The following is a list of my top five favourite female characters from the television of 2014. There’s no particular order here, I was unable to pick favourites within my favourites. If you haven’t seen these ladies in action I hope that this will inspire you to do so. Enjoy! Oh, and beware of SPOILERS for all of the shows these characters are from!
Carol Peletier – The Walking Dead
The Waking Dead gives viewers a chance to see a world that we, in all likelihood, will never have to be a part of. As an audience it’s rewarding to have a diverse set of characters within which we can see similarities with ourselves, and differences, in order to gage how we would react if we did find ourselves in a zombie apocalypse. Though Carol and I have very different pasts – and futures presumably – I can relate to her and she represents the person I hope I could be in a world like that.
Her character arc is one of the most compelling and thought provoking of the show. The fact that she’s the only remaining female survivor from the original cast of season one is not lost on me. Carol transformed from a submissive & fearful background character to an assertive & courageous leader. She’s smart & resourceful and in a world where you are often faced with split-second decision-making, she has the ability to be very forward thinking.
Plus, she’s an all around BADASS as evidenced by her raid on Terminus and the way she strolled out of that hospital like falling off a bridge and getting hit by a car the day before was just no big deal!
Annalise Keating – How to Get Away with Murder
Annalise is an especially complex woman who I’m still trying to figure out. Given that How to Get Away with Murder is only halfway through its rookie season – and has been jam-packed with plot twists and character surprises – I don’t think we’re supposed to fully understand her yet. What I can say is that she is downright mesmerizing; it’s difficult to peel your eyes away from her for even just a second while she’s on screen. She has a demanding presence and rightfully so.
Not only is Annalise a highly sought-after defense attorney, she’s also a criminology professor who has students that simultaneously fear and revere her. An intern position in her law office is highly coveted amongst her students. There is no question that this woman is tough as nails but we’ve also seen a few glimpses of her softer side, which offer an important nuance to the character while also adding to the uncertainty of who she truly is.
While I’m not sure Annalise and I would be best pals, I absolutely love the character and the fact that women are getting more opportunities to portray the antiheroes that we all love to hate.
Nora Durst – The Leftovers
Nora suffered the greatest loss of anyone in the fictional town of Mapleton NY when her entire family – a husband and two children – were taken from her in The Sudden Departure. One minute she was preparing breakfast and the next, total silence. We meet Nora three years after the disappearances and without having gained any closure she’s simply going through the motions of life, not truly living anymore.
Sincerely believing that there is no future for herself she lives in the past, frozen in that time frame, stuck in a loop. She still buys enough groceries for four people, right down to the specific cereals that her children would eat. At the end of each week she throws it all away and fills the spot with a replacement. Her existence is robotic, void of any emotion besides pain. Nora goes to great lengths – dark and shocking lengths – to continue feeling that pain. She’s not willing to let the loss of her family stop hurting her because if she does, then they truly are gone.
Even in the face of her unimaginable loss Nora still tries to find some meaning in her existence. Her job is to help others who were affected by The Sudden Departure and she also speaks out about her situation at conferences. Nora exemplifies the type of endurance that I hope I could have if left in the same situation.
Find out why I thought The Leftovers was the best new show of 2014 here: http://projectfandom.com/profan-best-of-2014-tvanime/
Bonnie Bennett – The Vampire Diaries
This is the kind of woman you’d want as your best friend. Bonnie is compassionate, intelligent, and constantly sacrificing herself to save those she loves. She’s a powerful witch who’s fearless in the face of grave danger. She’s suffered countless tragedies including but not limited to: the deaths of her grandmother, father, and herself; being resurrected from the dead in order to become an anchor to The Other Side, where she had to feel the pain of all dead supernatural beings who cross over through her; and at present, she’s been stuck in some alternate reality of the 1990’s for the past six months.
Now granted some of the time stuck in said alternate reality has been spent with Damon Salvatore (total babe) so it wasn’t all that bad but, c’mon, she’s been through worse than hell! At the end of the day Bonnie is one of the most hopeful, empathetic, and courageous women I watch on TV. Sometimes I wish Bonnie would get angry with her friends for the way they take her for granted but she has a lot more patience than I do! To top it all off this girl is so quick-witted you never see her quips coming!
Check out my reviews of The Vampire Diaries season 6 here: http://projectfandom.com/category/tv/recaps/the-vampire-diaries-s6/
Claire Underwood – House of Cards
At first glance one might think Claire is nothing more than a charming and loyal politician’s wife. She’s visually appealing, exceptionally charismatic, and seemingly harmless. But make no mistake about it, Claire is far from innocent and she is every bit as cold and calculating as her husband, Frank. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the top, even if that means taking action when her husband won’t.
Prior to House of Cards I’d never seen a relationship like the one Claire and Frank have. They’re so in love and so honest with one another and yet unbeknownst to everyone else they are lying, murdering, criminals. I was nervous that this would be yet another story of a power-hungry man who cheats on his wife and commits unspeakable acts, all the while playing the role of devoted husband. I could not have been more thrilled – and I’m not sure what this says about me – to find that, while the Underwoods do take part in extramarital affairs and heinous criminal activity, they do it together and only if the act will benefit them! It’s refreshing to see a woman be just as complicit as a man in this type of story.
Claire is the Devil wearing Angel’s wings and she’s one of the finest villains ever to grace the small screen.