Dreary daughters are dragging down some of TV’s best shows
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticfirstname.lastname@example.org November 26, 2012 7:42PM
Connie Nielsen (left) and Hannah Ware on "Boss" on Starz.
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:07AM
Forget Abu Nazir. The real threat on “Homeland” is Brody’s teenage daughter, Dana, who’s been hijacking the plot this season with her high school romance and hit-and-run drama.
Morgan Saylor, who plays Nicholas and Jessica Brody’s long-faced, longer-locked eldest child, is a fine actress. But her character is like a speedbump on the autobahn, slowing down the action on the high-octane Showtime hit.
Dana’s bigger role in season two is worrisome because it makes it easier for “Homeland” to veer off into dangerous territory. After all, the creators of this Emmy magnet also gave us the most annoying, plot-disruptive daughter in TV history, “24’s” Kim Bauer.
Here’s a look at five other television daughters who deserve a timeout:
‘The Good Wife’
Remember that ridiculous episode last season when the Florricks’ daughter Grace (Makenzie Vega) went missing and everyone had to get their Liam Neeson on and try to find her? Turned out the teen hadn’t been kidnapped. The little rascal was just at church, getting baptized. Looks like another memo titled “Give Grace a storyline” is circulating around the writers’ room of the CBS show. A recent episode set the stage for the Good Daughter to fall for a bad boy, resulting in yet another contrived storyline involving the Florrick kids. Let’s hope the Degrassi dies down soon so we can get back to the campaign and the courtroom.
The esteemed Earl and Countess of Grantham have three daughters: Lady Mary, Lady Sybil and Lady Edith. Or as “Saturday Night Live” dubbed them: Hot, Way Hot and The Other One. Way Hot is way too righteous, a class-blind, selfless nurse and suffragette who can do no wrong, and that’s no fun. Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) may be able to rock a pair of harem pants, but I’d rather the PBS period piece keep the Highclere Castle cameras focused on Mary (Michelle Dockery) and her men or, to a lesser degree, the delightfully insecure Edith (Laura Carmichael) as an early 20th century British Jan Brady.
You’d think a conniving momster like Victoria Grayson would have a daughter who’s at least interesting. But Charlotte (Christa B. Allen) is just another pretty face on this ABC drama chock full of pretty faces. Even when the writers throw Charlotte a dramatic bone — Overdose on pills! Fight with your parents for the 10,000th time! — it falls flat. As if Charlotte wasn’t already as unwatchable as a solar eclipse, it looks like she’s resurrecting her romance with Declan, the only character on the show lamer than she is.
‘Game of Thrones’
Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark begat two very different daughters on HBO’s fantasy epic. The youngest is a plucky little tomboy named Arya (Maisie Williams), whose big sis is the vain, prissy Sansa (Sophie Turner). Young Arya is like a medieval Emily Thorne, disguising herself as someone else, swordfighting her way through the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and hell-bent on getting revenge on those who’ve wronged her. Sansa is the polar opposite: a passive, sulky damsel in distress who’s always whining or crying. Off with her head!
Throughout the two seasons of Starz’s recently canceled political drama about Chicago Mayor Tom Kane, the mayor’s grown — but far from grown-up — daughter has never made sense. One minute Emma Kane is the world’s most uninspired pastor. Then she’s the world’s most unconvincing drug addict. But you could bet Emma’s last pair of TOMS that she’d always be the angry, estranged offspring, a shtick that wore thin fast. Maybe that’s why I didn’t feel bad when Dad shipped her off to the hoosegow to score political points. As for actress Hannah Ware’s accent, it’s about as Chicago as ketchup on a red hot.