I’m currently making a list of TV shows I really need to watch, including many classics I have never got round to, and that got me thinking about my favourite shows in general, and beyond that – what characters had inspired me? Below are 5 I think have had an impact on how I live my life, or how I view women and possibilities. It’s a bit late for International Women’s Day, but it’s never too late to share some absolutely badass women. All of these women have their flaws and weaknesses, but to make an accurate character than can inspire people, they cannot be perfect, because people cannot see themselves in the flawless.
5. Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham | Gilmore Girls)
Yes, in some ways Lorelai Gilmore is not a nice character. She is somewhat abrasive and judgmental, but I can’t help but admire her. She left a family where she wasn’t happy, as a 16 year old with a newborn, and made a new life for herself, and as well as working towards her own dreams, made sure to teach her daughter that she could be anything she wanted. She gave her new role models and interests (maybe not a balanced diet but..) and navigated her own life at the same time as trying to steer Rory in the right direction. Lorelai is perhaps sometimes too protective and too biased, but she is determined to live life on her own terms, and her wit and commercial knowledge alone is enough to inspire me.
4. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke | Game of Thrones)
As soon as Game of Thrones burst onto my screen (I was a bit later than everyone else), Daenerys was my favourite person. Not only was she absolutely beautiful, but she proved herself unbelievably strong-willed and tough as she built her own personal army. She is too single-minded at times, focusing only on her end goal, and is sometimes extremely naive, but she went from having an ass of a misogynist brother selling her to a husband that would have treated her like an animal if she hadn’t communicated with him. She makes a lot of mistakes, and has to deal with the looming reality of her dead father’s ‘madness’ and the prejudice that people have against her, but she is the mother of dragons, and I am always inspired by her strength and bravery.
3. Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby | Roswell)
I watched Roswell with my mum, and it is up there with my favourite shows, despite being about 20 years old now I believe! Someone I identify with in this show is definitely Liz Parker, who is absolutely beautiful both inside and out. She is thrown into a world so different from her own and remains at all times fiercely loyal and understanding. She is sometimes too understanding and too nice, suffering more than she should at the hands of Max Parker, but waiting none the less out of love and trust. Despite everything, she never stops believing in love. In some ways she is walked over a lot in the show, which just makes the times where she exerts herself more noticeable and meaningful, and I never stopped rooting for her.
2. Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith | The Simpsons)
I think this was a deliberate attempt on my Dad’s part, as The Simpsons was a show we used to watch together every day when I got home from school. I used to be able to guess the intro, quote along and remember the amount of money that Maggie was sold for in the opening credits. Nothing confused me most is the fact that Lisa Simpson never grew along with me, never got the adulthood she deserved as I left her behind. Lisa Simpson was smart, well-read, a little pompous perhaps, but she always wanted to see the good in people, and she was never satisfied in being reduced to what people thought she should be. I always remember her frustration at her dolls’ (Cindy??) vapid interests and words, as she was more interested in making something worthwhile with herself. It was a Simpson’s episode in fact that predicted a Trump presidency, and I only hope that we too have a President Lisa Simpson to follow.
1. Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush | One Tree Hill)
Brooke Davis was the main reason I watched One Tree Hill religiously and why it has its place in the hall of fame in my boxsets. I adore this show, and I especially love Brooke. I was a massive Brucas fan and was heartbroken when they didn’t work out, but Brooke taught me how to be okay even when your heart is broken, and that you don’t need a guy. She made a lot of mistakes and was never perfect but watching the show all the way through taught me so much about personal growth and the difficulties that someone can face. Even when she had it all, she was always able to be honest and vulnerable. She taught me how to grieve and how to love and how to accept yourself, even if you think the people closest to you don’t. The episode where she admits that she fears she will never be good enough for anyone always hits me close to home, and she rose from the ashes of her high school existence and past to be a strong, classy and incredible woman. There is no one I wanted happiness more than Brooke Davis, who was never ashamed to be herself.