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Bad Gals: TV Heroines We Love

I’m pretty sure that I will not become a spy, superhero or demon hunter after graduation.  But wouldn’t that be awesome?
I love watching women kick butt and solve crime on television.  There is something about strong, complex female characters that just keeps me glued to the screen, dreaming of what it would be like to walk in their shoes.
Over the decades, America has fallen in love with many female action stars on the small screen.  It all began with Lynda Carter’s “Wonder Woman” in 1975.  This Amazonian superhero’s super outfit is one of the most iconic of our time.  It features a magic belt that gives Wonder Woman immense strength, bullet-deflecting bracelets, a tiara that doubles as a boomerang-like weapon, and a lasso that compels people to tell the truth.  This adaptation of the classic comic book heroine takes Wonder Woman into modern times, on a series of adventures against villains.

A year later, “Charlie’s Angels” began to air.  The show follows three beautiful police officers hired by an elusive millionaire to work at his private investigation agency.  With the help of Charlie’s assistant, the lovable Bosley, the ladies go undercover to solve crimes in dangerous (but always sexy) situations.  “Charlie’s Angels” kick started the career of the late Farrah Fawcett, gave rise to countless feathered hair-do’s, and inspired generations of women to pose in profile with their hands raised as guns.  In the early 2000’s, the show inspired two films starring Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz.

In the mid-90s, a new butt-kicking diva took American TVs by storm – Xena the Warrior Princess.  “Xena” is an enemy of Hercules and a fierce warrior who led an army that terrorized Greece.  But after seeing the error in her ways, she decides to seek redemption by protecting the people she once victimized against new malicious forces.  The show has become an enduring cult classic, especially among sci-fi fans.

Sci-fi aficionados and teenage girls alike sunk their teeth into the story of the next great TV heroine, Buffy Summers.  In “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” high school cheerleader Buffy is chosen to be the Slayer and defends her California town against the demons of hell.  With the help of her closest friends – affectionately nicknamed the Scooby Gang – she prevents the apocalypse and battles countless monsters and forces of dark magic.  Despite her hardened exterior, Buffy also struggles with her role as the Chosen One and romantic entanglements with mortal enemies.

In 2001, a major network introduced America to one of the most formidable spies we’ve ever seen – Sydney Bristow in “Alias.”  Jennifer Garner plays a young operative who believes she works for the CIA.  But after the murder of her fiancé, Sydney discovers that her agency SD-6 is part of a rogue alliance determined to take over the world, one terrorist act at a time.  She becomes a double agent hell-bent on taking down SD-6 and seeking revenge.

In 2010, two new shows featuring secret agents hit television – “Covert Affairs” on USA and “Nikita” on the CW.  Will Annie or Nikita become the next great heroines?  I guess we’ll have to stay tuned to find out…


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