We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


8 Unexpected, Kick-Ass Female Characters on TV


While I love the women on television that literally kick ass, I’m drawn to the female characters who rock for their subtle, smart, nuanced performances.  Not that I haven’t loved some Sydney Bristow from “Alias”, CJ Cregg of “The West Wing”, Olivia Benson of “SVU”, or the awesome women of “The Good Wife” in my day. But this list of characters I like because they aren’t any of those more traditional roles.  They might be poor, awkward, quirky, moms, or maybe they have dragons? Either way, I’m fascinated and compelled by these women.  So here is my list of Kick Ass Female Characters on Television. They inspire me!   (As to what, I’m not sure, but I’m working on that).
1.  Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) of “30 Rock”
What’s not to love about Liz Lemon. She’s far from perfect, funny, patient, hard-working, vulnerable, and you still want to hang out with her.  There are not enough words to say how awesome Tina Fey and her amazingly smart show is – creator/writer/star. Seriously, it’s too much.  Just awesome.  And too many great Liz Lemon quotes, but I do like “I support women. I’m like a human bra!”


2. Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) of “Downton Abbey”
Every single episode of this excellent show, there is at least one, if not many, awesome Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess moments. I’m beginning to think my new life motto should be “What would Maggie Smith do” (I’d write her full title but ‘wwmsd’ is so much easier. I see a trend on twitter people).  She is snobby, opinionated, and fiercely elitist.  Best quote? “What’s a weekend?” But what she did for (spoiler alert) poor, sick William and her advice to Mary about Matthew, shows her to have a heart.  No matter what, she’s badass in my book.  Not to mention, Violet rocks a hat and cane.

3. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) of “New Girl”
I get that she’s too quirky or odd for some people, but I like her. Jess is funny, ridiculous, but she talks like actual women I know rather than rattling off one-liners and aggressive punch lines like sitcom characters (Whitney Cummings – no hate, I just think the punchline/laugh track on that show is excessive).  I like that there’s a woman on television who likes girlie things and has girlfriends. I really like that her best friend is “hotter” than she is, since it’s been some sort of tv/movie law that the best friend of the lead chick must be monumentally less attractive. I always found that 1) insulting and 2) weird. So props to Zooey for embracing quirky, weird characters.  Maybe, I too, am a girl who makes voices and sings in strange moments (really badly, I’m afraid) and now I feel less weird.

4.  Daenerys Targaryen/Khaleesi (Emilia Clarke) of “Game of Thrones” 
I was not prepared to get on board the “Game of Thrones” train, but holy crap, this show is addicting. None more so than Khaleesi (I’m still confused by her names).  At first, she seemed like a  little pawn with nothing more than a bad wig/dye job and a creepy, gross brother. But she survives fire and has dragons.  When I hear “winter is coming,” I get more excited about Khaleesi bringing some heat than anything to do with Windwalkers.  She’s petite, she’s young, and was sort of sold into sex slavery (aka. wife to a warrior chieftain) Khal Drogo.  This all sounds weired, but trust me, Khaleesi is awesome, and well, I’m hooked.

5. Joan Holloway-Harris (Christina Hendricks) of “Mad Men”
I understand that some women may be more Peggy fans because she’s pushing the envelope for women’s lib and equality in the 1960’s chauvinist work force.  And trust me, I like Peggy.  I just enjoy how much Joan understands the world in which she lives, and subtly learns to navigate her world – bumps and all. She’s not technically powerful and yes she’s had her share of injustices and hard knocks, but there is something admirable and relatable about Joan.  She’s tough, she’s a survivor. Okay, now I’m making her sound like a Destiny’s Child song, but I just love Joan.  And she’s done more for curvaceous women than anyone else on tv.

6.  Jane Lynch (Sue Sylvester) of “Glee”
Yes, she’s maniacal and really, really mean – but I love Jane Lynch.  While I’ve distanced myself from “Glee” of late, I love when Sue is on. Her one-liners, her confidence, her deadpan hilarity – awesome. I can’t help myself.  She’s villianious in an almost old-school cartoonish way, and best of all, Sue balances out all the cheesiness of the show. And shows need a curmudgeon. They just do.  In my dreams Sue Sylvester and the Dowager Countess have a witticism cage match or maybe together they make a road movie like Crosby and Hope. I live in hope.


7. Margaret Schroeder (Kelly MacDonald) of “Boardwalk Empire”
As a poor, immigrant widow in the Prohibition times of Atlantic City, I was prepared for her to be a sweet, good character.  Despite her circumstances, she displays both vulnerability and cold-hearted cunning. This petite Irish Catholic immigrant living in some sin with Steve Buscemi’s rich and powerful Nucky is so surprising and clever.  She upholds that old adage that behind every great man is a great woman.  And at this point, I don’t think you’d want to cross her.

8.  Mags Bennett  (Margo Martindale) of “Justified”
I came to “Justified” a little late, but just in time for Margo Martindale.  I fell in love with this actress (which I may have told her awkwardly at the Arclight one day – but that’s another story) in Paris, Je T’aime – but it was her Emmy-Award performance of Mags Bennett that really let her shine. Mags is matriachical, powerful and fucking scary. The best part? Despite her manipulative, treacherous, side – you still root for her. And that’s a badass in my book.


Please tell me who you think are the underrated Kick Ass Women on television. I can’t watch everything, so I’m bound to have missed some ladies. But I love giving props where props are due!



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