Saturday, August 12, 2017

But I Digress... Bad Ass Female TV Characters

By: Selina

With Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (2017) finding great success on the big screen, there’s been a lot of talk about bad ass women in films and on television. A lot of people on social media have been talking about how “finally” little girls have someone to look up to in Hollywood… a character they can relate to.

There are definitely more bad ass male-centric films than there are those centered around women… but Wonder Woman does not stand alone. She is in very good company, even going back as far as my mother’s generation.

For the next two Saturdays, I’ll be offering you up lists of television shows and films that feature incredibly bad ass females.

The first thing I want you to remember is that I acknowledge that we need more of them. I’m not using these projects to excuse the lack of portrayal of bad ass women in media. I’m simply giving the daughters of the world a broader look at the amazing women that we have access to as of right now.

Second, I don’t describe “bad ass” as just those women in action who can beat the snot out of people. Clearly, they’ll be on the lists, but they are not the only ones.

To me, a bad ass female character is someone who can stand on their own and bounce back from difficulties. They are talented, brilliant, and brave. So, you’ll see some characters in these lists that aren’t known for their fighting skills, but are known for overcoming great odds or for having amazing talent. These are girls and women who cannot, and will not, be overlooked.

Finally, it has occurred to me that these lists have been done before. This week will involve television shows featuring bad ass women and, in my research, I’ve come across about two hundred other lists that say the same thing.

No, literally, the same thing.

They all name the same exact shows. I’ve decided to completely avoid those most-named television programs. Among those you will not see on this list are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), The 100 (2014-), X-Files (1993-), Veronica Mars (2004-2007), Orphan Black (2013-), Once Upon a Time (2011-), Star Trek (1966-2005), Game of Thrones (2011-), Jessica Jones (2015), The Walking Dead (2010-), Supergirl (2015-), Alias (2001-2006), Veep (2012-), Firefly (2002-2003), Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009), Parks and Recreation (2009-2015), American Horror Story (2011-), Wynonna Earp (2016-), iZombie (2015-), Glow (2017-), and Lost Girl (2010-2016).

There are others, but those were the most named.

Instead, in this first installment, we’ll be looking at commonly unmentioned (or unbelievably unmentioned) television shows with important female characters that meet my definition of “bad ass.”

Fair Warning: Some of the following entries will have SPOILERS. Read at your own discretion.

25 – The Simpsons (1989-)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Mark Kirkland, Steven Dean Moore, Bob Anderson, Matthew Nastuk, Jim Reardon, David Silverman, Mike B. Anderson, Michael Polcino, Wesley Archer, Nancy Kruse, Lance Kramer, Chris Clements, Chuck Sheetz, Rich Moore, Rob Oliver, Jeffrey Lynch, Matthew Faughnan, Susie Dietter, Pete Michels, Raymond S. Persi, Carlos Baeza, Timothy Bailey, Swinton O. Scott III, Dominic Polcino, Neil Affleck, Michael Marcantel, Lauren MacMullan, Matthew Schofield, Ralph Sosa, Mark Ervin, Jen Kamerman, Milton Gray, Brad Bird, Kent Butterworth, Gregg Vanzo, Alan Smart, David Mirkin, Klay Hall, Shaun Cashman, Guillermo del Toro, Bill Plympton
Writer: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder, Dan Greaney, Daniel Chun, Matt Selman, David X. Cohen, Jon Vitti, Richard Appel, Matt Warburton, Jennifer Crittenden, John Frink, Tim Long, Joel H. Cohen, Valentina Garza, Jon Kern, Bill Canterbury, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Michael Price, Carolyn Omine, Al Jean, J. Stewart Burns, Don Payne, Jeff Westbrook, George Meyer, Bill Oakley, Josh Weinstein, Mike Scully, Rob LaZebnik, Brian Kelley, Jeff Martin, Marc Wilmore, Bill Odenkirk, Kevin Curran, Mike Reiss, Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky, Stephanie Gillis, David M. Stern, Billy Kimball, Greg Daniels, Ron Hauge, Donick Cary, Dan Castellaneta, Deb Lacusta, Ken Keeler, Larry Doyle, Dana Gould, Jonathan Collier, Conan O'Brien, Dan McGrath, Steve Tompkins, Brent Forrester, Allen Glazier, David Mirkin, Frank Mula, Ned Goldreyer, Brian Scully, Tom Martin, Julie Thacker, William Wright, David Isaacs, Ken Levine, Bob Kushell, Joshua Sternin, J.R. Ventimilia, Rachel Pulido, Reid Harrison, Steve O'Donnell, Bob Bendetson, Andrew Kreisberg, Peter Gaffney, Mitch Glazer, Michael Nobori, Dan Vebber, Tom Gammill, Max Pross, Mimi Pond, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Cohen, Howard Gewirtz, Steve Pepoon, Brian K. Roberts, Nell Scovell, Gary Apple, Michael Carrington, Thomas Chastain, Adam I. Lapidus, David Richardson, Jace Richdale, David Sacks, Spike Feresten, Jack Barth, Steve Young, Jane O'Brien, Bill Freiberger, Josh Lieb, Brian Pollack, Mert Rich, Neal Boushell, Sam O'Neal, Dennis Snee, David Chambers, Julie Chambers, Robin Stein, Patric M. Verrone, Ricky Gervais, Mick Kelly, Evan Goldberg, Brendan Hay, Matt Marshall, Seth Rogen, Chris Cluess, Dick Blasucci, Justin Hurwitz, Steve Viksten, Ben Joseph, David Mandel, Eric Kaplan, Brian McConnachie, Sylvain Chomet, David H. Steinberg, Judd Apatow, Neil Campbell, Michael Ferris, Eric Horsted, Dave King, Ryan Koh, Harry Shearer, Peter Tilden, Mike B. Anderson, Simon Rich, Tom Root, Ron Zimmerman, Miranda Thompson
Actors: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Karl Wiedergott, Maggie Roswell, Russi Taylor, Marcia Wallace, Frank Welker, Kelsey Grammer, Chris Edgerly, Maurice LaMarche
Genre: Comedy
Rated: TV-14
Length: 22 minutes per episode
More Information Here.

IMDb Blurb: The satiric adventures of a working-class family in the misfit city of Springfield.

She may not be treated the best by her family, but is there any doubt that Lisa has been exceptional in spite of the antics of her bloodline?

Lisa is a brilliant character, she stands up for the little guy, and she’s had to battle stupidity for the majority of her life. It’s easy to look at the Simpsons as just another funny and irrelevant cartoon, but that young pointy-haired girl is not one to take for granted.

Maggie should probably be on here, too. She did shoot Mr. Burns. Deservedly.

24 – Friends (1994-2004)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Gary Halvorson, Kevin Bright, Michael Lembeck, James Burrows, Gail Mancuso, Peter Bonerz, David Schwimmer, Ben Weiss, Robby Benson, Shelley Jensen, Terry Hughes, Dana De Vally Piazza, Sheldon Epps, Pamela Fryman, Alan Myerson, Thomas Schlamme, Steve Zuckerman, Roger Christiansen, Arlene Sanford, Ellen Gittelsohn, Paul Lazarus, Mary Kay Place, Sam Simon, David Steinberg, Todd Holland, Joe Regalbuto, Andrew Tsao, Stephen Prime
Writer: David Crane, Marta Kauffman, Ted Cohen, Andrew Reich, Scott Silveri, Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Greg Malins, Sherry Bilsing, Ellen Kreamer, Adam Chase, Brian Buckner, Sebastian Jones, Seth Kurland, Alexa Junge, Michael Curtis, Wil Calhoun, Mark J. Kunerth, Ira Ungerleider, Doty Abrams, Dana Klein, Jeff Astrof, Mike Sikowitz, Michael Borkow, Robert Carlock, Gigi McCreery, Perry M. Rein, Brian Boyle, Jeff Greenstein, Jeff Strauss, Jill Condon, Amy Toomin Straus, Zachary Rosenblatt, Chris Brown, Alicia Sky Varinaitis, Peter Tibbals, Betsy Borns, Brown Mandell, Pang-Ni Landrum, Patty Lin, R. Lee Fleming Jr., Vanessa McCarthy, Steven Rosenhaus, Bill Lawrence, Richard Goodman, Suzie V. Freeman, Brian Caldirola, Earl Davis, David J. Lagana, Judd Rubin, Tracy Reilly
Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer, James Michael Tyler, Elliott Gould, Christina Pickles, Maggie Wheeler, Paul Rudd, Jane Sibbett, Helen Baxendale, Jessica Hecht, Tom Selleck, Aisha Tyler, Giovanni Ribisi
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: TV-14
Length: 22 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Follows the personal and professional lives of six 20 to 30-something-year-old friends living in Manhattan.

Everything is happy and playful on Friends until you dig a little deeper.

Monica might be someone to look up to, and Rachel certainly came into her own over time… but we’re here to discuss Phoebe.

As bad ass goes, Phoebe is definitely the friend that stands out the most. She had to face incredible odds to make absolutely anything out of herself. Her father left, her mother killed herself, her twin sister pretends she doesn’t exist. On top of that, she spent some time homeless and even had to resort to violence to feed herself at one point.

Phoebe seems a little flaky and over-the-top sweet, but she had to go through a lot to get to that point. For her to come out the other side with any kind of optimism says a lot.

23 – Modern Family (2009-)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Gail Mancuso, Michael Spiller, Jason Winer, Steven Levitan, Beth McCarthy-Miller, James R. Bagdonas, James Alan Hensz, Chris Koch, Fred Savage, Ryan Case, Alisa Statman, Jeffrey Walker, Scott Ellis, Reginald Hudlin, Randall Einhorn, Bryan Cranston, Ken Whittingham, Seth Gordon, Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Dean Parisot, Adam Shankman, Jeff Melman, Fred Goss, Lev L. Spiro, Claire Scanlon, Phil Traill, Michelle MacLaren
Writer: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Ryan Walls, Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh, Danny Zuker, Jeffrey Richman, Abraham Higginbotham, Elaine Ko, Bill Wrubel, Dan O'Shannon, Ben Karlin, Stephen Lloyd, Chuck Tatham, Megan Ganz, Vali Chandrasekaran, Jon Pollack, Ilana Wernick, Andrew Gordon, Joe Lawson, Cindy Chupack, Christy Stratton, Vanessa McCarthy, Bianca Douglas, Becky Mann, Audra Sielaff, Kenny Schwartz, Rick Wiener, Jerry Collins, Alex Herschlag, Caroline Williams, Carol Leifer, Emily Spivey, Daisy Gardner, Anthony Lombardo, Clint McCray
Actors: Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ariel Winter, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Jeremy Maguire, Pierce Wallace, Reid Ewing, Adam Devine, Fred Willard, Nathan Lane, Benjamin Bratt, Rob Riggle
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 22 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Three different, but related families face trials and tribulations in their own uniquely comedic ways.

If you know anything about Modern Family, then you’re probably not surprised to find it made this list.

There are a lot of bad ass women in this series that have overcome issues and carry themselves with confidence while taking on various problems. Claire is a mother of three that has to deal with an oft-times oblivious husband. Alex is a brilliant teenager. However, they’re not the reason Modern Family is mentioned.

Where bad ass is concerned, only one female in the show meets all requirements. That woman is Gloria.

It’s easy to write Gloria off as the sexy eye-candy that distracts from any plot issues that might come up. With her accent and difficulty remembering English words, she could also be confused for nothing but a comedic character. Where her character does offer a decent amount of comedy to the show, piecing together her backstory paints a rather depressing and dangerous picture.

She was born and raised in Columbia, in less than optimal conditions. She has a strained relationship with her sister, and her ex-husband (Manny’s father) is a bit of deadbeat. More than once, Gloria is even shown to be proficient in violent methods. One has to ask where she picked up those violent skills.

It’s very clear, if you’re paying attention, that although Gloria is now living in a good situation, she has overcome some spectacular odds in her life time. She not only continues on, but she carries herself with confidence, and she is filled with a positivity that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to maintain in her situation.

There are critics that would argue that Gloria’s wardrobe would dampen her eligibility to be a bad ass. I think that’s ridiculous. You can’t, in one breath, say that women have the right to live their own lives but they have to dress a certain way to be taken seriously.

If that’s your point of view, you need to reconsider how you see the world.

22 – Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Jamie Babbit, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Chris Long, Lee Shallat Chemel, Kenny Ortega, Michael Katleman, Matthew Diamond, Daniel Palladino, Michael Zinberg, Lesli Linka Glatter, Gail Mancuso, Stephen Clancy, Bethany Rooney, Robert Berlinger, Steven Robman, Jackson Douglas, Alan Myerson, Lev L. Spiro, Sarah Pia Anderson, Rodman Flender, Adam Nimoy, Arlene Sanford, Dennis Erdman, Bruce Seth Green, Perry Lang, Danny Leiner, Nick Marck, David Petrarca, Kevin Dowling, Joe Ann Fogle, Steve Gomer, Nicole Holofcener, Neema Barnette, Tom Moore, Carla Reinke, Marita Grabiak, Michael Grossman, Eric Laneuville, Peter Lauer, Linda Mendoza, Victor Nelli Jr., Michael Schultz, Wil Shriner, Ken Whittingham, David Paymer
Writer: Amy Sherman-Palladino, Daniel Palladino, Rebecca Sinclair, John Stephens, David S. Rosenthal, Sheila R. Lawrence, Joan Binder Weiss, Linda Loiselle Guzik, David Babcock, Jennie Snyder Urman, Janet Leahy, Elaine Arata, Jane Espenson, James Berg, Bill Prady, Stan Zimmerman, Keith Eisner, Gayle Abrams, Gina Fattore, Jenji Kohan, Jed Seidel, Joanne T. Waters, Allan Heinberg, Frank Lombardi, Justin Tanner, Scott Kaufer, Jessica Queller, Lisa Randolph, David Grae, Rina Mimoun, Jordon Nardino
Actors: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena, Scott Patterson, Yanic Truesdale, Kelly Bishop, Edward Hermann, Melissa McCarthy, Sean Gunn, Liza Weil, Liz Torres, Jared Padalecki, Matt Czuchry, Jackson Douglas, Michael Winters, Sally Struthers, Emily Kuroda, Todd Lowe, Milo Ventimiglia, David Sutcliffe
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 44 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A dramedy centering around the relationship between a thirtysomething single mother and her teen daughter living in Stars Hollow, Connecticut.

Although the older Lorelai has some bad ass moments, she’s not the reason Gilmore Girls made the list. In the end, she still came from an affluent family and the majority of her obstacles were self-made. Rory, on the other hand, is definitely the better of the two for this list.

Not only does she jump head-first into a difficult Yale journalism major, but in the final season of the series she walks away from a relationship in order to make sure she can focus all her time and energy on her career. In our culture, we rarely see a series end in that way. Usually, writers make sure the protagonists end up with the man/woman of their dreams, but Rory puts her career first.

Things change up in the sequel that came later, but for the original series – Rory is kind of bad ass.

21 – Daria (1997-2001)

Viewing Options: Amazon, iTunes
Director: Karen Disher, Guy Moore, Tony Kluck, Ray Kosarin, Eric Fogel, Patrick Smith, Gloria De Ponte, Sue Perrotto, Ted Stearn, Paul Sparagano, Joey Ahlbum, Karen Hyden, Ken Kimmelman, Chris Prynoski, Margaret E. Rutherford, Machi Tantillo, Aaron Augenblick, Anthony Davis, Tom Marsan
Writer: Glenn Eichler, Peggy Nicoll, Anne D. Bernstein, Neena Beber, Peter Elwell, Sam Johnson, Chris Marcil, Rachelle Romberg, Dan Vebber, Rachel Lipman, Peter Gaffney, Jonathan Greenberg, Jacquelyn Reingold, Larry Doyle, Laura Kightlinger, Jill Cargerman, Ron Corcillo, A.J. Poulin, Susie Lewis
Actors: Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julian Rebolledo, Lisa Kathleen Collins, Marc Thompson, Ashley Albert, Jessica Cydnee Jackson, Alvaro J. Gonzalez, Sarah Drew, Geoffrey Arend, Russell Hankin, Delon Ferdinand, Amir Williams, Kevin Daniels
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: TV-14
Length: 30 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A smart and cynical girl goes through teenage life as a proud outsider in a world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults.

When I was young, Daria was my hero. She was sarcastic and opinionated and just straight-up awesome. Daria didn’t take shit from anyone, not even her long-time crush. She was like a little animated role-model to me. I certainly had her attitude all throughout high school. With a little bit of Jane tossed in.

She was super savage about everything. A reprisal of her cartoon would likely do well today.

It wasn’t all making fun of her perky sister and society as a whole, either. The cartoon got real a lot and Daria had to deal with death and assault and depression. She came out more sarcastic every time, but we all have our ways of dealing with the bad.

Jane was a bit on the savage side, too.

20 – Roseanne (1988-1997)

Viewing Options: Amazon
Director: Gail Mancuso, Andrew D. Weyman, John Pasquin, John Whitesell, Philip Charles MacKenzie, Mark K. Samuels, Ellen Gittelsohn, Gary Halvorson, John Sgueglia, Roseanne Barr, Jeff Margolis
Writer: Roseanne Barr, Matt Williams, Danny Jacobson, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Jeff Abugov, Chuck Lorre, Eric Gilliland, Sid Youngers, Rob Ulin, Norma Safford Vela, Don Foster, Joel Madison, Bob Myer, Maxine Lapiduss, Lawrence Broch, Jennifer Heath, Allan Stephan, Betsy Borns, Cynthia Mort, Laurie Gelman, David McFadzean, Brad Isaacs, David Raether, Mike Gandolfi, William Lucas Walker, Kevin Abbott, Michael Borkow, Lois Bromfield, Miriam Trogdon, Lauren Eve Anderson, Grace McKeaney, Tom Arnold, Joss Whedon, David Forbes, Pat Bullard, Stevie Ray Fromstein, Leif Sandaas, Bob Nickman, Drew Ogier, Sy Dukane, Denise Moss, Matt Berry, Ed Yeager, Daniel Palladino, Carrie Snow, April Winchell, Bill Pentland, Steve Paymer, Mark Rosewater, Robert Borden, Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline, Janice Jordan, Norm MacDonald, Monica Piper, James Berg, Stan Zimmerman, Perry Dance, Tim Doyle, Mike Costa, Michael B. Kaplan, Nancy Steen, Rich Kaplan, Janet Leahy, Garland Testa, Richard Whitley, Allan Katz, Rebecca Parr Cioffi, Martin Pasko, Geraldine Barr, Dave Caplan, Maxine Epstein, Kim C. Friese, Bill Gerber, Bruce Graham, Sheree Guitar, Brian LaPan, Penelope Spheeris, Sheldon Krasner, Martin Mull, Mark Rappaport, David Saling, Barry Vigon, Sara Gilbert, Lawrence H. Levy, Robert Miranda, Ron Nelson, Michael Poryes, Scott Burton, Bruce Rasmussen, Leslie Rieder, Elaine Aronson, Stephen Godchaux, Cynthia Hogle, Dusty Kay, Amy Morland, Steve Pepoon, Tim Schlattmann, Ritch Shydner, Danny Zuker, Bobby Gaylor, Debbie Kasper, Cathy Ladman, Stacie Lipp, Erin Quigley, Betsy Salkind, Jennifer Saunders, Amy Welsh, Carrie Fisher, Jennifer Pentland, Jessica Pentland, Bob Rubin
Actors: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Sara Gilbert, Alicia Goranson, Sarah Chalke, Johnny Galecki, Natalie West, Glenn Quinn, Estelle Parsons, Martin Mull, Michael O’Keefe, Sandra Bernhard
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 22 minutes per episode
More Information Here.

IMDb Blurb: The story of a working class family struggling with life's essential problems: Marriage, Children, Money and Parents in Law.

Although Roseanne’s character was bad ass, this is more on the list because of the show itself.

Back when Roseanne first came out, it was considered a scandalous show. It represented a family in a more realistic view. Both parents were imperfect. They lost their tempers, they dealt with things differently than the laughing after-school talks the other sitcoms of its era used to educate the kids of their families. The kids all talked back to their parents, the family was on the lower side of middle-class, they introduced gay characters… etc.

It was a bad ass show, and there was a severe amount of controversy over it. It remained on the air because Roseanne used that overwhelming attitude of hers to make it happen. You can see signs of that attitude in her character all throughout the series.

19 – Bewitched (1964-1972)

Viewing Options: Amazon, iTunes
Director: William Asher, Richard Michaels, R. Robert Rosenbaum, Richard Kinon, E.W. Swackhamer, Jerry Davis, Howard Morris, David Orrick McDearmon, William D. Russell, Luther James, Alan Rafkin, Paul Davis, Ida Lupino, Sherman Marks, Sidney Miller, Joseph Pevney, Alan Jay Factor, Bruce Bilson, Russ Mayberry, Seymour Robbie, David White, Ernest A. Losso
Writer: Sol Saks, Ed Jurist, Richard Baer, Michael Morris, John L. Greene, Bernard Slade, Bernie Kahn, James S. Henerson, Lila Garrett, Paul David, Paul Wayne, Robert Riley Crutcher, Jerry Mayer, Barbara Avedon, Lawrence J. Cohen, Fred Freeman, Ruth Brooks Flippen, Howard Leeds, David V. Robison, Herman Groves, Rick Mittleman, Peggy Chantler Dick, Douglas Dick, Jack Sher, Danny Arnold, Earl Barret, Ron Friedman, Lee Erwin, Paul L. Friedman, Leo Townsend, Shirley Gordon, Henry Sharp, Phil Sharp, Jerry Davis, Roland Wolpert, Sydney Zelinka, Ken Englund, Jane Klove, Ted Sherdeman, Doug Tibbles, Pauline Townsend, Joanna Lee, Mort R. Lewis, Mary Loos, Richard Sale, Frank Waldman, Tom Waldman, Anthony Wilson, David Braverman, Jerry Devine, Irving Elinson, Coslough Johnson, Bob Marcus, Alfred Lewis Levitt, Helen Levitt, Arthur Alsberg, Sam Bobrick, Bill Idelson, Arthur Julian, William Asher, Sandra Black, Eddie Brown, Burles Cook, Patricia Don, Larry Freeman, Bobbie Harris, Carliss Henderson, Harold Henry, James Higdon, Mittie Huddleston, Deborah Janisse, Annette Johnson, Waymon Jones, Orall Joseph Jr., Stephen Kirk, Glenda Petty, Bob Randall, Gail Smith, Carmella Stuckey, Tanya Sweed, Angela Thomas, Donnie Wallace, Ronnie Wallace, Glenn Williams, Joe Williams, Bruce Woods, Joel Rapp, Milt Rosen
Actors: Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Moorehead, David White, Dick York, Dick Sargent, Erin Murphy, George Tobias, Kasey Rogers, Sandra Gould, Alice Pearce, Marion Lorne, Diane Murphy
Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Rated: TV-G
Length: 25 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces.

It’s important to remember that this was a show from the 60s. The time of the obedient housewives. As you can see in the above clip, Sam didn’t always fit that stereotype.

In the show, Darren tries to control Sam’s use of her witchy powers – but he often fails at what he does without her stepping in to save him. And, when he took things a step too far – Sam was never shy about shooting him down.

To be clear, her mother in the show is not bad ass. Endora is the original JustNoMIL. There’s a difference between standing up to someone, and abusing them. Endora clearly crossed that line. Nothing about that is bad ass.

18 – The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Jay Sandrich, Peter Baldwin, Alan Rafkin, John C. Chulay, James Burrows, Marjorie Mullen, Jerry Paris, Jerry Belson, Hal Cooper, Nancy Walker, Bruce Bilson, Herbert Kenwith, George Tyne, Peter Bonerz, Jackie Cooper, Mel Ferber, Jerry London, Mary Tyler Moore, Norman Campbell, Joan Darling, Stuart Margolin, Harry Mastrogeorge, Doug Rogers, Martin Cohan
Writer: James L. Brooks, Allan Burns, David Lloyd, Ed. Weinberger, Treva Silverman, Bob Ellison, Stan Daniels, Steven Pritzker, Lorenzo Music, Martin Cohan, David Davis, Susan Silver, Elias Davis, David Pollock, Dick Clair, Jenna McMahon, Monica Mcgowan Johnson, Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Earl Pomerantz, Bob Rodgers, Gloria Banta, Patricia Nardo, Martin Donovan, Jerry Mayer, Karyl Miller, Burt Prelutsky, John D.F. Black, Gordon Mitchell, Lloyd Turner, George Kirgo, Gail Parent, Kenny Solms, Charlotte Brown, Arnold Margolin, Rick Mittleman, Jim Parker, Sybil Adelman, Michael Barrie, Barbara Gallagher, Allan Katz, Phil Mishkin, Jim Mulholland, Don Reo, William Wood, George Atkins, Ann Gibbs, Joel Kimmel, Ziggy Steinberg, Jack Winter, Valerie Curtin, Michael Elias, Craig Allan Hefner, Gig Henry, Arnie Kogen, Charles Lee, Michael Leeson, Shelly Nelbert, Mary Kay Place, Pamela Russell, Michael Zinberg, Robert Gerlach, James MacDonald, Richard Powell, Glen Charles, Les Charles
Actors: Mary Tyler Moore, Gavin MacLeod, Edward Asner, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Georgia Engel, Betty White, Cloris Leachman
Genre: Comedy
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 30 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: The lives and trials of a young single woman and her friends, both at work and at home.

Mary Richards was all about equality in the workplace during a time when it was still something looked down upon by many. One of the most popular scenes from the series involves Mary going head-to-head with her boss over the fact that she’s paid less than her male co-workers.

She was a single woman concentrating on her career in a TV show, which definitely wasn’t common at the time. Hell, it’s still not really common. Even her opening song was all about how she was capable of whatever she wanted to do.

The entire show was really empowering and Mary was an inspiration to a huge number of women around the world.

17 – NCIS (2003-)

Viewing Options: Netflix, CBS All Access, Amazon, Vudu
Director: Dennis Smith, Tony Wharmby, Terrence O'Hara, Thomas J. Wright, James Whitmore Jr., Arvin Brown, Leslie Libman, Colin Bucksey, Bethany Rooney, Alan J. Levi, Jeff Woolnough, Mark Horowitz, William Webb, Rocky Carroll, Alrick Riley, Peter Ellis, Martha Mitchell, Edward Ornelas, Michael Zinberg, Stephen Cragg, Michael Weatherly, Holly Dale, Donald P. Bellisario, Bradford May, Ian Toynton, Dan Lerner, Aaron Lipstadt, Oz Scott, Craig Ross Jr., Kevin Rodney Sullivan, Michelle MacLaren, Mario Van Peebles, Allan Arkush
Writer: Donald P. Bellisario, Don McGill, Steven D. Binder, David J. North, Frank Cardea, George Schenck, Jesse Stern, Christopher Silber, Christopher J. Waild, Gary Glasberg, Scott A. Williams, Reed Steiner, Gina Lucita Monreal, Laurence Walsh, John C. Kelley, Richard Arthur, Linda Burstyn, Jennifer Corbett, Shane Brennan, Nicole Mirante-Matthews, Dan E. Fesman, Brendan Fehily, Jack Bernstein, Gil Grant, Alfonso H. Moreno, Frank Military, Dana Coen, Steven Kriozere, Nell Scovell, Matthew R. Jarrett, Scott J. Jarrett, Jeff Vlaming, Chris Crowe, Roger Director, Lee David Zlotoff, Robert Palm, Cindi Hemingway, Philip DeGuere Jr., Darcy Meyers, Larry Moskowitz, Bob Gookin, Steven Long Mitchell, Thomas L. Moran, Craig W. Van Sickle, Juan Carlos Coto, Steven Kane, Jeffrey A. Kirkpatrick, Joshua Lurie, Andrew Bartels, Leon Carroll Jr., Allison Abner, Bill Nuss
Actors: Mark Harmon, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Michael Weatherly, Brian Dietzen, Rocky Carroll, Cote de Pablo, Emily Wickersham, Lauren Holly, Sasha Alexander, Joe Spano, Wilmer Valderrama, Jennifer Esposito, Duane Henry, Scottie Thompson, Muse Watson, Pancho Demmings, David Dayan Fisher, Alan Dale, Robert Wagner, Margo Harshman
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rated: TV-14
Length: 60 minutes per episode
More Information Here.

IMDb Blurb: The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Washington DC Major Case Response Team, led by Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

This is the first, but in no way the last, entry on this list where the bad ass women have some pretty sick fighting moves to their credit.

Where NCIS is concerned, there’s not one specific bad ass female, but tons of them. Abby is a goth-ish woman that can do incredible things with science. Kate started off as a secret service agent. Ziva was a Mossad agent that probably could have kicked Gibbs’ ass if she wanted to. Ellie starts off as an NSA agent and eventually blows up the terrorist that kills her boyfriend. Jenny was the director of the NCIS department and was responsible for taking down a notorious arms dealer – even her death scene was bad ass. Alex was responsible for training every single agent that passed through the department.

Even the small female parts in NCIS are usually bad ass… and the majority of them carry guns and are trained in some kind of fighting. These are women that are not to be fucked with.

16 – Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996)

Viewing Options: Unknown
Director: Anthony Pullen Shaw, Walter Grauman, Vincent McEveety, Seymour Robbie, Jerry Jameson, John Llewellyn Moxey, Peter Crane, Arthur Allan Seidelman, Allen Reisner, Kevin G. Cremin, Nick Havinga, Peter Salim, Corey Allen, Michael J. Lynch, Chuck Bowman, David Moessinger, Don Mischer, Robert M. Williams Jr., Kevin Corcoran, Richard A. Colla, Alan Cooke, Edward M. Abroms, Hy Averback, Charles S. Dubin, Michael A. Hoey, Philip Leacock, John Astin, Paul Lynch, David Hemmings, E.W. Swackhamer, Alexander Singer, Lee Smith, Paul Lazarus
Writer: Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson, William Link, Robert E. Swanson, Robert Van Scoyk, Tom Sawyer, Donald Ross, Bruce Lansbury, Laurence Heath, Gerald K. Siegel, Philip Gerson, Chris Manheim, Mark A. Burley, Paul Savage, J. Michael Straczynski, Jerrold L. Ludwig, Mary Ann Kasica, Michael Scheff, Lynne Kelsey, J. Miyoko Hensley, Steven Hensley, Dick Nelson, Paul Schiffer, Paul W. Cooper, Mark Giles, Linda Shank, Jackson Gillis, Wendy Graf, R. Barker Price, Lisa Stotsky, Arthur Weingarten, Steven Long Mitchell, Craig W. Van Sickle, William Bigelow, David Moessinger, Robert Hamner, James L. Novack, Rick Mittleman, Carlton Hollander, Philip John Taylor, David Abramowitz, Carleton Eastlake, John Kennedy, Michael McGough, Jerry Ross, Bob Shayne, Scott Shepherd, Robert B. Sherman, Steve Stoliar, Kenneth Alan Berg, John D.F. Black, Arthur Marks, Si Rose, Larry Scott Anderson, Chuck Bowman, Eric Houston, Ralph Meyering Jr., Richard Stanley, Whitney Wherrett Roberson, Steve Brown, Oliver Hailey, Charles Leinenweber, Gerry Day, Gerald Di Pego, Lawrence G. DiTillio, Tracy Friedman, Jo William Philipp, Michael Berlin, Danna Doyle, Eric Estrin, Debbie Smith, David Carren, J. Larry Carroll, Lisa Seidman, Robert Brennan, Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce, Peter Barwood, Anne Collins, David Thoreau, Dan Wilcox
Actors: Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak, Louis Herthum, Tom Bosley, Will Nye, Michael Horton, Ken Swofford, Julie Adams, Herb Edelman
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rated: NR
Length: 50 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Professional writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher uses her intellect, charm, and persistence to get to the bottom of every crime she encounters.

Growing up, I’d watch this show with my mom. Jessica Fletcher was the first woman I saw in any kind of forensic capacity. Sure, she played a mystery writer, but pretty much every single episode involved her solving some serious crimes.

The character was brilliant and watching her turn her “real-life” mysteries into books may actually be where I got my interest in writing to begin with… but that’s beside the point.

What matters is that, even though Jessica was calm and composed always, she never failed to be brave in the face of danger.

15 – Video Game High School (2012-2014)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, iTunes
Director: Matthew Arnold, Freddie Wong, Brandon Laatsch
Writer: Matthew Arnold, Will Campos, Brian Firenzi, Chris Pappavaselio, Elle Schneider, Sarah Tarkoff, Freddie Wong, Jimmy Wong
Actors: Josh Blaylock, Ellary Porterfield, Johanna Braddy, Jimmy Wong, Brian Firenzi, Chase Williamson, Brennan Murray, Nicole Wyland, Joey Scoma, Bryan Forrest, Riley Rose Critchlow, Joel Kelley Dauten
Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR
Length: 42 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: In a futuristic world where gaming is the top sport, a teenager attends a school which specializes in a curriculum of video games in each genre.

The girls in this were bad ass gamers. Specifically, there was Jenny Matrix and Ki Swan.

Jenny Matrix was the captain of the FPS team and Ki Swan was absolutely unbeatable in fighting games.

A lot of the time, in gaming, women are stereotypically portrayed as preferring RPGs or simulators. Although there’s nothing wrong with those genres (Goat Simulator is a lot of fun – and who doesn’t love Final Fantasy?), it’s refreshing to see girls working with first person shooters and fighting games. Especially in a series like this that includes mixed reality.

14 – Eureka (2006-2012)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Mike Rohl, Michael Robison, Matthew Hastings, Michael Lange, Colin Ferguson, Joe Morton, Michael Grossman, Jefery Levy, Jeff Woolnough, Eric Laneuville, Chris Fisher, Alexandra La Roche, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Colin Bucksey, Marita Grabiak, Peter O'Fallon, David Straiton, Donna Deitch, Robert Lieberman, Tim Matheson, Michael Nankin, Matt Earl Beesley, Ernest R. Dickerson, Fred Gerber, Paul Holahan, Oz Scott, Bryan Spicer, Sarah Pia Anderson, Matthew Diamond, James Head, Steve Miner, Stephen Surjik, Andrew Seklir, Jaime Paglia
Writer: Andrew Cosby, Jaime Paglia, Bruce Miller, Thania St. John, Eric Wallace, John Hererra, Johanna Stokes, Charles Grant Craig, Amy Berg, Eric Tuchman, Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer, Dan E. Fesman, Harry Victor, Kira Snyder, Paula Yoo, Karl Schaefer, Curtis Kheel, Jill E. Blotevogel, Ed Fowler, Varina Bleil, Betsy Landis, John Rogers, Martin Weiss, Anne Cofell Saunders, Jane Espenson, Ethan Lawrence, Nick Wauters, Constance M. Burge, Joan Binder Weiss, Margaret Dunlap, Nina Fiore
Actors: Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson Whitfield, Ercia Cerra, Neil Grayston, Joe Morton, Chris Gauthier, Jordan Hinson, Niall Matter, Ed Quinn, Debrah Farentino, Tembi Locke, Christopher Jacot, Kavan Smith, Felicia Day, Matt Frewer, Trevor Jackson, Jaime Ray Newman, Vanya Asher, Wil Wheaton
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Rated: TV-14
Length: 60 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A U.S. Marshall becomes the sheriff of a remote cozy little Northwestern town of Eureka where the best minds in the US have secretly been tucked away to build futuristic inventions for the government which often go disastrously wrong.

This is another series with a lot of bad ass women involved.

Allison Blake, Jo Lupo, and Zoe Carter were all incredibly independent and skilled women. Living in a science-based town that was charged with dealing with all manner of crisis was a bit of a chore for most, but those three were elevated to higher standards.

I miss this show.

13 – Warehouse 13 (2009-2014)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Chris Fisher, Constantine Makris, Tawnia McKiernan, Jack Kenny, Stephen Surjik, Jace Alexander, Vincent Misiano, Michael W. Watkins, Millicent Shelton, Michael McMurray, Howard Deutch, Ken Girotti, Eric Laneuville, Matt Earl Beesley, Stephen Cragg, Anton Cropper, Jeremiah S. Chechik, Jay Chandrasekhar, Andrew Seklir, Matthew Hastings, Jennifer Lynch, Larry Teng, Matt Birman, Robert Duncan McNeill
Writer: Jane Espenson, D. Brent Mote, John-Paul Nickel, Michael Jones-Morales, Benjamin Raab, Ian Stokes, Bob Goodman, Jack Kenny, Drew Z. Greenberg, Deric A. Hughes, Nell Scovell, Holly Harold, David Simkins, Andrew Kreisberg, Michael P. Fox, Diego Gutierrez, Mike Johnson, Dana Baratta, Tamara Becher, Matthew Federman, Stephen Scaia, Robyn Adams, Marque Franklin-Williams, Ian D. Maddox, Rockne S. O'Bannon
Actors: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek, Allison Scagliotti, Genelle Williams, Aaron Ashmore, CCH Pounder, Jaime Murray, Simon Reynolds, Faran Tahir
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Rated: TV-14
Length: 43 minutes per episode
More Information Here. 

IMDb Blurb: After saving the life of the President in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that the Regents, an Authority above and outside any government, have collected over the centuries. Their new assignment: retrieve lost objects called "Artifacts", seemingly harmless items that can posses immense power, and investigate reports of new ones.

This is another science/mystical series, and Myka Bering was definitely bad ass in it. In fact, she was always just a little more competent than her partner, Pete Lattimer.

12 – Law and Order: SVU (1999-)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes
Director: David Platt, Peter Leto, Jean de Segonzac, Constantine Makris, Alex Chapple, Arthur W. Forney, Juan José Campanella, Steve Shill, Michael Slovis, Alex Zakrzewski, Michael Pressman, Helen Shaver, Jonathan Kaplan, Martha Mitchell, Ted Kotcheff, Richard Dobbs, Jud Taylor, Norberto Barba, Holly Dale, Mariska Hargitay, Michael Fields, Rick Wallace, Jim McKay, Jonathan Herron, Michael Smith, Adam Bernstein, Donna Deitch, Aaron Lipstadt, Fred Berner, Lesli Linka Glatter, Rick Rosenthal, Stephen Wertimer, James Quinn, Matt Earl Beesley, George Pattison, Eriq La Salle, Kate Woods, Christopher Zalla, Tom DiCillo, Courtney Hunt, Rosemary Rodriguez, Laura Belsey, Jennifer Getzinger, Nick Gomez, Sharat Raju, Clark Johnson, David Hugh Jones, Peter Medak, Alexander Cassini, Elodie Keene, Alan Metzger, Edwin Sherin, Michael Zinberg, Henry Bronchtein, Gloria Muzio, Joyce Chopra, Darnell Martin, Guy Norman Bee, Chad Lowe, Ed Bianchi, Daniel Sackheim, Félix Enríquez Alcalá, Marita Grabiak, James Hayman, Michelle MacLaren, Paul McCrane, Yelena Lanskaya, Chris Eyre, Paul Black, Amy Redford, Patrick Creadon, Kevin Bray, Peter Werner, Alik Sakharov, Jonathan Starch, Stephanie A. Marquardt, Jono Oliver
Writer: Dick Wolf, Julie Martin, Warren Leight, Dawn DeNoon, Brianna Yellen, Jonathan Greene, Amanda Green, Robert Brooks Cohen, Judy McCreary, Kevin Fox, Céline C. Robinson, Lisa Marie Petersen, Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, Patrick Harbinson, Ed Zuckerman, Robert F. Campbell, Daniel Truly, Peter Blauner, John Paul Roche, Rick Eid, Wendy West, Jeff Eckerle, Jill Abbinanti, Samantha Corbin-Miller, Neal Baer, Ken Storer, Mick Betancourt, Jose Molina, Paul Grellong, Brendan Feeney, Michael R. Perry, Gwendolyn M. Parker, Barbie Kligman, Robert Nathan, Christine M. Torres, David Matthews, Gavin Harris, Robert Palm, David J. Burke, Nick Kendrick, Joshua Kotcheff, Speed Weed, Bryan Goluboff, Robin Veith, A. Zell Williams, Roger Garrett, Kathy Ebel, Stephen Belber, Ruth Fletcher, Christos N. Gage, Allison Intrieri, Mark Goffman, Kam Miller, Josh Singer, Charley Davis, Chris Brancato, Lawrence Kaplow, Jeffrey Baker, Kinan Copen, John Chambers, Miriam Kazdin, Rene Balcer, Nick Harding, Eva Nagorski, Janet Tamaro, Clifton Campbell, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Marilyn Osborn, Todd Robinson, Tracey Stern, Martin Weiss, Liz Friedman, Adisa Iwa, Vanessa Place, Marjorie David, Roger Wolfson, David Foster, Chris Levinson, Ian Biederman, Michael Angeli, George Huang, Lisa Loomer, Brian Fagan, Stuart Feldman, Marygrace O'Shea, Pedro Garcia, Aaron Tracy, Matt Olmstead, Jill Lorie Hurst, Penelope Koechl
Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Christopher Meloni, DB Wong, Tamara Tunie, Kelli Giddish, Diane Neal, Raul Esparza, Stephanie March, Danny Pino, Peter Scanavino, Mike Doyle, Dean Winters
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rated: TV-14
Length: 60 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: This show introduces the Special Victims Unit, a specially trained squad of detectives in the NYPD who investigate sexually related crimes.

It’s pretty rare for there to be someone as constant on an Law and Order show as Olivia Benson is. There are other awesome women that appear on the show, but none of them hold a candle to the original SVU detective.

Benson faced severe adversity throughout the show. She was assaulted while undercover in a prison, she was held captive by a serial killer, among other things. Still, she came out the other side more driven than she started out. She eventually even got promoted to sergeant and became the commanding officer of the department – with good reason.

She is brave, she can kick some serious ass, and she’s brilliant. She’s definitely the most bad ass on the show.

11 – Futurama (1999-2003)

Viewing Options: Amazon, iTunes
Director: Peter Avanzino, Bret Haaland, Gregg Vanzo, Ron Hughart, Brian Sheesley, Crystal Chesney, Frank Marino, Raymie Muzquiz, Stephen Sandoval, Susie Dietter, Mark Ervin, Dwayne Carey-Hill, Rich Moore, Edmund Fong, Chris Loudon, James Purdum, Swinton O. Scott III, Chris Sauve, Ray Claffey, Lance Kramer, Jeffrey Lynch, Patty Shinagawa, Wesley Archer, Carlos Baeza, Ashley Lenz, Kevin O'Brien
Writer: David X. Cohen, Matt Groening, Eric Horsted, Ken Keeler, Patric M. Verrone, Lewis Morton, Dan Vebber, J. Stewart Burns, Eric Kaplan, Michael Rowe, Josh Weinstein, Eric Rogers, Bill Odenkirk, Ron Weiner, Aaron Ehasz, Jeff Westbrook, Maiya Williams, Evan Gore, Brian Kelley, Heather Lombard, Darin Henry, David A. Goodman, Jason Gorbett, Kristin Gore, Scott Kirby, Carolyn Premish, Neil Mukhopadhyay, Michael Saikin
Actors: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman, Frank Welker, Kath Soucie, Dawnn Lewis, Tom Kenny, Dan Castellaneta
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi
Rated: TV-14
Length: 22 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Fry, a pizza guy, is accidentally frozen in 1999 and thawed out New Year's Eve 2999.

Sure, this show is a cartoon, but that doesn’t make Turanga Leela any less bad ass. A former-orphan turned captain of a star ship, she has about twelve different ways to kick the ass of anyone that steps to her. She’s independent and very capable of snapping back after whatever issue there is.

She also has no problem shutting down Zapp Brannigan whenever he gets gross with her.

For a cartoon character, Leela is definitely not the worst role-model out there.

10 – Leverage (2008-2012)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, iTunes
Director: Marc Roskin, Dean Devlin, Jonathan Frakes, John Harrison, Arvin Brown, John Rogers, Jeremiah S. Chechik, Peter Winther, Rod Hardy, P.J. Pesce, Tawnia McKiernan, Craig R. Baxley, Tony Bill, Rob Minkoff, Peter O'Fallon, Millicent Shelton, Frank Oz
Writer: Chris Downey, John Rogers, Christine Boylan, Melissa Glenn, Jessica Grasl, John Aboud, Michael Colton, M. Scott Veach, Amy Berg, Rebecca Kirsch, Albert Kim, Geoffrey Thorne, Paul Guyot, Jeremy Bernstein, Josh Schaer, Joe Hortua, Jenn Kao, Dean Devlin, Ben Fast, Kerry Glover, Scott Wolman, Aaron Denius Garcia
Actors: Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Reisgraf, Aldis Hodge
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 42 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A crew of high-tech crooks attempt to steal from wealthy criminals and corrupt businessmen.

I can’t believe I almost forgot to add Leverage to this list. Although the leader of the crew is a male, Sophie Devereaux and Parker are not people you want to fuck with, or overlook.

Sophie is a psychological superstar, she knows exactly what makes anyone tick and how to use it against them. Parker is a street-trained thief that’s amazing at her job and once stabbed a guy with a fork while undercover. She even becomes the leader after Nathan retires.

9 – Archer (2009-)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Bryan Fordney, Adam Reed
Writer: Adam Reed, Mike Arnold, Boswell Cocker, Matt Thompson, Tesha Kondrat, Chris Provenzano, Casey Willis, Tony Carbone, Mehar Sethi, Rick Cleveland, Eric Sims, Ben Hoffman, Matthew Rhys
Actors: H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, Adam Reed, Lucky Yates, Dave Willis, George Coe, Tom Kane
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 22 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Covert black ops and espionage take a back seat to zany personalities and relationships between secret agents and drones.

I don’t know if I’d call Lana a role-model since, you know, she’s an international assassin… but she’s certainly bad ass. She’s quick to act in a violent situation and, even when pregnant, she was a force to be reckoned with.

Speaking as a pregnant woman, all I want to do is go to bed… like nineteen hours a day.

8 – Bones (2005-2017)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Ian Toynton, Dwight H. Little, Jeannot Szwarc, Chad Lowe, David Boreanaz, Milan Cheylov, Allan Kroeker, Tim Southam, Kate Woods, Steven DePaul, Jeff Woolnough, Michael Lange, Randy Zisk, Alex Chapple, Jesús Salvador Treviño, Tony Wharmby, Allison Liddi-Brown, François Velle, Sanford Bookstaver, Craig Ross Jr., Kevin Hooks, Greg Yaitanes, Gordon Lonsdale, Emile Levisetti, Rob Hardy, Anne Renton, David Grossman, Tawnia McKiernan, James Whitmore Jr., Scott Lautanen, Jessica Landaw, Brad Turner, Jeffrey Walker, Arlene Sanford, David Hugh Jones, Patrick R. Norris, Donna Deitch, David Duchovny, Karen Gaviola, Joe Napolitano, Jonathan Pontell, Bryan Spicer, Thomas J. Wright, Caleb Deschanel, Marita Grabiak, Mark Helfrich, Daniel Sackheim, Reginald Hudlin, Steve Robin, Silver Tree, Robert Reed Altman, Anton Cropper, Emily Deschanel, Denise Di Novi
Writer: Hart Hanson, Kathy Reichs, Michael Peterson, Dean Lopata, Hilary Weisman Graham, Janet Lin, Noah Hawley, Karine Rosenthal, Pat Charles, Keith Foglesong, Elizabeth Benjamin, Stephen Nathan, Kendall Sand, Mary Trahan, Lena Waithe, Jonathan Collier, Carla Kettner, Ted Peterson, Josh Berman, Scott A. Williams, Emily Silver, Nkechi Okoro, Lyla Oliver, Karyn Usher, Dave Thomas, Laura Wolner, Christopher Ambrose, Sanford Golden, Karen Wyscarver, Gene Hong, Greg Ball, Steve Blackman, Janet Tamaro, Kerry Reichs, Joe Hortua, Yael Zinkow, Craig Silverstein, Gary Glasberg, Mark Lisson, Karina Csolty, Kim Clements, Jon Cowan, Eric Randall, Dana Coen, Teresa Lin, Jeff Rake, Dean Widenmann, Matthew Donlan, Jeremy Martin, Bob Harris, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, Richard Greener, Megan I. McNamara, Taylor Martin
Actors: Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin, T.J. Thyne, Tamara Taylor, John Francis Daley, Eric Millegan, John Boyd, Patricia Belcher, Michael Grant Terry, Eugene Byrd, Carla Gallo, Pej Vahdat, Sunnie Pelant, Ryan O’Neal, Jonathan Adams, Joel David Moore, Ryan Cartwright, Ty Panitz
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Rated: TV-14
Length: 40 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, and cocky FBI special agent Seeley Booth build a team to investigate murders - and quite often, there isn't more to examine than rotten flesh or mere bones.

This show features a ton of bad ass women. Bones, of course, is the one that stands out the most – with her intelligence and her insane sharpshooter-like abilities. Angela Montenegro and Camille Saroyan aren’t far behind in the bad ass category, but none of them beat out Bones.

7 – Doctor Who (1963-)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Graeme Harper, Euros Lyn, Douglas Mackinnon, James Strong, Rachel Talalay, Charlie Palmer, James Hawes, Joe Ahearne, Toby Haynes, Nick Hurran, Saul Metzstein, Hettie Macdonald, Richard Clark, Julian Simpson, Daniel Nettheim, Edward Bazalgette, Keith Boak, Colin Teague, Adam Smith, Paul Wilmshurst, Lawrence Gough, Alice Troughton, Jonny Campbell, Andrew Gunn, Catherine Morshead, Ashley Way, Farren Blackburn, Steve Hughes, Jeremy Webb, Jamie Payne, Paul Murphy, Ben Wheatley, Justin Molotnikov, Daniel O'Hara, Bill Anderson, Wayne Yip, Brian Grant, Dan Zeff, Andy Goddard, Peter Hoar, Richard Senior, Neill Gorton, John Hayes, Mat King, Colm McCarthy, Stephen Woolfenden, Sheree Folkson
Writer: Sydney Newman, Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, Terry Nation, Gerry Davis, Kit Pedler, Robert Holmes, Toby Whithouse, Malcolm Hulke, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts, Chris Chibnall, Helen Raynor, Peter Harness, Jamie Mathieson, Paul Cornell, Matthew Graham, Tom MacRae, Stephen Greenhorn, Steve Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Robert Banks Stewart, Bob Baker, Dave Martin, Matt Jones, Phil Ford, Brian Hayles, Neil Cross, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Sarah Dollard, Robert Shearman, James Moran, Keith Temple, Richard Curtis, Simon Nye, Catherine Tregenna, Mike Bartlett, Rona Munro, Terrance Dicks, Marc Platt, Ian Stuart Black
Actors: (New Doc) Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Capaldi, Jodie Whittaker, Jenna Coleman, Nicholas Briggs, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darbill, Freema Agyeman, Ruari Mears, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 45 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: The further adventures of the time travelling alien adventurer known as the Doctor and his/her companions.

Doctor Who was featuring strong women long before the most recent regeneration turned the Doctor himself into a herself. Pretty much every companion going back to the black and white episodes stands out in their own bad ass way. My personal favorite is River, but you could pretty much pick your own favorite and not do any worse.

The female characters were made even more bad ass when the Master regenerated into Missy. She’s insane, but as antagonists go – does it get better?

6 – Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981)

Viewing Options: Amazon, iTunes
Director: Dennis Donnelly, Allen Baron, Don Chaffey, George McCowan, Georg Stanford Brown, Kim Manners, Cliff Bole, Bob Kelljan, Paul Stanley, Ronald Austin, George W. Brooks, Richard Lang, Lawrence Doheny, Richard Benedict, Phil Bondelli, Leon Carrere, Curtis Harrington, Lawrence Dobkin, Daniel Haller, John Llewellyn Moxey, Bill Bixby, John D.F. Black, Charles S. Dubin, Nicholas Sgarro, Larry Stewart, Don Weis, Ron Satlof, David Doyle, John Peyser
Writer: Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, Edward J. Lakso, B.W. Sandefur, Lee Sheldon, Laurie Lakso, John D.F. Black, Ronald Austin, James D. Buchanan, Robert George, Rick Husky, William Froug, Brian McKay, Richard Carr, Katharyn Powers, Robert C. Dennis, Les Carter, Jack V. Fogarty, Robert Janes, Jock MacKelvie, Skip Webster, Bob Mitchell, Esther Mitchell, Ray Brenner, Michael Michaelian, Rod Baker, Robert Earll, Pat Fielder, David Levinson, Sue Milburn, Jeff Myrow, Glen Olson, Charles Sailor, Barry Stern, Rick Edelstein, Ron Friedman, George R. Hodges, Melvin Levy, Richard Powell, Rift Fournier, Stephen Kandel, Tom Lazarus, Del Reisman, Mickey Rose, Worley Thorne, Lee Travis, Larry Alexander, George F. Slavin, John Whelpley, Robert Biheller, Anne Collins, Wayne Cruseturner, Robert I. Holt, W. Dal Jenkins, Robert E. Lee, Ronald E. Osborn, Larry Mitchell, Mickey Rich, Robert Spears
Actors: Jaclyn Smith, David Doyle, Cheryl Ladd, Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Shelley Hack, Tanya Roberts
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Rated: NR
Length: 60 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: The adventures of three sexy female private eyes.

I opted to mention the original Charlie’s Angels television series instead of the movie in next week’s article. Personally, I just felt like the movie angels were a kind of parody of the originals. Meanwhile, the original girls were incredibly bad ass and they were among the first all-female teams that utilized any kind of violence in their crime-fighting.

Back then, they were basically like the female A-Team. In the movie, they’re not quite that epic.

5 – Rizzoli & Isles (2010-2016)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Hulu, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Mark Haber, Steve Robin, Michael Katleman, Norman Buckley, Gregory Prange, Michael Zinberg, Randy Zisk, Michael M. Robin, Stephen Clancy, Paul Holahan, Jamie Babbit, Christine Moore, Kate Woods, Nelson McCormick, Fred Toye, Milan Cheylov, Peter B. Kowalski, Kevin G. Cremin, Jan Nash, Mark Strand, Adam Arkin, Arvin Brown, Roxann Dawson, Matthew Penn, Holly Dale, Rod Holcomb, Terrence O'Hara, Bethany Rooney, Andy Wolk, Greg Beeman, Aaron Lipstadt, Anthony Hardwick, Kevin Dowling, Chad Lowe, Edward Ornelas, Sasha Alexander, Angie Harmon
Writer: Tess Gerritsen, Janet Tamaro, Russ Grant, David Gould, Ken Hanes, Ron McGee, Jan Nash, Sal Calleros, Michael Sardo, Katie Wech, Emilia Serrano, Sam Lembeck, Michael McGrale, Joel Fields, Elizabeth Benjamin, Dee Johnson, Lisa Marie Petersen, Alicia Kirk, Antoinette Stella, Y. Shireen Razack, Dave Caplan, Steve Lichtman, Lindsay Sturman, Jill Goldsmith, Matt MacLeod, Linda McGibney, Dan Hamamura, Meredith Philpott, Alison Cross, Karina Csolty, Darin Goldberg, Julie Hébert, Shelley Meals, David J. North, David Sonnenborn, Kiersten Van Horne, Charles Grant Craig, Diana Mendez, Blair Singer, Jeremy Svenson, Ted Sullivan
Actors: Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, Jordan Bridges, Bruce McGill, Lorraine Bracco, Lee Thompson Young, Idara Victor, Brian Goodman
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rated: NR
Length: 60 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Detective Jane Rizzoli and Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles team up to solve crimes in Boston.

I was a huge fan of this show. Not only were both main characters incredibly strong in their own ways, but the show didn’t follow that typical ‘partners fall in love’ trope. I mean, shows like Castle and The Mentalist have some bad ass females in them, but not the way Rizzoli & Isles did.

Jane Rizzoli was an incredible detective that was more than capable of protecting herself – she even survived a fall from a bridge at one point. Meanwhile, Maura Isles was a brilliant medical examiner and she wound up finding out she was the daughter of an Irish crime boss. Even Jane’s mother, Angela Rizzoli, was a hell of a bad ass mom.

4 – Torchwood (2006-2011)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Andy Goddard, Ashley Way, Euros Lyn, Colin Teague, Billy Gierhart, Guy Ferland, Brian Kelly, James Strong, Alice Troughton, Jonathan Fox Bassett, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, James Erskine, Mark Everest, Bharat Nalluri
Writer: Russell T. Davies, Chris Chibnall, Jane Espenson, Catherine Tregenna, John Fay, Peter Hammond, Helen Raynor, James Moran, John Shiban, Noel Clarke, Jacquetta May, Dan McCulloch, Paul Tomalin, Toby Whithouse, Phil Ford, Matt Jones, Joseph Lidster, J.C. Wilsher, Doris Egan, Jim Danger Gray, Ryan Scott
Actors: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen, Gareth David-Lloyd, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 50 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: The members of the Torchwood Institute, a secret organization founded by the British Crown, fight to protect the Earth from extraterrestrial and supernatural threats.

Torchwood might not be as popular as Doctor Who, but one of its leads is an incredibly bad ass woman, Gwen Cooper.

The show is meant to be a spin off, utilizing Captain Jack Harkness. However, where he’s a big part of the show, Gwen is the one that comes off as the main character and Miracle Day actually starts off with a scene where she shoots at a helicopter that just tried to blow her up, while protecting her child.

She just gets more impressive over time.

3 – Charmed (1998-2006)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: John T. Kretchmer, James L. Conway, Joel J. Feigenbaum, Mel Damski, Jon Paré, John Behring, Derek E. Johansen, Craig Zisk, Jonathan West, Chris Long, David Straiton, Stuart Gillard, Michael Grossman, James A. Contner, Kevin Inch, Richard Compton, Noel Nosseck, Shannen Doherty, Anson Williams, David Jackson, LeVar Burton, Les Sheldon, Michael Schultz, Michael Zinberg, Gilbert Adler, Richard Denault, Robert Ginty, Nick Marck, Ellen S. Pressman, Elodie Keene, Martha Mitchell, James Whitmore Jr., John Blush, Don Kurt, Perry Lang, Allan Kroeker, Les Landau, Brad Kern, Scott Laughlin, Timothy J. Lonsdale, James Marshall, Roxann Dawson, Stewart Schill, David Zimring, Christopher Leitch, Janice Cooke, Bruce Seth Green
Writer: Constance M. Burge, Krista Vernoff, Zack Estrin, Chris Levinson, Daniel Cerone, Monica Breen, Alison Schapker, Brad Kern, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Curtis Kheel, Cameron Litvack, Greg Elliot, Michael Perricone, Sheryl J. Anderson, Edithe Swensen, Jeannine Renshaw, Robert Masello, Henry Alonso Myers, David Simkins, Doug E. Jones, Rob Wright, Liz Sagal, Nell Scovell, Mark Wilding, Andy Reaser, Alejandro Pose, Valerie Mayhew, Vivian Mayhew, Tony Blake, Paul Jackson, Michael Gleason, Peter Hume, William Schmidt, Scott Lipsey, Julie Auerbach, Debra J. Fisher, Erica Messer, Peter Chomsky, Sanford Golden, Abbey Campbell, Laurie Parres, Ed Bokinskie, Brian Krause, Whip Lipsey, Andrea Stevens, David Zimring, Natalie Antoci, Elizabeth Hunter, Rick Muirragui
Actors: Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause, Rose McGowan, Dorian Gregory, Shannen Doherty, Julian McMahon, Kristopher Simmons, Jason Simmons, Drew Fuller, Rebecca Balding, Ted King, Kaley Cuoco
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
Rated: TV-14
Length: 42 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Three sisters discover their destiny - to battle against the forces of evil, using their witchcraft. They are the Charmed Ones.

I was shocked that this television show didn’t make all that many lists. I mean, you’d have a more difficult time picking a woman from this show that isn’t bad ass, than one that is.

My personal favorite is Piper. She survives the death of her sister, protects her boys and her marriage and can kick some serious ass with her freeze and explosion abilities. Not only that, but she’s invincible when pregnant. Pretty handy, if you ask me.

2 – Nikita (2010-2013)

Viewing Options: Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, iTunes
Director: Eagle Egilsson, Nick Copus, Danny Cannon, Kenneth Fink, Dwight H. Little, David Solomon, Jeffrey G. Hunt, Marc David Alpert, John Badham, Brad Turner, Chris Peppe, Michael Robison, David Barrett, Guy Ferland, Terrence O'Hara, Dermott Downs, Ken Girotti, Jonathan Glassner, Ralph Hemecker, Nathan Hope, Robert Lieberman, Steven A. Adelson, Joshua Butler, Karen Gaviola, Deran Sarafian, Mark C. Baldwin, Jon Cassar, David Grossman, Daniel Sackheim, John F. Showalter
Writer: Craig Silverstein, Luc Besson, Brandon Guercio, Juan Carlos Coto, Albert Kim, Kristen Reidel, Kalinda Vazquez, Andrew Colville, Travis Fickett, Terry Matalas, Jim Barnes, Amanda Segel, Mary Trahan, Oliver Grigsby, David Levinson, Kamran Pasha
Actors: Maggie Q, Shane West, Lyndsy Fonseca, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Xander Berkeley, Lyndie Greenwood, Dillon Casey, Noah Bean, Devon Sawa
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 60 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: A rogue assassin returns to take down the secret organization that trained her.

I fell in love with this show so quickly. Nikita was an incredible assassin that stood up to the people who made her who she was. She rescued another woman from being a sex slave and they wound up teaming up to bring the company down… all while utilizing some series fight choreography.

In fact, there’s only one female in the TV world that I think of as more bad ass than Nikita, and I’m surprised she was so often forgotten on the lists – because she would have always been number 1.

1 – Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001)

Viewing Options: Amazon, Hulu, Vudu
Director: Garth Maxwell, Rick Jacobson, Mark Beesley, Josh Becker, Charles Siebert, T.J. Scott, Michael Hurst, Andrew Merrifield, John Fawcett, Michael Levine, Oley Sassone, Rob Tapert, Doug Lefler, Gary Jones, Charlie Haskell, John Laing, Jace Alexander, Stephen L. Posey, John T. Kretchmer, Bruce Campbell, Paul Lynch, Renée O'Connor, Chris Graves, Chris Martin-Jones, Eric Brevig, Harley Cokeliss, Bruce Seth Green, John Cameron, Mario DiLeo, Stewart Main, Anson Williams, Marina Sargenti, Gilbert M. Shilton, Robert Ginty, Janet Greek, David Warry-Smith, Ken Girotti, Allison Liddi-Brown, Patrick R. Norris, Paul Grinder, Philip Sgriccia
Writer: Sam Raimi, John Schulian, R.J. Stewart, Rob Tapert, Steven L. Sears, Chris Manheim, Adam Armus, Nora Kay Foster, George Strayton, Paul Robert Coyle, Joel Metzger, Hilary Bader, Terence Winter, Liz Friedman, Emily Skopov, Tom O'Neill, Josh Becker, Peter Allan Fields, Jeff Vlaming, Chris Black, Carl Ellsworth, Melissa Good, Vanessa Place, Babs Greyhosky, Jack Perez, Julie Sherman, Alan Jay Glueckman, Janis Hendler, Brenda Lilly, Patricia Manney, Roy Thomas, Robert Sidney Mellette, Gillian Horvath, Gene O'Neill, Noreen Tobin, Ashley Gable, Linda McGibney, Eric Morris, Gregg Ostrin, Thomas A. Swyden, James Kahn, Alex Kurtzman, Kevin Maynard, Roberto Orci, Edithe Swensen, Melissa Blake, Katherine Fugate, Charles Dickens
Actors: Lucy Lawless, Renee O’Connor, Ted Raimi, Kevin Smith, Hudson Leick, Karl Urban, Alexandra Tydings, Adrienne Wilkinson, Marton Csokas
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: TV-PG
Length: 45 minutes per episode

IMDb Blurb: Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess with a dark past, sets out to redeem herself. She is joined by small town bard, Gabrielle. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good against ruthless Warlords and Gods.

How is it that people forget about Xena? She was the most epic woman I’d ever seen in my life when I used to watch her show. In later episodes, when Gabriel became an Amazon – I began to idolize her, too.

Not only could Xena kick ass, but she took her horrible past and worked hard to turn it around. She started as a villain in Hercules, but by the end of her series she was a heroic legend. That is no easy feat to accomplish.

Xena was, and still is, the most bad ass female TV character in my eyes.