Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Women in Tv- 'We can be heroes too'

    Enable Dark Mode!

  • What's HOT
  • Premiere Calendar
  • Ratings News
  • Movies
  • YouTube Channel
  • Submit Scoop
  • Contact Us
  • Search
  • Privacy Policy

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers


Women in Tv- 'We can be heroes too'

Women In TV
‘We can be heroes’

by Zandarl

In the 70’s, Gloria Steinman fought for women’s rights and on TV we had female heroines. The main shows were Charlie’s Angel’s, Wonder Woman and later Bionic Woman. They were known more for their hair flicking, skimpy outfits and twirls but at least it was a start.

In the 80’s it was more about slick hair styles, women wearing power suits and shoulder pads. It was the years of soap opera drama’s where being a strong woman meant you were a bitch rather than the heroine. The guys, however, could do anything with a car, duct tape, or a pocket knife. A show that was none of the above was Cagney and Lacey who made sure that females could chase down bad guys and have their own lives as well.

In the 90’s TV finally realized they were missing out on the main audience. The world cried out for a Hero and she answered. An extremely successful spin-off from Hercules the Legendary Journeys, Xena Warrior Princess (played by Lucy Lawless) hit our TV screens. She was dressed to please the male viewers but her attitude and power left men quivering at her boots. With her trusty sidekick Gabrielle, they roamed the countryside helping those in need while Xena tried to atone for her murderous past. Xena was a bad girl trying to do good in the world. With more emphasis put on the female leads, speculation around the nature of her and Gabrielle’s relationship caused quite a stir. It created subtext and fanfiction in the thousands. Two musicals episodes even fit well into the fantasy world created by Rob Tapert. My favorite being the Bitter Suite when both Xena and Gabrielle sing out their hatred for each other but ultimately makeup in the end. It was a close bond, confirmed as soulmates in the series finale and lovers only after the series ended. It ran for 6 seasons and still has a very loyal fan base today. Last year a reboot was announced which has fans split as it looks like the original cast will not be part of the show.

Within a few years, two other shows with female leads hit our screens. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was taken from a rather cheesy movie by Joss Whedon that gained cult status. And from producer Aaron Spelling (who seems to like the combination of three women together since his Charlie’s Angels days) came Charmed.

Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, was about a teenage girl in high school being the chosen one of her generation to slay the vampires. Buffy’s clever dialogue and witty one-liners made it an instant hit. It gave young girls someone to look up to with Buffy herself struggling with everyday life, making it relatable as well as mystical. It's 7 season run gave us heartbreak and laughter and even one musical episode.

Charmed appeared several years later. The story of three sisters hitting their thirty something’s and discovering they are witches. In fact, the most powerful of their generation. The power of three became a hit, once more giving us strong relatable women on our screens. The three, Prue, Piper and Phoebe were played by Shannon Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano. We followed their lives, loves, career changes, and the losing of love ones. When Doherty’s character Prue was killed at the end of season 3 another sister was discovered, Paige, played by Rose McGown. Charmed came to end in 2006 after an impressive 8 seasons.

Also at this time The Star Trek universe even gave us a female Captain. Captain Janeway (played by Kate Mulgrew) took her crew through the perils in the Delta Quadrant on the Voyager, using her wits more than her lasers. Running for an impressive 7 seasons she did as promised and got her crew home.

When these shows ended, nothing else seemed to last as long. Despite a few other show’s trying to hit the mark, nothing had success beyond one or two seasons. I know there were a few great shows but they didn’t seem to be given the chance to shine. Where were all the female heroines?
What appeared to be happening was reality shows were at an all-time high, making the star’s instant celebrities. The internet and social media were also exploding. The sad fact was young girls were looking up to such individuals with terrify consequences. There was a generation with no one to look up or aspire to on their screens.

Two shows caught my eye late 2010 and thankfully lasted more than a single season.
Rizzoli and Isles on TNT and Lost Girl, on Showtime and Syfy.

Rizzoli and Isles, based on the highly successfully book series by Tess Gerritsen. Jane Rizzoli was a tough as nails police detective (played by Angie Harmon) and Dr Maura Isles the chief medical Examiner (played by Sasha Alexander) solved crimes in Boston. Their personal lives often crossed over into the professional making it unique. The chemistry between the leads was undeniable making it the best ‘Womance’ on TV and again a hit among fan fiction writers. These were older women with successful careers giving us something to aspire to. It became hugely successful and ran for seven seasons. But despite still being the networks highest rated show, the network’s change of direction choose to cancel.

Lost Girl took us back to a world of fantasy. It introduced us to the Fae, mystical creatures who walk among us and are either aligned to the dark or the light. However, when a succubus, (a creature who feeds off chi) is discovered and who is unaligned, their world is shaken up. Bo (played by Anna Silk) soon decides not to pick a side but fights for those who need it, along with her human best friend Kenzi. Certainly using sex as a weapon is probably not something to look up to, but Bo certainly was entertaining. You find yourself looking beyond that. Bo's willingness to fight, and not being afraid to take a stand is where this character shone. Sadly, her fight ended after five seasons.

While superheroes were doing well at the box office the one and only female character who made the crossover is Agent Carter (played by Hayley Atwell) from the first Captain America movie. She was Steve Roger’s love interest but it was on TV where her story developed. Set in a time when women after the war were considered nothing more than the housewife, Peggy Carter showed her struggles in a man’s world and proved the best man for the job was, in fact, a woman. It ended after two seasons’ leaving viewers wondering how she created the agency know as S.H.I.E.L.D and hoping we see her in some form on our screens again.

In 2015 I heard we finally were getting a female Superhero. It only had taken us 40 years since Wonder Woman was on our screens.

Supergirl was coming, created by the team who brought us Arrow and The Flash, the show was heading to CBS. It was no surprise Greg Berlanti, Executive producer, looked to his Glee alumni and cast Melissa Benoist as the lead. Her sunny personality fits perfectly for the role and so Supergirl and Kara Danvers were created.
After watching the pilot I had a feeling this could be a great show for young women and girls to look up to again. Another addition which I believe helped the series popularity was the creating of an adoptive sister for Kara, Alex Danvers (played by Chyler Leigh). The sisters’ bond soon became the heart and core of the show. Pictures were seen of girls visiting the set in costumes and dressing up as superheroes rather than princesses. Yes, girls can be strong. Supergirl had sent her message out there but, with an uncertain future as the season ended, a lot of people wondered if it would go the same was as so many other shows. Thankfully it wasn’t the case and the move to the CW was welcome. My only criticism is while it’s nice to have friends, they need to remember she is Supergirl, the most powerful woman on the planet.

When Supergirl aired, another female heroine was hitting our screens. Jessica Jones was coming to Netflix, who had previous success with Daredevil series. Naturally, I gathered this would follow in the same dark tone. To my surprise, I couldn’t believe the statements I kept reading, ‘was there room on TV for two female heroines?’

Jessica Jones (played by Kristen Ritter) was an anti-heroine, more at home with her bottle of whiskey than helping. Jessica herself was a victim and much of the series focuses on her struggle against her nemesis. Unfortunately, other people getting caught in the crossfire forces Jessica to use her powers to help.

Speaking of Anti-Heroines, who are as engaging as they are sarcastic, another came on screen last year. Based on the comic by Beau Smith. Created by Emily Andra’s known for her work on Lost Girl, Wynonna Earp (played by Melanie Scrofano) the great, great granddaughter of Wyatt Earp (yes we all know him) returns to her hometown of Purgatory and must send demons, who keep rising because of an old family curse, back to hell. Her whiskey and her sarcasm aren’t her only weapons, Wyatt’s old Gun Peacemaker is the only thing that can send them back. It’s fun in a B-Movie kind of style and will return this year for its second season.

Television has seen a shift recently but the hatred and outpouring towards women in lead roles both on the small and large screen still amazes me. I often look at the calendar to remind myself what century I am in. What would we do without strong female characters? True, it can be said we have a lot more on screen in such shows as Once Upon a time, The 100, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Scandal, and Orange is the new Black to name a few. However, there are still shows out there with strong females that still, tend to show more of the flesh rather than the action. Another factor is female characters tend to be the most expendable. Last year it became a sad time when female characters, most of which were playing LGBT characters, were being killed off at an alarming rate.

In a world, that has women marching to be heard and movies that predominantly feature male leads, Television networks seem to be realizing there is an audience is out there. Women need their hero’s too, maybe now more than ever. Don’t make us just the love interest or the mother, we are so much more. In the words of the late David Bowie, we can be Hero’s

I have not mentioned every female lead show but the most popular and highlights for me personally over the last 40 years please feel free to share your favorites and why?

Who was your idol growing up?

Has a show changed your life?