Photo: Courtesy of the Everett Collection
In four decades on TV, Julia Louis-Dreyfus hasnt just proved that women can be funnyEmmy check: 14 noms, four wins, and countingshes also become the go-to gal for capturing, if not defining, a certain woman of a certain era.
Elaine Benes, Seinfeld
Contemporaries: First lady Hillary Clinton, Liz Phair, Rachel Green
Up Against: Judgmental women, work a-holesbasically everyone
How She Managed: Elaine saw nothing wrong with being a girl whos just one of the guys but never shied away from what a modern 90s woman coveted: a career, sex (long live the sponge!), independence. If ever there was a master of her domain, it was Elaine.
Related: How a Hollywood Guru Helped Me Stop Being So Damn Indecisive
Photo: Warner Brothers Television/Courtesy of the Everett Collection
Christine Campbell, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Contemporaries: Career moms
Up Against: Meanie moms, ex-husband and his younger girlfriend, herself
How She Managed: As a frazzled divorcée, the middlebrow, turn-of-the-millennium Christine started as a woman rife with neuroses, over-competitiveness, and misaligned values. But she slowly became a symbol of hope for women looking for a midlife comeback without taking themselves too seriously.
Photo: HBO/Lacey Terrell
Selina Meyer, Veep
Contemporaries: Sarah Palin, Sheryl Sandberg, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Up Against: POTUS, chauvinistic male senators, manipulative ex-husband
How She Manages: Though Selina suffers from acute foot-in-mouth disease (hoist by your own retard gate), shes the first female VP of the United States and a consummate juggler of life, love, and politics in and out of the White Houseand shes even rightfully been brought into the lean in debate.