Top Ten Female Characters in Film and TV 2018

Manhattan, New York
United States

1.Detroit (Tessa Thompson, Sorry to Bother You)

Detroit (Tessa Thompson) is easily the best female character of 2018 (in one of the best movies of 2018, but that’s for another day). As a character that prides herself in her artistic talent, her anti-establishment persona, and her unapologetic activism, she embodies the ideal person we all hope to be. This film takes so much to handle, but she fits in so perfectly and serves as a catalyst for many of the events in the film.

2. Annie Graham (Toni Collette, Hereditary)

Being the matriarch of a dysfunctional family is no easy task. Annie tries her best to handle most of the horrors that afflict her family with grace. In her search for answers, she enters so many dark depths of her family tree that she never expected to see. While it may look like she is descending into insanity, I believe that she reacts very accurately within the tragedies she’s been inflicted with. I know I said it before in my Top Ten Female Led Films article, but that “I am your mother” monologue is one of the most powerful and heartfelt performances I’ve seen all year. Annie’s slow demise is so horrifying, and yet we keep watching. She is powerful despite her adversity, making her number two on this list.

3. The Hormone Monstress (Maya Rudolph, Big Mouth)

Easily one of the funniest and honest looks at the epitome of femininity, the Hormone Monstress stepped into the spotlight in this second season of Netflix’s Big Mouth. She remains relatable, in charge of her sexuality, and the confident woman we all really aspire to be. Having a character like her allows us to see how empowering it is to emote and be at the front of all our internal battles. Although the show is a comedy, and at times can seem way over the top, The Hormone Monstress holds to the ground with so many truths that women are afraid to face.

4. Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn 99)

Being the toughest detective in the 99th Precinct is Rosa’s prerogative. But, in the fifth season of NBC’s Brooklyn 99, we were given an unexpected, but satisfying vulnerable side to Diaz. Rosa coming out as bisexual mid-season was something that took an immense amount of strength to do. After fighting for acceptance from her parents, she found that the precinct would truly be there for her no matter what. This character arc so late in the series was pivotal to her contribution to the show and gave us even more representation within the world of 99. This really made her the standout person among the entire cast.

5. Shuri (Letitia Wright, Black Panther)

Shuri has had an amazing year. First with her premier in Black Panther, followed by a stellar spotlight in Avengers: Infinity War. According to the Marvel writers, she is considered to be the smartest person in the Cinematic/Comic book universe, and it really does show. First of all, she is hilarious, and her contributions to Wakanda never go unnoticed. She is the perfect sister for T’Challa, bringing him back to earth when he needs it, and always being there to support him. Of course, when she needs to, she is able to fight for her family and her country, making her an outstanding definition for a strong female lead.

6. Rosie/Tanya (Julie Walters/Christine Baranski, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again)

I know this is kind of cheating putting them under the same number, but these women are the best friend power-duo we all need in our lives. Not only do they pair together so well, but they also are so supportive of Donna. What is great about their friendship is that even though it may seem like Donna is the leader of the group at times, they do consider themselves to be equals at every moment. They never judge the other for any questionable decisions that they make. Not to mention their affinity for matching outfits, wine, and carbs that we all know and love and relate to.

7. Eleanor (Kristen Bell, The Good Place)

Both seasons two and three airing in 2018 gave us so much to appreciate with The Good Place’s main protagonist. Eleanor has been through hell and back (both literally and figuratively) and yet every time she is able to judge her actions and make good choices. Also, her unapologetic bisexuality is a huge step in representation; letting the audience see how normal queerness is through Eleanor is a small, but effective part of her character and the show’s commentary. For a show rooted in philosophy, giving Eleanor the torch to show ethically thinking in her everyday life is a fresh character experience. Her persona lets us reflect within ourselves, which makes her incredibly influential.

8. Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Nega, Preacher)

A character like Tulip O’Hare is no force to be reckoned with. In the third season of AMC’s Preacher, we were graced with great character depth and development for the only female protagonist in the show. Her strength through dying, confronting her darkest insecurities, and then coming back to life and taking down anyone that came in her way was beyond inspirational for the badass in all of us.

9. Mrs. Incredible (Holly Hunter, Incredibles 2)

I love that this film picks up right where it left off almost 15 years ago. Our society has changed so much in that span of time, and letting Mrs. Incredible be the main superhero in this film was such a fantastic choice. Even in the film they speak of how important it is to have that representation for other women, and I couldn’t agree more. Mrs. Incredible is fantastically independent of her husband, but that doesn’t mean she ever neglects her husband. When she is away and Bob has to take care of all the kids, he finally learns how hard she works as a mother. Seeing how strong she is both at home and fighting crime is the story we needed to see this year.

 10. Camille Preaker (Amy Adams, Sharp Objects)

Camille is a strong person despite her flaws, and she knows when the face the music and confront her issues. Seeing that on screen is such a dark, brutal way is often eye-opening. Having to face a tense family life on top of juggling one’s own struggles is never something that is easy to do. Having Camille as a character lets us see the gritter and more realistic way of handling our tough lives. With all being said, that’s a woman we need to see on screen.

Special thank you to my movie queen Helen Lezcano for contributing to this list!