TV Tuesday: Ten Badass Female Characters

In the last 15 years of television there have been some seriously kick-butt female characters on TV.  Occasionally they are the main character of the show, but more often than not they either share the lead with a male character, or a supporting role.  Regardless, these women, and these powerful characters are awesome and they deserve credit.  So for this week’s TV Tuesday I bring you my top ten Badass Female Characters, spanning the last 15 years of television (television that I can remember and have watched).  Some of these characters, and thus their shows are now lying in the graveyard, and some still airing.

10. Sue Sylvester – It is hard to find anything lovable about the villain of  the hit series Glee, yet, many of us come back every week to see what kind of terror Sue (played by the amazing Jane Lynch) will wreak on the kids of McKinley High.  Sometimes I want to punch her in the face, but you can’t deny that Sue knows exactly what she wants, and won’t take no for an answer.

9. Debra Morgan – She is awkward, foul-mouthed, and can’t seem to catch a break in the love department, but you can’t deny that Debra (played by Jennifer Carpenter) is a woman on a mission, in the highly popular series Dexter.  Driven to do what is right and just in a world where she is surrounded by death, crime, and a brother that is a serial killer, Debra shows that even a powerful and righteous woman isn’t always completely put-together.  And frankly, that is a breath of fresh air.

8. Lisa Cuddy – An intelligent and beautiful woman who is unafraid to pu t the resident surly genius doctor in his place, all while flaunting the “assets” that God gave her, and running an entire hospital, with absolutely no shame or wavering.  Can I get a hell yes?  Sure Cuddy (played by Lisa Edelstein) has her moments where she too is only human, but she is never unsure of her strength and capabilities.  You may think House is supposed to be all about, well, House, but without Cuddy, House would be nothing but a bumbling mess.

7. Veronica Mars – Veronica (played by the absolutely hilarious Kristen Bell) is a sassy, wise-cracking crime-solver, who isn’t afraid to show her girly side, even though it would just be easier to be a tomboy, in Veronica Mars.  Sure she has issues aplenty (often issues beyond her young years), and her love life can be quite messy, and frankly she trusts very few people (sometimes rightly so).  But despite all this, Veronica is an extremely intelligent gal who uses her talents and skills to help those around her.

6.  Inara Serra – In the 26th century world of Firefly they may be called “Companions”, but we quickly learn that this is just a fancy and kinder word for someone who sells their “services” for money.  But guess what?  Inara does not care and is not ashamed of her profession.  She holds her head high, she embraces the lifestyle, and will not let anyone put her down.  And you know what, good for her.  A fantastic person with love in heart she instantly brightens the mood in any room she is in.

5.  The Halliwell Sisters – Piper, Phoebe, Prue Halliwell, and later Paige (played by Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty and Rose McGowan) are powerful witches who don’t let any bad guys stand in their way of finding happiness and peace in Charmed (one of the only shows with all female leads to last for eight seasons).  From vanquishing the source of all evil, multiple times, to the death of one of their own, these sister witches have had their fair share of difficult times.  Yet despite years of constant evil and misfortune, they remain close and supportive of each other, and dedicated to ridding the world of bad, while finding balance and happiness.

4. Temperance Brennan – Brennan (played by Emily Deschanel) is not at all what you would expect of a scientist, let alone the best forensic anthropologist in the country.  Stunningly attractive, brutally honest and straightforward, and beyond genius level intelligence, the only problem with Bones is that she is so logical she is unable to comprehend the idea of love.  Though she does not like to be wrong (and rarely ever is), with the help of her partner Booth, Brennan begins to understand that living scientifically and logically is not always the right way.  Meanwhile, she shows that you can be female and get ahead and be the best without having to flaunt your assets.

3. Olivia Benson – Sometimes it is hard to see just how badass Detective Oliva Benson (played by the talented Mariska Hargitay) is when she is compared to her ass-kicking partner Elliot Stabler, in the best of the Law & Orders, Law & Order: SVU.  When they are both present she often plays good-cop to Elliot’s badcop, but get her on her own, and that woman will lay down the smack on anyone.  She isn’t afraid to put herself in tough and difficult situations, she can lay you flat on your back in a fight quicker than most men can, yet she has heart and soul and knows how to connect with those others would write off.  Olivia has been through the ringer, never seeming to find and hold onto love or family, yet she does not let that keep her from doing her job, and doing it well.

2. Buffy Summers – No list of awesome female television characters would be complete without that of Buffy Summers (played by the iconic Sarah Michelle Gellar).  Lets face it, Buffy can do everything.  One moment she is an ultra-girly ditzy cheerleader who talks about shoes and nail polish, and the next, she is a serious, butt-kicking, stake-wielding, vampire-slaying, uber-chick.  She faced death daily, actually died twice, killed her evil vampire boyfriend, stopped the world from ending multiple times, and still managed to make her hair look perfect.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer showed girls all around the world that you can be a girl and be powerful and make a difference, thanks to Buffy Summers and…

1. Willow Rosenberg – On most lists of powerful female characters you find Buffy at the top, and are lucky if Willow is even on there, after all, the show isn’t called Willow.  But for me, Willow Rosenberg (played by the phenomenal Alyson Hannigan) was the reason I enjoyed Buffy the Vampire Slayer as much as I did (well, her and Spike and Giles).  Unlike Buffy, who was given a powerful gift without asking or even earning it, Willow sought out and earned her power.  Going from a mousey girl who would have preferred to disappear into the background with her computers, to a highly intelligent woman and powerful witch, Willow controlled and created her own path.  Sure, she may have had a bit of trouble handling the power at some points, but when one woman could destroy the entire world at a moment’s notice, you can’t help but notice.  Hey, even Buffy couldn’t do that.


What female television characters do you love?  Are there any that you hate?


TV Tuesday: Ten Television Shows I Love

So I think I have already made it clear that I love movies.  But guess what, I also love television, and so I introduce, TV Tuesday.  Each Tuesday I will talk about something related to television.  The latest episode of a show I watched, a TV show I am looking forward to, a television actor that deserves more love.  I am not one of those people who can sit in front of the tv for hours on end, but I do have quite few tv shows (old and new) that I absolutely adore and will make time to watch on a regular basis.  At least 1/3 of the DVDs I own (and I own A LOT) are TV on DVD.  These are just a few of those shows that I love and think everyone should watch.

Ten Television Shows I Love (And You Should Love Too)

FRIENDS – I grew up with this show.  It is a defining item of my childhood, teenagedom, and college years.  Though many shows try to recapture the essence of FRIENDS, no one has done it.  This was one of the first sitcoms where you could actually relate to the characters, rather than them being caricatures.  This show made you laugh, cry, yell in anger, and smile in enjoyment.  And let’s be honest, nowadays, nearly any person in their 20s can tell you which FRIENDS character they are.  Me?  I am Monica…and yes, I am totally dating a Chandler.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Another staple of my teenage years, yet I didn’t actually discover this show until it was off the air and on DVD.  I actually began watching it under the recommendation of one of my college friends.  Soon it became a ritual for us to hang out, make Mac & Cheese and watch a few episodes of Buffy.  Ah, the good old days.  Though I am generally not a fan of vampires, I absolutely fell in love with this show.  From the writing, to the characters, to the direction and even the actors themselves, I love everything about BTVS.  And come on, Buffy is one of the most iconic shows of the 90s.  Joss Whedon, you can stop whatever you are doing and continue Buffy now, ok?

Sabrina The Teenage Witch – I remember when I was younger how I used to look forward to Friday nights just so I could watch TGIF on ABC.  Boy Meets World was of course great, but for me, the reason I watched was Sabrina The Teenage Witch.  Whether it was because of the smart-ass talking cat, the magic, the crazy Aunts, or the always unpredictable Sabrina, this show had me firmly planted in my seat for 30 minutes every Friday.  Harvey and Serena forever!  When they started releasing them all on DVD you can bet I bought them.  And yes, I may be 25 years old and the show may be long gone, but I am not ashamed to stay I re-watch this show even today.

Charmed – Ok, so maybe I have a thing for witchcraft.  Charmed is another one of those shows that I can remember watching every week throughout high school and college.  On a number of occasions I actually made plans around the airing of a new episode of this show.  When it announced its final season I remember feeling absolutely devastated.  But truthfully, any show that makes it to eight seasons should consider themselves a success, especially when all the main characters are female, something you rarely, if ever, see.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – It doesn’t matter if you are 60 or 6, Star Trek, and specifically TNG, is a must see.  I personally prefer TNG over the original because I think Captain Jean Luc Picard is a significantly more able captain than Captain Kirk.  I will admit, however, the original does have Spock, and as awesome as Data is in TNG, Spock reigns supreme.  Regardless, to each their own, choose whichever you like, just watch Star Trek gosh darn-it, or else you really aren’t human.

Dexter – One of the absolute best shows, if not the best, on television right now.  The only issue I have with Dexter? There are only 12 episodes per season and nine months between each season.  That’s not nearly enough if you ask me.  Everyone I know who has ever seen this show absolutely loves it.  You wouldn’t think it is possible to love and root for a character that is a serial killer, but you do, and that is what makes this show so incredible.  It has had its weak moments (season three was sub-par compared to others) but this is a strong show that is not going to end its run anytime soon.

The 4400 – Not many have heard of this show, as it only had a four season run on USA, but that does not mean you should count it out.  Though it is a bit over-the-top at moments, the acting is solid and the story is excellent.  Discussing such issues as Utopia, cults, and superpowers, this show honestly has something for everyone.  The thing that I do not like about this show is that its ending feels shoddily done, though this is not the fault of the writers, as USA made a last-minute decision to cancel it.  I am still holding out hope for a movie that wraps everything up, but regardless, it is an enjoyable show to watch, and with only 12-14 episodes per season, it won’t take too much time do so.

Firefly – Fox made a very stupid mistake in letting this show go, and I hope they realize that and kick themselves in the butt over it frequently.  Written by Joss Whedon, this is yet another example (like Buffy) of extremely well written and developed characters in an absolutely fantastic world.  Originally I was quite hesitant to watch this show, as everyone described it as “Sci-Fi meets Western”, neither of which I like.  However, it was created by Joss Whedon so I gave it a try.  It was completely worth it.  Every single character has something to love about them (my favorite is Inara, followed by Mal and Wash).  Beware, however, because when you finish the short and only season, and then the movie, you are going to be wishing for more.

Gossip Girl – I admit, this is a guilty pleasure of mine, and one of the only shows that I will watch as it airs.  I am not sure why I enjoy this show.  By all reasoning it should drive me up the wall, being about rich snobby elitist kids who live in Manhattan, but there is something that I can’t resist about it.  Perhaps it is Chuck Bass?  Yes, I think that is it.  No one can resist Chuck Bass.  Though the characters are over-the-top (even the only character you can remotely relate too is a bit beyond our grasp), and the storyline is often completely ridiculous, it is an hour of time I love to indulge in every Monday.

The Big Bang Theory – You should watch this show for one reason, and one reason alone.  Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, who is both indescribably annoying and extremely lovable.  Never has a television character been played so well.    This show has become the anthem (if a television show could be an anthem) for all geeks and nerds (whether you love gaming or science, you will feel at home).  Filled with an abundance of references to geek culture, a cute blonde girl, and occasional appearances from Wil Wheaton, The Big Bang Theory will have you laughing the entire way through.  There is a reason this show was just renewed for three more seasons.


This is just a sampling of shows that I love, and I am always looking for more, so if you have any recommendations, feel free to send them my way.



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