her lot in life. Elizabeth Montgomery, however, was able to play both the "naughty" and the "nice" ...

On the television show "Bewitched" (1964-1972) good natured and loyal Samantha Stevens was often visited by her mischievous, flirtatious and egocentric cousin Serina.

So which was it? Which gets the most points in your book? The naughty or the nice?

The sex symbol....

or the plain Janet? ...er, um, Jane? Gilligan wants to know.

4 comments:

  1. I guess I would always have to go for the innocent gal but I am not sure why. They look as pretty -, albeit not as flashy, and seem like you could later. I do not know what I mean by later, but it is not very noble I am sure.

    I will take you up on your Miranda post soon. I think I will watch The Collector and review it and then I have so far about 7 movies (I think, or 6) that fit that description in one way or another. I replied to you and left a couple movie titles and changed the wording of my post a little as to not make it sound like there are as many "Miranda" movies as movies with police cars crashing through plate glass windows.

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  2. that 1st paragraph should read "...and seems like you talk later".
    I make so many typos. I redo a post so many times correcting little mistakes... man.

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  3. In an ideal world my ideal girl would be both naughty and nice. But seeing as I've got to make a choice I'll go for the naughty - every time!

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  4. Well, it's kind of a silly question since no one is naughty or nice all the time... everyone's got a bit of both. The best (in my opinion) would be the kind of woman depicted in Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" where she's nice for all outward appearances, but "when she gets behind closed doors, then she lets her hair hang low..." I think you know the rest.

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