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26 May 2008 @ 06:57 pm
Favourite female TV characters  
I have been rather quite this week, what with Smallville Season 7 over and Battlestar Galactica not on this week. But I have been enjoying all the great posts about female characters on television doing the rounds at the moment, and thought I'd make a quick post of my own.

In no particular order...

1. Smallville's Lois Lane
Does she need any introduction? I've loved Lois in various incarnations as long as I can remember, and Erica's most recent interpretation of the role fills me with joy. She's everything Lois should be: strong, sassy, intelligent, loyal, tenacious, determined, talented, hard-working, generous, brash, good-hearted, sexy, romantic... and yet she's also got so much to grow into as well. If only they'd give her a full season, I could die happy.

2. Smallville's Lana Lang
It took me long time to love her, but now I can't let go. Lana is so much more than she first seemed to me. I thought she was girly and fragile, self-absorbed and selfish, but she's also tough, tragic and fascinating. I thought she was the eternal victim, 'damsel in distress' or 'trophy'. She is often cast in that role by others--but she fights it and she speaks from within that prism. She encapsulates the pure innocence of youth while also harbouring a darker side. I am, I must admit, rather taken with that dark side, but I also like when she fights it. She's so strong in a way that is not easily recognised but equally not easy to dismiss once recognised.

3. Battlestar Galactica's Kara Thrace
I love her. I hate her. Ok, I don't hate her, but I do want to smack her upside the head on occasion. ;) Although a lot less lately. In fact, I made a post about my recent Kara fangirl rennaissance so I won't rehash that here. I will simply say that I think the thing I love most about Kara (and yup, Kara rather than Starbuck) is that she's just a girl (*imagines an army of Kara fangirls rage at that*). Sometimes her persona feels so big it's overpowering, sometimes she seems so embittered and hard I can't touch her, and then I see the girl beneath that again and fall in love.

4. Gossip Girl: Blair Waldorf
Ah, Blair. *happy sigh* She is my newest girl-crush and wow, I'm so completely smitten. It took a while for me to fall for her--I needed to see behind that bitch mask--but now I love her in all her aspects. She's spoilt, she's petty, she's power-hungry, she's manipulative, she's bitchy, she's troubled, she's pouty, she's jealous: and yet I love her. I love her pie-scoffing and her daddy issues and her sleeping with chocolates when she's depressed. Her friendship with Serena is the stuff of legend (*snerk*) and did I mention how perfectly beautiful she is? She's like a tiny porcelain doll packing a dagger to stick in your back.

5. Sarah Connor Chronicles: Cameron
Another recent find! I finally understand the Summer Glau phenomenon. *wipes brow with relief* I now see what Joss saw in her! She was made to be an action hero. I the Sarah Connor Chronicles so far, it is Cameron that has most hooked me into the show. Mysterious, inhuman Cameron and her fascination with things human. She makes me laugh, she moves me, and she scares me. I want more.

6. Pushing Daisies: Chuck
I usually like girls with a bit of darkness to them. I'm not sure Chuck has any. What she does have is a cheeky sense of humour and a whole lot of spunk. She's bossy and opinionated and very much her own woman. She shows you can be a romantic without losing your self, and she has a lot of fun in the process. Also, she wears the best clothes and has the cutest smile.

7. Dexter: Deborah Morgan
I want to take Deb home and feed her cookies. Deb is the reason I watch the show--she's my pov character and I think sometimes I'm too close to her to see her objectively. Deb is a bundle of contradictions: she has a dirty mouth and a pure soul; she's 'one of the boys' and she's a fragile little girl; she's all elbows and awkwardness yet at times we get glimpses of a graceful beauty. Because she cares about Dexter (and Dexter cares about her), I care. I worry about her brittleness and I fangirl her inner strength. She's both broken and whole and that's fascinating.

8. Friday Night Lights: Tami Taylor
The best TV mom ever. Tami is ten kinds of awesome and other people are far more articulate about her than I am. Me, I just watch her and wish I'd had a mum like THAT.

9. BTVS/ATS: Faith Lehane
Ah, the ever-controversial Faith. Of all of Joss's female characters, she's still my favourite. I loved both Willow and Cordelia for periods, but they lost me somewhere along the line. Buffy herself feels almost too 'big' for me to like, and when I first watched the series I had a lot of issues with Buffy, as did Faith, which I think is why she works for me so well. Even though I have a more balanced reading of Buffy (the character) these days, Faith still holds a special place in my heart. And I'm helplessly sucked in by the bad girl redemption plot.

10. Doctor Who: Sally Sparrow
One episode: what an impact! I still think about Sally frequently when I'm thinking about female characters and if I was master of the television universe, I'd make a spin-off show about her in an instant. She captured my heart so swiftly with her quiet, inquisitive and poetically maudlin nature.

11. Friday Night Lights: Lyla Garrety
I always hate the cheerleaders to begin with. ;) Like Lana, Lyla grew on me once I realised she was so much more than a cheerleader. The perfect rich girl who seemed to have it all turned out to have far less than one would think--particularly in the way of real emotional support from her family. She's growing into her own woman her way, and it's not easy. It still feels like there are different aspects of Lyla at war with each other--particularly her sensual side and her religious side--but I love watching that progression.

12. Battlestar Galactica: Kendra Shaw
Oh, how I wish there was more Kendra! She 'made' Razor fro me. She shares traits with my favourite male character on the show, but also with Kara--so it was pretty much a given I'd love her. But she was also her own unique character. I particularly loved her understated but defiant attitude and the way she held her own counsel and hid her issues from others.

13. Angel the Series: Lilah Morgan
Lilah was so delightfully evil, and shamelessly so, but she was also more complex than the usual simple villain. I loved her career-woman aspect as well as her amorality.

14. Dead Like Me: George Lass
The thing I love about George is how she's such a teenager. She's sullen and sulky and selfish and awkward and rather unfriendly. She's a loner and she doesn't care--except when she cares. She works a meaningless office job (something that's so easy to relate to!) while harvesting souls as a grim reaper on the side. And yet she also fits in awkward romance and unlikely friendships.

15. Friday Night Lights: Tyra Collette
Another one of my 'bad girls'. Tyra does life tough and she's another character who embodies both fragility and determination. She wants to make it out of Dillon, but she doesn't value herself. She has great initiative and courage, but she's trapped in one way of relating to men and she struggles to accept emotional intimacy. I love that she's drawn to Tami as a mentor: this gives me hope for her.

16. Battlestar Galactica: Laura Roslin
Laura's so complex, I don't know where to start. I love how powerful she is. She is, I feel, undoubtably one of the most fascinating and powerful female characters on television. The survival of humanity is in her hands and she carries this weight daily. She can be a tyrant, she can be petty and bitter, she makes mistakes--but she is so well-rounded a character that we also see her emotional struggles, her inner conflict and her steely determination and goodness even at those times.

So. Talk to me about your favourite female characters? :)
Current Location: sofa of comfiness
Current Mood: indescribableindescribable
counteragent: happy sydcounteragent on May 26th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
This is a great list! Roslin, Starbuck, Faith and Lilah would all be on my list, too (Lilah perhaps uncomfortably close to the top ;). And I love the Coach's wife on FNL, even if I've only seen a few eps. And Cameron is awesome on my newest show-crush, SCC. Never seen SV, but Lois sounds awesome.

My favorite female characters are the Alias bunch, though. Sydney, Irina, Nadia, and Rachel. Love them all; will love them forever. :D
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois smirkbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Lilah is awesome. I miss her. :)

I reckon you'd love Lois!

And terrible confession: I have never seen Alias. One of these days...
Kate: Lois superswankmskatej on May 26th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Great list! I also fangirl tons of these characters and you've reminded me that I really need to do my own post. :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Roslin Kara yaybop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Yay! Your list will be fab, I'm sure.
redteekal: mike&tomredteekal on May 26th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
Hmmm I've been trying to think of my favourite shows and what female characters I love in them. And I can see that my love has waxed and waned over the seasons.

These are my current favs in no particular order;

1. NCIS: Zeva David

2. House: Cutty

3. Scrubs: Eliot

4. Smallville: All three main girls - Chloe, Lois and Lana however they seem to rotate in priority for me...currently Chloe is last (simply due to the shitty Chlimmy) Lois is first and Lana is second. At the beginning of S7 it was Chloe, Lana then Lois.

5. Criminal Minds: It's a tie between JJ and Penelope I love them both equally as much!

6. Spn: Ruby - Sure she's a demon and possibly has demonic intentions for the boys but she's sassy and tough and smart.

7. Stargate Atlantis:Sam Carter...same goes for SG1 as well...always Carter.

8. Six Feet Under: Clare Fisher, Rachael.

9. West Wing: CJ

And these are the only ones that really resonate with me. Which is interesting because I love lots of shows with female main characters - CSI, BSG (Have never liked Kara she just grates, and Dee - she's too weak, if I had to pick any I'd be picking the Cylon females - the blonde one is *very* interesting), Dexter (Deb disappointed me in the end hopefully that will be fixed S3)Angel, Buffy etc. Never really any female leads in those that make me sad if they go.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Dexterbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
I tried really hard to include only characters who have grown on me or remained steady, not ones who I've fallen out of love with a bit. I definitely agree that on Smallville they rotate a bit. Once upon a time Chloe would definitely have been on my list but S7 didn't do her many favours.

Ohh, Cuddy from House: yes! And Clare Fisher! :)

the Cylon females - the blonde one is *very* interesting
She is. I've got that thing though where I find her intellectually interesting but she doesn't resonate with me emotionally if that makes sense?

Deb disappointed me in the end hopefully that will be fixed S3
Really? What went wrong for you? And there's going to be a season 3?!!! \o/
(no subject) - redteekal on May 27th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 27th, 2008 05:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
serenography: KK&EDserenography on May 26th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
What a great idea for a post. You listed most of my favorites already(*high five*), but perhaps I'll give it a shot later today.

I love that you ALWAYS look beyond the surface of characters and see them in much more well-rounded way than they are seemingly presented. Too often, fans have a difficulty seeing past the exterior.

I was a bit surprised that you listed Lila over Tyra. For some reason, I thought Tyra was your bestgirl on FNL. Yay for Tami being there too!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: FNL girlsbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
Yay! Glad you liked it. :)

I like my characters with layers, yes. I get delighted when I find them.

I didn't quite mean this as preferential order, though it did kind of work out that way... Tyra and Lyla are now on par for me, I think. I loved S2 Lyla a lot, whereas S2 Tyra suffered from plot issues. ;) I still love her but she kind of plateaued for me, maybe?
jude_judith82: Starbuckjude_judith82 on May 26th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Awesome list! Lois,Blair, Kara, Chuck, George, and Cameron would definitely be on my list too. Roxy from Dead Like Me would be in there and I also love a couple from shows that lasted just a season such as Lindsay and Kim from Freaks and Geeks and Jaye from Wonderfalls.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Dead Like Mebop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
Roxy was very cool. :D A little too scary for me, but very very cool.

And whee, I just started watching Wonderfalls and I love Jaye already!
Vacuum state of peace: dw_sally_smilebzoppa on May 26th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
I love Blair. She's my favorite character on Gossip Girl. I found myself getting tired of Serena's perpetual drama by the end and thank god that show has Blair or I might have given up. No, wait, I watched seasons of The O.C. and that show had no redeeming characters.

Yay for Sally Sparrow! :)

Have you seen Wonderfalls? I think you'd like the main character, she's a lot like George in Dead Like Me. My mom said Jaye reminded her of me a lot, which is part of the reason I think she got so into DLM and Wonderfalls.

Your description of Deb from Dexter is perfect. She's an awesome bundle of contradictions. I loved her and the FBI guy together.
Vacuum state of peacebzoppa on May 26th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, and Lee Pace from Pushing Daisies plays Jaye's brother in Wonderfalls.
(no subject) - bop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
Valerie: caliciasmilesjeannev on May 26th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
I've always been a huge fangurl for Farscape's Aeryn Sun. Strong, determined, capable, compassionate, stubborn....I just adored her, and the actress who played her, Claudia Black. Every single thing Aeryn did seemed to have an extra dimension to it (it helped that the show was so well written). And the romance between John Crichton and Aeryn was probably one of the strongest, equal pairing you'll find in the genre.

And to add to SV, I'm also an Alicia Baker fangurl. In 3 episodes, she managed to be a more fascinating character than other characters who have lasted seasons. As messed up as Alicia's choices were, how can you not empathize with them? How can you not believe her love for Clark? Sarah Carter did an amazing job, helped along by electric chemistry with TW.

Edited at 2008-05-26 04:12 pm (UTC)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lois duhbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
People have told me great things about Aeryn. :) One day I hope to catch up on that show.

And yes, Alicia! I could definitely have added her to the list. They had sparkling chemistry and she was adorable.
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Sally Sparrow coffeebop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
YAY! So glad I'm not alone in that. :D
Zoi: bsg-tigh3gomez on May 26th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Great post!

Roslin,Kara,Faith woyld definitely be in my list,too!
Possibly Blair as well...

I would add two of my favourite leads out of two favourite kick-ass shows that I love...Sydney from 'Alias' and Nikita from 'La Femme Nikita".Those girls kicked some serious ass!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
I've never seen Alias or Nikita though both sound like shows I'd like to watch one day--especially for the kickass women. ;)
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Roslin Kara yaybop_radar on May 27th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Amber is pretty cool, *nods*. Scary but cool.

I think Roslin is my favorite TV politician because she's very strong and smart but not immune to petty jealousies or weakness. She makes mistakes and people call her on it. Especially Lee! :)
Right! And really, who can resist that?!!
bofoddity on May 26th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Great list! Many of these women go to my personal list as well, but I just wanted to appreciate you listing Dexter's Debra here, who is really underrated. The actress was a top-notch choice and her characterization has always been strong and solid, and although Dexter in general has great female characters, Debra stands out especially well. I have to get around to making my own list; she'll definitely be there. :D

Before that, however, I have to bring up the lovely Amber Volakis from latest season of House, who was one of the most re-freshening female characters in TV with a fantastic actress. She definitely made the last year brighter for me; I may not have liked her from the start, but I sure as hell wanted her to stick around.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Dexterbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
I just wanted to appreciate you listing Dexter's Debra here, who is really underrated
oh, thank you! Yes, I really love her and I'm always delighted to find other Deb fans. She's definitely underappreciated.

I'm not a huge 'House' fan, but I watch the show and did enjoy Amber--she's refreshing, as you say.
Nora Norwich: Bailey smilingnorwich36 on May 26th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
Great post! I share a lot of the same ones: Lois, Lana, Lilah, Laura [hmm...lots of L's!], Kara, Faith--though I would add Buffy and Willow and Cordelia and Anya--really, I loved all the women of the Buffyverse. And I would also add: Xena, Bailey, Addison and Cristina from Grey's Anatomy; Jessica Moore from SPN [even though that's more fanon than canon, since she dies in the first episode--but I love her development in fic, especially all the AUs where she survives]; Ellen Harvelle and Bela Talbot, also from SPN--both very kickass women, though one is good and the other pretty damn amoral; Six from BSG, because I just love all her different incarnations, and Tricia Helfer is just amazing; and probably more I'm forgetting.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Faith darkbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
Thanks! We like the L girls. :)

I wish I could love more of the Jossverse women but he always seems to take their characters to places I don't want them to go and they end up losing me. :(

I am completely bewildered/amused/pleased that you named women from SPN! Does that show have women?! ;p *snarky* (I know it does, I'm just teasing!)

Six from BSG, because I just love all her different incarnations, and Tricia Helfer is just amazing
Yes she is. I often wish her character(s) resonated with me more emotionally because I agree Tricia is brilliant and all her incarnations of Six engage me intellectually. Probably the one who pinged most for me emotionally was Gina, but she's so very dark. And dead.
Caryle: lawyerleecarylerg on May 26th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
You just officially inspired me to watch Blink and I absolutely loved it! You're right, her one episode packed a fantastic punch. If she didn't have her guy at the end, she would have made a great companion, ... or would she have been too much like Rose? Hmmm...

I really should write a post like this of my own. Probably later this week.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Sally Sparrow coffeebop_radar on May 27th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
YAYYYY!!! I am so glad I influenced you to watch 'Blink'. For me, she was really different than Rose: much quieter and more understated. And I think she'd have made a fabulous companion but I also really liked the way the episode showed the Doctor touching on someone else's life but them not winding up a Companion, so I was torn.
anna: the deschanel girlssnarkist on May 26th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
I have been totally inspired by you list of awesomeness, so I made one of my own, here. The ladies never really get enough love, do they? And they deserve so much!

I love your post!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lana :Dbop_radar on May 27th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Whee yay post! I am enjoying everybody's versions of these so much.
Alexandra Leaving: Star Wars - Leila fightingalexandral on May 26th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wonderful post ! Thank you so much! I will try to make mine this week!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Boppybop_radar on May 27th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll look forward to yours--I'm loving seeing everyone's different takes on the characters they love.