Heroines of the New AgeSeptember 28, 2016
There’s a change afoot in the world view of the heroine on TV shows or in movies. No more does the leading lady need to be beautiful and strong, flawless and perfect. Heroines of the new age are kick-ass, tough but also have problems and aren’t afraid to be less than perfect. In short, they are more real, even when the subject of the show is completely fantastical or deeply unreal. So who are these heroines and what makes them worthy of their new position?
Sarah Manning of Orphan Black
Sarah Manning is the central character in the series Orphan Black. She is a tough, rebellious punk type on the surface who is forced to confront her own spectacular past – she and her twin sister are the only human clones who have ever managed to have kids. The show is based around her and her daughter Kira who are being hunted by the Dyad Institute because of this anomaly.
Sarah is a chameleon character, able to change her appearance and persona as needed to avoid capture and keep herself and her daughter safe. She tries to do the right thing, despite being somewhat morally ambiguous and comes to care about other clones despite her initial intention to distance herself from the whole issue.
Daenerys Targaryen of Games of Thrones
Daenerys Targaryen is probably one of the most famous new heroines to emerge due to the outrageous success of the show. This lady is everywhere, inspiring women in their dress and jewelry as well as a host of other outlets. Tributes to her include computer games and Wintingo mobile casino games where the Mother of Dragons has her own slot games.
Possibly another reason that the character is so popular is that she is polite and well-spoken but has a steely determination. Formerly dominated by her brother, she has learned confidence and the ability to be ruthless when needed. She avoids the cruelty that marked the male members of her family and is sympathetic to those who are oppressed. And of course, she’s stunningly beautiful and can command dragons.
Piper Chapman of Orange Is the New Black
Piper Chapman is the perfect example of the heroine/anti-heroine style who at one time elicits positive feelings from viewers and other times not so much so. At the beginning of the show, she was the quiet, innocent type, simply trying to survive in prison and to get another with others. But as the show progressed, a darker side of her personality came out, a manipulative side to herself that she uses to get what she wants.
Perhaps her saving grace is that she is aware of her personality flaws and often looks back on her negative actions, regretting them. She wants to better herself and overcome her problems, creating a feeling of kinship in viewers. We all know we have bad personality traits and want to do more about them and can understand where she is coming from.
Harley Quinn of Suicide Squad
Harley Quinn is the classic example of the good person who gets in with the wrong person and goes off the deep end – only in comic book style! Originally a psychiatrist, she fell for one of her patients, the infamous Joker. She changed her name, shrugged off her life as a doctor and broke him out of the ruthless Arkham Asylum. In the new Suicide Squad movie, the character is played by Margot Robbie where she is one of the stand out characters. She is shown to hold her own in a fight and not need anyone to come to her aide, and despite her deranged personality brought on by torture at the hands of her Puddin’, the other members of the squad can’t help but care for her in their own ways.