We talk a lot about having good rules when it comes to magic in storytelling. Just because there is a magical element in the story it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be rules for how magic works. Sometimes, however, having a vague mythology can be a good thing depending on the type of story you are trying to tell and the atmosphere you are trying to create. This is demonstrated excellently in one of my favorite shows.
Pushing Daisies is a show I haven’t really talked about on this blog, and really, that is a problem, because the short-lived show is not only excellent but also perfectly describes what I am talking about.
Death is a big scary universal constant, and we humans are obsessed with writing about it. And while some fantasy stories have serious themes about life and death (see: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Fullmetal Alchemist, Game of Thrones, and many more), some use the existence of magic to poke fun at life’s last great mystery.
I love these sorts of stories in particular because, when I engage with fictional media, I want to experience a world I can be jealous of—one that, for whatever reason, is cooler than the real world. And while I appreciate the weight of lessons like Fullmetal Alchemist’s “nothing is equivalent in value to a human life” or Game of Thrones’s “death can be sudden and meaningless”, sometimes I’d much rather read something where death is not treated as The Number One Most Terrifying Thing.
I think Hollywood sometimes has a problem understanding what truly makes a strong character, especially a strong female character. Being a strong female character does not have to mean that you can kick some literal ass. Often, being a kick-ass lady can simply mean being intelligent, confident, and in control. It’s nice when lady characters fight and kick ass, but as with all things, we need diversity.
Pictured: Diverse Female Characters
We need lady characters who kick literal and metaphorical butt. Sadly, trends seem to lean towards having female characters that are fighters in order to prove their badassery. So in no particular order, I’ve compiled a list of my top five female characters who kick ass without literally kicking ass.
“I can’t believe this is the direction they are taking this show. Seriously, I’ve read fanfiction better than this.”
“This pairing in the show makes no sense. I mean in fanfiction authors would write novel-length fic developing their characters’ relationships, but the actual show just randomly hooks them with no development. It makes no sense.”
“Wow, this fanfic is amazing. The studio should hire this author to write for the actual show. It would be ten times better then.”
Chances are you’ve heard people say things like this, or maybe you’ve even said them yourself. I know I have.