Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kicking Ass

I like kicking ass. Of course, the only thing I really kick ass at is demolishing a box of Little Debbie snack cakes and I'm currently getting my ass kicked by this spring flu so maybe I should say I like the concept of kicking ass. As such, I like characters who kick ass, especially female characters who kick ass because I find them much more interesting than a female character who's all, "Oh, where is my big strong man to rescue me and take care of me for I am a damsel in distress and incapable of making my own decisions!"

Or whatever.

So today's post is devoted to those kick ass (television) characters. There are several such characters on my list (yay!) so, in the interest of time, I won't feature them all. But here's a sampling (and thanks to the brilliant Random Danni for inspiring today's format):

River Tam

Show: Firefly (and the Big Damn Movie Serenity)

Portrayed by: Summer Glau

History: Traumatized psychic genius teenager once tortured by evil government regime to become a very powerful killing machine. Kicks everyone's ass in the Big Damn Movie, including the Hero of Canton. I know, right?

Favorite line: Also, I can kill you with my brain.

Fiona Glenanne

Show: Burn Notice

Portrayed by: Gabrielle Anwar

History: A former IRA operative, Fiona now calls sunny Miami home where she helps Michael Weston and Sam Axe (Sam!) help the helpless (yeah, I know I stole that from another show) and prevent bad guys from blowing things up... by occasionally blowing things up. Whatever. She's cool. She believes a girl is never fully dressed without a gun and some C-4.

Favorite line: If something seems too good to be true, it's best to shoot it just in case.

Sydney Bristow

Show: Alias

Portrayed by: Jennifer Garner

History: As a college student, Sydney was approached by a secret government agency to become a secret government agent. It's only after she reveals her secret to her fiance and the agency has him killed that she learns the agency she works for is the very enemy she thought she was fighting against. Sydney then becomes a double agent working to bring the evil down. This show is the reason I can't take that USA series "Covert Affairs" seriously because Sydney Bristow is über awesome.

Favorite line: You wanna be rough, or you want me to be rough?

Honorable Mentions:

Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Zoe Washburne from Firefly

Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from Battlestar Galactica

Emma Peel from The Avengers (not the soon to be released superhero flick)

Did I leave out your favorites? Let me known down below...


  1. Hit Girl from the Kick Ass movie - what a ball buster!

  2. Hooray for Buffy! She definitely kicks some boo-tay! :D

  3. River and Fiona are two of my favorites!

  4. Great picks! Kick ass female characters are so much better than weak ones!

  5. Female ones because us women can kick-ass with so much class! Emma Peel, originally, was one of the early ones.

  6. Good picks!
    I might also add the cop from Castle. Can't think of her name, at the moment, though. Kate!

  7. What about a mousy-girl who discovers she's really a kick-ass girl?

  8. You hit all my tv kick ass heroines. I'm such a crazed fan girl of Fiona. (And don't get me started on Sam Axe. Sigh.)

    Though not so much physically kicking ass, I think Claudia on Warehouse 13 would make my personal list with all her awesome computer mojo and snarky comebacks.

    The only other ones I might include on the honorable mention roll are Eartha Kitt's Catwoman or Lynda Carter's Wonderwoman from my misspent days of yore. They definitely paved the way for the kickassness of the present.

    Awesome list, Melissa. As per your usual!

  9. Alias was what popped into my head well before you got to Sydney! I loved that show. In fact I keep checking to see if Netflix might pick it up. Possibly there is the trouble of Bradley Cooper all being America's sexiest man and all, when in the show he was pre-prime--still darling, but no Michael. I love tough women (and actually really DESPISE women who always wait to be saved--I've made a point in my writing to have men need saving more often than women... it's sort of how I roll)

  10. Excellent selections, MJ. I'll add a couple to the shortlist: Debra Morgan (from Dexter) and Veronica Mars... although both picks are more for attitude than fighting ability.

    If we're keeping it to action chops, then I'd have little choice but to revisit the Whedon and Abrams universe, and characters such as Echo (Dollhouse, Kate Austen (Lost), and Saffron (Firefly).

  11. I love Emma Peel. She was my kick ass role model growing up (in re-runs. I'm not THAT old -- well, almost).

    And I picked up a spring cold that's kicking my ass right now too. Ugh.

  12. You picked all my favorites. Great list.

  13. Sydney Bristow and Alias are at the top of my all time favorite shows. She was JUST vulnerable enough, and definitely kicked a lot of ass.

    I guess I'm a guy who likes girls that kick ass. ; )

    Hope you get to feeling better soon.


  14. Oh I love River!!! "Call me when someone interesting shows up..."

    In Which We Start Anew

  15. I'll second the Lynda Carter/Wonder Woman vote and will add Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women, Gwen Cooper from BBC series Torchwood, Olivia Dunham from Fringe, Dana Scully from The X Files, and Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde's book series. Rock on, ladies!!!!!

    Some Dark Romantic

  16. all awesome ass kickers!
    the only one i would add is hit girl from the movie "kick ass" which was totally bad ass!

    sorry for all the ass talk!

  17. I love them all, and they are all rocking ass kickers too! yay for ass kicking, and if you ever need someone to help you kick the ass of a box of Little Debbie snack cakes, let me know...I'm your gal. ;)
    Great post!

  18. Heck yeah! Love the list. I'd add Beckett from Castle and Ziva from NCIS.

  19. Gotta love a good asskickin' female!

  20. I've got to say River is my favorite. And she took it to a new level in Serenity.

  21. Good post. A strong female character can make a story awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Yep Sydney was awesome. I loved her character. I don't know the others, but I love a strong female lead who can kick butt too!!

  23. River.
    He certainly writes some kick ass women!

  24. Ooh, River Tam is a good call! I just watched a few episodes of Stargate Universe - having never seen any of the Stargate series because I thought they looked cheesy, some friends convinced us. One of the cast reminded me of a second gen River Tam. Also I spotted a Katherine Heigl-like Starbuck.

    Great post!

  25. River Tam and Sydney Bristow are two of the ass-kickinest women in the history of TV. Good choices!