Unlike the boys and their comic books, it was the television shows of the late 90s and early 00s that made me want to grow up to be a superhero! Who am I kidding, I still want to be a superhero!
Here is a list of ten amazing shows, both classic and new, which feature amazing female leads that border on the superhero that will make you go out there and start honing your own superhero skills!
The show that made Jennifer Garner a household name. She plays Sydney Bristow, a super spy who always assumed that she was working for a covert branch of the CIA. She soon learns that she is actually working for the very enemy that she is trying to protect her country against and turns double agent in order to foil them. Bristow is kick-ass, smart, and has some of the best costumes in the biz!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Created by Joss Whedon and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar in the titular role. Buffy is just a normal teenage girl, but she is also the chosen one, gifted with special powers that she must use to fight the forces of darkness, in particular but not only vampires. While the supernatural sets the scene for this show, it is all about real life issues of growing up, finding your place in the world, and doing what is right.
Obviously, the original version of this show and not the remake. This show has not one, but three strong female leads, four since one of them was killed off at the end of season three and replaced by a long lost half-sister. Starring Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie-Coombs, Shannon Doherty, who is then replaced by Rose Byrne, they are three adult sisters who discover that they are witches, and must protect the world from evil while keeping their secret.
Dark Angel (2000-2002)
Starring a young Jessica Alba in her first serious role, she is a genetically engineered soldier who has escaped captivity and is now hiding in the real world. This is a post-apocalyptic world where most government structures have crumbled and greed and the need to survive rule. She is on a mission to find and protect others like her.
Dark Matter (2015-2017)
While this show features an ensemble cast, the true star is Two, plated by Melissa O’Neill, who is another genetically engineered soldiers. The story focusses on six people who wake up on a ship with no memory of who they are. They soon discover that they are criminals, and they must deal with revelations from the past and learn to trust each other.
Another female hero show brought to us by the imagination and pen of Joss Whedon. It stars Eliza Dushku, who played faith on buffy, as Echo. She is a person who has sold herself to a Corporation for a period of time to act as a covert operative. But she is not an independent being, she is kept in a docile state with no memories, and given an appropriate personality, skills and memories for each task. But Echo starts to remember.
Hannah John-Kamen gives a charismatic performance as a mercenary named Dutch in this space western. She is out to make a living, but she is also linked to a greater conspiracy which she is desperate to unravel in order to discover who she is. Naturally she’s intelligent, sassy, and has awesome fighting skills.
Murder She Wrote (1984-1996)
Every list is allowed a wild card, and this is mine. Angela Lansbury stars as Jessica Fletcher, a normal woman who was a schoolteacher, and then widowed, and then started to write murder mystery novels and became a famous author. Her pen and her powers of deduction are her superpowers. I don’t care what anyone says, she is amazing. In a world where older women feel invisible, she showed women than they continued to matter and were important in their older years, and that they could have the life that they wanted, they just needed to make it happen.
This is a show with two excellent female leads. Maggie Q plays Nikita, a spy who has defected from a criminal organisation and is determined to bring them down. Lyndsy Fonseca plays Alex, a young woman with a troubled past that Nikita recruits to help her take down the organisation from the inside. In the early seasons Alex joins the spy training program, and we start to see what it takes to become a superhero.
Orphan Black (2013-2017)
Starring Tatiana Maslany, she plays several identical people, who are all clones. The show starts when one of the clones decides to take on the identity of one of her fellow clones in order to escape a difficult existence. This triggers as series of events as all the clones try to discover their purpose.
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