Ranking the top 5 Empowered TV Female Characters of 2018 who Save the Day: “Touch me again and you’re gonna need another wooden hand”

Summertime is typically known for reruns, but I am happy that some of my favorite shows premiered late enough in the year so that I can get in some quality time binge-watching.  As I look back on some of my favorite shows that released new episodes in 2018, I started to really think about how incredible it is to see so many empowered female TV characters emerging on a daily basis.  These women are strong, fearless, passionate, and loyal.  They stand out because they aren’t perfect.  They make mistakes just like everyone else, but they are able to turn things around and make the right call to save the people they care about the most.  For today’s list, I am looking at female characters that can kick some serious ass and save the day without compromising who they are in the process.  Please note that supernatural abilities need not apply, as I want to focus on female characters that do not have any special powers or gifts.  Please also note that some spoilers may be ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch any of the series mentioned below.  My top 5 Empowered TV Female Characters of 2018 are:

5

Claire Novak from Supernatural.

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“I saved Sam and Dean…WE saved Sam and Dean.”

If you haven’t caught up on Supernatural, Claire Novak is the daughter of Jimmy, who is Castiel’s vessel, and she is played by Kathryn Love Newton.  Claire has appeared several times on Supernatural and Jody Mills looks after her.  In 2018, fans got a look at the “Wayward Sisters” backdoor pilot and Claire has grown up to be quite the bad-ass.  She is comically referred to as “Biker Barbie,” which I have to admit is spot on, as she sports some serious leather and a tough attitude, but still has an element of sweetness to her.  In the backdoor pilot to “Wayward Sisters,” Sam and Dean are trapped in “The Bad Place,” and Claire works with Jody and the others to help save them.  She has fully embraced her identity as a hunter and proves to be quite resourceful.  It is absolutely fantastic to watch her take down her enemies and she is not afraid to improvise and even uses a flame thrower to really make an entrance.  While Claire initially tends to swing her fists first and ask questions later, she soon learns from Jody and from her own mistakes that this is not always the best plan.  When Sam and Dean are rescued, Claire finally realizes the importance of family and teamwork, proving that she has grown even further as a character that one can truly count on.

4

Al from Fear the Walking Dead.

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“Cause I’m a chick with layers.”

If you haven’t caught up yet on Fear the Walking Dead, now is the time.  This season has introduced us to some really compelling characters like John Dorie, Morgan Jones, and Naomi/Laura/June.  Al, played by Maggie Grace, has truly captured my attention, however.  Al is focused completely on gathering the stories of others and she records them on camera so that she is able to keep the story going as long as she can.  Even though Al drives a tank, she initially stays on the sidelines and tries not to get herself too involved.  However, after John Dorie is shot, Morgan gets through to her and she realizes that she may need to put the camera down from time to time and help save the day.  Al is fully capable of taking care of herself and is extremely resourceful and knowledgeable.  When she makes the decision to help John and the others, she proves to be an asset.  Al can also kick some serious ass, as we see an epic fight between her and Alicia that will have you on the edge of your seat.  I’m looking forward to seeing further development of her character, but I am definitely seeing some real potential for a new heroine to emerge on the series.

3

Octavia Blake from The 100.

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“You are Wonkru or you’re the enemy of Wonkru.”

The 100 is one of my absolute favorite shows on television right now and the female characters on the show really prove to be strong, intelligent, and valuable.  Characters like Clarke, Lexa, Raven, and Abby really elevate the show, but I have to admire Octavia Blake’s breakout in 2018.  Octavia, played by Marie Avgeropoulos, was known as “the girl under the floor,” always hiding behind her brother, Bellamy.  When Octavia meets her true love, Lincoln, she was able to tap into her potential and learn how to fight and stand up for herself.  After “Praimfaya,” struck the world, Octavia made the brave decision to allow all crews inside the bunker to save them, but this was no easy task to maintain.  In 2018, we see Octavia’s struggle to hold on to her power as “The Red Queen” or “Blodreina,” as each crew became agitated with the others and the reality set in that not everyone in the bunker would be able to survive.  Octavia was hesitant at first about being a leader, but fully embraced it after Jaha died, taking his words of wisdom to heart.  Octavia recognized that not everyone would agree with her decisions; but that they would all need to stand together in order to have a chance at survival.  In a heroic moment, Octavia begins fighting anyone who rebels and repeats, “You are Wonkru or you’re the enemy of Wonkru,” over and over again, until she finally makes her point.  Even though her decisions as a leader are somewhat questionable and perhaps no longer appropriate in their current situation, you can’t help but root for Octavia in this pivotal moment.  The girl under the floor is no more and a true queen has emerged.

2

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.

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“Untie her, you serpent hag!”

While there are many empowered female characters on Riverdale, Cheryl, played by Madelaine Petsch, showed the most promise for me in 2018.  We have seen Cheryl grow as a character and take on quite a lot.  While she may initially seem like an ice queen, Cheryl eventually learns to let her walls down and to open up to those around her.  Cheryl has a lot to deal with and her mother doesn’t make her life any easier.  When Cheryl begins confiding in Toni about how her mother stifled her feelings toward other girls, it starts to make a lot of sense why Cheryl kept everyone at a distance.  After Cheryl’s mother has her locked away in a mental institution, Toni and Veronica come to her rescue, but Cheryl refuses to be broken in this moment.  Cheryl rises from the ashes and stands up to her mother and I have to say it’s about time.  Cheryl’s growing feelings for Toni also help her realize the importance of love and loyalty.  When Penny kidnaps Toni, Cheryl heroically shows up with a red hood and her bow and arrow to save her “Cherie.”  One can’t help but cheer for her in this moment, as she is no longer a scared little girl.  Rather, she has blossomed into a fearless and sensational woman.  Cheryl continuously shows her courage, as she stands up to the adults around her and even takes on “The Black Hood.”  Look out world, here comes “Cheryl Bombshell.”

1

Kelly Maxwell from Ash vs Evil Dead.

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“It’s Gladiator time, bitch.”

So my number one pick for the most empowered TV female character of 2018 has to go to the beautiful and hilarious Kelly Maxwell, played by Dana DeLorenzo.   Kelly proves that you don’t need to be “The Chosen One” or “El Brujo Especial” in order to save the day.  Kelly is tough and loyal, proving to be a “ghost beater” for life.  After teaming up with Dalton from the “Knights of Sumeria,” Kelly makes the courageous decision to take on the villain, Ruby, all by herself with the Kandarian Dagger.  Ruby is pretty much the queen of hell and is almost indestructible, but Kelly actually puts up quite a fight against her.  You can’t help rooting for her in this moment and when Ruby stabs her with the Kandarian Dagger, she even tells her that she was her favorite.  I remember being shocked and heartbroken in this moment, but Kelly was able to survive in the world through the rift and is ultimately rescued by Pablo toward the end of the series.  In the series finale, Kelly reminds us why we love her so much.  She kicks some serious ass and begins screaming while shooting as many deadites as she can, proving that she is fully capable of saving the day.  When Ash ultimately goes to fight the big bad, he tells Kelly that she is the leader now and I have to agree with his choice.  Kelly is strong and fearless and refuses to compromise herself for anyone.  She’s not afraid to express her opinion and use as much colorful and foul language as possible to get her point across, but that’s why we adore her so much.  Kelly is someone you could genuinely see yourself being friends with.  She tells you the harsh truth whether you want to hear it or not, but she is there for you no matter what, which is something that makes her truly stand out as a good friend and an even better heroine.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts on some of your own favorite empowered TV Female Characters of 2018 in the comments section below.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

@TV_Fanatic_Girl

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Ranking the top 5 Most Fashionable Female Characters on TV: “Fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined!”

Happy Friday TV fans!  The weekend is almost here and these drastic changes in weather here in New York have brought out all sorts of clothing changes.  Heavy coats were swapped out for chic leather jackets, giving each one of us the chance to shine on our own runway.  Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl got it right when she said “fashion is art and culture and history and everything I love combined.”  Whether you are channeling a certain era in time or embracing a new trend you spotted in a magazine, fashion is all about expression and creation.  You can change up your style with each new outfit, depending on your mood or destination, which makes it so truly wonderful.  For today, I am going to be looking at female TV characters with some serious style.  Whether they are trying to rule the world…or their high school or looking for an escape from the mundane world of suburbia, these ladies are beyond well-dressed.  They’ve become my inspiration when plotting my own next ensemble.  My top 5 most fashionable female characters on TV are:

5

Veronica Lodge from Riverdale.

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I’ve been quite impressed with the fashion on Riverdale.  Every character really embraces it and is not afraid to try out new trends, but I have to give the top spot from the show to Miss Veronica Lodge.  When she arrives from the big city, she brings her expensive wardrobe with her and is not afraid to show it off.  Veronica truly has an Audrey Hepburn inspired look, carefully completing each ensemble with simple but classic accessories, such as her pearl necklace.  Veronica always looks flawless and ready for anything.  It’s no wonder she is able to stand up to her parents and the other adults in this town.  She’s dressing the part and means business.

4

Emily Thorne from Revenge.

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You can’t help not rooting for Emily on her quest for revenge against the Grayson family who she believes is responsible for the downfall of her father.  Emily takes on her new identity and plans to step into the elite world of the Hamptons, Long Island.  You would never doubt for a second that she doesn’t belong, as she makes an entrance with poise and confidence.  Emily’s wardrobe is beyond beautiful.  She tends to favor reds and floral patterns, typically leaving her long blonde hair down in soft waves, giving her a certain Veronica Lake vibe.  Emily even challenges the notorious Victoria Grayson without batting an eyelash.  Even her casual wardrobe screams The Hamptons, embracing simple cardigans and nautical sweaters with fitted jeans.  No matter where the social event is, Emily Thorne is there to make a statement and her wardrobe absolutely helps her accomplish this.

3

Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives.

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When ex-model, Gabrielle moves to Wisteria Lane with her rich husband, Carlos, she has traded in her runway days for the quiet life of suburbia.  However, that doesn’t mean Gabrielle is about to sacrifice her wardrobe in the process.  Even though most of the other women on the block dress casual and simple, Gabrielle looks fabulous in brightly colored ensembles.  Even when she does her Yoga, she has on brightly colored matching velour sweats.  Gabrielle’s dresses are her trademark, however.  She absolutely adores anything that is couture.  In a hilarious moment on the show, Gabrielle’s entire walk-in closet is destroyed by a horrible leak in the ceiling and her screams of distress are absolutely sympathetic.  When Gabrielle begins dating her second husband, Victor, she seems to have more fun going through his ex-wife’s closet, even borrowing a few outfits.  Unfortunately for Gabrielle, the ex spots her in the outfit and Gabrielle is forced to strip in the bathroom and hand over the goods.  Luckily, Gabrielle can pull off any outfit…or lack of one in this case, so she was in the clear.

2

Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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I was a teenager myself when watching Buffy and I have to say that she was my inspiration for my own style.  I remember trying to find the perfect prom dress that looked like hers because I adored it that much.  Whether Buffy was rocking a pair of cute leather boots with a short dress or skirt or wearing one of her beautiful statement coats, she always looked fierce while defeating the many threats in Sunnydale.  While she was great at accessorizing, perhaps her best accessory was her cross-bow which really went with every outfit.  Later in the series, Buffy traded out many of her short dresses for cute leather pants and soft sweaters, embracing hoop earrings and cute hairstyles.  No matter what outfit she wore, she always looked comfortable and cute, which is sometimes really hard to do!  Either way, Buffy still remains an absolute influence on my own fashion and style.

Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick are:

  • Hanna Marin from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Cheryl Blossom from “Riverdale”
  • Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”
  • Olivia Pope from “Scandal”
  • Victoria Grayson from “Revenge”
  • Aria Montgomery from “Pretty Little Liars”
  • Felicity Smoak from “Arrow”
  • Joan Watson from “Elementary”

1

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

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So if the quote at the beginning didn’t give me away, my number one pick for most fashionable female TV character has to be awarded to Blair Waldorf.  The Queen B herself, Blair embodies fashion and style.  Her number one accessory is always her headband, which basically represents a crown, but she wears it so well.  Blair, like Veronica Lodge, has an Audrey Hepburn vibe going on, but takes it to an entirely new level.  Whether she is rocking a preppy outfit with knee-socks or a breathtaking gown, Blair plans every single detail of her outfit.  Her endless amounts of coats are to die for and her handbags are elegant and the perfect pop of color.  I’m sure fans around the world (including me) would love to go through her closet just to be that close to a work of art that will never go out of style.  Blair’s love for fashion is absolutely apparent and even when she is scolding her minions; it’s hard not to root for her because she looks absolutely fabulous in every scene.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your picks for the most fashionable female TV characters.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

 

Ranking the top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time: “Stop trying to make Fetch happen!”

“On Wednesdays we wear Pink!” (Mean Girls) Well it is Wednesday, but I am sorry to say I am not wearing anything pink.  Due to the lack of new shows airing because of the holiday season, I thought it would be a good time to start diving deeper into the roles of some of my favorite characters on television.  While the good girl typically saves the day or solves the mystery in the nick of time, it got me thinking about the mean girls who sometimes end up in the background, no matter how much they try to hog the spotlight.  While the Mean Girls film is one of my absolute favorites, I started to think about some characters from television shows who could have easily been invited to sit at their table.  While these female characters put their best effort forward to look amazing and act fierce, they each have a likable quality as well, which goes to show that there is a lot more to them than initially meets the eye.  My top 5 TV Mean Girls of all time are:

5

Alison DiLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars.

“Friends share secrets.  That’s what keeps us close.” (Alison from Pretty Little Liars)

If you haven’t gotten a chance to binge-watch Pretty Little Liars yet, I absolutely recommend it.  Just when you think you have it figured out, there is a new twist or turn.  Please note spoilers are ahead as a warning.  In the beginning of the series, four friends are trying to figure out the mystery behind Alison’s disappearance and presumed death.  There are flashbacks from the past along the way which showcase how mean Alison was to those around her.  Alison had the gift of manipulation and spoke to others in such a condescending manner, that even adults feared her.  At this point in the show, it didn’t seem like Alison had any redeeming qualities.  She made Hanna feel bad about her weight and led Emily on, realizing that she was a lesbian without a care in the world.  She also strategically used the secrets of her friends against them and played them to her advantage.  However, later we learn that Alison is actually alive and the mysterious A is out to punish her along with her friends.  While Alison never really leaves her mean girl card behind, she does start to show signs of truly caring for others, especially Emily, as she does have romantic feelings for her.  When the series goes five years into the future, Alison is actually a school teacher and tries to pay it forward, but still refuses to allow anyone to step on her or get in her way.

4

Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

“Ladies you can give your tiny brains a rest.  Once again the world has proven that anything you can do, I can do better.” (Blair from Gossip Girl)

Blair is the image of perfection in Gossip Girl.  Her ensembles and make-up are always flawless and she even has minions who follow her around and follow her every demand, as if they were truly serving a queen.  Blair even refers to herself as the “Queen Bee” and her loyal subjects at her prep high-school in New York City don’t really challenge her on this.  Blair is infamous for her schemes and frequently feuds with her best friend, Serena.  While Blair is not afraid to fight dirty, she refuses to shatter her image of perfection in the process.  She is typically the master-mind behind the scheme and has others do her bidding, refusing to apologize for her actions.  While it seems that this mean girl is cold and heartless, Blair does have a loving side.  Her on and off again romance with Chuck Bass reveals her vulnerability, as she finds herself thinking with her heart before her head here, exposing that she does have goodness within.  Nevertheless, you certainly do not want to ever cross Blair because she will do whatever it takes to win.

3

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.

“You catatonic bimbos didn’t vote for me!” (Cheryl from Riverdale)

Cheryl has the mean girl act down pat for sure.  She doesn’t enter a room unless she has her perfect shade of dark crimson lip-stick flawless in order to match her hair.  Much like her hair, Cheryl is fiery and passionate.  She is not afraid to speak her mind and often says insensitive things without realizing it.  Cheryl is the head of the cheer-leading squad and treats the other girls like her subjects, completely appalled when she is voted out and Veronica becomes captain.  Cheryl is not just talk however; as her actions have proven to be very dangerous.  She even sets her house on fire with her mother still inside without thinking twice about it.  Cheryl does reveal glimmers of goodness along the way.  She was truly impacted by the loss of her twin brother, Jason and she does try to help Betty and the gang here and there to prove that she can be useful.  However, Cheryl is damaged by the deceit and betrayal of her family and it’s not so easy to turn off the mean girl vibe.  While I have hope for Cheryl, she is still a girl to watch out for.

2

Valerie Malone from Beverly Hills, 90210.

“I’m not Brenda.  I’m never going to be Brenda.  Don’t talk to me about Brenda!” (Val to Dylan in Beverly Hills, 90210)

Valerie Malone still deserves a spot toward the top of this list even after all this time.  Known for being a scheming femme fatale, she fools everyone when she arrives to town, appearing to be a sweet and innocent girl from the mid-west.  However, the characters from our favorite zip code are in for a rude awakening, as Val unleashes her street smarts and uses her powers of persuasion and manipulation to break apart this happy group of friends.  Val has romantic relationships with pretty much all of the main characters including Dylan, Brandon, David, and Steve.  As a result, she burns bridges fairly quickly with Kelly who becomes her main rival.  Val’s snappy one-liners and sneaky maneuvers prove that she is one to watch.  She has grown past the high school drama, however; and moves on to blackmailing and dangerous negotiations to help her become a successful business woman.  Talk about making a deal with the devil, Val doesn’t allow anyone to double-cross her.  Val is not all bad, however; as she has a very troubled past and does truly care for Brandon as if he were her own family.  Val tries to be a good person, but when the task becomes too difficult, she finds it easier to hide behind her bad girl image.

1

Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“God! What is your childhood trauma? Excuse me, I have to call everyone I have ever met, right now.” (Cordelia to Buffy when she attacks her by accident)

So my number one pick for best TV mean girl has to go to the beautiful and hilarious, Cordelia Chase.  While Buffy and Willow tend to have most of the fan-base and get a lot of air time, one should not discount Cordelia.  She started out in a supporting role, playing the mean girl role to a tee, as if it was her calling in life to be unpleasant to those around her.  However, later in the series, Cordelia becomes a member of the Scoobies and does try to lend a helping hand…when it’s convenient for her.  One of my favorite episodes is when her and Buffy compete for Homecoming queen.  Cordelia is not about to just hand over the crown to Buffy and goes through great lengths to defeat her.  The two end up caught in a trap cleverly called “Slayerfest 98” where the vampires mistake Cordelia for Faith.  Nonetheless, the two have to make amends and put differences aside to stay alive, even if it means using a spatula as a weapon.  Cordelia does eventually grow into a caring person especially when she joins Angel in LA, but one cannot forget her witty come-backs and her unforgiving attitude.  She even tells a ghost off in Angel, proving that she is not going to let anyone step on her, supernatural or not.  Cordelia would probably end up leading the “Plastics” if she were in the Mean Girls film, proving to be a timeless mean girl that we still root for.

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV mean girls.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl