6 Fictional Women On TV We First Found Meh But Later Grew To Love

6 Fictional Women On TV We First Found Meh But Later Grew To Love

By Manasi Rawalgaonkar8 March, 2021 4 min read
6 Fictional Women On TV We First Found Meh But Later Grew To Love

One TV trope we absolutely adore is when a character, especially one we’re not feeling too warmly towards, is given a fulfilling development arc that has them ending the show as our favourite. On the eve of Women’s Day, here’s a list of our favourite female characters that evolved beautifully over the course of the show.

Sansa Stark, ‘Game of Thrones’

Sansa Stark (pictured above), was arguably the least favourite Stark, second only to Bran (Isaac Hempstead) when we first met her on Game of Thrones. Whiny, bratty and only interested in securing Joffrey Baratheon’s (Jack Gleeson) affections, Sansa served as the perfect foil to younger sister Arya’s outspoken, bold and courageous character. She endeared herself lesser and lesser to viewers, especially in comparison to her siblings, as her storyline progressed. However, Sansa had to tackle numerous trials and tribulations in the form of losing her family, almost being Joffrey’s wife (a dodged bullet), escaping Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Heady) machinations, falling headfirst into the psychopathic train wreck that was Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon), reclaiming Winterfell and dealing with the White Walkers. Over time, she went from a shallow, capricious and entitled teenager to a quiet, resolute leader who commanded respect and loyalty. Sansa took charge of her life and made us fall in love as she fed Bolton to his hounds, became the Lady of Winterfell, reunited with her siblings and sent Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) to his oh-so-satisfying death.
Played by: Sophie Turner
Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

Alexis Rose, ‘Schitt’s Creek’

Made out to be the ultimate ditzy party girl socialite, think Paris Hilton, Alexis Rose (Annie Murphy) trawls the town of Schitt’s Creek looking for hot men to kiss in order to make her Greek boyfriend jealous.  And while every character on the show has undergone a lovely evolution, Alexis’ journey is easily the best.  Yes, she finished high school and got a college degree, built a strong career, worked towards having a healthy, stable romantic relationship and improved her status quo with her family. But the best lesson Alexis imparted was that growth starts with ourselves, and self-love and self-respect are non-negotiable. Also, her hilarious performance of ‘A Little Bit Alexis’ is easily one of the best moments on the show.
Played by: Annie Murphy
Streaming on: Netflix

Tahani Al Jamil, ‘The Good Place’

With her impeccable fashion sense, delightful accent, glamorous outfits and inherent charm, Tahani Al Jamil (Jameela Jamil) is the ultimate social butterfly whom Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) loves to hate. Whether it is her apparent perfection or the incessant need to name-drop, Tahani is set up to be the annoying sophisticated heiress whose job is to look good and be a comedic prop. And then, Eleanor and Tahani start becoming friends, giving us a friendship that’s messy, imperfect and one hundred percent genuine. Tahani evolves into a loveable, relatable character that’s not afraid of being vulnerable and imperfect. Her pretentious, snooty attitude melts as she reveals it was all a front to deal with her parents who, in her words, are “the absolute worst wankers on Earth”. Flawed, funny and fabulous, Tahani is the best friend we would donate a kidney to have.
Played by: Jameela Jamil
Streaming on: Netflix

Nancy Wheeler, ‘Stranger Things’

The quintessential pretty girl, Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) is more known for being the high school jock Steve Harrington’s (Joe Keery) girlfriend and living in her own self-absorbed teen bubble. It takes the disappearance of her best friend Barb (Shannon Purser) and Will Dyer (Noah Schnapp) for us to discover she’s more than just a beautiful face. Feisty, determined and ambitious, Nancy’s eye-rolling skills rival her sleuthing ones. A go-getter, Nancy learns how to stand up for herself when faced with sexism at work, is part of the show’s most intriguing love triangle, tackles scary situations head-on despite her fear and frankly, is a better sister than Mike (Finn Wolfhard) realizes.
Played by: Natalia Dyer
Streaming on: Netflix

Peggy Olson, ‘Mad Men’

When we first meet Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), she’s an insecure and awkward woman who’s a far cry from what glamorous women in advertising are supposed to be. She starts out as a secretary for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and quickly climbs the professional ladder as she becomes a copywriter at the Sterling Cooper agency, a first for any woman at the firm. Peggy’s self-discovery arc is very relatable as she’s an unconventional woman in a man’s world, who overcomes her lack of self-esteem to develop into an empowered, confident and proud woman. Her intelligence and tenacity see her become a founding member at the agency with other firms fighting to have her work for them.
Played by: Elisabeth Moss
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

Santana Lopez, ‘Glee’

Santana Lopez, played brilliantly by the late Naya Rivera was never supposed to be a principal character. Introduced as a sidekick to head cheerleader Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), she was the typical vapid, bitchy, promiscuous cheerleader with snarky lines and an annoying attitude. It was her romantic relationship with co-cheerleader Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) that propelled her into the spotlight. While Glee most likely wanted it to be a titillating one-off relationship for the ratings, the fandom went ballistic over the pairing, and Brittana emerged as the show’s favourite ship. A proud Latina, Santana’s incomparable sass, her ability to keep it real and call people out on their bullshit, her rare moments of vulnerability and her singing chops turned her into arguably the best character on the show. Her coming out arc resonated with teens across the world, her go-getter attitude served as an inspiration to many, and her fantastic renditions of Amy Winehouse’s ‘Valerie’, Alicia Keys’ ‘Girl On Fire’ and the Adele mashup of ‘Rumour Has It/Someone Like You’ hold a special place in our heart.
Played by: Naya Rivera
Streaming on: Netflix

Tags: #Game of Thrones #Glee #Mad Men #Schitts Creek #Stranger Things #The Good Place #Women's Day
Manasi Rawalgaonkar
Written by

Manasi Rawalgaonkar

I work hard to give my cats a better life.

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