A funny thing happened on television circa 1995.
When Xena: Warrior Princess entered our living rooms, fighting for the greater good, she inspired a series of fierce, kickass lady protagonists on prime time.
Hot on her heels was Buffy Summers, who slayed the eff out of some vampires (and other meanie supernaturals) from 1997-2003.*
In 2000 Jessica Alba became our Dark Angel, which I maintain is her only relevant contribution to the silver screen.
From 2001-2006, Sydney Bristow (aka Mrs. Affleck) was our international spy of choice, and in 2009 Joss Whedon, champion of kickass ladies, gave us Echo in her Dollhouse, bringing down the creepy cyborg, high-end prostitution ring where she was imprisoned.
Dollhouse ended in 2010, and seemingly with it, an era of kickass lady television.** It’s true that there was a three-year period between Alias and Dollhouse, but I’ve looked at the lineup of new TV for this fall, and the landscape is pretty bleak.
There is promise of strong female characters from our hero Mr. Whedon, with his new show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (man, that acronym is really annoying), but they will be among a mixed-gender group of protagonists, rather than featuring one lady who stands solidly on her own.
There are plenty of Smart Women on TV these days, which is its own special brand of refreshing. From Emily on Revenge to the unequivocal Olivia Pope on Scandal, these gals fight with tenacity and intelligence rather than divinely imparted superpowers or ninja training. Which is Wonderful.
But sometimes I miss watching girls ride around on their motorcycle/horse/own two feet, kicking butt in the more literal sense. So I re-watch seven seasons of Buffy, and I wonder when we’ll again see something as original, inventive, clever and Bad Ass as our favorite vampire slayer.***
In the meantime, thank goodness for Netflix.
With due respect to all of my favorite GOT characters, I would watch a show that was dedicated entirely to Daenerys/Khaleesi/Mother of Dragons. She doesn’t Fight per say, but there is no denying that she is Bad. Ass.
**Okay, Nikita started in 2010. But. Does anyone watch Nikita?
***Is it Nikita? Am I really missing out on something here?