By: Melissa Berne
“This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t mean nothing without a woman or a girl.” That’s as true for women in films and TV as it is in real life. A lot of what we’ve seen on screen in the past few years, and even today boasts mostly male leads. With all do respect to the Jason Bournes, Bruce Waynes, and Gregory Houses, there’s just not enough women as the strong main leads. Hollywood doesn’t provide material like that very often for females, so with this list I shine a light on some of TV and Film’s greatest women.
10. Samantha Jones (Sex and The City)
Yes, she slept around. She slept around A LOT. But what I admire most about Miss Jones is her ability to truly not care about what society thought of her. She lived her life unabashedly. For six seasons, Samantha Jones was a smart woman who made a name for her self in the world of PR, didn’t get married, was not a baby person, REALLY enjoyed sex, and made no apologies for her choices.
9. Olivia Pope (Scandal)
Olivia Pope is electrifying. You want her to be your best friend because she’s definitely a ride or die type of girl. You don’t want her to be your enemy because she will not stop until you go down. What’s different about her is that she doesn’t use weapons, magic, or fighting skills like a lot of the women in this list. Instead, she uses her mind and her incredibly resourceful team at Olivia Pope and Associates. With her quick wit and her ‘fixer’ abilities, Olivia is unstoppable as she handles any situation. Her first scene with Amanda Tanner, telling her to back off the President is unforgettable!
8. Neytiri (Avatar)
This is not a human species biased post. Neytiri is badass. She is a warrior that defends her people and her land. The Na’vi beauty doesn’t take crap from anyone whether it be from her native people or the humans. Neytiri jumps off cliffs, rides Banshees, and coaches on how to ride six-legged horses! And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a girl who can basically talk to trees?
7. Olivia Benson (Law and Order: SVU)
For 12 seasons of Law and Order: SVU, we’ve seen Benson arrest countless sexual predators, got punched by a man, and almost got raped herself. Through out it all, she has remained so brave and one of the best cops on TV–ever. It’s not only her courage that’s admirable but being someone who sees horrific things everyday, it hasn’t desensitized her. She approaches the victims with sincerity and understanding. I’d watch her for 12 more seasons.
6. Hannah Horvath (GIRLS)
Out of all female characters on TV today, Hannah Horvath from GIRLS is the most relatable. And that’s what makes her great. From the opening scene of the series premiere where her parents tell her they’re cutting her off to her concerns about working at a job that has nothing to do with her major, GIRLS hits home. Hannah is me. Hannah is you. Hannah is a more comedic version of me, but I digress. With her quippy voice and her journey on becoming who she is, Hannah Horvath is a kindred soul.
5. Snow White (Once Upon A Time)
This seems to be the year of Snow White, i.e. Mirror, Mirror, Snow White and The Huntsman, Once Upon A Time, but my favorite fairest one of all is the beauty from the latter. In Once Upon A Time, Snow White battles wits with trolls, teams up with Red Ridding Hood, saves Prince Charming, and has a showdown with the Evil Queen. This is no dainty little princess. Snow steals from the Queen to escape to another realm, and while wielding a bow and arrow she comes this close to killing her nemesis. Gone are the days the princess is cooped up in a house with seven little men, and instead Snow is kicking ass.
4. Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Salander is insane but what I find interesting about her is that she only does bad things to bad people. If you’re a good person she will leave you alone. As much as an expert hacker will leave you alone, anyway. This badass biker chick is fiercely loyal and is not to be messed with (revenge rape scene anyone?).
3. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
How can you not admire a girl who volunteers for a deadly ‘game’ to save her little sister? Unlike todays’ other popular YA books (see Twilight) and the occasional erotica “novel” (see Fifty Shades of Grey), Katniss Everdeen’s focus isn’t about how important it is to have a boyfriend. There’s the occasional romance, but fighting starvation and being a reluctant hero up against a totalitarian president takes up most of her plate. Katniss is protective, loyal, vulnerable, and has incredible strength. She’s the kind of girl girls should be looking up to.
2. Daenerys Targaryen a.k.a Khaleesi (Game of Thrones)
If there was a list of Most Improved Characters on TV, Daenerys Targaryen would be number one. Khaleesi, as what she is mostly called, is the most powerful character on Games of Thrones, hands down. She started her journey being very submissive and pushed around by her brutal brother, to becoming a fierce leader for her people. She came into her own when she realized she must take what isher birthright. And having three fire-breathing dragons doesn’t hurt either. Who can forget that scene when she demanded her dragons to kill the warlock in the second season finale?! Khaleesi will take what is hers with “fire and blood.”
1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)
I started reading the books and watching the movies when I was 10-years-old up until the last movie came out when I was 21-years-old. How often do you stay committed to a franchise for a solid decade? Because, you know after a while numerous sequels start to suck. But not Harry Potter. And one of my favorite parts about the movies is Miss Hermione Granger. It’s her sheer brilliance that saves the day time and time again. She doesn’t dumb herself down to get boys to like her, and she is the most loyal best friend anyone can ask for. At the end of the day, you want the “insufferable know-it-all” on your side. Over the span of ten years, Hermione has shown great courage, intellect, friendship, and love. She is another amazing example of what girls should look up to.
Til the next top ten! Did your favorite make the list or do you wish someone else made the list? Sound off in the comments after the jump!