20. Miss Piggy (Miss Piggy) on The Muppets
2014-2015 Rank: NEW SHOW
I am first to admit I was very excited about the Muppets coming back to television. They have successfully come back to the big screen with two films in the last few years and I very much enjoyed both of them. The concept of the new show was a mocumentary-style TV show in the same vain as The Office or Parks and Rec. The main storyline is that they all work for a late night talk show that stars Miss Piggy. Similar to the old Muppet Show, there was one celebrity guest star in each episode, but that was the only real similarity. I enjoyed the show, but not as much as I hoped. Miss Piggy is understandably hard to deal with sometimes and as she is one of the most famous Muppets she is often the central piece of a storyline. As I said, it was still fun, but disappointingly (and not surprisingly), Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang will not return for a second season.
19. Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
2014-2015 Rank: UNRANKED
I'm not sure we knew what Lillian's last name was in the first season. But I distinctly remember her saying it this past season and thinking "Huh?" UKS is a fun and silly show, and though Lillian is not the main character, she is given many opportunities to bring absurdity to an already absurd show. The jokes are quick and sometimes hard to catch on the show, much like 30 Rock, and Lillian definitely contributes to that. She has so many one liners and responses to things that again makes you say "Huh?" Most often however, she does bring the laughs.
18. Hailey (Lola Kirke) on Mozart In The Jungle
2014-2015 Rank: UNRANKED
Too many shows now are difficult to classify as Comedy or Drama. I almost have to just do one large ranking of characters. Mozart In The Jungle is a prime example. It was most recently listed in the Comedy category at the Golden Globes, and I've decided to keep it in that category for my list, but Hailey doesn't really convey "comedy." Her story arcs are much more drama than comedy. But I'll just deal with it. After an end-of-season smooch with her conductor Rodrigo, the big question this season was going to be what comes next? But they didn't really address it (together) for a few episodes. There is definitely some attraction. Rodrigo brought Hailey to his family's house in Mexico City during the orchestra tour and they almost hooked up there. By the end of the season, there wasn't a clear definition and Hailey decided she would pursue personal success with a touring orchestra group.
17. Abbi Abrams (Abbi Jacobson)
16. Ilana Wexler (Ilana Wexler) on Broad City
2014-2015 Rank: Previously Didn't Watch
I hadn't seen Broad City until recently, and watched several of this season's episodes. It's a pretty crazy (and fun) show, thanks largely in part to the show's two leads. Abbi and Ilana are the only regular characters of the show, with a cast of supporting characters appearing occasionally. The show follows their experiences in NYC, and much like Seinfeld and Friends before them, it doesn't feel like the show is much about anything besides that. It works however, and these two women are definitely up and coming powerhouses of comedy.
15. Jacqueline White (Jane Krakowski) on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
2014-2015 Rank: 20 (+5)
I'm sure I said this last year, but there is a lot of Jenna Maroney in Jacqueline White. That shouldn't be a surprise as the people behind Kimmy were also involved with 30 Rock. That and the same actress portrays both characters. The first season mostly just introduced us to Jacqueline (then Ms. Voorhees) as a trophy wife that Kimmy became a housekeeper for. They would eventually become friends, though Jacqueline does naturally look down on Kimmy. This past season however Jacqueline started to transition into a single life that involved wanting to make the world a better place. She still struggles with being (or in this case not being) extremely wealthy.
14. Erica Goldberg (Hayley Orrantia) on The Goldbergs
2014-2015 Rank: UNRANKED
I didn't watch the first season of The Goldbergs and only watched a handful of episodes of season two. But this past year I watched a majority of the new episodes, and I am glad I did. The first character (of a few) to appear on these lists is Erica, the oldest child and only daughter of the Goldberg household. She at times appears to be the most normal of the six family members, but she has her moments. She has a fun sibling rivalry/relationship with Barry, the older of the two boys. And she is always battling with her parents for her independence. One of Barry's close friends had a season-long crush on Erica and she constantly rejected him. Of course by the end of the season she changed her mind just as he found someone who actually appreciated him. That's how it goes.
13. Bernadette (Melissa Rauch)
12. Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik)
11. Penny (Kaley Cuoco) on Big Bang Theory
2014-2015 Rank: 13 (-), 12 (-), 11 (-)
Big Bang Theory started nine years ago with one female character (Penny). After a few seasons they introduced and integrated two more permanent female characters in Bernadette and Amy. It was a great way to keep things moving forward with the characters and has lead to storylines to include marriages and pregnancies. Poor Raj can't keep a steady girlfriend, but it's probably better for the show for at least one character with a revolving door of love-interest guest stars. The show now would not be the same without the girls and if the show continues after 10 seasons, it's probably best to keep them around.
10. Carol Pilbasian (Kristen Schaal) on The Last Man On Earth
2014-2015 Rank: 19 (+9)
Like Big Bang Theory, The Last Man On Earth began with one female character. Unlike BBT, it didn't take a few seasons to introduce the new ones. Carol was however the first and has always been the primary throughout the show. After one season of Phil/Tandy taking advantage of and not appreciating Carol, things changed pretty drastically. At the end of season one Phil/Tandy was kicked out of their little society, but Carol supported him and left as well. They ventured around the country for a bit, but soon decided they missed the group and went back to find them in Malibu. The other big moment for Carol was getting pregnant after Phil/Tandy thought he was sterile.
8. Kimmy Schimdt (Ellie Kemper) on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
2014-2015 Rank: 4 (-4)
The first season of UKS spent a lot of time focusing on Kimmy experiencing the "new world" as she sees it. Her reaction to modern day and close connection to the nineties is still a major part of the humor in the show, but I enjoyed how she seemed to have a bit more direction this season. Kimmy tried jobs with a Christmas Store before landing on Uber, and dealt with some inner emotions about her kidnapping and her mother.
7. CeCe (Hanna Simone)
6. Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) on New Girl
2014-2015 Rank: 14 (+7), 9 (+3)
A large focus of this season of New Girl was the wedding of CeCe and Schmidt, which happened in the final episode. It was fun to go on their adventure of planning a wedding, with many mishaps along the way. Jess reignited an old flame in Dr. Sam, who I always liked, but eventually didn't work out. There was also a couple new girls in the mix with Winston's new partner and eventual love interest Aly, and Jess's replacement (while Zooey Deschanel was pregnant in real life) Reagan played by Megan Fox who would be linked with Nick by the end of the season. But it's Jess and CeCe who are currently the female characters with the most impact on the show.
5. Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti)
4. Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz)
3. Detecitve Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
2014-2015 Rank: 6 (+1), 5 (+1), 7 (+4)
I'm sure I've said this last year, but I feel lazy continuing to group up the female characters of Big Bang Theory, New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But often I find they provide equally-important humor to their respective shows. In the case of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I've really come to love the female (and male) characters and each of their unique qualities. Of course Brooklyn Nine-Nine is much newer than the other two shows and therefore may seem more fresh. Over time these characters could drift. But that didn't happen yet. Anyway...Gina, Rosa and Amy are still a joy to watch.
2. Jessica Huang (Constance Wu) on Fresh Off The Boat
2014-2015 Rank: UNRANKED
The top two ladies of my comedy list this year have a lot of similarities. They both come from shows I watched intermittently the season before. They both exist in past decades (80's and 90's). And they are both moms with three children who also have a parent living with them. The first is Jessica Huang, a first-generation Asian-American mother of three boys. Jessica is very protective of her children and very strict. She wants everything in order and does a pretty good job of it. She also very much likes to be in control. One of the best moments this past season was convincing her youngest that Santa is Chinese and dressing up like the imaginary character to visit her son at night. It was ridiculous and hilarious.
1. Beverly Goldberg (Wendi McClendon-Covey) on The Goldbergs
2014-2015 Rank: 15 (14)
The second mom and top of the list this year is Beverly Goldberg. She is only the second character to reach of the top of the Female Character list as Leslie Knope of Parks and Rec was number one in all five of my previous iterations. Anyway, Beverly earned her way to the top. She is a protective mother who likes control (much like Jessica on Fresh Off The Boat) and does everything she can to be involved in her kids' lives. The big differences between the two are probably that Beverly's kids are older and she has a daughter. The mother/daughter dynamic and the mother/baby dynamic with her youngest (who is entering high school) play really well into the humor. Her kids act like they can't stand her sometimes, but in the end you know there is a lot of love in the family.
21. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) on The Mindy Project
22. Honey (Chelsey Crisp) on Fresh Off The Boat
23. Andrea (Tina Fey) on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
24. Gail (Mary Steenburgen) on The Last Man On Earth
25. Alice Bell (Sharon Horgan) on The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret