March is the month to celebrate women, and while there are many real life examples of strong women we can draw inspiration from, many awesome female characters have also been written for television over the years. Some have enhanced superhero abilities, and some don’t even need those, but all are as flawed as they are awesome – which makes them so relatable. Here’s to ten leading ladies from television’s past and present who are kicking ass.
1) Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)
We were first introduced to actress Hayley Atwell’s interpretation of Agent Peggy Carter in the first Captain America film, but she was so well-loved she got her own spin-off on TV. The show follows Carter’s career as a tough double agent for Howard Stark in 1940s America, where we see her navigating a dangerous career in an era where women’s rights were barely even considered yet. Peggy can easily take down most of her male counterparts, in terms of athleticism, heroism and smarts.
2) Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
Game of Thrones has many strong female characters, like Daenerys Targaryen and Arya Stark, but Brienne is quite inspiring as well, in her own way. She is played by Gwendoline Christie, who is a staggering 6 feet tall. The character is known for her fearless courage and loyalty as a knight, and in spite of mistreatment and misjudgments from others due to her unconventional appearance, she remains honourable and is a formidable warrior.
3) Dana Scully (The X-Files)
Dana Scully, besides being an FBI Agent often encountering aliens together with her partner Fox Mulder, was also a trained doctor. How’s that for multi-tasking? Scully and Mulder made the perfect team because they both brought their own strengths to the table, and were able to support each other through rather strange circumstances. And Scully was no damsel in distress.
4) Buffy Summers (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Buffy was petite, blonde and adorable, but she had enough martial arts skills under her belt to scare 7 seasons of spooks away. Throughout the show’s run, fans were given such an in-depth look into this character, and while she was portrayed as a tough cookie, she also had very human issues, and that’s something that we can all relate to.
5) Xena (Xena : Warrior Princess)
She had the war cry that started it all in the era of girl power (the 90s), and probably influenced how today’s TV heroines are written. She was sarcastic, unapologetic and witty with a good heart and a vulnerability that was seen to the characters who interacted closely to her. Till today, Xena remains one of the most important female characters that has appeared on TV.
6) Olivia Pope (Scandal)
As the crisis manager for The President of The United States, Olivia has her work cut out for her. Besides being a no nonsense boss who is in charge of her own firm, Olivia also has to navigate a professional and private life that is, you guessed it, pretty scandalous. Still, she does it all with her head held high.
7) Jane Villanueva (Jane The Virgin)
Gina Rodriguez plays Jane, and states that she thinks her character is multi-dimensional and a “badass” because she’s confident, knows her worth and is outspoken, while also being sweet, kind and patient. Jane is thrown into a dramatic and terrifying situation when she finds out she is pregnant, but she handles it with grace and maturity that is admirable.
8) Annalise Keating (How To Get Away With Murder)
Annalise is a brilliant Criminal Law professor, who happens to defend some of the most notorious criminals for a living. As if her day job isn’t challenging enough, she also has some personal issues to tend to that can become quite dangerous. Annalise is the perfect example of a 21st century woman having to juggle a career and personal life, which is something many can relate to.
9) Cookie Lyon (Empire)
As the sassy matriarch of the Lyon family, Cookie Lyon could easily sit back and enjoy the success of her work, but she’s a leader and a fearless one at that. Nobody puts Cookie in a corner, especially not anyone who tries to take credit for something she built. It’s a plus she does all of her work in the finest fashions. Cookie is a loving mother foremost, but she will not hesitate to show her claws if anyone steps out of line.
10) Alex Parrish (Quantico)
She may be the new gal on the block, but Alex is no amateur. A trainee FBI Agent, Alex is accused of a serious crime that she must clear her name for. Throughout all the drama, she is cool and tough, although a tad mysterious. It will most definitely be interesting to see how her character develops further, as the show progresses.
Did we miss your favourite? Tell us in the comments who she is!