Since I read it, I haven’t been able to stop thinking reading Amanda Marcotte’s excellent essay on why the television shows that are critically considered to be the best we’ve seen in the last decade all focus on men, almost all of whom are anti-heroes. There’s no question that some of this is a result of who’s creating these critically-lauded television shows: lots of Davids for the big three of Deadwood, The Wire, and The Sopranos, and lots of dudes generally. But it’s not that men are incapable of creating astonishingly good female characters, and in fact, many of the shows that occupy the second tier of great television programming feature innovative, emotionally compelling female characters. It’s not a question of creating great women. It’s a question of getting them at the center of the frame, and of getting their perspectives to be the dominant ones for a change.
To try to figure out how to do that, and what we can learn from some of the best female characters of the last 10 years, I’ve asked Amanda, Ryan McGee, and Rowan Kaiser to put some thoughts to paper about the fictional women who have touched them most. Amanda’s post on Community‘s Britta Perry will go up tomorrow, followed by Ryan on Buffy and Angel‘s Cordelia Chase, Rowan on Veronica Mars, and me on Gemma Teller Morrow on Friday. I’d be curious to know what some of your favorite women are, particularly if there’s someone you think I haven’t come across yet but who I might love.