“Fantastic Five Friday” is a weekly meme hosted by Anna @ The Weekly Enthusiast. Each Friday a new list will be posted about five things related to television and film. You can join in on the awesomeness even if you don’t have a blog by commenting on Anna’s FFF post here.
This week’s topic is:
Five Favorite Female Characters
I personally love kickass, relatively scary (either because they’re ruthless or because they have the power to crush the universe), exceedingly awesome female characters. So while none of these women are exactly the same, they’re strong and they invoke a level of fear that I can’t help but admire.
5. Holly J. Sinclair (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
|“I got kicked off the squad, my dad lost all his money, and I’m in love with that idiot hero guy over there, but he’s crazy about his girlfriend, so… I totally get it. I totally get what it’s like when things are all wrong. Let’s just walk out together? And I’ll tell them what really happened? …If we go out like this… they’ll shoot you. Let’s just go outside. Without the gun.”|
So Degrassi‘s been my go-to “guilty pleasure” show for years. The episodes range from brilliant to exceedingly awful, and despite the fact that I’ve watched… all twelve seasons, very few of the characters ever left an impression on me. Until season seven, when ridiculously ruthless Holly J. Sinclair came along. Holly J. is awesome because she started out as this blunt, ruthless, shell of a person who has to be perfect and will step on all the toes to get there. Though she’s still an ambitious overachiever by her final year, she’s so much more than the hilariously mean caricature she started out as. Holly J. is complex. During her first year at Degrassi, she had one real friend whom she took for granted. She was rich, she wasn’t afraid of attacking people (verbally) to accomplish her goals, and if you ever ran into her in real life, you’d probably be scared out of your mind. But then her father lost all of his money, she discovered her friends didn’t really care about her, most of the school hated her (in addition to being afraid of her) and cyber-bullied her relentlessly, and she needed to find work to get herself into college (on top of all the difficult classes she was taking in school) because otherwise, her dream of attending Yale was an impossibility. Her time working at the Dot helped her figure out who she was without the wealth and the fake friends and people were able to see her as this strong, yet also quite vulnerable girl, who was able to make her own dreams come true, despite whatever life threw at her (illness, financial problems, a gun robbery, or even distractions in the shape of a ridiculously adorkable boyfriend, etc.).
4. Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
|“Tragedy blows through your life like a tornado, uprooting everything. Creating chaos. You wait for the dust to settle and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it’s still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild.”|
I don’t know how you can watch Veronica Mars and not adore Veronica. She’s smart, she’s sarcastic, she’s hilarious, and she’s awesome, and given the fact that the series starts with her being ostracized from her old friends at Neptune High after the murder of her best friend (and after she was raped at a high school party), it’s difficult not to admire her strength.
3. Piper Halliwell (Charmed)
|“I bet you guys think this is real funny, don’t you? Haven’t you taken enough from me? You have to send trolls to kick me while I’m down. I had a nice normal life once and you took that from me. You took my boyfriend, you took my life, the least you could do is leave me my freakin’ car keys. I am a good person, I am a good witch, and damn it, I would’ve made a great wife. And how dare you take that from me. I deserve… no, you know what? I demand that you send him back to me. You hear me? Right now. I am going to stand in this very spot until you send Leo back to me.”|
Though every Halliwell woman is pretty awesome, Piper’s my favorite because of the way she endures everything that’s thrown at her, from her mother and sister’s deaths to the Elders forbidding her relationship with her Whitelighter, to Leo’s time as an Elder, etc. etc. Not only is her relationship with her husband constantly challenged for years, but every season of Charmed never quite let her be happy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to hug Piper, or how many times I’ve admired the way she’s dealt with everything, even when it tested her patience or drove her insane. By the end of the series, it was Piper who I wanted to finally be happy, and if the show had ended differently, I’m not sure I’d be able to call it one of my favorites today.
2. Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon)
|“We fall in love… Our hearts may break… We lose sleep longing for someone… There are many painful times like these. But that’s how we know that we’re alive.”|
Usagi is the reason I have to bring up Sailor Moon every time I compose a list of awesome characters. (Just ignore the fact that the anime downplayed enormous aspects of her personality and failed to have her mature to the extent that she does in the manga or live-action drama…) For a show about super-heroines who fight evil and save the planet/galaxy/whatever’s out there, Usagi is a breath of fresh air. She’s young, klutzy, not particularly brilliant academically, and not the most athletic. But she has a heart of gold, loyal to the very end, and she’ll fight for the sake of protecting the world because she cares about the world, even if she doesn’t believe in herself, even if the whole thing terrifies her. I don’t know anyone who can go through the things she did, and still come out with a smile, and I don’t even want to think about all the times she’s had to watch the people she loves die, all the times she’s had to die for the people she loves, all the times these loved ones have been used by evil and turned against her just because she was a princess over a millennia ago, just because she inherited a crystal with the power to stir galaxies. And yet, through it all, though she’s matured greatly, she’s still that girl she was in the beginning of the series — a klutzy, sweet-toothed, loyal, video-game-playing teenager. With the power to save the world. How can you not love her?
1. Nikita Mears (Nikita)
|“Don’t get me wrong. I want to stop running. I’ve been running my whole life. I want a home…
I just want to be able to live with my self when I get there.”
There are few heroines more kickass than Nikita. Seriously. This is a girl who was abandoned by her parents, abused by her foster family, and then exploited by a secret unit of the government (who claimed they were doing good for the country, but were really assassins for criminal organizations). Nikita starts off as a story about a girl who’s been screwed over too many times, who lost the man she loved because of Division, who doesn’t really know who she is because someone else is always trying to use her. And yes, she’s bitter, but instead of focusing on the fact that she’s been wronged, she wants to take Division down for the innocents they hurt and for other recruits, like her, that they train to do their “dirty work”. It’s more than just a personal vendetta. Nikita’s in it because it’s right. It’s also incredibly awesome that she’s just as (if not more) capable of fighting and besting all the guys in Division, even her mentor
(and lover) Michael, and when she does fall in love again, she doesn’t turn into a less-capable, weaker heroine. She’s still very much in charge and her mission changes for no one. I can’t think of many women I respect more. (More on Nikita and her kickass-ness here.)