Once upon a ruffled shoulder pad, if you wanted to name the resident beyatch on your nighttime drama, the name of choice would be Alexis. After all, it did wonders for Dynasty and soon everything from daytime soaps to big movies had villanesses named Alexis, Alex, or Alexandra.
Two decades and multiple fashion disasters later, the televixen name of choice has changed. Your new I-love-to-hate-her gal is now Catherine. Turns out the old school moniker of royalty is now the "it" name for royal bitches.
Take Catherine Weaver played scrumptiously by Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles for example. Decked out in taliored monochromatic suits and a slicked out ponytail Manson's cyborg with a secret is my favorite evil Catherine since Katherine Hiegl. I know that was a cheap shot but necessary since we all secretly love/hate her.
Elsewhere (and by that I mean on the CW), Catherine on Gossip Girl is actual royalty, even if it's just by marriage. In her short time terrorizing the Upper Eastside teens, Duchess Catherine has already blackmailed a young girl, slept with said girl's crush, and macked out with her own stepson! Leave it to Central Park West and Twin Peaks alum Madchen Amick to give this cougarriffic Catherine some real claws. Joan would be proud.
And lastly, the first new Katherine (with a K!) that grabbed me last year was Katherine Mayfair of Desperate Housewives. I've already blogged about how fabulous Dana Delany is in this role but since she was ROBBED of an Emmy nomination, it's worth repeating. Ms. Mayfair is a secretive, controlling witch but it's her sadness and turmoil that makes her utterly compelling. Marc Cherry and company should be applauded for being ahead of the curve.
Still, you have to give Alexis her due. Because if an Alexis was unhappy with her writers she wouldn't whine about it to the press. She'd just have them fired. Or at least beat the hell out of them.