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 moments from “Supernatural” season 13 episode 11: “Breakdown.”

Happy Friday TV fans! The weekend is almost here, but my day would not be complete without discussing our favorite brothers:  The Winchesters.  After watching the CW’s Supernatural season 13 episode 11 last night, online auctions have a whole new meaning for me, as Sam and Dean dealt with something well beyond the routine bidding on eBay.  You may want to think again about how badly you want to procure that collectible item.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, “Breakdown,” Sheriff Donna returns when her niece, Wendy has gone missing.  Even though it doesn’t initially seem like anything supernatural is going on, she is still relying on the help of Sam and Dean.  We are also re-introduced to Donna’s love interest, Doug, who is quickly thrown into a world of monsters and mayhem which may be too much for him to handle.  My top 5 moments from Supernatural season 13 episode 11 are:

5

Dean explains the importance of pancakes.

Sam is clearly still in a rut after everything that happened with “The Bad Place,” learning that their mother, Mary is still trapped with Jack in another world.  Sam tosses and turns in bed, refusing to wake up until after 10am, worrying Dean, who is typically the one you would imagine to sleep in on a rainy day.  Dean refuses to let his brother stew in his own misery, however; as he tries to distract him and cheer him up, even making a breakfast complete with pancakes.  When Sam tells him he isn’t hungry, Dean feels the need to go into a big brother lecture on the importance of pancakes, keeping the vibe light, but also reminding Sam that he is there for him and won’t give up.  While it seems like a small gesture, Dean knows his brother better than anyone else in the world, proving to be a good friend and an even better brother.

4

Dean has a heart-to-heart chat with Doug.

When Sam and Dean show up to help Donna find her niece, they seamlessly embrace their familiar identities as FBI agents looking to do the right thing and help their…cousin.  Dean senses that the FBI agent he is talking to my check up on him so he backs off and lets him take charge, explaining that he is there for moral support and to get to the bottom of what happened to his family member.  Doug proves not to be the sharpest tool in the shed when he believes that Donna and Dean are actually related, comically inquiring about the recent family reunion.  Doug innocently seeks out some advice from Dean about Donna and Dean even teaches him “that’s how we do things in the FBI,” bringing him along for the ride to track down the killer.

3

“It’s like eBay…kinda.”

Once the Winchesters stumble onto the Butterfly’s website, they are appalled by what they see.  There is an online auction going on while a victim is strapped to a chair, as the bids climb higher and higher, competing over body parts.  Sam realizes that they are chatting about the parts as if they were food…leading to the conclusion that it’s basically “take out for monsters.”  They discover there is something supernatural at play here after all, re-thinking their strategy on how they will rescue Donna’s niece and stop the evil in the nick of time.

2

“Bring it Twilight.”

Once the tables are turned on the Winchesters and they realize they are dealing with vampires, Sam is taken hostage and Doug is turned into a vampire to Donna’s horror.  Dean is not afraid of the vampire cashier boy in the slightest, whipping out his blade and giving fans a catchy pun we can all appreciate, “bring it Twilight.”  While there is hope for Doug to get a cure before he is permanently changed, our attention quickly shifts to Sam’s safety when we learn that the bids are hitting some new records.  Vampire and monster bidders everywhere relish the idea of snacking on the hunter, Sam Winchester and are looking to win the auction no matter what the cost is.  The FBI agent reveals that he was the Butterfly killer all along, spinning a horrifying story about how he actually thinks he is saving lives by keeping the vampires occupied so they are not roaming the streets.  Sam’s heart gets auctioned for an impressive $500K but the show is over and Dean comes in to save the day, shutting down bids everywhere.

1

Doug can’t handle a life with monsters.

While I was relieved to see that Doug was alright, something in my gut told me that we wouldn’t be seeing him again.  While he has a sweet and loving relationship with Donna, he could already feel the void as if she had been keeping something from him.  When he gets tossed head first into the horrifying world of monsters, it’s too much for Doug to handle.  He clearly cares for Donna, but he wants something normal and routine…something that Donna can’t give him because this is more than a job for her, it’s a calling.  While this sets the path for Donna to embrace her new destiny with the “Wayward Sisters,” I can’t help feeling incredibly sad for her.  Donna deserves love and happiness but understands his decision.  Sam and Dean are all too familiar with a life on the road away from attachments, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be there for emotional support, helping each other along the way.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Supernatural  below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

Ranking the top 5 moments from “Supernatural” season 13 episode 10 backdoor pilot: “Wayward Sisters”

Happy Friday TV fans! The weekend is almost here, but I find myself needing to discuss the backdoor pilot of “Wayward Sisters” via Supernatural before diving into any other shows.  After watching the CW’s Supernatural season 13 episode 10 last night, I am pleasantly surprised by how seamlessly “Wayward Sisters” introduced itself to the world of Supernatural fans.  These are some “amazing women” and they have somehow managed to create a real connection and believable family in just under an hour.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet.  In last night’s episode, we are introduced to the “Wayward Sisters” and learn how they have all come together to fight the good fight to save the world…or at least Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Meanwhile, Sam and Dean take a time out in the “Bad Place,” leaving the demon fighting to the very capable Claire Novak, Sheriff Jody Mills, and the hilarious, Sheriff Donna, to put their sisterhood to the test and save the day.  My top 5 moments from Supernatural season 13 episode 10 are:

5

“D-Train” means business.

After the first twenty minutes or so of the backdoor pilot, I was getting a little antsy, waiting for that light and fluffy humor that Supernatural does so well to emerge.  Well I got what I asked for when Jody calls in back-up and Sheriff Donna shows up with the license plate “D-Train.”  While the girls are not really sure what to make of her, Donna does what she does best.  She jumps right in as if she was part of the family the entire time and brings the basics:  weapons galore and a wonderful sense of humor.  When the monsters from the “bad place” are surrounding them, Donna takes them out one by one as if she is Super Sheriff with a gun.  She quickly teaches Patience how to defend herself and adds a voice of reason when Jody is contemplating jumping through the open portal to protect her family.  Something tells me that Donna will continue to bring on the laughs and is the perfect addition to the “Wayward Sister” family.

4

“I think it just rang the dinner bell.”

While Sam and Dean take a break in the “Bad Place,” they refuse to sit by quietly on the sidelines.  After Dean enjoys some cooked lizard, they realize that they are about to become meals themselves for a very loud monster in the distance.  When they are attacked by the cloaked shadowy figure, a bell sounds and Sam and Dean brace themselves for the worst.  Even though the Winchesters play more of a supporting role here, the episode would not be complete without their commentary on being stranded.  While they seem more bored than worried for their lives, they still recognize the fact that they can’t find the door back to their world.  Maybe they had a plan…or maybe they knew they had left some great friends behind who would save the day.  Either way, we are happy to have Sam and Dean back in one piece.

3

Claire comes through…with a flame thrower.

“Wayward Sisters” seems to be focusing on Claire Novak as the main protagonist.  She is clearly bad-ass or “Biker Barbie,” but Claire needs to learn to think ahead.  Her plan of attack typically involves her busting through a door to get the bad-guys without really thinking about the consequences.  When Patience reveals her vision that Claire is going to die, she initially dismisses it.  Jody is constantly trying to intervene and prove how much she cares about her and Alex, but Claire thinks she is just keeping her from following through on her destiny.  Even though she needs to work on having a plan, she does certainly help out Jody and Donna when they are trapped in a car, surrounded by the monsters from the “bad place.”  She makes quite the fiery entrance with a flame thrower, proving that she is very capable of fighting her own battles.

2

Claire and Kaia go through the door to save Sam and Dean.

Jody comes to the realization that she can’t always be there to protect Claire and the other girls.  She learns to let go and allow Claire to prove that she can be the hero she so desperately wants to become.  In the beginning of the episode, Claire and Kaia instantly have a bond, comparing scars and revealing secrets about how abandoned and alone they feel sometimes.  Claire promises to protect Kaia who takes the jump with her, going through the open door to the “Bad Place.”  They quickly rescue Sam and Dean, but Patience’s vision takes a detour when Kaia jumps in front of Claire to protect her.  Kaia has made the ultimate sacrifice and Sam and Dean have to pry Claire away from her lifeless body to make it back safely.  Claire confides to Jody that she understands why she is the way she is now.  This teaches her a valuable lesson and gives her the motive to keep fighting the good fight…to protect the innocent and to avenge Kaia’s death.

1

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

Claire finally understands the importance of a team…or really more of a family.  She recognizes these “amazing women” surrounding her at the dinner table and truly sees the importance of sticking by the ones you love.  Claire says that her “family is her army,” and she is absolutely right.  Sam and Dean came together after they lost their father and recognize that their bond as brothers is the most important thing in the world.  They will always try to do good, supporting each other along the way.  Claire now also sees that this is the key to her destiny and that she is not alone in the fight.  She will stop the cloaked shadowy figure that ended Kaia’s life no matter what it takes.  The end of the episode gives us a surprise twist, however; revealing that the shadowy figure is Kaia, but what does this mean?  Does Kaia have a doppelganger?  Is this the real Kaia?  While we are not exactly sure just yet, it definitely leaves Supernatural fans wanting to see more of the “Wayward Sisters.”  Overall, the backdoor pilot did a good job of introducing fans to a familiar premise, a great music soundtrack, and some truly remarkable women that we can learn to root for just like the Winchester Brothers.  While we may not find out until May 2018 if we can expect a fall premiere of the spin-off series, I am hoping that we are able to give these ladies a chance to shine.

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Supernatural  and “Wayward Sisters” below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

“Wayward Sisters” Can the spin-off series of “Supernatural” be a success?

I was disappointed to not have my fix of Sam and Dean Winchester this week, as we are still waiting on new episodes of Supernatural to return.  However, I thought it would be a good time to introduce the Wayward Sisters and discuss whether or not this spin-off series can be a success.  Looking at spin-off series that have been popular such as Angel and The Originals to name a few, they have been able to capture the fan base of their original shows and carve out their own identity in the process.  Will the Wayward Sisters be able to achieve this?  This is no easy task, as many spin-off series have failed the test of time and have not had the same punch as the original series.  Supernatural:  Bloodlines did not make it and I have to admit I don’t even know if they aired an episode or not.  I didn’t even remember that they had already tried this to be honest.  So what do we know about Wayward Sisters?

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The spin-off series will be premiering on the CW on January 18th and the cast includes fan-favorites Kim Rhodes as Jodi Mills and Kathryn Love Newton as Claire, the daughter of Jimmy Novak, Castiel’s vessel.  We will also see psychic, Patience and dream-walker, Kaia on the new series and Jodi’s other adopted daughter, AlexSheriff Donna will also be a part of the cast, giving fans a familiar set of faces to connect with and root for.  From my understanding, the show will feature the female cast trying to help Sam and Dean escape out of the world they are now trapped in.  Once the series gets through the task of saving the boys, they will be based primarily out of Siox Falls, South DakotaSo now that we all know the players involved, will you be watching the new spin-off?

I am absolutely going to give it a try out of pure loyalty for the Winchester family.  I think that the spin-off series has the potential to exceed expectations and become very popular.  There are many episodes of Supernatural where we get a glimpse into some of the characters that I mentioned above and I personally wanted to dive deeper into their story-lines.  For example, Patience and newcomer, Kaia are both very interesting and a breath of fresh air.  I initially was disappointed that we probably wouldn’t learn too much about them until I realized they would be part of the spin-off series.  Jodi is one of my favorite recurring characters and this will give her a chance to truly shine and do what she does best, bring together a family even when they feel like they were initially alone in the world.  Jodi already has the mamma bear vibe down and has proven previously how much she cares for her adopted daughters, Claire and Alex.  Sheriff Donna will also bring some laughs for sure to lighten up the series from becoming too focused on the drama.  Part of what makes Supernatural so great is that it has the perfect blend of comedy and drama, so this show should try to emulate this as much as possible if it wants to keep up.

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The family bond between the Winchester brothers is another reason why the show has been so successful and lasted for 13 years and counting.  Jodi clearly cares about creating a family of misfits to give them a sense of purpose and belonging, which means that they have a good chance of creating their own undeniable bond in the process.  Also, the cast will be all females, which brings me back to the wonderful days of shows like Charmed.  In a world of demons, wizards, and police detectives snooping around at every corner, the sisters of Charmed were able to come together as a powerful force and still make time for some female bonding as well.  I am hoping to get some of that back with Wayward SistersSo I will absolutely give the spin-off series the chance it deserves.  Will you be tuning in for the premiere? 

I hope you enjoyed and please feel to post your thoughts and comments on Wayward Sisters and Supernatural below.  Happy viewing!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl