Smart ladies love actresses that can do no wrong


Sady Doyle wrote somewhere in her tumblr that when she writes about women she hates (surprise, we both hate Taylor Swift), she gets more views than when she writes about women she loves or men she hates. This is also true for our “smart ladies love to hate” posts. That is some deep internalized sexism right there. This post, about actresses I adore, is dedicated to Ms. Doyle, one of my favorite contemporary social critics.

I love these women so much that I will watch even their worst work–Country Strong!

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow Country Strong

Best-known for: Shakespeare in Love, Margot Tenenbaum, GOOP
My favorites: Sliding Doors, Country Strong

I know a lot of people hate Gwynnie. In her blog, GOOP, and in interviews, she seems like a self-righteous asshole. But how can you hate someone who has been in so many shitty movies? I respect her for that. I don’t care for her choice of husband, but no one is perfect. I’m a Gwyneth apologist, what can I say?

Rachel Bilson

Hairdos and Holidays

Best-known for: The O.C.
My favorites: The O.C. & Hart of Dixie

The O.C.’s Summer Roberts is one of the most iconic TV characters of the 2000s. The fast-talking, Seth Cohen-loving Summer would have been forgettable if not for Bilson’s sass and charm. She brings all of that to Hart of Dixie, a much-better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be slice of southern heaven on The CW, that Katie and I love and are completely devoted to. It is second to Nashville as fastest show I watch from my DVR. [I didn’t watch The O.C. but I keep thinking I should, for Rachel Bilson alone! -K]

Minda Kaling

Mindy Kaling The Mindy Project

Best known for: The Office, The Mindy Project
My favorite: Being my best friend in my dreams

I know I was down on it last year, but the quality of The Mindy Project has gone up since whatever they did to the cast. I’m laughing! A lot! I think Mindy is a great sitcom writer, one of the best ever: she wrote all my favorite episodes of The Office. I love that she is normal sized and sometimes has trouble finding the most flattering outfits (just like me!). Mindy Kaling is pretty much perfect in every way [subliminal message: Please be my friend. You are only four days older than me. We are bonded. I am being creepy, right?] {When she becomes your friend she will become my friend too and then we can sit down and watch When Harry Met Sally and have a good cry because Nora Ephron is dead. Okay so maybe I am also being creepy. -K}

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester Monte Carlo

Best known for: Gossip Girl
My favorites: Country Strong, Monte Carlo

I’m glad Leighton made the headband chic again for that one year in the late aughts. But she is probably my favorite actor to come out of The CW since Kristen Bell. She said the phrase “bull true!” (in response to “bullshit!”) with so much conviction in Country Strong that I had no choice but to succumb to that crap movie. I would be remiss to not sing the praises of Monte Carlo, a cute 60s-esque romp around France involving mistaken identity, hot royals and Cory Monteith (we hope you’re doing ok in rehab)! [Monte Carlo is my favorite! -K]

Kerry Washington


Best known for: Scandal
My favorites: Scandal & the clip below

I don’t know if Kerry would be on this list had she not 1) been cast in Scandal, my guilty pleasure (what is UP with all the blurry camera shots, Shonda?), 2) found the best stylist on earth and rocked every red carpet she’s graced in the past 6 months and 3) done this:


I’m all in, Kerry. All in.

Zooey Deschanel

Zooey Deschanel The New Girl

Best known for: The New Girl, She & Him, 500 Days of Summer
My favorites: The New Girl, Our Idiot Brother, Weeds

Zooey is probably the most hated person on this list after Gwyneth Paltrow. I like She & Him okay. And yet…I love her. IN EVERYTHING. Since she played Anita the cool older sister in Almost Famous, I have been obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. If you don’t think she is funny, watch her as Kat the crazy girl from Alaska in Weeds. It is genius. [I too love Zooey —no comment regarding Gwynnie. -K]

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones I Love You Man

Best known for: Parks and Recreation
My favorites: Parks & Rec, I Love You Man

While many were furious that Karen Filippelli was keeping Jim and Pam apart on The Office, I was just happy Rashida Jones was on my TV every week ( I missed her since she left Boston Public). I also think Parks & Rec’s Ann is a much better character than most people on the Internet think. She is Leslie’s best friend and that is lovely and important. Rashida is so deadpan and great as Ann too.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton Nashville

Best known for: Friday Night Lights
My favorites: The Brothers McMullen, Nashville

The Brothers McMullen is full of loveable cads with memorable lines, but Ed Burns said people would come up to him and tell him how much they loved Molly, played by Connie Britton. I don’t love anyone enough to sit through a season of American Horror Story, but Connie almost pushed me to evil Ryan Murphy’s side before she left that show for Nashville, a frothy hour set in music city where she plays a Faith Hill-like country superstar. Every scene with Rayna is amazing–Britton is absolutely electrifying. [Tami Taylor 4-eva. Also her hair makes me weep that it’s not on my head. -K]

Jasika Nicole

Jasika Nicole Fringe

Best known for: Fringe (if people watch the show, which according to the ratings, they did not)
My favorites: Fringe, her illustration blog

The news that Jasika has just been cast in a guest starring role on Scandal is wonderful because it’s a high non-genre profile show that has good ratings (ie, not like my dearly departed Fringe). I fell for her when I found her blog with comics about her life: trying to be an actress, dating women, her sister who has an autism disorder. I felt like I really knew her from her art. And when Fringe finally did an Astrid-centered episode (with other Astrid, inspired by Jasika’s sister), one which was beautiful and touching, I cried. [Her tumblr is amazing (she sews and does DIY home shit) also Astrid and Walter’s relationship was my favorite on Fringe. -K]


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