Six Fictional Jills
Jill Tyrell from Nighty Night
played by Julia Davis
Despite the fact that she is something of a Jilly-come-lately as far as cultural history is concerned, this Jill comes first because it was the recent spate of hype about Nighty Night that inspired this list. For those who haven't seen it, it's a very, very black comedy and she's a very, very horrid lady. This is not a problem in itself, but now the BBC, in its infinite infantilism, has set up this How Jill Are You? quiz, and to be honest, this irks me slightly. Call me shallow but I don't want my name to become a byword for "shallow attention-seeking psychopath with appalling dress sense". I mean, I'm perfectly capable of bringing the name into bad repute by myself, and frankly I don't need other people stealing my thunder.
That's not like me! She schemes, she plots, she enveigles, she defrauds, she murders, she tries to steal husbands, and when she can't steal them, she tries to steal their seminal fluids from their unconscious bodies. And she goes out jogging in a basque and garters. And I'd never ever go jogging.
But we do share... A love of expressing ourselves through performance dance.
Frankly, I'd rather be: Almost any other sitcom nutter. The mad Scottish one off Green Wing would be particularly good, because in real life, she's married to Jack Davenport. Which would have its compensations, even though we'd be Jack and Jill....
Jill Chance from Crossroads
played by Jane Rossington
Prior to Nighty Night, Britain seems to have made only one major contribution to the world of on-screen Jills, and sadly this was it. She was the star of a long-running British soap opera that was known more for the wobbliness of its sets than for the drop-dead gorgeousness of its cast. And I won't even mention the taste-free knitwear.
That's not like me! She spent years running a dodgy motel in the Midlands, and getting married and divorced quite a lot. But even that was done in a tedious English suburban way, not a high-flying Dallas-type way. She also suffered from perenially cheesy hairstyles.
But we do share... A birthday, apparently. Yes, I found out from Planet Crossroads that her birthday was 23rd October, i.e. the same as mine. Now there's a Chance coincidence. Geddit? Oh, suit yourselves.
Frankly, I'd rather be: Noelle Gordon, even if she had a name like an unattractively beardy ex-DJ.
Jill Masterson from Goldfinger
played by Shirley Eaton
Now, this list needs a bit of class and glamour, and what could be more glamorous than being a Bond girl? Well, how about being not only a Connery Bond girl (i.e. the best kind), but also the memorably gold-painted Bond girl from Goldfinger?
That's not like me! Well, she's yet another blonde, of course. And obviously I've never been painted head to toe in gold paint by an evil bad guy. Then again, I've never died on screen in a scientifically impossible fashion either.
But we do share... An aura of timeless sexiness. (Oh, shut up at the back.)
Frankly, I'd rather be: Named after an iconic but dead Bond Girl than be called Pussy Galore or Plenty O'Toole...
Jill Munroe from Charlie's Angels
played by Farrah Fawcett
Ah, the 1970s were a difficult period for many reasons. And one source of trouble unique to myself was my mother's dislike of ITV, the channel that she considered to be the most downmarket and which, therefore, we were not usually allowed to watch. This meant that lots of TV classics of the 70s such as The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Mork and Mindy and yes, Charlie's Angels, were a complete mystery to me for many years. I knew from playground talk that there was a TV series about girls that ran around fighting crime, and I even knew that one of them had the same name as me, but was I allowed to watch it? No, I was not. Frankly readers, I'm still a bit traumatized by the whole thing, and feel a seething resentment every time Charlie's Angels comes up in conversation. The fact that it was actually pretty rubbish doesn't even lessen the blow that much. Bah, humbug.
That's not like me! The unfeasibly big flicky hairdo. The stupid glowy teeth. The vacant expression. The denim hotpants. I have none of these. And I am glad.
But we do share... Mildly inept crime-fighting abilities. It's just that mine are less tested than hers.
Frankly, I'd rather be: Jaclyn Smith, because she had the best hair, even if her parents clearly had trouble spelling the word "Jacqueline".
Jill from Ed TV
played by Liz Hurley
Ed TV was, in my opinion, a very dull film, and has been pretty much forgotten by history in favour of The Truman Show, with which it shares some superficial similarities of content. However, a friend did once buy me an Ed TV poster, and the only reason for this was the fact that it contained a picture of Liz Hurley, captioned with the words: "Everybody loves Jill. She'll do anything to get on TV." This was, I admit, mildly amusing if you know me, but not enough for me to put the poster up on the wall, and eventually I threw it away. This cavalier attitude was unfortunate in retrospect, since I now realize that it would be fairly amusing to have an LJ icon with that image and text, but I can't found an online version that's sufficiently clear to make an icon out of.... But never mind. Somehow I'll live.
That's not like me! Again, I'm not an attention-seeking maniac. Nor am I dead skinny with an unfeasibly posh accent. And nor am I even vaguely enticed by the prospect of snogging Matthew McConaughey, a.k.a. the Man With No Face – so-called by a mate of mine because he has no facial features to speak of. He just has shapeless plasticine lumps, like Odo on Deep Space Nine.
But we do share... A hair colour – that is, if you ignore her expensive dye job and my incoming greyness. But it is a little disappointing that she's the only brunette Jill in this list.
Frankly, I'd rather be: Hugh Grant.
Jill Green (Rachel's sister) from Friends
played by Reese Witherspoon
Oh look, another annoying blonde attention-seeking Jill, in the form of the guest-starring sister of Rachel. Frankly, this is no longer looking like an amusing coincidence, and actively starting to look like anti-Jill prejudice in action. I'd complain to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, if I thought they'd do anything other than throw me out on the street calling me an annoying attention-seeker. But as I landed in the gutter, you can bet I'd be yelling "But I'm NOT BLONDE!!".
That's not like me! Spoiled and rich and stupid, and weirdest of all, has no objection to snogging David Schwimmer. Have some standards, girl!
But we do share... The desire to run up to new parents in the street and tell them that their baby is ugly. Only I manage to refrain from actually doing it.
Frankly, I'd rather be: Phoebe, and if you'd heard me playing the guitar, you'd know I wasn't too far away.
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And Now... It's Over To You
Have I forgotten anyone? Can you think of any famous TV or movie Jills that are worthy of recognition? Searching IMDb gave me a plethora of characters called Jill from long-forgotten TV movies, but the only other one from a film I really knew was the character of Jill Layton, played by Kim Greist in the film Brazil, but I couldn't think of anything of note to say about her. I'd also be particularly interested to hear about literary Jills, because the only two I can think of are the one who went up the hill with Jack, and Jill in C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair.
And before you ask, I'm afraid that characters called Gill or Gillian don't count, because that's not my name....