I am a big fan of strong women in media. and not just those cat suited kick ass vixens as portrayed in recent movies and TV. I’m talking about strong Character driven roles, where a lady can show off her acting chops rather than her curves. Some times less skin is better. When the plot drives the action and not vice versa, what you get is more enjoyment out of the story. Case in point is the movie Barbwire, starring Pam Anderson. Sure you get lots of T&A but it was a totally unmemorable waste of time. I’m glad I didn’t waste my money to watch it on the big screen. On the other hand you have Lori Petty in Tank Girl, an equally Cheesy story but so much more re watchable. I was going to use Helen Mirren in The Debt as an example, but that would be like comparing a Waterford crystal goblet to a Kmart plastic cup, but you get the point. So this week I’m dedicating this blog to my favorite TV strong women.
TATIANA MASLANY: ORPHAN BLACK
If you get BBC America check out Tatiana, as she convincingly plays a collection of clones, all with different lives and different personalities, and all of them potentially dangerous. The fact that the clones are all so different raises the question is it nature or nurturing that makes us who and what we are. They range from a mild mannered soccer mom, to a marginally mad psycho and a con artist.This is like an ongoing acting exercise and Tatiana Maslany does a great job managing it. She shows strength, vulnerability and adaptability all in one package.
EMILIA CLARKE: GAME OF THRONES
As Danaerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) rules. Rising from a frightened little girl, barely in her teens, to a fearsome Khaleesi of the Dothraki horsemen. The Dothraki are a warlike nomadic people in the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire. She is wise beyond her age and has out smarted all of the men who sought to exploit her. Danaerys is a real survivor.
ANNA SILK: LOST GIRL
Bo (Anna Silk) is literally a soul sucking succubus and not the kind that you hear divorced guys talk about. She will actually drain you of your life force and leave nothing but an empty shell. She’s the protagonist of the series, so everybody else is so much worse, that she looks like the nice one. She is strong, loyal and doesn’t depend on a man to save her or validate her existence.
LUCY LIU: ELEMENTARY
Dr. Joan Watson is not the bumbling comic relief of the old Basil Rathbone movies. She is as brilliant as her charge, a capable and competent healer and sobriety coach. She also sees things that Holmes doesn’t, providing a fresh pair of eyes when Holmes hits a snag.
KATEY SEGAL: SONS OF ANARCHY
Gemma Teller Morrow is one mean motorcycle mama. She not only has to keep her husband and her son from killing each other; she has to tread the mine field between family life and Matriarchy of an outlaw biker gang. She has endured many trials and tribulations but still manages to be the moral center in a family that has few morals.
KRYSTEN RITTER: Don’t trust the B______ in APARTMENT 23
Chloe, is Holly Golightly without a conscience. She’s the manic pixie girl on drugs and alcohol who bulldozes her way through life, with panache and pure moxie. She is the text book definition of a brazen hussy, a sociopath who always manages to land on her feet. I have no doubt that Chloe could survive in any environment.
REBECCA FERGUSON: THE WHITE QUEEN
Watching this trio of ambitious ladies, is like watching a female version of the Good the Bad and the Ugly, without the good. They cajole, prod, instigate and manipulate the menfolk like pawns in a chess game, while vying for supremacy in Jolly old England. The winners get to sit on this cool throne and wear a heavy crown. The losers get skewered, smothered, drowned in wine vats, poisoned and beheaded. The headsman’s axe gets a regular workout on this show, some of them deserve it, others just had the misfortune to get caught up in this war of the women.
LENA HEADEY: GAME OF THRONES
Cersei Lannister is just as capable as her brothers, Tyrion and Jaime and as cunning as her father and would probably make a better monarch. Her one weakness, is her devotion to her sadistic bully of a son. Prince Joffrey is a hand full, whose favorite sport is abusing and killing whores and being a bad ruler. Poor Cersei has to handle him, while simultaneously handling the intrigues of court life and placating her Father.
ELIZABETH MOSS & CHRISTINA HENDRICKS: MAD MEN
Peggy Olsen (Moss) and Joan Harris (Hendricks) are two women in the male dominated world of Madison avenue ad agencies. These ladies are as smart as, if not smarter than most of their male counterparts. They have taken divergent paths to get to the top but neither one has had it easy. They have endured good old fashioned sexism and generally bad male attitudes, all while watching lesser males be promoted over them. Both women have prevailed in an atmosphere that has literally driven one of their male colleagues to suicide.
ANNA GUNN: BREAKING BAD
Skyler White on the outside is a typical suburban housewife and working mom. In reality she is her husband’s partner in crime. Walter White aka. Heisenberg is a rogue chemistry professor, tuned meth drug lord and the most dangerous man in Albuquerque. Skyler gets to watch her mild mannered doormat of a spouse degenerate into a violent criminal mastermind. When she first discovers Walters wrong doing she is appalled, but eventually she succumbs to the lure of filthy lucre, for the sake of her children. In spite of everything she manages to survive, masterfully maneuvering to evade prosecution.
SPECIAL MENTION GOES TO
ANNA LISE PHILLIPS: REVOLUTION (as Maggie Foster) I know that she was killed off in the first season, When she died, I stopped watching. Awesome Lady.
MAISIE WILLIAMS: GAME OF THRONES (as Arya Stark) Beware of the pointy end of her sword.
GWENDOLINE CHRISTIE: GAME OF THRONES (as Brienne of Tarth) Physically and morally strong she’s a lady and a knight.
As you can tell I am a game of thrones fan, and just about all of the main female characters are strong, in every way imaginable. Great crafting of female characters Mister Martin.