Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. I thought this would be a fun way to share a condensed version of potential rambles and thoughts that I have.
This Week’s Theme:
Top Ten Anti-Heroines In Television
A guy sways from his moral compass—typical.
A girl sways from her moral compass—huh?
There may be a disparity between the few anti-heroines in a vast sea of antiheros but times are a-changin’ and perhaps viewers now are more resilient and simply interested in complex characters than before. I mean, heroes are cool and all…but antiheros are somehow better.
The list below includes anti-heroines within the past year or so in moving pictures (not gonna lie, I’ve watched the Oscar opening too many times to count). I think I come across a lot more of these characters on television/film than I do in books. However, I could be completely confusing myself with some of these choices (in contrast to villains) so whether you agree with me or not, I’d like to hear it!
Anti-Heroines in Television
Do note that the gifs below may not be an accurate representation of their anti-heroism. I just wanted to put a face to a name.
Annalise Keating – How to Get Away With Murder
Claire Underwood – House of Cards
Kuvira – The Legend of Korra
Cersei Lannister – Game of Thrones
Olivia Pope – Scandal
Sarah Manning/Helena – Orphan Black
Catherine de Medici – Reign
Elsa Mars – American Horror Story: Freakshow
Jessica Pearson – Suits
Amanda Waller – Arrow
Lexa – The 100
I decided against writing up book heroines because my list is probably identical to many other’s this week. I also wanted to do 10 anti-heroines in movies but could only come up with Amy Dunne (Gone Girl) and Maleficent (…Maleficent).
But, seriously though, why was this list so difficult to create? It took me forever to think of some of these choices as I had to reason with myself as to their potential in being a morally ambiguous somewhat of a lead character interested in getting shit done at the price of ethics. Some of them might not be a guns-blazing anti-heroine but have moments where they do show characteristics of one.
Who are some of your favourite anti-heroines?
Have any comments on why there’s a spike in anti-heroines now than five years ago?
(Also: I do not take credit for any of the linked gifs above.)
29 thoughts on “[Top Ten Tuesday] – #50 – Top Ten Anti-Heroines in Television”
And you told me I would recognize only Kuvira from your list:P. I LOVE Jessica Pearson! She’s so fabulous!! And damn Clair Underwood. I have to catch up with House of Cards too.
Okay to be fair we only talk about CW network shows. WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN YOU WATCHED ALL THESE OTHER SHOWS?!
Gotta disagree with you on Sarah Manning…I think she’s a flat-out hero, evolving from immoral/selfish/criminal behavior to a leader of clones. But I suppose heroes and anti-heroes can be different for every audience.
All anti-heroines bow down before the throne of Annalise Keating. She is the queen.
Perhaps I just saw Sarah Manning’s growth as a slow climb from anti-hero to hero (which I suppose she’s displaying more of come the second season). That’s just my take haha.
But yes, did you watch the HTGAWM finale? Damn I have so many questions and Reddit isn’t helping resolve them at all.
I’m STILL trying to process the HTGAWM finale. I was pretty sure by the end of the first half that the person who ultimately did die was going to…but I didn’t think she’d go out the way she did. (Then again…we barely know what happened. Flashback time for season 2!) I want to watch that crazy intense scene between Annalise and Oliver again. And I’m really upset about the HIV plot. But yeah…I think I will be processing this show until it comes back. (I also, obviously, have not had my traditional post-show text-fest with my bestie about this. Sorry for the word vomit, I haven’t had a chance yet to get out the flailing 🙂 )
Mmm, anti-heroines – I’ll have to have a think about that!
Nice way to go though.
And think you shall!
Pretty impressive list, as usual! I have never really thought of anti-heroines. You’ve made me think! 😀
You might have come across more anti-heroes than you think–some of them might have ended up as your favourite characters too!
Cersei and Lexa are great picks for anti-heroes. I like how you took this weeks subject and did the opposite; very clever! 😀
Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian
Thanks! I felt that my list of book heroines would have been quite generic to everyone else’s haha.
I love anti-heroes/heroines. I think people like them so much because they have so much depth and character and dynamic around them. We’re curious to know why they’ve become who they are, why they do the things that they do. I agree with some of these anti-heroines, but not all because I do not know all of them. Good spin on the Top Ten Tuesday post, I loved it.
That’s definitely one explanation. I think a contributing reason for me is that anti-heros do all of the things that I (likely) wouldn’t be able to do! Being nice can be boring (I guess I just called 80% of the world boring).
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Ah yes, I get that. You admire that they have the guts to do all those things they do.
I love half these women specifically for their ruthlessness–erm, anti-heroiness, lol. The appeal for well-rounded characters is probably one reason why anti-heroes are popular these days, and a range of females not perpetuating some idea of a straight-and-true hero is always fun to see (I mean. Come on. They’re as fun to love as female villains!).
Awesome twist, btw.
It does make me wonder why specifically female antiheroines have taken so long in television to really take off. I think if you search up antiheros in wiki, the list dominated by men. Time’s be changin’!
Going against the grain, I like it. This reminds me that I need to get back on that Orphan Black series. I saw the first few and stopped just when it was getting interesting. Need to find the time!
You should! Season 3 is being released soon and it’s completely bananas. Plus, season 2 is really when the depth of Maslany’ acting takes off in my opinion. She’s a crazy beast of an actress.
This is a great list. I would add Margaret and Gillian from Boardwalk Empire who always did whatever they had to to survive.
Nice! I’ll take your word for it but perhaps I need to look up some montage of them on the tubes.
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I watch too much tv… I know 8 out of your 10 ladies. Though, I no longer follow Suits, Scandal and Arrow, and DNFed Korra… Not sure if I can like Annalise or Claire (or Cersei!!), but they sure are interesting characters. And Sarah!! I do love her. In fact, I think she is my favorite from this list. Also, not exactly on the list, but I think Clarke (The 100) is more of an anti-heroine now than the “heroine” she was at the beginning.
Cayce, you’re basically saying we can no longer be friends–why did you stop :(…..
You have a point with Clarke. Although I still feel like she opts for the good but has been slowly influenced by Lexa to do whatever it takes.
I love how half of your anti-heroines are on my heroines list. 😉 But yes, I agree. Complex characters are the new TV black. No one wants to see the crazy perfectly composed hero-types. We want characters that we can connect with, that struggle, that hurt, that feel. Just like we do.
I think you can do everything you listed with “perfect” characters in a way that doesn’t seem…fake, perhaps? But it’s probably a lot more easier to sell the truly flawed than pull something out of the proverbial ass of some golden boy/girl.
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You can have authentic perfect characters, I do agree (Kepner from Grey’s being one that comes to mind). But even perfect characters have to wrestle with being/staying good at some point, which shows they are human s who struggle. I guess many viewers are wanting a puzzling character or a mysterious character or a challenging character. Maybe “perfect” is an old concept now. Also, that probably explains why Golden Boy was cancelled after 2 episodes lol.
Love love love this list!!
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