Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

Disclaimer: The following includes spoilers for the 1995 sitcom Caroline in the City.

Fast Facts:

Amy Pietz played Annie Spadaro in all four seasons of the NBC sitcom Caroline in the City. The show starred Lea Thompson as Caroline Duffy, a New York City-based comic strip artist who based her work on her experiences and friends.

Lea Thompson, Amy Pietz, Eric Lutes, and Malcolm Gets post on a roof in front of the skyline in a promotional shot for Caroline in the City.

Caroline in the City’s main cast.

Annie was Caroline’s best friend and neighbor across the hall and played an integral role throughout the series. Like Caroline, Annie is a creative professional. When the series opens, she’s a dancer in the Broadway production of Cats (which had the distinction of being the longest-running show at the time, a reason she cites as an excuse to have a night out on more than one occasion). Later on in the series, she travels to Hollywood in an attempt to make it big in a pilot, but the pilot sadly isn’t picked up.

RELATED: Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: Shirley Bennett.

In terms of her place in Caroline’s cast of friends, she often plays the ribbing antagonist to Richard (Malcolm Gets), the colorist Caroline hires in the very first episode of the series. While Richard’s sharp tongue and acerbic wit mean he’s often prepared with a barb for Annie, she never misses a beat before returning in kind. Yet even though they are constantly on opposite sides of the rhetorical fence, they can always put aside their differences to do what’s best for their friend (unless it would be, you know, hilarious).

The Real Deal:


the Caroline in the City character Annie Spadaro backstage in her cats costume

In the first season episode in which she’s meant to help Caroline with her impending wedding by shouldering a plethora of maid-of-honor responsibilities, she drops the ball by failing to meet several deadlines. At first, she tries to overcompensate for her failure to prepare using Must See TV-style shenanigans (which require her to lure a venom-spitting Richard into the hallway with the ersatz promise of her mother’s lasagna before enlisting her often-rival to the ultimately lost cause of salvaging Caroline’s wedding shower).

While Caroline is initially frustrated, she eventually realizes that she wouldn’t be Annie if Annie were better at accomplishing those sorts of things. Fortunately, because Annie knows who she is and has never presented herself as anything otherwise (feline dancing segments not included), Caroline can sitcom-swiftly make peace with Annie’s inherent vices. 

Why She Matters:

Caroline (Lea Thompson) and Annie (Amy Pietz) play BFFs on Caroline in the City

Why does Annie matter? She always has confidence in herself, and she’s never ashamed of being herself, no matter what snarky comment she may find herself greeted by (this was a mid-90s sitcom, after all). She’s very outspoken concerning her perspective, and she doesn’t back down from stating her opinion, no matter who might disagree with her. 

That being said, she’s also willing to put aside petty differences with those around her to ensure the greater good is served, especially when it comes to her closest friend, Caroline. And while the TV pilot to which she had hitched her hopes wasn’t picked up over the course of Caroline in the City’s timeline, I like to imagine that, like the actor who played her, Annie eventually got to appear in lots of big and small screen roles (and maybe even inspired an essential character in Caroline’s debut graphic novel).

So, be like Annie. Always have confidence in your perspective and state your mind, even if it’s greeted with a sneer. If there’s one thing Annie taught us, it’s when it comes to verbal jousting, you’re only one line away from being the character who gets to put the button on the act break!

RELATED: Looking for another strong female crush? Check out our Geek Girl Authority Crushes of the Week here!


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Avery Kaplan