So it looks like both Katee Sackhoff and Eliza Dushku are getting pilots this year. This makes me happy, mostly because I loved their portrayals of two of my favourite TV characters, Starbuck (BSG) and Faith (Buffy and Angel). And yes I'm revealing how much of a geek I am by saying I watched all those series faithfully...pun intended.
What I really love is that both of these women have a tendency to play strong female roles and that's a hard thing to do in this business. Most female roles are defined as "the girlfriend", "the wife", or most sadly, "the victim". As someone who spent most of her life as a blonde, I know all too well how much type casting comes into play when trying out for a role. The amount of ditzy cheerleaders or helpless victims I've tried out for is almost funny.
A writer friend of mine recently apologized for the general lack of creativity among writers when creating female characters. Which I thanked him for. It's a nice sentiment really but until I see more frequent awesome mainstream female roles in films, I'm not holding my breath that his awareness is widespread throughout the industry.
So here's my challenge to all you writers out there. Write a feature, a short, or TV episode that has one great female role. One where she's the strong one but not cold and unapproachable. Make her smart and equal to her peers. Have us want to see her character reveal itself. Just try it once.
Oh yeah, then tell me what hair colour she has in your mind.