Daisy Betts in Last Resort. © 2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. || Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey. © 2010 Courtesy of MASTERPIECE.
Meghan Ory in Once Upon a Time. © 2012 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. || Danai Gurira in The Walking Dead. © 2012 Gene Page/AMC.
The Screen Invasion Team watches a lot of television. (Something you may have guessed from the many, many recaps posted daily.) As we watched our Fall TV faves, we noticed a trend: namely, female characters who are kicking ass and taking names (literally, in some cases). Ladies so successfully dominating their respective TV-universes that nothing keeps them down for long. And we wanted to do a little something to show these kick-ass TV chicks the R-E-S-P-E-C-T that is so rightly theirs.
To rank these admirable women would not do them justice—we seek only to laud, and not to compare. Hence, we have organized our chosen ladies by the day and time at which their show airs, beginning with Sunday.
Know too that this list is by no means exhaustive. Any webpage containing a list of every character that should be included would undoubtedly be too large to load.
On this page and the three that follow, we sing the praises of 39 strong, independent, and kick-ass TV ladies from 10 Fall shows and 3 others returning to TV in the Winter and Spring.
On behalf of the Screen Invasion Team, I say: Brava, ladies. Brava.
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Once Upon a Time
Sunday @ 8-9pm (ABC)
There are a lot of strong females in Once Upon a Time, some we have gotten to know very well and a few with whom we have just begun to scratch the surface. One of the strong women that we know well is Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin). Her strength comes from her love and dedication to her family and her unwavering faith in happy endings. It is hard in the face of so much negativity and endlessly hopeless situations to continue pushing through and believing in a better outcome. The ultimate show of strength for Snow came in the selfless act of giving up her infant daughter for the child’s own good, though it broke her heart. This single act was dig deep down in your gut, rip your heart out strong and speaks volumes to Snow’s character. Another strong woman that we just recently got to know very, very well is Ruby, a.k.a. Red Riding Hood (Meghan Ory). I have to say that Ruby has been one of my very favorite characters from the start. This woman’s strength comes from not being afraid to be herself and to take the path less traveled. The fact that Red and Snow are best friends isn’t surprising at all considering their shared ability to overcome adversity. Recently, as we learned Red was also the Big Bad Wolf, we watched her struggle to accept herself as a werewolf, despite usually being so proud of her uniqueness. The ability to accept oneself warts and all, or in this case fur and all, is one of the biggest struggles anyone can face and Red managed to do so, with a little help from her friends. – Cat Edison (@CatEdison)
Two other ladies of Storybrooke and Fairy Tale Land have had our rapt attention this season: Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Regina, a.k.a. the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla). Last season’s enemies are this season’s newest quasi-allies, united by shared maternal ties to Henry (Jared Gilmore). Trapped in Fairy Tale Land, Emma has spent Season 2 fighting her way back to Henry through the myriad mythological obstacles—such as a soul-sucking wraith, a beanstalk with a giant on top, the most evil queen in all the lands, and an elusive space-time portal—that divide them. Although set in Storybrooke and requiring less swordplay, Regina’s quest to earn Henry’s love and respect by abstaining from the practice of magic has not been easy for her. After all, magic is the only thing that ever gave Regina any sense of control over her destiny. As devout Oncers know well, however, all magic has a price. And for Regina, losing Henry is just too high a price to pay…for now. – Sarah Katz (@sarahdkatz)
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The Good Wife
Sunday @ 9-10pm (CBS)
Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is “the good wife.” The premise of the entire series is based around this versatile character. Her famous, rich, and powerful husband betrayed her in front of the entire world. She handled herself as a lady, took her children into the city, and went back to work starting from the bottom in a law firm. Alicia is smart, and she does what is right for herself and her children. Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi) is mysterious. It’s hard to tell what she’s thinking or scheming, but that’s the best part about her character. She has all these question marks about her, but at the end of the day, she is there for the people she cares about. She’s loyal and that’s about the only thing we know for certain when it comes to Kalinda. Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) is the definition of a successful career woman. She is a part-owner of one of the most successful law firms in Chicago. She is able to make the tough decisions and handle the ever-problematic responsibilities that come along with her career. She is an advocate for women in the workplace. – Theresa Amrhein (@theresamarieee)
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The Walking Dead
Sunday @ 9-10pm (AMC)
Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) started off as the sweet-but-tough farmer’s daughter falling in love with Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), and not really acting badass…until now. She has been kicking major ass this season, killing the walkers and seeming really proud of herself all while also going on potentially dangerous runs for Rick’s baby. When she and Glenn were taken hostage to Woodbury, The Governor (David Morrissey) was being a disgusting fool to her, making her take her shirt and bra off and she stood there and endured all of that to keep the group at the prison safe. She has been a major asset to the group and they need her. Michonne (Danai Gurira) is another independent, strong, kickass gal who won’t take any of your sh*t. She left Andrea at Woodbury, because she knew The Governor was bad news and was ready to get back into the world on her own when she realized Andrea was sucked into the Woodbury lifestyle. She fought The Governor (stabbing him in the eye with glass) and helped the group find Maggie and Glenn. Both Maggie and Michonne are now on the same team, the group, and it will be fun to see how these two strong ladies mesh together further into Season 3. – Karin Abcarians (@DANGER_karin)
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Page 2: Monday & Tuesday
Page 3: Thursday & Friday
Page 4: Winter & Spring