A fascinating deep-dive into how shows from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Equalizer have changed the way women are portrayed on television.
The last three decades of television have been a formative and progressive time for female characters, as stronger, more independent women have appeared on screen to guide a new generation of viewers into their own era of power. These characters battle vampires, demons, corrupt government officials, and scientific programs all while dealing with the same real-world concerns their audiences face every day.
In Fierce Females on Television: A Cultural History, Nicole Evelina examines ten shows from the past thirty years to unveil the enormous impact they have had on the way women are portrayed on television. She reveals how Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Alias, Nikita, Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, Homeland, House of Cards, Orphan Black, and The Equalizer feature extraordinary lead characters who are at the same time utterly relatable, facing surprisingly familiar questions in their everyday lives regarding sexuality, gender, and how to fight back in a patriarchal world.
Fierce Females on Television shows how, even with their captivating mix of melodrama, mystery, magic, and martial arts, these shows nevertheless represent the audience’s own desires and fears. Finally, viewers of science fiction, fantasy, spy, and political shows have strong, modern women to watch, admire, and emulate.