Amrie’s Take on TV: Best Actresses of 2007

And then there were 2! In 2 weeks, it’ll be 2008. I have to say wow again. As promised, I’m back this week with my Favorite Actresses of 2007. Before we jump in and start my list of fabulous ladies, big apologies to Edward James Olmos, Alec Baldwin, and Jon Hamm from Mad Men for not including them on my Actor list!!

Here we have my top “11” favorite actresses from 2007, and some honorable mentions. Believe me, I’m sure there are people missing, and I’m sure I’ll read your comments and know that I was wrong to exclude someone amazing, but here’s where I am right now (I used a lot of leeway on that top “11” list. There are definitely way more than 11 that made it)!

Connie Britton, Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights
I sing Connie Britton’s praises just about every 5 seconds of every single day. She is gorgeous, she is fantastic, she makes me believe in her pains and struggles and just everything that Tami is going through. I believe that she loves her husband (Coach Eric Taylor) and that she is trying to do the best she can for her daughters and all the students at Dillon. She could easily be another football coach’s wallflower wife, but the way the character is written, and the way Connie plays it, she jumps off the screen. The fact that she isn’t getting accolades and awards and nominations just blows my mind.

The Women of the 13 colonies, Mary McDonnell (President Roslin), Tricia Helfer (Gina/Six), Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck), Grace Park (Boomer/Sharon), Michele Forbes (Admiral Cain), Battlestar Galactica
I didn’t want to get involved in what I called “another SciFi show that won’t hold my interest.” Then I watched one episode and I was hooked. Season 3 and the mid-way movie Razor just prove that these women deserve shelves upon shelves of awards because of how downright mind-blowing they are. I don’t want Roslin to die from the cancer that’s going to eventually over take her (I mean, she is the dying leader from the prophecy, right?). Like Michael C. Hall’s Dexter (a killer), who I shouldn’t identify with, I completely identify with Helfer’s Six and Gina, Cylons who just want the best for their own race. Grace Park is wonderful, so moving. Michele Forbes exudes awesomeness. And Sackhoff? She is just cool. And angry, and awesome. And big props to her for making a few of the scenes in Bionic Woman remotely watchable.

The Pie Hos, Kristen Chenowith (Olive Snook,) and Anna Friel (Charlotte Chuck Charles), Pushing Daisies
Olive is so in love with Ned. And she’s such a good dog-sitter of Digby. And she’s the perfect foil to Chuck. And she’s a great friend to Lily and Vivian. And I love her interaction with Emerson. She’s charming, and she speaks quickly, and she sings, and she dances. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and it’s nice to see her getting celebrated for such a perfect role for her! Anna Friel is delicious. She plays her role with such wide eyed abandon. She’s so wounded and damaged, and dying to be loved, and missing the ladies she does love, and I love this role and I’m so happy that it was written and she was cast.

The lawyers of Hewes and Associates, Glenn Close (Patty Hewes) and Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), Damages
These two performances were so good. Cold, and angry, and nailbiting, and clawing, and angry, and vulnerable, and damaged. And that’s like just the pilot episode alone. Their interactions kept me watching. I cannot wait to see what they pull together for Seasons 2 and 3!

Kyra Sedgwick, Brenda Leigh Johnson, The Closer
She is just so good. I can’t pick a favorite episode. It might have been this season’s holiday episode that aired as a two parter just a few weeks ago. I feel every single emotion that Brenda does. I am with her when she wants a piece of chocolate. I am with her when she doesn’t understand how “Fritzie” could keep something like recovering from alcoholism from her. I love her cast of characters and how she knows the right way to interact with all of them. My TiVo does a lot of “TiVo Suggestion” recording, and The Closer is always on there, and I never stop it. I always let it record, because it’s perfect for when I have an hour to kill and I just want to watch one of the best actresses of our day doing her thing.

Elizabeth Mitchell, Juliet Burke, Lost
I think that if I were stranded on a deserted island with Elizabeth Mitchell’s Juliet, I would absolutely believe that she was on my side. There is something warm about the way she plays the character that makes me want to believe her. But I completely understand why the other people would distrust her because she’s almost too vulnerable, almost too accepting of the fact that they all hate her. It’s a very fine line between friend and foe, and she’s playing it so well. She’s a good crier (which is very important to me as a viewer), and she makes me root for some lovin for Jack with someone other than Kate! Can’t wait to see what happens in the new episodes!

Tina Fey, Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
Tina Fey is basically playing an exaggerated version of herself and her role on both SNL and 30 Rock. But she’s so damn funny while doing it. I feel like I could be friends with Liz Lemon, and she seems like an awesome boss. I would love to be a fly on the wall of one of her conversations with Jack. She’s just awesome.

Mary Louise Parker, Nancy Botwin, Weeds
She’s funny. She’s a fabulous dramatic actress. She can do it all. She plays Nancy with such a pain behind her eyes. Almost dead eyes, to be honest, and it’s needed. Her character could have gone out and gotten a real job, versus selling pot, when her hubby unexpectedly died. And M-L’s Nancy realizes that. She knows she had options and should have taken them, but now she’s stuck, admitting she’s a drug dealer, having fled her town. And her interactions with the rest of the cast are fabulous!! Who doesn’t love Nancy and Conrad?

Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars was my favorite show. Kristen Bell made it my favorite show. She was so spiteful, and angry, and hurt, and vulnerable. And she had trouble being loved, and trusting people. And she had an amazing relationship with her dad. And she had chemistry with everyone (even Piz…in a relationship I did not agree with and or support). I wish she would be given more to do on Heroes…..

Seattle Grace ladies from season 3, Chandra Wilson (Bailey), Sandra Oh (Christina), Katherine Heigl (Izzie), Sara Ramirez (Callie), Kate Walsh (Addison), Ellen Pompeo (Meredith), Grey’s Anatomy
Bailey has been my favorite character since day one. I love her, she continues to do amazing work. The moment that sold me on the awesomeness of Sandra Oh was the finale when Christina took a moment to realize that Burke was gone, and she needed Meredith to help her out of her dress. Katherine Heigl is always great. I’ve loved her since back in the day of My Father the Hero. Sara Ramirez played Callie as such a strong proud woman looking for love. I loved her instantly. Kate Walsh…oh Kate Walsh why did you have to leave? Your Addison was one of my favorites. She was so endearing and warm, and troubled. Just wonderful. And say what you will about how whiny and annoying Meredith is, Ellen Pompeo can cry. She’s good. So good.

Jenna Fischer, Pam Beesly, The Office
She sold me with the performance she gave during the Beach Games episode, when Pam got everything out in the option. She solidified my adoration when she was interrupted during a TH at the end of the Season 3 finale and she broke into adorable tear-filled eyes at the excitement of a date with Jim. And she built on that adoration in Fun Run when she broke into a wide grin while explaining that they were in fact dating. She’s brilliant.

Honorable mentions –
America Ferrara, Betty Suarez, Ugly Betty – she breaks my heart, and makes me laugh. She’s fabulous.

Ana Ortiz, Hilda Suarez, Ugly Betty – she completely blew me away in the episode where she finally admitted Santos was gone.

Annabeth Gish, Eileen Caffee, Brotherhood – she breaks my heart. I could watch her self-destructive character for hours.

Emily Deschanel, Temperance Brennan, Bones – She does good work. Her chemistry with Boreanaz is wonderful. She’s definitely grown into her role, and you can tell she loves it.

Adrianne Palicki, Tyra Collette, Friday Night Lights – she was thrown a big storyline, and as a viewer, I didn’t think she could handle it. But she blew me away with the rape storyline, the death of the rapist, the great love with Landry. Just so good.

Evangeline Lilly, Kate Austen, Lost – I just plain like her. I think she’s wonderful.

Sarah Chalke, Elliot Reid, Scrubs – she has to do some of the broadest physical comedy, over the top comedy, and I love her.

January Jones, Betty Draper, Mad Men – she played the role of ignored trophy wife with such sadness. Love her.

Judy Reyes, Carla Espinosa, Scrubs – she’s the straight man to the gaggle of crazies at Sacred Heart. And the scene where she had to say goodbye to Laverne? She wowed me and broke my heart all at once.

Sally Field, Nora Walker, Brothers and Sisters – Sally Field does everything well.

What about you all? Who are your top women this season? Who did I forget from some of your favorite shows?

I’m off for Christmas next week, but look back in the New Year for a look back at my Favorite Shows of 2007!
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  • Amy

    I can’t think of anyone your forgot so I’ll just add my vote for Connie Britton (they should be lining up to give her awards!), Jenna Fischer and the BSG ladies.

  • nessie

    hot dam to all of these expecialy the pie hoes

  • Stef

    Lauren Graham!!! I feel she should be included since Gilmore Girls is over (sobs) and she never got the recognition she deserved for such amazing acting. And anyone that can master that fast-talking dialogue week after week for 7 years….deserves to be on that list!

  • Less Strike News

    Just some you may have forgotten:

    Alison Hannigan (HIMYM)
    Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?)
    Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)
    Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Show)

    Edie Falco (The Sopranos)
    Aimee Teegarden (FNL)
    The Women of “Tell Me You Love Me”on HBO for taking their clothes off week after week! (Ally Walker, Sonya Walger, Michelle Borth, Jane Alexander)

    Guest Star:
    Edie Falco (30 Rock)
    Elaine Strich (30 Rock)
    Sarah Wayne Callie’s Head (Prison Break)

  • Linda B.

    Jennifer Carpenter on Dexter. I love Deb! She cusses like no other female on tv!

  • Jase

    Speaking of Elizabeth Mitchell and LOST, did you see the new extended version of the Lost season 4 trailer?

    If this trailer is anything to go by then this season of Lost looks like probably the best season of Lost (and that is saying a lot)

  • Josh Emerson

    I would add Rachel Griffiths to your list. She is so good on Brothers & Sisters. I also agree with the Elaine Stritch mention. I know she’s only made a couple guest starring appearances, but she is perfect as Jack’s mother.

  • I agree most with:
    – Mary McDonnell (BSG)
    – Elizabeth Mtichell (Lost)
    – Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
    – America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
    – Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty)
    – Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
    – Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
    – Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters)

    I would also recommend:
    – Angie Harmon (Linsday Boxer, Women’s Murder Club)
    – Claudia Black (Vala Mal Doran, Stargate: SG-1)
    – Half the cast of Men In Trees

    Angie Harmon has really impressed me on WMC. She’s acted tough as a tomboy cop, she’s cried over her character’s ex-husband getting re-married, she’s gone almost psycho investigating the murder of a baby, and she’s delivered some funny, witty lines in the process. I almost dropped this show out of dislike of procedural murder mysteries, but her character has kept me tuned in.

    Claudia Black may not be an obvious choice, but she breathed new life into SG-1’s last two seasons. I was thrilled to see her elevated to full cast member status in season 10, and it was the progression of her character that made me most disappointed about the show’s cancellation. Like Angie Harmon, Black has delivered some amazingly funny lines but has also revealed, on occasion, an intriguing vulnerable side.

    As weird as she is in real life, Anne Heche is likable and sympathetic in the lead role on Men In Trees. I have always loved the usually sweet & adorable Cynthia Stevenson and have finally gotten used to her being the grumpy police chief and possessive, controlling mother in MIT. Then, there are the actresses who play Annie, Mai, Sara, Jane, and Theresa. Great all around.

  • Bravo! I totally agree with your great list and would also add Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter (this season was a tremendous improvement from the first). I find it hard to believe that neither Connie Britton nor Elizabeth Mitchell were nominated for Golden Globes this year. Glaring omissions!

  • SaraJ

    On the very top of my list is the women of Lifetime’s Side Order Of Life.
    Marisa Coughlan
    Diana-Maria Riva
    Ashley Williams
    It seriously will be a crime to humanity if SOoL doesn’t come back for a second season.

    Honorable Mentions –
    Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer)
    Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
    Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
    Erica Durance, Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack (Smallville)
    Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl)
    Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory)