I was catching up on a little Friday Night Lights last night (thank you NBC, thank you Direct TV) and old Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) was being a wee bit manipulative. And I thought, "Why is TV's best wife, mother and principal giving beleaguered Coach Taylor such a hard time of it?" Obviously, she was trying to get her way. In addition to giving me a greater appreciation for the show's subtly, it makes me remember that in real life, good wives (and husbands, boyfriends, fiancées, etc) sometimes pull some shady business. And that got me thinking, who are the best wives currently on TV; attractiveness, sass, levelheadedness and loyalty are all taken into account (the order is only general):
Carla Turk (Judy Reyes, Scrubs): The head nurse at Sacred Heart is a busybody but she always has her friends' best interests at heart. This is especially the case with husband Chris Turk. They share a friendly antagonism that keeps the other from getting the big head.
Barb Henrickson (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Big Love): Being Bill Henrickson's first wife is a big responsibility, one that Barb takes on with great relish (and so-so mustard, buh-dum-pah!). Despite being disowned by her family for her getting into the polygamy racket, she is the glue that holds the Henricksons together and keeps Bill from making (some) bad decisions.
Tina Kennard (Laurel Holloman, The L Word): This may be a teensy bit of a controversial choice, but Tina deserves a second look. Fine, she gets into some shady territories but she always does the right thing... in the end. OK, her relationship with Bette Porter is somewhat codependent, but by the end of every season they wind up back where they belong: with each other.
Ella Payne (Cassandra Davis, House Of Payne): Like a handful of the ladies on this list, Ella has near-infinite patience and the ability to hold things together despite her family's hijinks. She's the voice of reason that keeps Curtis Payne from doing anything too rash.
Melanie Clayton Briggs (Erin Hayes, Worst Week): Sure, this show is still in its first season, but it is hilarious. Anyone who can see past Sam Briggs', um, inability to do anything right despite his best intentions is automatically a nice person. But the tender moments they share make even us viewers see past his outer doofus.
Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother): Lily is the sweet, spendthrift wife of HIMYM's resident galoot, Marshall Erikson. Like Hannigan's character from the American Pie series, there's a sense that Lily is pretty adventurous (sexually) and possibly bicurious (also sexually). Unfortunately, she chews her food loudly.