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I have accumulated a nice collection of television DVD sets. I tend to collect those that can calm me after a rough day at work or whatever stress I may have in my life. They are part of my "comfort tv" arsenal.

I recently made an interesting discovery about my arsenal. I realized that all of my comfort tv preferences are based on shows about strong, single women.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show is probably my all time favorite and Mary certainly falls into the strong, single gal category. I think I like Mary best because, through the years, you get to watch Mary grow and mature and get stronger. I think Mary was a great roll model for me in my formative years. Some people say That Girl was the first big single gal show to make it big and be a good role model but Mary will always reign Queen of the single gal nation in my heart.

As a kid I loved Nanny & The Professor but hated I Dream of Genie because she had to call the Captain "Master". *Shudder* It stills makes my skin crawl. Rhoda rocked my world but once she married Joe I preferred her sister.

After some consideration I realized my beloved Northern Exposure discs also qualifies as a strong woman show and, yes, I own some of those discs too. Through DVD Swap I've received some Gilmore Girls discs and someone at work gave me some Golden Girls sets. All of those ladies are single, independant women who I genuinely enjoy. More recently I discovered The Vicar of Dibley which completely falls into my independent woman theme.

Then, yesterday, yet another DVD set arrived from Amazon. It's probably my ultimate guilty pleasure... I bought the entire series set of Ally McBeal. I know, I know, some people just plain hate Ally McBeal and might think I'm nuts for buying it. I wouldn't even say Ally's a favorite of mine either but I love the quirky cast of characters in the show and I do like the way our crazy little Ally sees the world. Her short skirts are admittedly ridiculous, and don't even get me started on that creepy baby hallucination, but still I manage to love the show.

I think I only watched the first few seasons of Ally then, as usual, I lost interest. I guess I always meant to catch up on Ally in syndication but it never happened. Ally McBeal never seemed to end up on Lifetime or Bravo or anywhere. My cynicism always made me think it was due to lack of necessary music rights/permissions. It turns out I was right. The show was released on DVD ages ago in the UK, but the US has strict music rights laws and most of the shows featured so much music that it was almost cost prohibitive to hammer it all out. I'm not sure how they finally did it but 7 years after the show left the air the complete series has finally been released, with all original music, in the US.

Ally McBeal is probably one of my most most genuine guilty pleasures. I'm not entirely sure why I feel that way but I do. Maybe it's the Ally backlash that hit almost immediately when the show first aired. I think many people have the same feelings for Meredith from Grey's Anatomy. For some reason I have a high tolerance of whiny television characters as long as they are surrounded by a fun and quirky cast. I suppose True Blood's Sookie Stackhouse falls into the same category. Somehow Sookie bugs me way more than Ally but she has hotter men surrounding her and that's a big plus.

I don't know why this strong single gal theme has never occurred to me until now. It doesn't apply to all of my television preferences but it seems to apply to all of the tv discs that I own. Funny huh?

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