I want to preface this by saying if you haven’t seen March 17th’s episode of Teen Wolf titled “Insatiable” and you care about what happens and don’t want spoilers of “Bruce Willis is dead and Tyler Durden isn’t real” proportions, I suggest you stop reading now. Actually, what are you even doing on the internet? And how have you avoided the spoilers? Probably the same way I have managed to still not know how Lost or The Office ends.
Okay, so moving on.
On March 17th, 2014 Allison Argent died. Allison Argent is one of the main characters on MTV’s Teen Wolf, a show that I have on many occasions given lots of praise. I will stand here and tell you that it is one of the best shows on TV right now, and despite how livid I am that Allison died, I will stand by that. There are a lot of reasons why I think everyone should be watching Teen Wolf, and one of those reasons is because of the female characters. In fact, the female characters are how I judge a lot of the TV shows I watch. Which is why I was so upset when Allison died. “How could you kill of one of the few strong, independent, well written females on television right now?” I screamed into the void. The void answered by telling me that it was Crystal Reed’s choice to leave, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow (well, not much.) Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy New Girl. Girls is fine. But Jessica Day and Hannah Horvath leave a lot to be desired. Teen Wolf isn’t the first show that totally nailed their female characters though, and it definitely won’t be the last.
So with that said here are 5 TV shows, new and old, who’s kickass females are totally on point.
1. Teen Wolf (obviously)
Allison Argent and Lydia Martin kick serious ass. Lydia, who started out as the popular queen bee of Beacon Hills High School that only seemed interested in hot boys and high heels, grew to be a brilliant, strong, and clever member of Scott McCall’s “wolf”pack. Allison Argent, who started as the quiet new girl that accidentally starts dating the nerdy Scott, could have taken a backseat and just been the Teen Wolf’s girlfriend but she was so much more than that. With her in depth character arc taking us through her discovery that she comes from a long line of (female driven) werewolf hunters, she became just as important as all the wolf boys running around.
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Lydia and Allison, and now newcomer Kira, can hold their own and protect themselves. Sometimes they need to be “rescued” but a lot of times they are the ones doing the rescuing. Characters like them are really important. Strong females that aren’t solely on screen to eventually make out with someone (not that I am complaining when they DO make out with someone, get it girls.) Sure these girls may be fighting supernatural beings, but they are relatable. They’re flawed. They’re strong. They are the types of characters that I wanted to watch growing up, and they are the types of characters I want to continue to see.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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Buffy, Willow, Cordelia. I thought they were seriously cool when I was growing up. Buffy was the slayer! Only girls could be slayers! Slayers saved the world! Willow, Buffy’s bookish best friend managed to teach herself how to become a witch. And Cordelia, despite starting off as a bit of a vapid mean girl, even proves her strength and loyalty in the end (especially in Angel.) It was Buffy the Vampire Slayer that first taught me that you could kick ass and still maintain your femininity. Before, it always seemed like you could have one or the other. Nope. Not true. You can have both. Heels and arrows.
3. Gilmore Girls
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While Rory and Lorelai never fight demons or save the world, they are still awesome. Seth Cohen made being a nerd boy sexy, but Rory Gilmore made being a bookish girl sexy. Rory and Lorelai were witty, over caffeinated and well versed in the goings on of the world and pop culture alike. Sure a lot of Gilmore Girls focused around their relationships, but they were always so much more than that. Lorelai runs her own successful business, she raised a child on her own and she has a tight hair game. Rory works hard in school, manages to have a social life while attending an Ivy League school, and has impeccable taste in music. I have said that Gilmore Girls is one of the things that prepared me most for college and it is true. Rory was someone I could see myself being. She went through things I went through. She had brown hair. She was a normal girl and she was awesome.
4. Pretty Little Liars
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If you are rolling your eyes right now I don’t even know what to say to you. Pretty Little Liars may seem like a dumb, mindless teen show on the outside, but there is so much more to it than that. The four main characters that make up PLL; Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily are dynamic. Each girl has her own unique personality and skill set that she brings to the group. Sometimes it can be impossible, at the end of the day, to tell females characters on certain shows apart. While the situations that the liars find themselves in are not your typical, everyday, high school problems, the paranoia and insecurities of high school are spot on. Also, at the end of the day it is a show, that stars four young females, about friendship. Girls run this show and it is awesome. Also one of the main characters, Emily, is a lesbian. Her coming out story and navigation through relationships is a just a big a part of the plot as the heterosexual relationships and struggles. Something that more shows definitely need. Especially ones for teens.
5. The O.C.
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Again, bear with me on this one. For one, I am not really talking about Marissa Cooper. I am talking about Summer Roberts. You want to talk amazing character development? Let’s talk Summer. She starts off as a ditzy, superficial secondary character and quickly grows into something so much more. Few characters on The O.C. make bigger strides and grow more than Summer does. By the end of the series she is attending an Ivy League school and involved in environmental issues. Yes, her relationship with Seth is a huge part of the show, but that isn’t the only thing Summer is good for. She also refuses to be walked over. She stands up for herself and her friends. Summer Roberts is my girl and I think more people should appreciate her as a character.
There are plenty more amazing women on TV right now, and there have been many more in the past, but these are some of the shows that really resonate.