Best of TV: Female Characters

In honor of International Women’s Day, I bring to you my list of the best female characters on TV. Some of these women are tortured, others are badass, sweet, bookish and incredibly intelligent. The beautiful thing about all these characters is that they are complicated, complex, and while they each have weaknesses, they all find some way to overcome them.

Battlestar GalacticaKara Thrace or Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica.  Starbuck is a woman written into a fairly archetypal male character. She is reckless, insensitive, impulsive, and afraid of commitment. She is also the best pilot to survive what was nearly the destruction of the human race, and an alcoholic. Her character is strong physically but weak mentally, and while at moments we hate her, we can’t help but love her because she is so real you nearly expect to see her sitting across the table from you, cigar clenched in her jaw.

Best quote: “After they attacked, I never…I never pined over any of my old crap. Never missed my apartment in Delphi. Stupid view of the parking lot. Broken toilet in the bathroom. You know, everyone I know is fighting to get back what they had. And I’m fighting ’cause I don’t know how to do anything else.”

tumblr_mczgkpyvH21rf756co1_500Daria from Daria. Sarcastic, tortured and genuine, Daria is the teenage girl none of us ever really grew out of. She hates highschool, loves books, wears combat boots, and struggles (hilariously) to deal with love, friendship, and an obnoxiously popular little sister.

Best quote: “Why didn’t I stay home where it’s nice and quiet and nothing ever happens?”

3579523-willowmagicWillow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Willow is Buffy’s best friend, who eventually develops her own powers to rival Buffy’s sometimes obnoxious “Chosen One” shtick. Using her dedication to bookishness, Willow studies her way to the top of the witchcraft field to discover that she has an immense natural talent for it. When witchcraft becomes a metaphor for drug addiction, she is saved by her love for her childhood friend Xander.

Best quote: “Darn tootin'”

Dana-Scully-dana-scully-25310371-2560-1723Scully from The X-Files. Smashing any stereotypes about the irrationality of women, Scully is the pragmatic part of the Scully-Mulder duo. She’s also a damn good shot and a brilliant scientist.

Best quote: “Sometimes looking for extreme possibilities makes you blind to the probable explanation right in front of you.”

firefly-ariel-kaylee-synchronizersKaylee from Firefly.  Kaylee is the best damn spaceship mechanic there is. She wears a lot of flowery outfits along with her mechanic’s coveralls, and is only a little shy about expressing her sexual desires.

Best quote: “Goin’ on a year now I ain’t had nothin’ twixt my nethers weren’t run on batteries!”

tumblr_li9t8aFUB91qa3c5to1_500Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. How could I make this list without her? Leslie Knope is ambitious, hard working, incredibly dedicated to her friends, and really likes her husband’s butt. She also loves breakfast foods.

Best quote: “I’m a feminist, okay? I would never ever go to a strip club. I’ve gone on record that if I had to have a stripper’s name, it would be Equality.”

Read more:

10 TV Shows to Spend all your Time Watching

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Orange is the New Black and the Bechdel Test

The Red Wedding: Sexual Violence in Game of Thrones

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