|Home Improvement character|
|Last appearance||"The Long and Winding Road Part 3"|
|Portrayed by||Patricia Richardson|
|Family||Colonel Fred Patterson (deceased) |
Jillian "Jill" Patterson Taylor is a character in the TV sitcom Home Improvement played by Patricia Richardson. Jill is Tim Taylor's wife. Jill helps Tim raise their three sons (Brad, Randy, and Mark). Jill Taylor has appeared on critics' lists of "top TV" or "most memorable" moms. For this role, Richardson was nominated four times for Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress – Comedy Series and also received two nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.
The writers planned from the start that Tim Taylor's wife would have a strong voice. Patricia Richardson had initially been reluctant to accept the role, concerned that Jill would be yet another "perfect" TV sitcom mother such as Clair Huxtable of The Cosby Show. She was reassured after seeing some scripts and talking to the series' producers. Early in the show's run, Richardson said, "What I want for this character is for her to be imperfect. I want her to make mistakes. I want her to be the wrong one in the relationship. I want her to blow it with Tim, and be the one who has to be punished. Because that's what life is like."
Due to her father being in the Army, Jill and her four sisters grew up in a rigid environment. Jill and her siblings appear together in "Jill and Her Sisters" and "Taps".
It is established early in the series that Jill serves as the voice of reason for her husband and children. Jill is known for her common sense, but is also in-tune with her emotions; she has been described as "the epitome of understanding".
College and career
Throughout the course of the series, Jill goes from being a stay at home mother to a career-focused working woman. Early in the series, Jill frequently has problems finding employment; in the pilot episode of the series, she discusses with Tim about how she was passed over for a job interview. However, Jill ultimately goes back to school, majoring in psychology.
Jill's feminism is emphasized throughout the series, especially in its latter seasons. She and Tim would sometimes argue about a man and woman's "place" in the household. Despite Tim's frequent reluctance to understand Jill's point of view, he usually tries to compromise with her.
It is also revealed in "Taps" that Jill is a Democrat. In other episodes, Jill mentions attending protest rallies as a young woman without her father's knowledge. However, being the daughter of an Army father has influenced her personality somewhat. For example, in "Tanks for the Memories", she exhibits great skill in driving a tank, despite the fact that she never drove a tank before.
The relationship between Jill and Tim Taylor has been discussed in academic papers about feminism. In May 2012, Jill was one of the 12 moms chosen by users of iVillage on their list of "Mommy Dearest: The TV Moms You Love".
- Pierce, Scott D. (May 10, 2009). "TV mothers have become a big part of our lives", Deseret News, p. E1.
- Matthew, Amy (May 8, 2009). "Mother lode: Saluting the most memorable TV moms", McClatchy-Tribune Business News / The Pueblo Chieftain.
- Vancheri, Barbara, and Owen, Rob (May 9, 2004). "Leave It to June Cleaver", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. F8.
- Adalian, Josef (May 8, 1993). "Why are TV moms so perfect?", Boston Herald, p. 19.
- (October 1, 2004). "The winding path of TV's woman of the house", USA Today, p. E2.
- Berman, Marc (May 5, 2008). "In Mom's Honor", Mediaweek 18 (18): 58.
- McEachern, Charmaine (March 1999). "Comic interventions: Passion and the men's movement in the situation comedy, Home Improvement", Journal of Gender Studies 8 (1): 5–18.
- Hanke, Robert (Winter 1998). "The 'mock-macho' situation comedy: Hegemonic masculinity and its reiteration", Western Journal of Communication 62 (1): 74–93.
- Craig, Steve (1996). "More (male) power: Humor & gender in Home Improvement", The Mid-Atlantic Almanack (5): 61–84.
- Garfinkel, Jacki (May 10, 2012). "Mommy Dearest: The TV Moms You Love". iVillage. Retrieved June 17, 2012.