Women's History Month is here, and that means we get to spend the entire month of March reflecting on influential women and female leaders, past and present, who have made history by breaking gender barriers--or just being badass. And there's no better way to shine a light on powerful women than to observe and celebrate those who are gracing the small screen and inspiring us all. To celebrate that, I've rounded up just a few badass female TV characters who are totally underrated.
The past few decades of television have given us a load of powerful leading ladies worthy of the utmost adoration. When it comes to showing appreciation for powerful female TV characters, we've all sung the praises of the Olivia Popes and Meredith Greys of television at some point. But certain characters, no matter how amazing or inspirational they are, don't get nearly as much credit as they deserve, whether they be supporting cast members or female leads that are simply overlooked throughout time.
Check out some of the awesome badass female TV characters below.
1. Fiona Gallagher, Shameless
Fiona doesn't always make the best decisions, but you have to respect her for carrying the devastating burden of always having to put the interest of everyone else before her own. Living in an impoverished Chicago neighborhood and being the sole caretaker of five younger siblings in the absence of two drug and alcohol-addicted parents is no easy feat, but Fiona's "by-any-means-necessary" attitude and constant desire to please those around her tend to make up for how infuriating her actions can be.
2. Jodie Landon, Daria
Sure, it was easy to identify with Daria Morgendorffer, the outspoken, feminist teen icon that ultimately inspired our generation. But Jodie stood out in her own way, being an honors student and young woman of color who, despite her popularity among her predominately white peers, was still able to see the differences between herself and the privileged, often simple-minded students she went to school with.
3. Ilana Wexler, Broad City
If there's any character that can flawlessly capture how crazy and unpredictable life in this city can be, it's Ilana — which is why every millennial New Yorker needs a wacky friend just like her.
4. Whitley Gilbert, A Different World
She was a Southern Belle that was the dictionary definition of what it meant to be “Bad and Boujee” before Migos made it cool. A sophomore at the fictional Hillman College, Whitley was initially introduced as the rude, entitled, and sometimes unbearable foil to Lisa Bonet's Denise Huxtable. But her development throughout the series' six season run ultimately saw her transformation into a major character that fans stood behind because of her endearing qualities.
5. Chanel No. 3, Scream Queens
Possibly the most hilarious out of all the Chanels, No. 3 is literally all of us at any given time. From her earmuffs to her subtle but powerful takes on pop culture and current events, she's the soft-spoken icon you never knew you needed.
6. Rebecca Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Even Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator Rachel Bloom knows that Rebecca isn't exactly a likable character. But though viewers may not always be able to agree with her decisions that creep on the edge of self-sabotage, there's no denying that — outside of her infatuation with Josh Chan — she's a strong, intelligent woman who's definitely not afraid to go after what she wants.
7. Mellie Grant, Scandal
A self-proclaimed “political animal,” Mellie earned a special place in all of our hearts after we watched her put the interests of the country over her own even while dealing with all of Fitz’s insufferable behaviors. Her selfless nature and undeniable brilliance made it that much easier for us to be in her corner as she went about her eventual presidential bid.
8. Amelia Shepherd, Grey’s Anatomy
On top of being a recovering drug addict still dealing with the loss of her own child at birth, Amelia lived through losing her older brother and receiving a less than warm welcome after taking over his job as head of neurosurgery at Grey Sloan. Fans may think some of her actions regarding Owen are a little over-the-top, but she's seen a lot over a short stretch of time and has still managed to be a darn good surgeon, pulling off some of the most difficult and heart-wrenching surgeries Grey's Anatomy has seen, and that can never be taken away from her.
9. Angela Moore, Boy Meets World
As the only diverse character alongside an otherwise all-white cast, Angela may have been one of the most important characters on Boy Meets World. Not only did her relationship with Shawn break ground as the two were one of the first serious interracial couples to appear on network television, but Angela was also able to proudly identify as a woman of color without being stereotyped as the token sassy black friend.
And those are just some of the badass female TV characters who have inspired viewers over the years.