rying to figure out how much maintenance is too much maintenance is one of the hardest questions that someone who's looking for a TV girlfriend will ever have to answer. Seriously, it practically requires an algebraic equation. She's hot, but is she hot enough for you to put up with all of the baggage she's toting along with her? Rather than assign numeric values to her pros and cons, we're going to simplify the mathematical process for you by offering you 10 high-maintenance hotties that are, at least by our estimation, worth your time and trouble.
As you'll see from our nominees, not every woman is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. Elaine Benes, for example, is pretty darned cute, but she's also as petty as they come; similarly, Rachel Green, Summer Roberts and Cordelia Chase are all drop-dead gorgeous, but they unfortunately score high marks in shallowness as well. Sometimes, though, the problems aren't on the inside. Occasionally, you'll find a woman who looks sexy but has something about her that's lurking quietly and will suddenly surface and bite you in the ass…like, say, a tendency to write about every aspect of her relationships in a widely-read newspaper column, or a father that's pretty high up in the "family," if you know what we mean. You've got to look very, very carefully at your potential girlfriends, y'know? Good thing we're here to help.
As ever, we invite you to investigate both the good and bad traits of our 10 "High Maintenance Hotties," but after you've determined which one is hot enough to earn your vote, don't forget to come back on July 31 to see who won and to place your vote for the next category, "Mean Girls."
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Seinfeld"
The cute and curly-haired Ms. Benes is shallow, selfish and far from easygoing, but consider the company she keeps and she starts to look pretty good. And there's plenty that's kind of endearing about her other less attractive qualities, like her dancing, described by her frenemy George Costanza as "a full body dry heave set to music." We like her because of, not despite, the fact that after hearing about a boyfriend's serious accident, she stops to buy Jujubes, or that she believes Jerry when he tells her that the original title of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace was War, What is it Good For?, or that a chance encounter with the handsome John F. Kennedy, Jr. ("John John") causes her to lose the most famous self-denial contest in TV history. Sure, Elaine is dishonest, petty and, when it comes to her dwindling supply of contraceptive sponges, exceptionally choosy – despite having a history of dating that includes the brainless David Puddy and the ultra-pretentious "Maestro." Still, we think the man who is deemed truly sponge-worthy is among the luckiest of men, and it's not just Elaine's shiksa-appeal that's making us say it.
Sarah Jessica Parker, "Sex and the City"
Her rumored resemblance to a foot not withstanding, it's easy to see why Carrie Bradshaw is rarely without male companionship: she's successful, has a bright personality, loves her friends and – as evidenced by the fact that she's built an entire career out of writing about her time between the sheets – the girl's got a healthy libido. Of course, all that fabulousness comes with a heavy price tag: Anyone with Carrie's devotion to the latest fashions has no use for a man without a ridiculously high-paying job, that tight-knit group of friend is bound to get fairly annoying at some point, and knowing your every false move is fodder for a column read by thousands of people has got to put a damper on those ostensibly private moments in the boudoir. Oh, and she's also off the market, having tied the knot with on-again, off-again longtime beau John "Mr. Big" Preston a couple of years ago. Still, if you're willing to wait – and you've got the requisite bankroll, thick skin and Cosmopolitan ingredients – Carrie just might be worth the effort.
Charisma Carpenter, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" & "Angel"
To call Cordelia Chase high-maintenance is to grossly understate the point. She's not just high-maintenance – she's unfathomable. She has the looks of a goddess, so it made sense that she would literally become a goddess – and, true to Cordy tradition, she found it dreadfully boring – but while her head may be saying "gimme cash," her heart has always had more noble intentions, causing her to fall for a geek, a demon and a vampire. So which version of Cordelia is the real Cordelia? Is she the status-obsessed social climber, or the thoughtful, vulnerable soul that reveals itself in the odd unguarded moment? Does her real affection for you come when she's being sweet, or when she's putting you down? You may never find out the answers to those questions, but when dealing with someone so stunningly beautiful, you won't think twice about spending the rest of your life trying to figure them out.
Jennifer Aniston, "Friends"
When we met Rachel Green, she was a demonstrably shallow and ambition-deficient twenty something with a nose job and a dentist she'd left at the altar – your basic stereotypical Jewish American princess rewritten for the ‘90s, in other words – and, yet, from the moment we discovered that Ross Gellar had carried a torch for Rachel since their teenage years, we understood why. It helped, of course, that she was utterly smoking' hot (and enough of a ditz that she was prone to grabbing a loosely crocheted blanket to cover up her freshly showered torso if you burst in unannounced), but beneath all that pampered entitlement lurked a heart sensitive enough to melt at the sight of a gawky Ross pining for her on prom night – and deep enough to juggle a burgeoning career with unexpected single motherhood. Rachel was frequently foolish, often exasperating, and she did have a troubling mean streak, but just like Ross, we always knew, deep down, that she was totally worth it.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler, "The Sopranos"
She may be spoiled and neurotic, but Meadow Soprano is certainly no stereotypically vapid-but-ultra-hot Mafia princess. For one thing, she's a thoughtful and hard working student. That helps with her rather complex rationalizations of her father's career choice as some sort of response to historic oppression, transforming him from ruthless murderer to ex-proletariat antihero in one gigantically wrongheaded step. Even if she's lost more than one decent boyfriend to her family's thuggishness, and may even suspect the truth behind the unfortunate demise of her not-so-decent onetime love, Jackie Aprile, Jr., it's impossible not to sympathize with her problem and her dishonest way of dealing with it. Part of the problem is that she really is the apple of her father's eye; her loyalty to him may be completely misplaced, but it is also entirely natural and, confusingly enough, kind of admirable. Also, doing the "right thing" could easily cause her, and/or everyone she loves, to wind up dead. Who can blame young Mead for being a little touchy?
The first five nominees in the "High Maintenance Hotties" category are all worthy objects of our affection, but they certainly aren't the only baggage-toting hotties to win our hearts. Below you'll find five more lovely ladies to consider before placing your vote.
Debra Messing, "Will & Grace"
It's hard to argue against the red-headed hotness of Grace Adler. It's what's inside the package that causes the problems. It's a rarity for Grace to be able to maintain a long-term relationship with a straight man, and due to an unfortunate history of dating guys who've gone on to realize their homosexuality or bisexuality, she's a little paranoid that she could well change the sexual persuasion of her Mr. Right. She's also notoriously selfish, more than a little bit vain and as neurotic as they come. Actually, now that we think about it, the outside of the package has some problems too. Have you seen the size of the woman's feet? Oh, but we're just nitpicking now. When you get right down to it, she might be crazy, but she's still hot.
Shelley Long, "Cheers"
The blonder, female half of TV comedy's ultimate on-again-off-again couple is a perpetual grad student with enough pretentious intellectual snobbery and over-the-top political correctness to drive nearly anyone to distraction, especially a shallowly womanizing "man's man" like bartender/ex-baseball star Sam Malone. Still, even as she eventually finds – and dumps – a man who actually loves her more for her posturing in Dr. Frasier Crane, it's hard not to sympathize a little with the author of the perpetually unfinished Jocasta's Conundrum. Diane may be insufferable, but she's also an adorable slave to her emotions; we'd have a hard time getting her out of our hair, too.
Lauren Graham, "Gilmore Girls"
It's tough being a free spirit when your parents are as staid and stuffy as they come, and it's even tougher when your teenage rebellion leads you down the road to teenage pregnancy. The biggest problem with dating Lorelei Gilmore is that you will, at some point or other, find yourself in direct competition with the father of her child: Christopher Hayden. Their relationship isn't always the closest, but as a result of having both contributed to the genetic makeup of their daughter, Rory, they've got a connection. Worse, though, is the fact that they still have a spark. Still, others have managed to earn a spot in Lorelei's life, and if you're one of those, feel privileged: she's gorgeous, intelligent and incredibly creative. Beware, though: she's also very flighty, and she has a fear of commitment that you have to experience personally to believe. It's not that Lorelei's heart is unwinnable; it's a matter of whether or not you can hold on to your trophy.
Calista Flockhart, "Ally McBeal"
She wouldn't be your first choice if you're a boob man – or an ass man, for that matter. Actually, if you're the kind of guy who prefers that his women look like they're capable of withstanding a stiff breeze, Ally McBeal probably isn't for you. If, on the other hand, you have a thing for career-driven, adorably neurotic singletons with great taste in miniskirts, Ally might be your girl. You'll have to get in line, though – with her ever-expanding legal caseload, long list of tumultuous relationships, and the occasional extra unplanned wrinkle (such as the daughter she didn't know she had) getting in the way, Miss McBeal is pretty much the textbook definition of a high maintenance hottie.
Rachel Bilson, "The O.C."
Even among the slew of superficial teenagers that inhabit Orange County, California, Summer Roberts stands as the highest maintenance of them all. This brunette beauty is not above putting social status above all else – even her own personal feelings – and is known for throwing fits when things didn't go her way, but while her gorgeous looks and innocent smile let her get away with it, she's grown out of her bratty nature somewhat. She's got a lot more going on upstairs than she lets on (she was accepted to Brown University), and her time dating certified nerd Seth Cohen proves she has overcome her reliance on popularity. That's not a bad quality for a two-time prom queen to have, and more than enough reason for us to want to date her.
Now that you've seen our 10 nominees in the "High Maintenance Hotties" category, it's time to make your voice heard by voting for your favorite. If you need to refresh your memory before casting your ballot, click the thumbnails below to revisit each nominee's writeup. Then, come back on Friday, July 31 for the unveiling of the next TV Girlfriends list, "Mean Girls," and to see which character prevailed in the "High Maintenance Hotties" voting.
|Married to the Job||Mean Girls|