What about collecting some experiences? LPG gas tank supplier for pubs across the UK, Flogas, highlights the best pubs starring in feature films.
Back in July, Variety shared the news that The CW is developing a Batwoman series due to debut in 2019. You might be inclined to roll your eyes at the thought of another superhero drama, but you should have a little more faith in the Arrowverse that The CW has been building for the past six years.
Whether you’re a fan of the shows or not, there’s no denying the Arrowverse features some invigorating takes on the classic superhero canon along with some boundary-pushing characterization and storylines that promote diversity.
The upcoming Batwoman series not only sounds like a fine addition to the Arrowverse, but it also sounds like it possesses a lot of potential to be a great show in and of itself. Here’s everything we know about The CW’s Batwoman series so far that is making us hyped for it.
Batwoman will be the first openly gay female superhero on TV
If you hold this sentence close to your ear like a conch shell you can hear the shrieking of a thousand bros complaining about “SJWs” and “feminazis” – so we highly recommend against such a practice. As described by Variety, the show follows Kate Kane, a young woman “armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind” – which in fairness does sound like someone is deliberately trolling the sort of toxic fandoms who for some reason still believe superheroes should continue to be white, male, and straight forever.
Batwoman’s sexuality isn’t just an exercise in virtue signaling to keep the diversity back slaps coming – it’s also a crucial part of her identity and backstory. In the comics, Kate is shown to have a military background (which is why she’s so kickass) with a storyline that explores her being forced to quit when she’s accused of having a lesbian relationship with her roomie at the United States Military Academy, which she doesn’t deny because she’s an absolute boss. It’s a defining moment that undoubtedly shapes who she is as a woman and as a hero.
Batwoman has a complicated family history in the comics
It’s still uncertain how closely the show will stick to the comics, but considering the synopsis touches upon how “Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope”, it sounds like it may be sticking tight to the canon of the character.
Kate’s origin story is similar to Bruce Wayne’s, with the character witnessing the murder of her mother and sister and growing up to become a wealthy socialite after her father remarries a billionaire weapons heiress. There’s plenty of tortured angst to be found in the residue of that story, as Kate struggles with the ramifications of it. Worst still, Kate discovers her sister may not even be dead, bringing some serious doubt and complications to her already complicated life.
Batwoman is set to appear in the annual CW DC crossover episode
The CW’s president Mark Pedowitz announced at Upfront in May that Batwoman will be appearing in the network’s annual superhero series crossover event next season. Though it may only be a teaser, fans should regardless be excited for the first glimpse of the superhero (who is still yet to be casted) in the crossover event between The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.
A Smallville and The Vampire Diaries alum is serving as executive producer & writer
Having previously worked as a writer on the reboot of Melrose Place and Smallville and as an executive producer of teen-vamp fest The Vampire Diaries, Caroline Dries has the credentials necessary to lead a creative team in developing this comic book adaptation. Her experience on these shows should help to provide the perfect balance of delicious soapy drama, twist-heavy narrative, and genre goodness that the Arrowverse demands.
Greg Berlanti’s ever-expanding empire bodes well for the show
Though it’s still uncertain as to whether the show will even be picked up by The CW, we’re going to go all out and speculate that it seems damn likely it will be. Sarah Schechter and Berlanti are both executive producers on the show via Berlanti productions, which is presently dominating the network.
Currently, Berlanti has seven TV shows on The CW including all four of the DC shows, as well as Black Lightning, Riverdale, and upcoming high school drama All American. Beyond The CW, Berlanti is also a producer on a further seven TV shows including the upcoming Lifetime show You and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix. So to add a Batwoman show to his CW roster? It’s a no brainer and we can’t wait to check it out as and when it gets picked up.
The verdict’s in: Netflix’s new satirical comedy Insatiable is a disastrophe. And not the good kind you can sit and enjoy with a bottle of wine and absolutely no shame. The kind that misfires in its attempt to be edgy while lacking the sharpness and wit to nail the delivery of its controversial subject matter.
The show itself follows a “fat girl” (a thin girl in a fat suit) named Patty (Debby Ryan) who gets punched in the face, has her jaw wired shut, loses weight (and subsequently becomes “hot”), and seeks revenge on those who bullied her.
Although the premise is problematic in itself, we were quick to challenge the naysayers who denounced the show before they’d even seen in. However, having seen the first few episodes ourselves now, we can confirm Insatiable contains none of the sharpness it needed to deliver such a satirical statement on body image.
The show is at once aggressively cruel and a total yawnfest, and contains some tired queer tropes via its depiction of Patty’s closeted lesbian bestie Nonnie (Kimmy Shields) to boot. So while everyone expected Insatiable to be bad, the reality is even worse.
Instead of wasting your time on this trash heap of a “comedy” (which drops on Netflix today), turn your focus to better content with these stunning examples of #GirlPower. Here are ten of the best female-fronted shows to stream instead of Insatiable:
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling body-slammed its way into our hearts when it first hit Netflix in 2017, and continued to do so into S2 with a solid core cast, nostalgic 80s setting, heartfelt portrayals of female friendship, and oodles of spandex.
A diverse cast including Alison Brie, Sydelle Noel, Sunita Mani, Britt Baron, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, Ellen Wong, Jackie Tohn, and Britney Young star as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as they grapple with life both in and out of the ring, managing to remain both frothy and fun while exposing societal prejudices that are still prevalent today.
Broad City (2014-)
Yas queen! While it’s bittersweet to know that Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson’s next season will be their last, marking the end of an era, we can at least remind ourselves of the hilarious times the comedy duo have brought to us over the years (from seafood allergies to Val’s diamond-munching antics – no mo FOMO).
For four tumultuous seasons (soon to be five), Abbi and Ilana have kept our sides splitting with their portrayal of two broke girls living in NYC, while teaching us the true value of female friendship. It’s thanks to this show that we can’t leave the house without a Bingo Bronson at our side and a backup vape in our rucksacks.
Killing Eve (2018-)
A dazzling thriller from Phoebe Waller-Bridge – the creative mind behind Fleabag – Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as a woman whose job as a bored low-level MI5 security employee takes an exciting turn when she links a string of murders to the capricious and dangerous assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).
As Eve embarks on the task to seek out her culprit, the two end up obsessed with each other and enter into a risky game of cat & mouse. The genre-bending miniseries is at once slick, gripping, and wildly entertaining, bringing fresh energy to a worn out genre.
Good Girls (2018-)
Jenna Bans’s dramedy is getting a second season and we’re here for it every step of the way. Centering on three suburban moms (with glorious turns from Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who find themselves in desperate circumstances, the tired trio have had enough of playing it safe and swap wholesome housewife values for a life of crime, chaos, and dollar bills by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. Some girls are good, some girls are bad, and some are just doing what they can to get by.
Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
A show that was cut from the air and from our lives too soon, the neo-noir YA crime thriller saw Kristen Bell long before her Good Place days, as a snarky high school student turned private investigator who dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune, including the murder of her best friend Lily.
Using her smarts and determination to unturn a number of stones (while dealing with sexual trauma of her own), Veronica is the ultimate example of girl power, proving you don’t have to show physical strength to be powerful.
The CW’s dark, edgy, and sexy take on the Archie comic books has proved highly addictive, set in the once-idyllic small town that becomes a hotbed of controversies and secrets with the death of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines).
The TV show equivalent of your 00s teen angst, Daria was more than just a cartoon – it was a way of life.
Fuelled by misanthropy and cutting wit, Daria was and still is the perfect example of sardonic apathy, following the titular character through teenage life as a proud outsider in a world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults. Together with her bestie Jane, the pair take on the world in Creepers and grunge boots, one snarky quip at a time.
Big Little Lies (2017-)
Arguably one of the best crime dramas of last year, HBO’s Big Little Lies stars Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as suburban moms who exist in a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots.
As their seemingly perfect lives unravel, dark secrets bubble to the surface and we begin to see that life is not as it seems in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey. Not only does the show offer a gripping storyline and three-dimensional characters whose arcs you can’t help but be enthralled by, but the show also tackles the tricky subject of domestic abuse in a complex and nuanced manner. With season two on the way, we’d recommend giving season one a watch or rewatch ahead of its release.
Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera star in Tanya Saracho’s latest comedy as Emma and Lyn – two estranged sisters who return to their old LA neighborhood where they are confronted by the past and the truth about their mother’s identity.
In its first season, the show has been praised for its portrayal of Latinx culture, LGBTQI relationships, and gentrification – with another season on the horizon, we’re excited to see what hot topics Saracho and the creative team will take on.
Ryan Murphy’s portrayal of 80s NYC ball culture is dazzling, authentic, and deals with its challenging topics with tact and finesse. A landmark show in terms of LGBTQI representation, Pose explores the fetishization of trans women and the details of gender reassignment surgery in ways that have not been seen on TV before.
As well as lifting the curtain on the bold ball subculture and the issues the trans community faced both inside and out of the scene, Pose also feels like a family drama thanks to the relationships formed by the sweet yet powerful Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), who builds lives and shows love by making a home for Angel (Indya Moore) and Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain). In short, Pose demands to be seen – it’s one of the greatest shows on TV and we’re giving it tens across the board.
Between his famously sketchy on-set treatment of women to his depiction of them in his movies, Alfred Hitchcock remains a divisive filmmaker when it comes to women. Between the female stars he cast and the characters he cast them as, the director has repeatedly been criticized for a punishing perspective of women.
In his book Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life, Peter Ackroyd suggested that Hitchcock’s often perverse personal perspective of women seeped through into his cinematic one.
“The sexual fantasies of his adult life were lavish and peculiar, and, from the evidence of his films, he enjoyed devising the rape and murder of women.”
Meanwhile, Roger Ebert once suggested that the “blond . . . icy and remote” women of Hitchcock’s movies were all treated in a similar manner: “Sooner or later, every Hitchcock woman was humiliated.”
However, while there are certainly some films we agree on regarding this, there are other Hitchcock movies that actually provide captivating and unusual depictions of women that were well ahead of their time.
Here’s our ranking of Hitchcock’s best movies in terms of female representation.
12. Strangers on a Train (1951)
Hitchcock’s suspenseful conspiratorial film noir (based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name) is an undoubted masterpiece of intrigue – even if the subtextual use of the “depraved homosexual” trope in the character of Bruno (Robert Walker) is irksome in retrospect.
Though Miriam (Laura Elliott) is a promiscuous monster murdered for her cold-hearted lascivious ways, the rest of the women in the movie remain on the periphery of the story as moral radars, pointing as to whom they think is innocent or guilty.
11. North by Northwest (1959)
Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) is a female character as defined by her duplicity in the story, as she is by her staggering beauty and sensuality.
As a result, the character is made love to on a train by Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and dragged along Mount Rushmore like a woman forced on a hiking expedition for a first date. However, she’s far more integral to the story than Hitchcock’s wanton gaze of her suggests.
10. To Catch a Thief (1955)
Still, the chemistry between Grant and Kelly is lit as ever and Frances Stevens (Kelly) is a hot-headed gem of a character with an audacious love for danger that’s delightful to watch.
9. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Doris Day is an unexpected standout in this thriller where she plays a female character who capably subverts Hitchcock’s usual icy blondes. Not only is she sweet and tender as the mother of a boy snatched by a terrorist organization, but she’s also dynamic and tenacious in her bid to save him.
8. Dial M for Murder (1954)
Margot Wendice (Kelly) using a pair of scissors to stab her attempted murderer is one of the most powerful images of Hitchcock’s overall ouvre – particularly as it shows a woman repurposing a domestic instrument into being an object of violent survival.
Aside from that, however, Margot isn’t the greatest Hitchcock heroine ever devised and she’s also the only main female character surrounded by male detectives, killers, and lovers.
7. Vertigo (1958)
Much has been said about how Vertigo (no matter how important a movie) is “still considered the last word in misogynistic creepiness,” as Kim Novak takes on dual ones, one of which is shaped into the ultimate fetish doll of James Stewart’s Scottie.
However, as The Guardian once suggested, there’s an argument to be made that Vertigo “is not an example of misogyny, but an overblown, beautiful and tragic deconstruction of it.”
6. Rear Window (1954)
It could be argued that via the voyeurism of Jefferies (Stewart), Rear Window is a tribute to the perverse power of the male gaze and that women don’t particularly factor into that narrative as active participants.
However, Thelma Ritter is exceptional as Jefferies’s quippy nurse and Kelly is as bodacious and intelligent a heroine as you could ever hope to see – even if we only touch the surface of her intrepid character.
5. Rebecca (1940)
The gothic melodrama based on Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel features one of Hitchcock’s most intriguing and chilling lead female characters in the form of Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) – a lonely housekeeper obsessed with the dead wife of her master.
The psychological back and forth between the character and the long-suffering Mrs. de Winter (Joan Fontaine) makes Rebecca a rare Hitchcock movie that revolves around two lead female characters in peculiar roles.
4. Notorious (1946)
One of Hitchcock’s rare attempts at romance actually draws an incredibly complex female character in the form of Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) – an undercover spy tasked with infiltrating a group of Nazis in South America.
Alicia’s mission becomes complicated by her falling in love with co-worker Devlin (Grant) while marrying family friend Alexander Sebastian (Claude Rains), but her role is never undermined by the romance. Alicia remains a powerful portrait struggling to consolidate her desires to do right by herself, her family, and her country.
3. The Birds (1963)
The behind the scenes cruelty and sexual harassment of model-turned-actress Tippi Hedren at the hands of Hitchcock during the making of the film has been well documented and is galling to revisit in full. However, Hedren’s character (Melanie Daniels) is one of Hitchcock’s finest.
Daniels is a firebrand of a woman – a free spirit and a prankster who does whatever the fuck she wants. However, when nature starts going apeshit, it’s fascinating to see the vulnerability splinter through the cool veneer even as she fights back.
2. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
One of the most underrated and influential characters in cinema history has to be Charlotte (Teresa Wright) – a dissatisfied angst-ridden teenager who starts to suspect the uncle she idolizes might actually be a serial killer.
The noir mystery hits some subtle incest beats that are challenging to get past, but ultimately Charlotte is compellingly complex. She’s a young woman fighting for survival and for peace of mind while also losing a pivotal part of her innocence in the process.
1. Psycho (1960)
All shower slaughter and voyeuristic glimpses of nudity aside, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is a subversive female character (particularly for the time) who simply seeks self-gratification and freedom at whatever cost.
Likewise, her sister Lila (Vera Miles) is arguably the first archetypal final girl of horror, refusing to back down in her investigation of her sister’s disappearance and showing true tenacity in her disturbing search for answers.
At the beginning of Hulu’s documentary Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, we hear a series of various people offering their take on the legacy of Mattel’s iconic, plastic, and often controversial doll.
She’s destined to be a polarizing figure because “femininity has always been a contested space,” one states. “She’s the symbol of America,” another proclaims. Someone else muses that Barbie represents something far beyond the doll we all played with as children, arguing “Barbie symbolically gets caught up” in issues surrounding “gender roles, and white supremacy, and body image, and beauty myths.” Ultimately, as a Mattel worker later suggests, Barbie comes with “a lot of baggage”.
Toy market and society aside, that’s perhaps most evident in how Barbie is depicted in popular culture. The name “Barbie” has become synonymous with depicting a certain type of woman and is exchanged on screen as a barbed insult.
It’s the name that Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) repeatedly uses to denigrate Elliot (Sarah Chalke) with during Scrubs; is the reference that Otis (Bill Moseley) reels out as a slur against a female victim during House of 1000 Corpses (“you Malibu middle class Barbie piece of shit!”); and it’s the persona that all the vacuous mean girls dress up as in Never Been Kissed (thus proving that they’re total trash).
All of which is understandable. In recent years, Barbie has suffered a decline in popularity and in sales. As Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie highlights, the classic doll hasn’t kept up with modern trends or social changes and her impossibly shaped figure, porcelain skin, and white blonde hair are hardly representative of modern America.
Barbie started out as a renegade career woman at a time when this simply wasn’t an option for the average housewives who may have watched their daughters play with the ambitious toy. But over the decades Barbie soon became a plastic relic; an icon of mass consumerism and disposable playthings with little else to offer young girls.
In the 1994 episode of The Simpsons titled “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy”, we see little Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith) raging against this idea as she discovers her latest Malibu Stacy doll is fortified with a series of pull string sexist sentiments like “Thinking too much gives you wrinkles” and “Don’t ask me, I’m just a girl”. Clearly based on Teen Talk Barbie – a version of the doll released in 1992 that spouted such dismal “teen talk” phrases as “Will we ever have enough clothes?” and “Math class is tough!” – bimbo Barbie was in full effect.
Distraught, Lisa seeks out the creator of Malibu Stacy, Stacy Lovell (played by an on form Kathleen Turner) and makes an aspirational toy called Lisa Lionheart with the woman who she hopes will inspire little girls to be smart, ambitious, daring, and confident.
However, when it comes to releasing the toy, it’s a massive failure overshadowed by the release of a new Malibu Stacy toy – an updated version of an older model who just happens to come with a new hat. But a closing shot shows one little girl looking clearly delighted with a Lisa Lionheart doll. “If we get through to just that one little girl then it’ll all be worth it,” Lisa states optimistically, measuring success in positive influence instead of dollar signs.
The episode powerfully highlights that representation is important. And that’s as apparent in TV and film (where many of Hollywood’s most popular and best paid female stars are as blonde, white, and impossibly skinny as the classic Barbie doll) as it is with toys.
The more that Barbie has been depicted as a superficial bimbo, the more it’s become the overwhelming legacy of a progressive doll that once assumed the role of an astronaut decades before the first human woman was able to and that took the role of a presidential candidate back when Hillary Clinton was just Bill’s other half.
In 2010, Toy Story 3 both played up to and masterfully subverted Barbie’s bimbo persona with the doll shown swooning for Ken (Michael Keaton) and shrieking over a closet stacked with outfits. All the while, Barbie (Jodi Benson) looked as bright-eyed and dim-witted as ever.
However, later on in the movie, Barbie develops some serious grit and strikes back against her beloved in a bid for information about what the evil Lotso (Ned Beatty) has done to Buzz (Tim Allen). Barbie gets mean, ties Ken up to a ping pong paddle, and proceeds to tear up all of his cute little 0utfits right in front of him in a show of torture.
The Toy Story version of Barbie shrewdly and wittily celebrates everything that has managed to maintain Barbie’s success over the years – the doll is unabashedly feminine (even when she’s torturing someone) but at her best, she’s always had a lot more going on than just being a plastic airhead. As Pixar’s interpretation proved, the doll is also only as stupid as we allow her to be (all pull string faux-pas aside).
Barbie can take on whatever narrative we create for her and by depicting the toy as a one-dimensional dummie, we’re also carelessly reflecting some of the worst tropes of our media – female characters can only be one archetype, blonde women are idiots, and femininity and beauty are to be considered a weakness.
As we tune in to watch Westworld’s life-size Barbie dolls Dolores & Maeve prove they’re more than just body parts and disposable punching bags on HBO and we watch the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race strut out definitions of femininity and glamor in a way that Barbie would surely approve of, the doll and everything it represents is more relevant than ever in modern society.
Whether Barbie is a vapid bimbo or a renegade of a toy is up to all of us to decide for ourselves. But if the doll truly is the symbol of America, we’d do well to think there are some brains rattling around inside that little plastic head of hers and that she isn’t just an embodiment of all the weakest stereotypes ever perpetrated against women in our culture today.
The period romance is back, ladies and gents! With the recent release of Michael Mayer’s much anticipated period film The Seagull and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley, there’s a lot for fans of the genre to celebrate, but there’s also a lot to question.
Films set in the past often present women as damsels in distress, stuck in male-dominated worlds that would never fly today except in pretty Hollywood remakes of Jane Austen novels.
That said, there are a handful of period films that rise above the stereotypes of the genre and we’re here to celebrate these films with this romantical listicle.
Give us a film that honors adventure and travel over some sleazy asshole who has sex with his students any day. We love this movie because it interrogates what feminism actually means – does it mean a right to choose or does it mean breaking the mold? Mona Lisa Smile is a film that gives you all the joys of any good romantic film, but will ultimately leave you whooping when the heroine (Julia Roberts) ends up on her own, with adventure as her only companion.
Although Jane Austen is great, she is a product of 18th and 19th century England, which (lets face it) wasn’t exactly known as a time for gender equality. That said, Whit Stillman’s brilliant Love & Friendship is the wittiest, most biting, most Austen-esque film to be made based on the writer’s work. The film’s heroine – Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) – is as fierce as she is cunning and would even make Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice) balk at her audacity.
Far From the Madding Crowd is really less of a romance film and more of a coming-of-age one, as we watch Bathsheba Everdene (played the lovely Carey Mulligan) choose herself and her needs above all else.
It’s through love that our protagonist – Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) – ultimately seems to change, rather than the change coming from herself and her own desires. That said, it makes the list because it incorporates some diversity into a genre that is so whitewashed it hurts. Here’s a period film that features a badass woman of color is its lead, portrayed with excellence by actress Amma Asante.
Yes, we know – Outlander is a TV show. But if you truly want to dive into a period romance that upholds strong feminist values, you’ve gotta give it a watch. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is the ultimate feminist heroine, primarily because she isn’t from the 1700s. Perhaps it’s only through time travel that Hollywood can give us a truly progressive heroine in a period setting. Either way, we’re living for Outlander and we hope you are too!
Although news surrounding the standalone Black Widow movie had gone quiet since January, it heated up again back in July as it was revealed the mega-franchise was scouting directors for the job.
As the MCU fandom rejoice (and teenage boys across the world ready themselves for the most exciting ride of their lives), we thought we’d take a look at all of the fierce female characters of MCU who we think deserve their own movies. Badass boss bitches, assemble! Who will win their own movies in the next year?
Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Yes, there might be a fair few plot holes surrounding Gamora, Thanos, and her home planet, but that’s by no means her fault and if anything, a standalone movie would serve as an opportunity for Marvel to explain itself. Plot holes aside, Zoe Saldana reprising her role as the green-skinned goddess to kick some butt in her own standalone movie is something we would pay good money to see.
Elektra (Elodie Yung) – Daredevil (2015-)
Last year, Daredevil and The Defenders actress Elodie Yung got our hearts pumping when she said she was open to reprising her role as Elektra in the MCU. Since then, we’ve heard nada about a potential movie with Yung at the center, but we’re still keeping those fingers crossed in the hope that Hand’s top assassin will return in some capacity, if only to see more of her wicked sword skills.
Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – Jessica Jones (2015-)
A movie centered on Jessica Jones? Erm, hello? Massive potential to make one of the darkest comedy features in the MCU. She’s had her own TV show, so why not give her a feature-length flick? Just imagine the sardonic titular character (reluctantly) carrying out her PI duties, only for Kilgrave to return and Jessica to kick his butt one last time, before and / or after chugging a 1L bottle of JD. It writes itself!
Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) – Iron Fist (2017-)
Colleen was an absolute highlight of Iron Fist and with her history as a master of Bushido, she quickly proved to be a steady companion for Danny (Finn Jones). As a capable fighter with powerful alliances and scene-stealing skills, we have no doubt she’d slay on the big screen as she does on the small one.
Misty Knight (Simone Missick) – Luke Cage (2016-)
As CBR put it, “The Marvel Cinematic Universe had more than its share of strong, powerful woman, but Misty Knight was like no other.” Portrayed by the glorious Simone Missick, this headstrong detective soon proved herself as a force to be reckoned with, taking no shit from the likes of Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard. We’d love to see her in her own standalone movie, or better yet, see her team up with Colleen for a Daughters of the Dragon movie. Could. You. Imagine.
Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) – Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Jaimie Alexander’s Asgardian warrior quickly became a fan fave in Thor and Thor: The Dark World for good reason – she’s a feared fighter and, now the Marvel writers have started to embrace the character, has enjoyed stories that highlighted her skills, unquenchable spirit, and battle prowess. We’d love to see more from this engine of destruction.
Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) – Black Panther (2018)
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther gave birth to some of the most badass female superheroes in the MCU, one of those being Nakia, played by the glorious Lupita Nyong’o. She’s a wonderful woman of Wakanda – intelligent, crafty, and lethal – making her an ideal candidate for a standalone movie.
Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
We’d love a Valkyrie movie just so we could spend 120 minutes crushing on Tessa Thompson. She’s a badass fighting machine too, obviously, and brings some much-needed humor to the MCU. In contrast to her male counterparts, Valkyrie is a force of nature who subverts all tropes often surrounding the female characters of the Marvel comic books. As Little White Lies pointed out, her battle feels “as emotionally significant as Thor’s” and it’s for this reason we’d love to see her journey played out in her own feature-length film. It makes sense Marvel, and you know it!
Shuri (Letitia Wright) – Black Panther (2018)
Letitia Wright (Black Mirror) is having a moment and we’re with her every step of the way. Portraying Shuri – the Princess of Wakanda, sister of T’Challa, daughter of T’Chaka & Ramonda, and the leader of the Wakandan Design Group – Wright was absolutely outstanding as the tech guru with a big brain and a sharp tongue and could easily hold her own in a Shuri-centered movie.
Okay, so we haven’t seen She-Hulk enter the MCU yet. But we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – MCU needs to make She-Hulk a reality. Just imagine the levels of badassery of the big green beast in female form on the big screen. Especially since she’s a total boss bitch who is fully in control of her own body with a strong intellect and sharp-as-knife wit. Please MCU . . . please!
Naturally, a bender ensues (because what the hell else are you gonna do when you get dumped like that?) and Bell’s character wakes up aboard her honeymoon cruise with ole Pops in tow. Oh, and Seth Rogen also turns up on board to provide some “rebound assistance” to the lady – if you know what we mean.
The movie is filled with the kind of lighthearted yet heartwarming japes we need after a long mind-melting day. It’s also one that utilizes all of Bell’s best skills – her adorable sincerity, her luminous charisma, and (most importantly) her sharp acerbic sense of snark.
We’re huge fans of the multi-talented actor and have been for a long time. Which is why we’re kind of the experts on what her greatest roles have been in her career so far. Here’s our ranking of our favorite sassiest and snarkiest performances from Bell so far.
14. Flora Anderson: Deadwood (2004)
The teenage conartist didn’t fare well in the mean streets of Deadwood. Poor Flora didn’t win. Turns out those old boys were wise to the tricks her and her brother were trying to pull and they were both savagely murdered for it. Welcome to fucking Deadwood!
13. Sarah Marshall: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Depicting an actress who plays a sassy on-screen crime fighter (hmm, sounds familiar somehow), Bell’s talents are woefully underused in this Judd Apatow production in which she plays a bitchy ex of Jason Segel’s everyday schlub.
12. Nikki: Burlesque (2010)
11. Veronica Mars / Kristen Bell: Play It Again, Dick (2014)
Ryan Hansen’s web series spinoff of Veronica Mars helped to promote the release of the highly anticipated Veronica Mars movie. The show’s cast reunited for the quirky meta-series, playing versions of themselves clearly exhausted by Hansen’s determination to develop a Dick Casablancas spinoff.
Naturally, this meant Bell plays a caustic version of herself similar to her guest appearance in the show Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television.
10. Kristen Bell: iZombie (2016)
Though her cameo is brief in the one episode of the Rob Thomas horror-crime comedy, it’s also stupendous. Particularly to hear Liv (Rose McIver) declare she’s always felt a “connection” to Bell before listening to the actor narrating an erotic audiobook.
9. Ingrid De Forest: Parks and Recreation (2013-2014)
One of many of Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) bureaucratic foes, De Forest is mean, manipulative, and mercifully revealed to be inept – and Bell is pure comedy gold in the role.
8. Elle Bishop: Heroes (2007-2008)
A complex antihero with the power of electronic manipulation, Elle is deeply unstable but is also utterly captivating. A major part of that is thanks to Bell’s incredible charisma in the role – arguably the actor’s real-life superpower.
7. Uda Bengt: Party Down (2009-2010)
As the uptight leader of Valhalla Catering, Bell clearly delights in being able to fire off sharp, savage snipes against the poor hapless bastards of the catering team. Uda is a veritable nightmare, busting Ron’s (Ken Marino) balls at every opportunity and taking an unexpected shine to Henry (Adam Scott).
6. Anna: Frozen (2013)
If you don’t know every word to “Let it Go” thanks to your love for Bell, you’re either utterly lying or don’t have a ten year old niece you babysit all the time.
5. Kiki: Bad Moms (2016)
If there’s one thing we love, it’s seeing Bell getting down with her bad self and pushing her comedic skills to full capacity. Opposite Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn, the star parties like a mother and lets her sardonic side shine.
4. Chloe: Scream 4 (2011)
Scream 4 is easily one of the most fun horror films of the past decade, with a genius opening act that reveals a Stab film within a Stab film within a Scream film that catches the audience up on the previous decade of horror.
Bell plays a surprising Stab character who murders her bestie (Anna Paquin) for talking too much, telling her dying pal, “shut the fuck up and watch the movie.”
3. Gossip Girl: Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
As the voice of salacious blogger Gossip Girl (your one and only source in the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite), Bell is probably the greatest TV show narrator of all time. Every line drips with sass, snark, and sophistication.
We’re still disappointed a certain Lonely Boy (Penn Badgley) was revealed to have been the trashy blogger the whole time (and, frankly, confused), but we were at least happy to see Bell enjoy a cameo in the final episode opposite Rachel Bilson.
2. Eleanor Shellstrop: The Good Place (2016-)
Fork yeah! The NBC comedy has only been on the air for two years, but we’re already completely taken with Bell’s complex portrayal of bad-girl-making-good Eleanor. The character is mischievous and selfish, but with the help of Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Good Place engineer Michael (Ted Danson), she’s coming round to the idea of being her best self.
The character’s journey (and Bell’s depiction of her growth) is subsequently as funny as it is heartwarming.
1. Veronica Mars: Veronica Mars (2004-2007)
The sassiest, smartest, snarkiest teenage detective the world has ever seen, Veronica Mars is probably the role most fans fell in love with Bell for.
The self-proclaimed Marshmallow (as defined in the 2014 movie, at least) used her diminutive and adorable looks to her advantage to take down the crooks of Neptune and gain access to just about wherever the hell she wanted.
Did we ever tell you we’re huge fans of Greta Gerwig’s. Oh we did? Well, let us tell you once more.
The buzz surrounding this multi-talented figure reached peak this year with the release of her endlessly brilliant Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) as a teenager trying to navigate herself through kidulthood in the unglamorous setting of Sacramento, California.
It was an absolute cinematic feat from the evidently witty & charming director, which is why we’re delighted at the news Gerwig is planning a series of Sacramento-based spiritual sequels to the film, inspired by the mysterious works of author Elena Ferrante.
While this is all fabulous news, we’re here to celebrate the actor / writer / director’s brilliance before Lady Bird. After all, Gerwig’s talent has been dazzling us for years, from her roles as one of the preeminent actresses in “mumblecore” films to her writing collaborations with director Noah Baumbach. Here are ten of Gerwig’s greatest gifts of on-screen glee:
The Dish & the Spoon (2011)
In this exquisitely charming indie love flick, Gerwig stars as a woman reeling over her husband’s infidelity. As she embarks on a journey to find her spouse’s lover, she collides with an English boy (Olly Alexander), who travels with her out of infatuation. What’s great about Alison Bagnall’s flick is it avoids all the tropes of a cliche boy-meets-girl kind of movie, with Gerwig’s performance making the tender drama all the more convincing.
As always, Gerwig brings quirky comfort in another quirky film alongside Danny DeVito (Batman Returns), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down), and Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream). The story centers around a dachshund taken in by a veterinary technician named Dawn Wiener (Gerwig), who soon sets off on a road trip with a guy who’s on a game to find crystal meth. What’s not to love?
The House of the Devil (2009)
Stepping out of her mumblecore pants and into her horror ones, Gerwig takes a different kinda role in Ti West’s The House of the Devil. Despite her relentlessly nonchalant vibe, Gerwig pulls off the performance as the protagonist and eventual victim’s (Jocelin Donahue) best friend with convincibility, even when she’s getting her face blown off.
Lola Versus (2012)
Gerwig has such a knack for depicting the charmingly human weaknesses we all secretly possess – in the case of Daryl Wein’s Lola Versus, she portrays the devastating aftermath of getting monumentally dumped. “My world is shattered and I’m eating.” Coming to terms with being single and nearly 30, Gerwig’s character Lola decides to embark on a series of adventures she hopes will help soothe that aching heart of hers.
Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007)
In her peak mumblecore role for the peak mumblecore director Joe Swanberg’s 2007 dramedy, Gerwig plays the neurotic, sweet, and mildly sarcastic Hannah. The movies sitting in this category are less known for their story and more for the low-fi production, improvised dialogue & plots, and fleeting conversations about huge epiphanies. Hence why this bathtub scene is the perfect example of both the mumblecore scene and Gerwig’s position in it.
In a film from mumblecore director brothers Mark & Jay Duplass, Gerwig stars as the kooky bombshell Michelle. Injecting new life into the horror genre, Baghead is a spin on the cabin-in-the-woods format, as four writers head into the woods to try and bang out a screenplay, only to discover their sinister plot starts to come true. The best moment has to be this cringe yet endearing scene in which a drunk Chad (Steve Zissis) hits on a drunk Michelle. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.
Damsels in Distress (2011)
This wonderfully surreal and stunningly unique offering from Whit Stillman (Metropolitan) follows a trio of girls – led by Gerwig’s character Violet – as they set out to change the male-dominated environment of their college campus while rescuing their fellow students from suicide and depression via the art of tap dancing. If your mind isn’t blown by the end of this movie, it certainly will be once you watch the final dance scene.
Gerwig performs alongside Ben Stiller (Zoolander) in Noah Baumbach’s dramedy that perfectly encapsulates the development of a romance between two flawed characters. Gerwig sets the dramatic tone while also bringing high levels of her usual LOL kookiness to the mix. We’re pretty sure Gerwig dancing to “Uncle Albert” around her room drinking champagne during a personal crisis is all of us at some point in our lives.
Mistress America (2015)
Baumbach & Gerwig teamed up to write the screenplay for this hectic comedy in which Gerwig’s character is a woman overflowing with charismatic energy so overpowering, it shadows her egocentric edge. It’s hard not to fall for her zest for life and the same can be said for her newly-adopted infatuated sidekick – student Tracy (Lola Kirke). This film is a stunning example of Baumbach & Gerwig’s uncanny ability to make audiences laugh out loud with glee and cry from the feels all at the same time.
Frances, Ha! (2012)
In number one spot has to be this monochrome triumph (also from the co-writing talents of Gerwig & Baumbach) about a 27-year-old New Yorker who is far from having her shit together. Despite her many flaws, Frances (Gerwig) somehow navigates through the tricky world of dancing and while she makes many mistakes along the way – including a savage BFF breakup and a pointlessly expensive trip to France – she works her way to the top, leading to a heartwarming ending that will make you sob with joy.