Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Strong Female Characters in TV Series: The Love and Need.

(This post sits well in the light of Forbes's 2016 list of the World's Most Powerful Women.)

In a male dominated society, it is curious to note that the TV Series industry (which has a very large if not the largest audience) has many female dominated shows. Shows with women characters who are fascinating, who don’t let rules stop them, who shatter the glass ceilings with style and class. They steal the limelight and how well they deserve it! These are the characters I cannot get enough of, even amidst amazing shows like Sherlock and House, the female lead TV series have created a league of their own.

Why are these shows so great, why are writers obsessed with bad-ass women characters and the viewers drink them up like manna? Is it because it resonates with the feministic setup people are advocating? Or the wish the we really want to see these women exist in real life? The need for us to step up and create an image for ourselves as these characters have.

I love these shows because these are the type of women I want to be. To be so talented, confidant, brave and funny at the same hour. These women influence us, become role models of sorts; they have gumption and we want that too. Writers understand this (Shonda Rhimes, hats off to this woman) and they gift us with such amazing people we cannot get enough of. 

Olivia Pope from Scandal is in my top ten list of female lead characters I so wish I was like. “Aut inveniam viam aut faciam” or “I shall either find a way or make one” is her way to life and the law student in me idolizes that.  Ever since I’ve met this character I’ve taken a different outlook on happenings around me. She makes me think, ‘hmm, if it were me, how would I turn the situation around in my favor?’ 

Grey’s Anatomy’s Meredith Grey. I know this show is not centered on a single character but I think we agree she is the protagonist. There are many amazing women in Grey’s Anatomy, but the more I watch the show the more I realize how much Meredith has to teach me. It is easy to be a Christina Yang if you have the talent and drive, to be a Callie if you have the imagination. But to be Meredith Grey takes a lot. I love how ground she is about things, how in spite of all the darkness inside her she finds a way to decide what the right thing is. How one learns from their own mistakes is something I learned from Grey. 

I absolutely adore Agent Carter. In a chauvinistic society, Agent Carter kicks a lot of stereotypes and she does it with major style. She is a bad-ass through and through. She shows us to not let the world’s opinion matter when it comes to who you are and what and how you can do your job. You serve to be the best version of yourself. 
Kate Beckett you fall in love with easily. She is everything a girl wants to be. The thing you learn best from Kate is to be persistent and to trust your instincts. It takes a different kind of courage to challenge something you are 98% sure is going to get you killed. Sometimes obsession is motivation.

Annalise Keating is yet another female lead character who takes the heat head on and never backs down when cornered. As one of my friend put it, ‘strong female characters serve as a reminder that strength doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength. That a bad ass woman need not wield a sword or know martial arts. Annalise Keating especially kindles the fire in law students. Use your senses and your resources. 

I know I’m leaving behind many amazing female characters. Mindy Lahiri in the Mindy Project, Alex Parish from Quantico, Piper Chapman in Orange is the New Black, and so many more. What all these characters resonate is the fact of how capable women can be if they had the courage to find themselves. These female leads are perfect yet flawed, maybe that is why we relate so much. We feel them. We hear them. We want to be them. 

We grew up watching shows were men did all the hard work. Women in supporting roles depended on these men. It doesn’t work that way anymore. It is refreshing and a hell lotta encouraging seeing strong, independent women characters taking the limelight.  

Do you have a favorite female TV Series character? 

PS. Images do not belong to me.
PSS. Thank you to my three amazing friends Abhilasha, Rachel  and Sonali for their inputs.

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