I know! I can come up with a few, but rather than mentioning them thought best to see if anyone else actually thought they were any good.
I thought Buffy was meant to be a show with a strong intelligent female role? Isn't that what Joss Wheadon is always being praised for?
Yep, have Buffy. And Angel. And Firefly. On the other hand, I will never own a copy of Dollhouse, which I found to be rather ickily misogynistic.
Gee, advising you about TV or Movies seems very much like a "here granny, hold the egg like this and then suck" scenario.
Off the top of my head (well actually, looking at the DVD shelf closest to me), Buffy, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Xena, Middleman, Daria, Ab-Fab, Cold Comfort Farm, Miss Marple. Honourable mentions to Blakes 7, Farscape and Futurama too I guess.
I see where you're coming from, but there will always be stuff I've missed or forgotten. Like Wonderfalls! How the hell had I forgotten that one?!
Shows there I need to check out include Dead Like Me, Xena, Daria, Cold Comfort Farm. I've always loved the old Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films, so should check out the later versions too.
Edited at 2010-09-29 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm gonna echo what threemonkeys
said about grannys.
Global Frequency (If you can get hold of it) has a mostly female cast and Miranda Zero in particular is a GREAT female lead. Aleph is cool too. Pity they only ever made the pilot.
Legend of the Seeker isn't too bad. It's not perfect either, but I think some of that is the source material.
As for movies:
Amelie - It's french, with a wonderfully twisted plot and a lovely and strong lead character. What's NOT to love?
Hoodwinked - it's not only got two kickass female leads, but it also explores identity in culture for female characters in an amusing (And challenging) way.
Ghost in the Shell - Now THERE is a strong female lead.
MirrorMask - What else would you expect from Gaiman?
Got Global Frequency somewhere, will check out LotS.
Own Amelie, MirrorMask and Ghost in the Shell I've meant to pick up for ages. Will have to check out Hoodwinked.
Ponyo and My neighbour Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki. In fact, anything by Miyazaki tends to have strong female characters (if not leads, they are very strong supporting character ie Porco Russo. Kiki's delivery service is a wonderful film about finding your independence and place in the world.
This is making me sad. I really wanted a daughter.
Hooray, replies from a lady-person!
Haven't got Ponyo or Porco Rosso yet, but they're on the list :)
I used to joke with Sharon that we were going to keep having children until we reached an even dozen, or she gave me a daughter, whichever happened first.
For small girls you cannot go past Ghibli.
Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro were perfect for A__ as they have very little conflict - she was easily upset by films/tv for a while around age 3-4.
The Cat Returns, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle are current gooduns (Age 6)
It'll be quite a while though before she's ready for Princess Mononoke!
A__ is telling me to add Justice League. She is obsessed with it! She says she can't think of any others.
Excellent! I already have most of those. And I'd wondered about Justice League because Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl are very well handled. I still remember being impressed with the pilot movie and the way that the women kicked as much arse as the guys, and didn't need any more saving than any of the male characters.
Anime gender roles can be...problematic sometimes.
In terms of what is locally available (ie Region 4 DVD) I would look at:
Twelve Kingdoms - Definitely
Vision of Escaflowne - Definitely
Noir - Possibly
Fruits Basket - Maybe but probably not, a great show but the gender roles suck sometimes
Kino's Journey is a good choice but subtle
Witch Hunter Robin maybe
.Hack//Sign is a possibility
Le Chevalier D'Eon - haven't seen it all but definitely messes with gender roles
Vampire Princess Miyu TV and (if available) OAV
The Wonder Woman animated movie is pretty awesome
And I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Mulan.
Oh yeah, the animated Wonder Woman flick is great :)
I'm glad you've asked this question, because I'm happily scooping through the replies myself :-)
We bought the Wonder Woman TV series and have done a little bit of pre-watching through it before Sparrow gets to the point where she can watch it with us. It's hysterical at times, but it definitely takes the whole 70's "women are doing it for themselves" thing as a basis. I've only rewatched bits of series 1 so far which is more likely to hit my "oh god stupid self-centred Americans" button than the "I can't believe the stupid attitude to women" button. Looking forward to series 2 and 3 which have more fights against aliens and bad corporations and the more current kinds of bad guys.
I had wondered about the old TV series, but didn't want to spend the money only to find that it was crap and the Wonder Woman herself was a bit wussy. My memories of it were that she was quite okay for a 70's show, but then my memories of Quark were that it was actually funny, something I realised was completely wrong when I rewatched it.
And yeah, I thought a list like this would be useful to a few of my friends :)
Definately NOT Charlie's Angels. Any version. Early Avengers though, would be good. Diana Rigg is nobody's fool
How could I forget one of my favourites? John Sayles The Secret of Roan Inish.
The problem with the majority of obvious suggestions like Buffy is that it’s next to impossible to find one of those shows that doesn’t have a Henry Higgins character – a middle-aged male adviser telling the female protagonist what to do.
Good point. Though you can argue that any show with someone learning about their powers or destiny tends to feature that character. Though, I don't think I've seen one with a female mentor as yet.
One thing if you can isolate them is the Barbara Gordon/Batgirl episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. Especially the Barbara Gordon episodes before she becomes Batgirl (I think they're the robot ones.)
And there's an obvious series that people seem to have missed -
How could I forget my favourite detective? She's definately NOT Nancy Drew. Might have to wait until Zoe gets a bit older.
The Girl From Tommorrow
Maid Marien and Her Merry Men
Aeon Flux (she is a strong character, but the rest of the subject matter may be something you might want to delay exposure to)
Kimagure Orange Road (of the two main female charcaters, one is beautifully strong, the other is one of the most vapid brainless bints I've ever seen depicted)
+1 for the The Girl From Tomorrow and I'd probably add Ocean Girl although I haven't seen enough to accurately judge.
- 1 on KOR though. Availability is doubtful, it severely needed editing (as in could have been sweated down by at least 70%), and the vapid brainless bint (nicely phrased by the way) was my nominee for the anime character most needing to be slapped: http://arcadiagt5.livejournal.com/327248.html
Movie: Julie and Julia
Series: Ugly Betty, Big Bang Theory
Less about women, more about racial diversity: The Lost Cities of Gold
Genre stuff in the media form is actually hard to find - most of the examples have at least one aspect that you need to handwave - like the 'older male advisor' type character.
Lost cities or Mysterious Cities of Gold?