Happy International Women’s Day! In the voice of Jo March–women!
“They have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty. I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for.”
As you all know, we’ve got posts all throughout the month to celebrate some of the incredible fictional women that grace our screens. Today, there’s a variety. These are the women that stand out beautifully in their respective series and the women whose eyes the story is often told through. They’re complicated, they’re messy, and they’re damn right worth celebrating in every way.
Amy Santiago is a nerd, and she is proud of that. She is an exceptional detective (now sargeant)/genius, and she is a remarkable woman. She’s one of the first female characters I remember in a long time who’s organized, panicked, and emotionally driven and one who’s proud of it, too. And like me, she’s a crier, which is one of those traits that’s often not seen in women as boldly as it’s represented through Amy (“Four Movements”). Amy’s journey this season focused on her desire to conceive and the struggles to do so. It focused on her coming forward about deep trials that mattered and it focused on her navigating through more than one role. And she did so beautifully.
This season of Black-ish took us into the trying heartaches of doctors and through the eyes of Bow, it nearly broke us. While the show is no longer living in COVID-19 times, the bits we got with her turmoil were heartrending. We knew and imagined, and though this is fiction, it’s still so evocative and telling of what’s happening in hospitals right now. Bow’s dedication, reverence, and unmatched empathy has been beautiful to watch this season. It’s also been fascinating to watch her navigate through mentoring and having someone new in Junior’s life all while she continues to be a woman who’s juggling so much and with so much raw grace.
The Flight Attendant
Cassie Bowen is such a riveting, complex woman. A darkened soul who was pushed into drinking far too young and one who struggles through alcoholism as an adult. Her journey on The Flight Attendant isn’t an easy one to watch, but it’s been incredible to see her navigate through the amount of times she has messed up and tried to make things right. And by the end of the season, she’s on her way towards finding someplace steady, people in her corner who’d listen and help—people to care about and people to take care of. She’s trying to reach something and she does so by breaking through the burdens of her past and the turmoil caused to her and because of her.
Eliza Scarlet is everything you want in a leading role, especially in a mystery drama. She’s unapologetically determined and intuitive, but she is also kind-hearted and good-natured. It’s very hard for someone like Eliza Scarlet to give up or cast aside her beliefs, which is all the more commendable given all the challenges she endures. She’s fiercely independent–she’s not interested in marriage or children, even if it meant financial security, but she is shown to have a tender heart and fondness for her loved ones. She also chooses to ignore society’s norms and judgements and follow her own conscience. With the support of her friends and her innate detective skills driven by her unwavering curiosity, Eliza has pushed boundaries and cemented her position as a competent private detective in Victorian London.
Julie and the Phantoms
Flynn from Julie and the Phantoms is the very kind of best friend we all wish we had as a teen. (I did, and since she’s still in my life, I can confirm the fact that it is everything.) Flynn’s loyalty is unparalleled, and her kindness is every bit the type of greatness that’s kept Julie afloat. It isn’t easy to navigate through grief and it’s also not easy watching someone go through it while not knowing how to help them. Flynn listens and cares and is the best kind of cheerleader. She’s determined, energetic, a fantastic performer, and an absolute delight on our screens. And we can’t wait to see more of her when Netflix finally renews the show. (Along with a last name confirmation. Please and thank you.)
Julie and the Phantoms
Julie Molina is the best kind of heroine and especially for younger audiences growing up. She’s a young girl navigating through a horrific loss and the series is allowing her to feel the pangs of grief. The writing allows her to fall and break and to doubt, which is so natural and rewarding to see with the belief and knowing that she’ll pull through. Julie represents vulnerability and goodness with such incredible force, it’s a marvel to watch. And the girl can sing her absolute heart out resorting us all into blubbering mess with her impeccable voice every single time. She’s an incredible friend, a darling daughter, and such a well written character who’s already so beautifully layered it floors us to no end.
Keeley Jones is an absolute delight, and we want her in our corner. Ted Lasso as a series dives into complicated people beautifully and with Keeley it does so with a woman who keeps selling herself short. We’ve all been there. We know what it’s like to keep getting hurt because we try so hard to make things that shouldn’t work, work. She fights and perseveres and by the end of the season, she’s setting everyone and everything straight. Keeley, above all, is so unbelievably kind—the kind of woman at a bar or club who’ll compliment you with her whole heart because why the heck not. She’s sunshine personified and her sincere vulnerability and the desire to take care of her people sets her apart remarkably. Whatever is ahead for her, we cannot wait to see it. And we especially cannot wait for people to have her back as she has theirs.
If I was less enamored by Rebecca Welton, I might be able to talk about her more, goodness—what a woman, and what a journey. When the series first opens up, you aren’t sure if you’re going to like her, we’re likely not even supposed to, but then somewhere along the way, there’s a switch and the complexity shines through perfectly. Rebecca is broken and alone—she was betrayed and tarnished, and so she wanted to hurt the person who hurt her. So she hurts people in the process only to learn that there are actually good people by her side who care, and people who could bring her back to her roots and ground her with loyalty and song. Rebecca’s journey is a beautiful one—she’s a woman who cares and a woman who’s trying. A woman who’s likely going to mess up a lot, but a woman who’ll learn and do her best to make things right.
We all want to be as badass as Rosa Diaz when we grow up, right? That’s just a universal truth accepted by everyone who watches Brooklyn Nine-Nine is it not? And it’s not just because she carries an axe and could literally bring down anyone who crosses her path, but it’s because in the midst of her toughness, she’s an exceptional woman who cares deeply. Rosa is loyal and wise—she’s the type person who stands to remind everyone, women especially, of the fact that the steps that are taken to ensure a better world are always something that matters. She’s the type of confidant and partner who’ll never sugarcoat, but who’ll never be unkind in the process either. She’ll protect women with all that is in her and she’ll fight through anything to ensure people fight for themselves, which just might be the thing about her we can never get enough of.
Yennefer of Vengerberg
Yennefer. Goodness, what do you when you make a desperate choice to step forward and it robs you of something you’d want later. What do you do when you must pay the prices of choices being taken away and years of headache all tangled into something dark and complicated? You scream and break and you use your magic to unwind the complications that have sprung forward. You put all that you are into loving another in hopes that protecting them could somehow heal you in the process too. Yennefer’s story has just begun, her complexities and the darkened journey is unfolding in ways that are undeniably compelling. She’s bold and powerful and she’s going to be alright because in knowing she was unwanted, she’d fight through all things to ensure she is no longer diminished or turned inside out. And it’s a journey we can’t wait to see.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Zoey Clarke is such a fascinating character because she’s quite literally the audience’s eyes and ears into the heart of other characters, and without her, we wouldn’t see the weight of a plethora of emotions brought to life. And Zoey is so beautifully imperfect—she’s learning and growing through grief, the repercussions of her job, and the process of understanding intimacy in the midst of heartache. She’s warm and kind and she tries so hard to make things right—to be the type of shoulder her friends need. She’s a woman who’s grieving and a woman who doesn’t always know how to deal with the positions she’s in, but she’s a woman who tries. And as all the women in this category, that’s what matters, navigating through these bits of complexity that make them so incredible to watch.
We’ve got so many more women we’re celebrating such the Women of Bridgerton and the Women of The Expanse, Women of The Rookie, and WandaVision. Be sure to check back in. Who are your some of your favorites that we might have missed or that you’re hoping we’d discuss? Let us know in the comments below.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for MovieWeb and Looper.