14 of the Most Terrifying Mean Older Ladies on Television


janefonda_620_102312.jpgLast week we told you that screen legend Jane Fonda would finally be starring as a series regular on TV in a pilot for ABC called Now What?, a comedy where Fonda plays a mean, overbearing mother whose daughter is forced to move back in with her. Wait, you’ve landed Jane Fonda for the small screen and you’re getting her to play a mean old lady? And let’s not forget the mean old lady she already plays on HBO’s The Newsroom.

That got me to thinking. The “mean old lady” is the newest stock character on so many TV shows (and so many times they’re not even that old). Here’s a rundown of 14 of these women that are currently on television. It’s not really our favorite trope, but it can be used to great effect. It appears there’s something in our culture that wants us to see old women lash out in bitterness or be awful to their children. Maybe Freud was right and we’re all just blaming our mothers for something and taking it out on our TV shows. God, I hope not.

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Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter: @BrianJMoylan

[Photo Credit: WENN]


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After getting his master's degree in poetry, Senior Writer Brian Moylan started writing about television and pop culture for Gawker, The Guardian, The Washington Blade and a few other reputable publications. Brian has an honorary PhD in “Jersey Shore” studies from the University of Chicago. He's shared his often hilarious views about the tube on VH1, MSNBC, TV Guide Channel, MTV (Canada), BBC radio, and NPR. He can usually be found at his apartment in New York yelling at the TV and dodging calls from Real Housewives. He is a Taurus and likes long walks on the beach, fried chicken, and almost every reality television program ever created (especially “The Swan”).