Girls on Film

Five women television characters that go beyond the staid stereotypes.


Janet King

From Crownies

Marta Dusseldorp’s character in the ABC series Crownies is one that simply oozes confidence. As the Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Department of Public Prosecutions, King is an intelligent, career-driven woman who deals with her appointed cases in a competent and professional manner. I found her character quite appealing and relatable, especially in regards to the commitment she displays to both her position at the DPP and her family life.


Annalise Keating

From How to Get Away with Murder

The Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis plays the bold, profoundly self-assured leading actress in the drama mystery series How To Get Away With Murder. Her character, Annalise Keating, is a criminal defence attorney who enlists the help of five interns to assist at her law firm. Instead of simply playing the role of mentor she instead becomes intertwined within a twisted murder plot. I loved this character immensely, especially the overly honest advice she gives to her students: ‘when in doubt, shut your mouth.’


Kathleen Day-Knight

From Kath & Kim

The ever-popular comedy classic secretly harbours one of the most empowering (and foxy) women in Australian TV. Played by Jane Turner, Kath needs no introduction – she is an independent woman and (former) single mum who perseveres relentlessly to hold the family unit together. With her unique fashion sense and charisma she strives to be the best woman she can be, a quality that I find to be particularly admirable.


Dana Scully

From The X-Files

Gillian Anderson’s most beloved role is as Agent Scully, arguably the brains behind the FBI duo in the hit show, which has recently been resurrected. She is a hard-headed, strong-willed, inquisitive woman whose beliefs are dictated by fact and hard evidence. Anderson’s character helped create a phenomena known as ‘The Scully Effect’, encouraging women to pursue a career in the sciences, particularly during the show’s peak in the mid-1990s.


Jessica Jones

From Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Played by Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones is a strong-yet-silent type of heroine who is continually underestimated by those around her. Despite once being a superhero she exhibits characteristics that humanise her, particularly concerning the vices she indulges in. To me, Jones’ character is bad ass, sassy and a little bit rough around the edges. In reality though, there’s nothing more appealing than seeing a woman take control.