[Fantastic Five Friday] Five Favorite Female Characters

fantastic five friday “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)

holly j. sinclair - degrassi

“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)

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)

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)

tsukino usagi - 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)

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.)



Aimee

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tamara
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 07:27:14

    Piiiiippppeeerrrrrr

    Reply

    • aimee
      Jul 29, 2012 @ 19:14:48

      YESSSS. I love her so much. She’s hands down my favorite Halliwell. (Well, I also love future!Chris, and Leo is basically a Halliwell through marriage, but… yeah…. ^^; )

      Reply

  2. Anna the Weekly Enthusiast
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 10:20:35

    I was going to have Veronica on my list, but I keep tending to use the same characters or tv shows over and over again. So tried to think of some other one. VMars is seriously one of my favorite characters of all time.

    And, you know, Nikita just kicks insane amount of ass. You can’t not love her.

    Reply

    • aimee
      Jul 29, 2012 @ 19:17:37

      AHhh, I run into that problem all the time with books and Top Ten Tuesday (I’ve been going out of my way to try to come up with some new additions because the same books are always at the forefront of my mind ^^;; ). But yes! There needs to be more characters like Veronica Mars in television because she is just ridiculously amazing.

      I still can’t believe I waited so long to watch Nikita. She’s incredible.

      Reply

  3. Joie @ Joie de Lire
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 13:26:04

    Ahhh another Veronica Mars fan!! She’s probably one of my favorite characters of all time! I was super disappointed when the canceled the show.
    I’m also a huge fan of Nikita and Usagi too!

    Reply

    • aimee
      Jul 29, 2012 @ 19:21:57

      Yep! I actually never saw it when it was still airing on television, but a friend told me to check it out a few years ago and I fell in love instantly. Veronica Mars is definitely one of my favorite characters of all time too. She’s just so awesome!

      So glad you love Usagi too! You won’t believe how many people I’ve run into in the Sailor Moon fandom who don’t really understand or care about her. She’s such a strong character, given her age and what she’s had to deal with, and she’s so freaking adorable. I don’t get it.

      And yay! Another Nikita fan! She’s definitely my favorite TV heroine at the moment. I kind of wish more people were watching Nikita because the show and the character and everything about it is so brilliant. I only got into it a few months ago, but I am thrilled that there’s a third season, and I can’t wait to see Maggie Q kick some more ass.😀

      Reply

  4. megtao
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 17:30:34

    Okay, maybe Piper’s alright…

    Reply

  5. LillyLilac
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 20:36:10

    I love kickass female characters and I love the idea that there’s more than one way to be a kickass female character.

    I love Holly J as well and I loved watching her develop over the seasons. I atcually made a list of my top 10 female tv characters little over a year ago and she was number 10 on it although I think I would now rank her higher.

    I love Usagi as well I love that she’s a normal girl and that she’s willing to fight even though she’s terrified of the bad guys. When I was younger I pretty much wanted to be Sailor Moon when I grew up. I’ve started reading the manga recently and I have to say I love Usagi even more in the manga because she seems to be getting more character development.

    I’ve been meaning to watch Nikita for the ongest time because it looks and sounds great and I always hear good things abou the show. I also want to watch Verconica Mars and Charmed as well but sadly I haven’t gotten around to watching either yet.

    I loved your list as I always seem to and I’m looking forward to your next post.

    Reply

    • aimee
      Oct 14, 2012 @ 23:24:54

      Awww thank you!❤ (I'm working on more posts, I promise!)

      Kickass female characters are actually what I look forward to in TV shows. I like that the media is beginning to see that heroines, especially intelligent, witty, amusing, brave, strong ones add a dynamic to a show that just isn't there if there's a weak, blah woman or an all-male cast. And I definitely believe that there are many ways to be kickass – you don't HAVE to be physically strong to do so. Mostly because there are different ways to have strength, different ways to face different things.

      YES to everything you said about Holly J. I love that Degrassi allows you to see how the characters develop over time. There's only depth if they choose to explore other facets of their personalities, and while I didn't expect them to do that when they first introduced Holly J, since she was in the typical bully role, it was interesting to see her deal with becoming ostracized, losing friends, being kicked off the cheerleading squad, losing her money, getting a job, falling in love with a boy who was already in love with someone else, trying to be someone she isn't (a super nice pushover), being the hero (Danger Zone with the robbery is one of my favorite episodes ever), falling in love with Declan, being class president, her illness and trying to still accomplish her dreams (Yale), etc. etc. A lot of it is the result of Charlotte Arnold's fantastic acting, but it surprised me how much I LOVED Holly J by the end. I actually really miss her on the show right now.

      I wanted to be Sailor Moon when I was younger too! Rereading the manga and re-watching the anime as an adult is interesting for me because I mostly idolized her for… whatever it is that kids idolize pretty magical princesses who can fight and win and be awesome for.😄 But I love seeing all the sides of things she encountered and accomplished that I didn't notice way back when. She's probably always going to be my go-to anime girl, and I hope the new anime allows her to get the character development she gets in the manga because it isn't very fair to her (even though I did like the anime regardless). (Then again, the anime also did a number on Mamoru, since he is five hundred times better in the manga, so here's to hoping they let him be as awesome in the new anime too.)

      Oh man, Charmed and Veronica Mars are two of my favorite shows. Veronica Mars is mostly awesome seasons one and two (the CW let it fall apart during the university episodes in season 3, and then it just gets canceled mid-action, so that's not awesome, but season one is the best, and season two is pretty great as well). Charmed is amazing beginning to end, especially because it's actually conclusive, and all the seasons are worth watching (my favorite are the first three, and then six). And the ending made me happy/cry. I definitely recommend it! Bot h have the best female characters ever.

      AND AHHH, WATCH NIKITA! I've been saying this repeatedly to anyone who would listen since I watched it a few months ago, but it's seriously the most intense, best show I watched in 2012, and I am so psyched for the new season (it starts this Friday!). Maggie Q is one of the most brilliant action stars I've ever seen, and I love the fact that she does nearly all of her stunts on the show, and that Shane West and a lot of the male actors are terrified when they have to fight her for scenes because she is ridiculously awesome and crazy and good. The plot is intense in a different way than any of the shows I've mentioned here, but in a good way, and the story and the characters are phenomenal – once you get into it, it's super addicting. Definitely definitely watch it!

      Reply

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