Favorite Fictional Characters, #49: Amy Gardner
I could probably do a whole week or more just on West Wing characters. Among them would be, without question, Amy Gardner. There's so much to like about her. She's blisteringly smart, able to go toe-to-toe with Josh Lyman and the others. She's dedicated to her policy agenda, almost obsessively so. She's a woman unafraid to acknowledge her sexuality but not be defined by it. In an overwhelmingly male world, she carves out a role on her own terms. And honestly, I always thought she made a much better match for Josh, his equal, bringing out his feral, focused side much more so than mopey-dopey Donna. She never bends, with an inflexibility that is her main strength and flaw. Mary-Louise Parker's portrayal is tough but vulnerable, blustering confidence and churning anxiety, making for a layered, nuanced character who eats up the screen whenever she's on it.