TV shows have played a major role in my life. I’ve spent hours watching shows. I try to figure out what I have in common with the characters and what it is that I find so appealing about them. After all, the media had a big influence on how I saw the world, and I was always intrigued about why. What all of the shows I like have in common is that the protagonist is a strong female character who is brash, intellectual, and self-reliant — all of which are qualities I hold or hope to possess in the future.
Although these screen characters have some restrictions (is it that difficult to produce a show where a woman doesn’t have a love interest by the end?), it was wonderful to see mature ladies on camera who knew what they were doing.
I recall Sabrina (the lead character from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a program I enjoy) remaining collected and strong when her aunt Zelda turned into a ball of wax, as well as the many other female characters I saw who used their wits rather than relying on the show’s male characters for assistance.
It’s strange to believe that a television show can have such an impact on my life, but it’s something I’ve noticed my whole life. I believe this is true even for characters I don’t think fit the bill, yet I’ve found myself thinking about “channeling my inner Blair Waldorf” or “What would Peggy Olsen do?”
Unfortunately, women don’t get nearly as much screen time as I’d want. While I don’t deliberately search out strong female characters when browsing IMDB for a new TV program, it’s a great plus when a show concentrates on a woman who’s funny, self-determined, and independent.
It’s the same show quality that captivated me on Mad Men’s Peggy Olsen and Joan Holloway and is now hooking me on Gilmore Girls. Shows are more enjoyable when the characters on screen are unique individuals, something that showrunners don’t always get right when it comes to women and people of color.
Meanwhile, I’m celebrating the ladies who may only exist in fiction, but who have left a lasting impression on my heart.
1. Midge Maisel from Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Midge Maisel is one of the most courageous and determined ladies I hope to be like. She portrays a female stand-up comedian in New York City in the early 1950s.
Those who have seen the show will understand why her husband left her when he learned she was far more powerful and intelligent than him. The finest thing about her is that she did not allow herself to be sad when she was rejected or separated.
She persevered and emerged much stronger and more confident than before. Her unique talks and clothes can light up an entire room. However, the age-old debate persists: “Is it selfish to put yourself and your job ahead of your children and family?”
She gets lost in the question all the time, yet she never loses her balance. She was aware that there was more to life than her spouse Joel Maisel.
2. Fleabag from Fleabag
She, in my opinion, embodies the strongest type of feminine energy for this generation. I’m not embarrassed to acknowledge that Fleabag, not just the character, but the entire series, transformed my life.
Maisel represents the light side, while Fleabag represents the dark side. She also demonstrated that being a feminist does not include creating numerous barriers around oneself, but rather being strong enough to be vulnerable in the presence of others.
People who despise Fleabag’s guts are nevertheless internally afraid of women who are stronger than them. She is still one of my favorite characters from television shows. After watching Fleabag, you realize how miserable and lonely life can be, even when there are so many people who understand you. But she taught me not to be concerned with how others perceive me because everyone is fighting their struggles.
3. Diane Nguyen from Bojack Horseman
When I first started watching this show, I thought to myself, “Wow, why does Diane act like this?” After rewatching the show a couple of times, I realized that I’m Diane Nguyen, and that everyone has felt like her at some point in their lives.
She knows that nothing in the world will ever be able to make her happy since she is so shattered on the inside. She realizes that she may not be the person she thought she was.
She was strong enough to recognize that things did not have to be this way all the time. Her character’s attitude shifted from “I’m better than everyone else” to “We’re all messed up in our own ways.” “No one is better than the other.”
Throughout the series, she battles with her work and her identity. And the finale is so realistic that she doesn’t miraculously wind up happy where she belongs at the end. Finding your identity is a lifelong journey, and if you’re lucky, you could discover that you’re not alone.
4. Women from Big Little Lies
When it comes to murder mystery series starring women, I’ve noticed that they’re a lot more realistic and honest. Big Little Lies is a slow-burning drama, yet each of the women in the plot is complex. They were always there for one another and had each other’s backs through a series of difficult situations.
Although I don’t believe that every female on the show should be idealized, there were times when I wanted to hug them and attempt to understand them. They showed me how a strong group of women who understand each other can make a major difference in one’s life.
5. Women from Orange is the New Black
Every woman on the show has a compelling backstory or one that is complicated. This is, in my opinion, one of the most unique shows produced in recent years. If you’re wondering how women in prison can relate to you, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
I believe the show covered practically every aspect of being a woman, as well as prejudice based on religion, ethnicity, culture, police brutality, and other factors. In the present political climate, this is a much-needed series.