So this is what I think about positivity-wise in television anymore. Some entries by my drift partner.
10. From Dusk Till Dawn
Despite flaws (which, you know, everything has, and I’m wary of what’s going on with poor Kate [Madison Davenport] but y’know) season two of this show was essentially a 10-episode revenge arc for blessed Santanico (Eiza Gonzalez).
9. Penny Dreadful
I’m not entirely done with watching through season two of this but I continue to at least be glad about how absolutely pivotal Vanessa (Eva Green) is. Also the episode with her and the Cut-Wife (Patti LuPone) that was basically just smashing the Bechdel test in the face and giving an origin story and the fact that our s2 big bad is Helen McCrory.
8. Game of Thrones
This show mistreats… virtually all of its women ranging from neglect to misuse to horrible crimes against their humanity to actual murder, but that doesn’t mean that the women itself aren’t incredibly fabulous. I’ve sneaked feelings into all of my fashion posts with them, but suffice to say I have them and I love everyone, except I still have problems with Selyse [Tara Fitzgerald] and Myranda [Charlotte Hope] was horrible and the opposite of the completely separate Myranda from the books and there are other characters that I love as characters but not as people, but mostly I love everyone and hope it gets better from here and they all get a chance to do murder to asshole men.
7. The Librarians
This show continues to be hilariously silly but Cassandra (Lindy Booth) flirts with girls on accident and Eve (Rebecca Romijn) basically fills the role that would normally be a dude and there’s support and it’s sweet. Also Cassandra is just adorable and I love her.
As well as being the first superhero television show centered around a female protagonist in more than a decade (Birds of Prey on The WB aired for a season in 2002), this show also features a great deal of relationships between women. Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) has a foster sister, Alex (Chyler Leigh), who she has been close to since her arrival on Earth as a teenager, and a foster mother (Helen Slater). Her boss, Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), is dismissive of her but possessive of Supergirl, and there are frequent appearances from both her mother’s hologram and from her Aunt Astra (Laura Benanti), the latter being the villain of the piece. Episodes smash the Bechdel Test and the emotional core of the show is centered around Kara and Alex.
This show is…confused about what to do with its female characters on a good day, but they themselves are pretty delightful. Iris West (Candice Patton) had a plotline about her allegedly dead mother (Vanessa A. Williams) reappearing and announcing first her degenerative disease, and then the existence of Iris’ little brother, Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale), as well as dealing with the sacrificial death of her fiance, Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett). Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) also lost her fiance Ronnie (Robbie Amell), and now works for Mercury Labs while growing closer to the Earth-2 version of Flash, Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears). Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) came on as Joe’s new partner, and was involved in a revenge plot involving her dead father (as well as being Barry’s new love interest, because these writers are still pretending Barry and Iris aren’t in love). Kendra Shaw (Ciara Renée) appears as Cisco’s new love interest, but it turns out she is actually the reincarnation of Chay-Ra, or Hawkgirl, and she will be part of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) finally got together with Jake (Andy Samberg), completely owned the entire precinct on Halloween, and found out six-drink Amy is the least fun person ever. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) tried out the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, broke up with her boyfriend, and came face-to-face with her old dance teacher again. Gina (Chelsea Linetti) followed Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) out of the Nine-Nine and into the PR department, egged six-drink Amy on, and passed her astronomy final.
4. Jessica Jones
This show debuted about a month after Supergirl, to a great deal of fanfare, but also skepticism. After all, Jessica Jones was a D-list character at best, nowhere near a household name, and while Daredevil had gone over very well, that character at least had the 2003 movie to give him some notoriety. Marvel’s Alias was 10 years old, semi-obscure, and the character hadn’t had a significant appearance in years. Fortunately, the showrunner chose to tell a story about abuse, survival, personal strength, and male entitlement that was disguised as a gritty superhero show. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) is a beautiful unapologetic asshole, and her friend Trish Walker (Rachael Wilson) has been the one constant in her life for years. Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) is an attorney friend – or “friend” – of Jessica’s, who sometimes works with her on cases. Hope Shlottman (Erin Moriarty) is another victim of the villain Kilgrave (David Tennant), although her ending is less happy than Jessica’s. There is also a sideplot about Jeri’s ex-wife Wendy (Robin Weigert) and her new lover Pam (Susie Ambromeit).
Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) got hired at Nelson & Murdock, as well as helping to uncover the Kingpin’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) secret hold over Hell’s Kitchen. Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) dealt with Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) stumbling into her life continuously and bleeding all over her furniture (as well as making a guest appearance on Jessica Jones, where she dealt with different bleeding superheroes stumbling into her life). Vanessa Mariana (Ayelet Zurer) stepped into her place as the female partner to Fisk’s criminal enterprise. Elena Cardenas (Judith Delgado) enlisted the help of Nelson & Murdock to try to save her apartment complex.
2. Agent Carter
Angie Martinelli (Lyndsy Fonseca) was a beautiful ray of sunshine and a constant, enthusiastic support for Peggy (Hayley Atwell) no matter whether she knew all of the details of the situation or not, because she trusted Peggy and it was beautiful. Dottie Underwood (Bridget Regan) was part of crafting an important female legacy in the overarching canon and created a compelling antagonist and equal. And Peggy Carter is one of the most important women on television.
1. Agents of SHIELD
But Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) may arguably be one of the most important women in the entirety of media. Daisy, previously known as Skye, is an absolute force of nature (slight pun intended) and no matter whether she’s hacking, doing social justice, supporting her people, or using her kickass Inhuman powers, she’s absolutely remarkable. Also, Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) had both a compelling backstory and a beautifully compelling if often overtaxing current storyline, the likes of which is rarely granted to female characters. Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) actually had screen time devoted to both her physical and emotional healing after a traumatic experience and that’s pretty damn cool. Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) survived outer space and while there have been some minor clusterfucks in her current line she continues to be unbreakable (although it would be A+ if they stopped trying to break her so much). Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) was the most delightfully terrifying dominatrix girlfriend known. And let’s not forget about all of our friends from 2b, who have been previously mentioned in varying depth (fascinating Jiaying [Dichen Lachman], beautiful poignant tragic brilliant Raina [Ruth Negga], heartbreaking Kara [Maya Stojan], and Anne [Christine Adams] who I’m convinced is still involved with SHIELD but had to nope out of the Playground upon realizing that its director was going to be a doucheface about the Simmons In Space Situation and knowing that there was nothing she could do). I feel more about this show than about other shows pretty unequivocally and I will acknowledge its flaws but I will fight you about its positive points.
–your fangirl heroines.