Television has come a long way in its portrayal of women. The days of one-dimensional female characters will soon be a distant memory. In the past several years, more and more realistic portrayals of women have made their way to the television screen.
Here are five of my favorite female characters currently on TV:
1. Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
Although the show’s premise pays tribute to a Venezuelan telenovela, this show is much more than that. Accidentally impregnated due to an OBGYN’s mistake, Jane begins a journey that changes her life forever. Her pregnancy creates new relationships and makes her question her future. Even with everything going on in her life, Jane never waivers in her commitment to herself, her family, or her friends.
Why I love this character: Even though the show has it dramatic aspects, I love that Jane is never a damsel in distress. She is a tough, smart young woman that challenges many of the characters on the show to be the best versions of themselves. As her pregnancy progresses, we see Jane really come into her own both professionally and personally.
2. Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project
Smart, funny and realistically flawed, Mindy Lahiri is a force to be reckoned with. What makes this character great is her honesty about who she is and her ability to accept all of her flaws. Unlike other historical female characters, Mindy has a great sense of self-worth and is not afraid of making mistakes. Her fearlessness often times gets her into trouble but also allows her to learn and grow. Her non-traditional relationship with Danny Castellano portrays a more realistic view of relationships in today’s society.
Why I love this character: Aside from her funny antics, Mindy is a confident woman that goes after what she wants. I love that she isn’t perfect and doesn’t claim to be. Mindy is relatable because her problems and issues are real. It’s refreshing to see a flawed, fearless modern-day feminist on television.
3. Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation
For seven seasons, Leslie Knope has commanded audiences with her fierce loyalty to her friends, job, and her city. Never taking no for an answer, Leslie fights to make a Pawnee a better city. Her crazy schemes often lead to hilarious and unforgettable moments on the show. But underneath it all, Leslie has the best intentions.
Why I love this character: Leslie is a boss because she gets things done. Never letting any task or challenge stop her, Leslie always finds a way to accomplish her goals. When she wanted to become a city council member or build a new park in Pawnee, she made it happen. Her peers respect her honesty and her work ethic. I love seeing her go to toe-to-toe with her male counterparts and showing that women make a difference. She is a role model for women both young and old.
4. Jess, New Girl
A woman in her thirties, Jess deals with issues that arise in her relationships and her career. The comedy follows the shenanigans of Jess and her five friends. Without Jess’s advice and concern, her friends would be lost without her. Her upbeat personality and her positive outlook on life make the show interesting and unique.
Why I love this character: Jess is the forever optimist that always tries to help her friends. She isn’t ashamed to be herself and embrace her quirkiness. She doesn’t always have the answers, and that’s okay. Instead of letting situations get her down or change her outlook on life, Jess is able to learn from her experiences making her a stronger, wiser woman.
5. Annalise, How To Get Away With Murder
This new drama centered on a lawyer and her group of law students is addicting. The show reveals that everything is not always what it seems. Just when you think you’ve figured everything out, a new revelation or twist presents itself.
Why I love this character: Annalise is a successful lawyer and teacher feared by her students as well as her staff. On the surface, she seems to have it all: a successful career and a loving marriage. However, while her professional career is thriving, Annalise’s personal life is a complete mess. Her complexity as a character is fun to watch. Her character questions the preconceived notions we have about relationships and right and wrong. Viola Davis’s portrayal of this fierce woman is wonderful to watch.
These are just a few of the amazing female characters that are on television today. It’s exciting to see more dynamic female characters on television. Who are some of your favorites? Shout them out in the comments!
Jackie is an Ohio native who recently moved to Monterey, California. A former Spanish teacher, Jackie is now pursuing her dream of working in television. When she’s not blogging or writing, she loves to travel with her husband, work out, spend time with their three dogs, and soak up as much sunshine as possible. Jackie is happiest when she is being active. To follow her natural hair journey and other adventures, check out her blog. Got a question for Jackie? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.