Sunday, March 8, 2015

15 Favorite Fictional Females

I’ll be getting back to my series on Relationships in The Avengers soon, I promise. But when I saw on Twitter that it was International Women’s Day, I knew I had to focus on some great fictional ladies. It can be hard to find well-written women in fiction, but once in a while, there are a few precious gems. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just a few of my favorite heroines I’ve come across over the years. They amount to, more or less, 15, so that's the title of this post. Hooray, alliteration! Also, I've kept this post (mostly) spoiler-free.

1. The supporting ladies on Parks and Recreation

Obviously, when I think of fantastic female characters, I think of Leslie Knope. And as Amanda showed us, she really is awesome. However, it’s hit me while watching Parks and Rec lately just how much the rest of the ladies rock, as well. So it’s time to show them some love.

Ann Perkins: She’s often the foil and straight man to Leslie’s wild side, so sometimes she can get lost in the shuffle due to the loud personalities of the other characters. But honestly, I think Ann is awesome. I find her very relatable, especially in the episodes where she realizes she changes herself based on which boyfriend she has. She’s also hilarious in and of her own right, because she’s so deadpan. While Parks and Rec’s sense of humor is often larger than life, Ann allows us to see a sense of humor that’s a bit more subtle. I love that. Kudos to Rashida Jones for playing such an awesome character.

April Ludgate: Who doesn’t love April? Her creepy, dark persona makes my life. But the best part about April is that the writers have often shown us her vulnerability underneath the hardened exterior she projects. We saw this particularly in season 7, though it’s sprinkled throughout the entire series. One great piece of evidence that indicates her soft side is that she’s in love with Andy, who’s practically a ray of sunshine. I love April so much, not only because she’s so dark, but because she’s relatable in so many ways.

Donna Meagle: It wasn’t until season 7 that I realized how much I love Donna Meagle. She takes no crap and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she’s also intensely loyal to her friends. My favorite scenes with her happened with Jerry in “Pie Mary (Producer’s Cut)”. And I’m wildly happy about where she eventually ended up. But most of all, Donna, thank you for reminding us to… 

Honorable mentions: Shauna Malwae-Tweep and Joan Callamezzo, whom I personally find hilarious. Thanks for the laughter, ladies. And to Diane, because I love Lucy Lawless.

Shoutouts to: Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Retta

2. All the ladies on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel has been doing an amazing job bringing females to the big screen, and AOS is no exception.

Melinda May: Okay, okay, I confess, I’m a terrible person because at first, I wasn’t sure if I liked Melinda May all that much. HOWEVER, over the course of the series, I’ve found myself falling in love with her. She’s another one of those ladies with a badass exterior, but we have been able to see vulnerable moments, mostly with how she cares for Skye and Coulson. While she is an incredible fighter, I appreciate the way she has a good head on her shoulders and can think quickly. She has a gift for tactical thinking, which is something she desperately needs.

Skye: Skye has been my favorite since day one. She is basically a fangirl in the first episode--why wouldn’t I love that? As the series has gone on, though, we’ve seen her become something extraordinary--she went from hacker to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, to, ahem, [SPOILER REDACTED]. And her personality has grown by leaps and bounds as well, which is incredible to see. When I think back on our very first episode of AOS, I can’t believe she’s the same person.

Jemma Simmons: Like May, I wasn’t sure if I liked Simmons. But now, I adore her. She has a sharp mind, but the greatest thing about her is her compassionate heart. She searches for answers because she truly loves humanity, I think. I love the blending of brains and heart. I also think we’ve seen her at her best in season 2. While my heart breaks over Fitzsimmons, this season’s events have been great for her character arc, and I can’t wait to see where she goes.

Honorable mentions: All the ladies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This honestly deserves a post of its own someday, but I wanted to give it a quick mention here. Truly, Marvel has some of the best ladies out there. From the deadpan Pepper Potts to Agent 13, the Marvel ladies are a true gift. (Black Widow especially. You already probably know how I feel about her. Also, AGENT CARTER.)

Shoutouts to: Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge

3. Felicity Smoak (from Arrow)

Felicity Smoak from Arrow is one of the best-written female characters I’ve ever seen. While I’m not very far into Arrow, I still had to give her a mention because she is fabulous. She’s quirky, nerdy, smart, beautiful, and a great role model for all fangirls everywhere. 

Shoutout to: Emily Bett Rickards

4. Jessica Day (from New Girl)

Who's that giiiiirl.... it's Jess!

Jess is one of my favorites. She’s adorable, feminine, and hilarious. Like a lot of my favorite characters, she has a good dose of awkward. She’s strong, but vulnerable. She makes us laugh with her singing and dancing. And best of all, she likes Lord of the Rings.

Shoutout to: Zooey Deschanel

5. The ladies from Once Upon a Time

Emma Swan: Emma is fantastic. She starts out as a bail bondsperson and then grows into even more of a heroine as the story progresses. We see her fight a dragon with her gun and a sword, and she will do anything for the people she loves. She learns to open up over the course of the show, but still retains her ability to defend herself (and her family).

Regina Mills: Nobody touch Regina! Yes, she started out as the Evil Queen, and yes, we do hate her for a while, but she cleans up her act and then becomes arguably one of the best characters on the show. She’s loyal like Emma is, and once she uses her magic for good instead of evil it’s a sight to see. The only beef I have is that the storywriters seem like they just really don’t want to give her a happy ending.

Snow White: Snow’s a little busy now that she’s taking care of her family, so we haven’t seen her as active in the storylines as she was in the beginning. And that’s really a shame. Seeing Snow White as a wanted outlaw and warrior, who knew how to think on her feet, was awesome. Seeing a woman warrior with a soft heart was even more awesome. Please, OUAT, bring back the kick-butt Snow that we love.

Belle: She’s strong, yet has an unfailing loyalty and optimism to those she loves (aka Rumple). She’s not afraid to cry and is one of the softest characters in the series, I think, yet isn’t afraid to get stuff done.

Shoutouts to: Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla, Ginnifer Goodwin, Emilie de Ravin

6. The Bennet Sisters from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Elizabeth Bennet had a vlog? Me too.

This is one story that you must check out if you haven’t yet. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a webseries on YouTube that ran from April 2012 to March 2013. It’s a modern-day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, told via vlog-style episodes and social media accounts. It was brilliant. You can watch all episodes here. And if I may say so, they did a wonderful job of giving us ladies to love and root for.

Lizzie: Obviously a take on Elizabeth Bennet, this version of Jane Austen’s famous character is my favorite. She is wickedly smart and unfailingly sarcastic, and a bit impulsive. Like in the original story, she makes snap judgments. She is flawed and she is real, but she is also amazing. She is hilariously funny, loyal to her siblings, and dedicated to her dreams. She’s wonderful and I love her.

Lydia: I never loved Lydia until this version. Lydia starts off as “totes” exuberant, and she is definitely a bit obnoxious. But over the course of the series, we see her get hurt and go into a downward spiral. We see her broken. It hurts a lot. And yet Lydia is resilient, and by the end, we know she’s going to be okay. (It’s a character arc that really hurts and I’m still not over it.)

Jane: JANE. Jane is that character that you want as your best friend, your confidant, and your everything. She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever seen--too sweet for me to express. She’s there for her sisters whenever they need her. Like her sisters, she gets hurt in the series, but believes in love enough to try again. She also will offer you a cup of tea anytime you need it.

Honorable mention: Charlotte Lu, featured above. She helps Lizzie run her vlog channel, is Lizzie's best friend, and keeps everything sane and rational. She's also ambitious and just a great character. Also, Gigi Darcy. She plays a big role in the series, and you end up falling in love with her. She went on to have her own series, too--Welcome to Sanditon.

Shoutouts to: Ashley Clements, Mary Kate Wiles, Laura Spencer


This list is by no means the end, and I hope to feature even more awesome female characters in the future! Please check out the Twitters I linked in order to support these actresses for bringing us such amazing characters. And lastly, who are your favorite female characters? Tell me below in the comments!


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