News

Say Goodbye to These Groundbreaking Female Characters Leaving Your TV Screen

Elizabeth Jennings of The Americans, Scandal's Olivia Pope, and more strong female characters we've lost in 2018 — and some we'll lose in the coming year.


Television shows come and go, but this past season experienced the loss of some of the most significant female characters on the small screen. The following women have forged a path that has changed the television landscape they leave behind, they are some of our favorites, and we’ll miss them.


Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell)
The Americans 96% | FX

THE AMERICANS -- Pictured: Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings. CR: James Minchin/FX

When It’s Ending: After its current sixth season, ending on May 30, 2018.
Why We Loved Her: The story follows a pair of married Russian spies trying to blend into society as the average American family while they undertake espionage and murder assignments. “It’s easy to get lost in the arch reconstructions of Elizabeth,” Vulture staff writer Angela Jade Bastién says about Russell’s portrayal of Elizabeth Jennings in The Americans. In the same way that Russell loses herself in the character, the character loses herself in undertaking the many identities she assumes. It has added up to a mesmerizing journey for viewers. Through the show’s six-season run, Elizabeth has proven to be a stalwart figure of visceral dedication to a dangerous cause, as well as a righteous foil to her partner in espionage and in life, Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys).


Jessica Day and Cece Parekh (Zooey DeschanelHannah Simone)
New Girl 94% | Fox

NEW GIRL: L-R: Zooey Deschanel and Hannah Simone in the "Lilypads" episode of NEW GIRL airing Tuesday, April 24 (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

When It Ended: Final episode aired May 15, 2018, after seven seasons
Why We Loved Them: Who’s that girl? It’s Jess (Deschanel), which we’ve been reminded of every episode of New Girl’s seven-season run by the show’s infectious theme song. Deschanel has carried New Girl’s ensemble cast through disastrous Thanksgivings, a rotating set of roommates, and many a feel-good moment. From model to working mom, Jess’ childhood best friend Cece Parekh (Simone) also experienced a remarkable character progression that the show’s creator, Liz Merriwether, has championed throughout the show’s run. Together, Jess and Cece gave us two new girls with an old friendship, who stuck together through extreme — but also extremely familiar — life changes.


Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington)
Scandal 93% | ABC

Scandal – “The List” – Kerry Washington (ABC/Richard Cartwright)

When It Ended: Final episode aired April 19, 2018, after seven seasons
Why We Loved Her: Scandal’s Olivia Pope was she the first black woman in nearly 40 years to lead a primetime drama — the previous being Teresa Graves in Get Christie Love!, which is set for a reboot by ABC in the near future. But Washington’s iconic Olivia was also one of the first female anti-heroes to appear during the Golden Age of Television after a seemingly endless parade of male anti-heroes that dominated the era. Daily Beast entertainment writer Ira Madison III described creator Shonda Rhimes’ impact on television — via the character of Olivia — best in his column following the show’s much-talked about finale: “If you look at how television has changed since then, Rhimes ushered in a way to tell stories about black people that didn’t merely revolve around their blackness.” And with Rhimes’ lasting legacy as one of the powerhouses of primetime television, as well as Olivia’s position as a fashion and television icon, it’s safe to say that this situation’s been handled.


Groundbreaking Female Characters We’ll Have to Say Goodbye to Soon

Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler (Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer), Broad City 99% | Comedy Central
The Show: Two friends in New York City navigate their way through life with a cringe and a laugh.
When It’s Ending: After its fifth season, expected in 2019.

Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend 98% | Fox
The Show: A musical comedy that addresses the big-umbrella subject of mental health, funneled through its lead character who is diagnosed in season 3 with borderline personality disorder.
When It’s Ending: After its fourth season, expected in 2019.

Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), Homeland 85% | Showtime
The Show: A CIA officer operates at the top of her field despite being bipolar.
When It’s Ending: After its eighth season, expected in 2019.

Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 96% | Netflix
The Show: After living in an underground bunker for 15 years, Kimmy escapes a doomsday cult and moves to New York for a fresh — and hilarious — new start.
When It’s Ending: With a movie after the full run of its current fourth season, which will be split in two with the second half expected to stream in early 2019.

Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez), Jane the Virgin 100% | The CW
The Show: A chaste young woman is accidentally artificially inseminated and must deal with the consequences, including her devoutly religious family and making the best choices for her child.
When It’s Ending: After its fifth season, expected to conclude in 2019.

Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Arya and Sansa Stark, Brienne, et al. (Emilia ClarkeLena HeadeyMaisie Williams, Sophie TurnerGwendoline Christie), Game of Thrones 89% | HBO
The Show: Families are forced to take sides when a new mom raises her three baby dragons to retake the throne that belonged to her homicidal father. They must all find shelter from the storm when winter comes.
When It’s Ending: Season 8. Summer 2019. (Are you ready?)


Tag Cloud

comiccon Song of Ice and Fire Shudder The Arrangement Chilling Adventures of Sabrina psycho TBS Pride Month Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trailer news Crackle thriller New York Comic Con VOD ESPN 20th Century Fox Disney streaming service Heroines Paramount Network anthology FX on Hulu Rocketman Television Academy adventure period drama Syfy chucky Marvel Universal singing competition Discovery Channel Podcast USA Network nature First Reviews zombie Logo Binge Guide Comedy BET Animation witnail Grammys TCA HBO Max WarnerMedia TCM spinoff YA true crime E3 tv talk Holiday A24 criterion Holidays versus HBO DC Comics San Diego Comic-Con animated Musical Writers Guild of America discovery The Purge Kids & Family Cannes Pirates natural history spider-man Mindy Kaling Tumblr 71st Emmy Awards a nightmare on elm street rotten movies we love Disney Plus series BBC America talk show Sundance TV diversity docudrama Travel Channel Disney Channel RT History Hallmark Hear Us Out Hallmark Christmas movies documentaries Emmys Interview Turner Oscars game show cancelled TV shows Pet Sematary Ovation Red Carpet TV renewals Netflix Christmas movies Lucasfilm APB A&E sag awards slashers renewed TV shows Esquire NYCC Set visit historical drama war serial killer mutant dceu Endgame Marvel Television Marvel Studios Winners The Walking Dead crime drama TV Land indiana jones romance Teen Reality Competition Comedy Central Sci-Fi Hulu GIFs SXSW Apple TV+ asian-american Reality mockumentary BAFTA Paramount Amazon Prime American Society of Cinematographers YouTube Red travel 2019 cinemax cancelled USA Video Games Tubi Premiere Dates stoner Sneak Peek Nickelodeon adaptation Apple TV Plus Comic Book ITV Amazon Superheroe elevated horror Britbox Creative Arts Emmys cars finale Pop TV MSNBC First Look Awards Tour E! Ellie Kemper Film CW Seed video boxoffice Masterpiece technology Fantasy Lionsgate book Quiz universal monsters Best and Worst 2018 PaleyFest CBS All Access CMT Apple OWN Comics on TV PlayStation dragons medical drama SundanceTV Rocky latino scary movies TV strong female leads films richard e. Grant sitcom Stephen King cancelled TV series MCU VICE Musicals comedies Amazon Prime Video TCA Winter 2020 Extras movie jamie lee curtis Funimation south america DirecTV BBC cats Nominations National Geographic See It Skip It canceled TV shows quibi Mystery doctor who spain FX award winner screen actors guild satire kids transformers festivals Drama Thanksgiving Watching Series twilight game of thrones 007 crossover NBC Peacock reviews Character Guide unscripted anime christmas movies DC streaming service independent YouTube Premium dark parents Academy Awards Tarantino reboot ratings spanish language Rom-Com toy story zombies dramedy Mary poppins GoT 2016 politics Spring TV die hard Calendar comics LGBTQ 45 Showtime Christmas Mary Tyler Moore dc Spectrum Originals spy thriller IFC Films Rock Trivia Chernobyl Fox News Mudbound sequel Opinion PBS 2017 Certified Fresh Classic Film Disney CNN child's play Vudu Horror History AMC Family 2015 Schedule justice league Shondaland political drama teaser children's TV TruTV Sundance screenings ABC Family Crunchyroll aliens WGN Elton John Walt Disney Pictures werewolf Box Office Bravo miniseries Fall TV psychological thriller Baby Yoda Western ghosts Avengers science fiction Summer HBO Go TCA 2017 FOX hispanic casting blaxploitation Martial Arts Epix Captain marvel 2020 Country disaster what to watch all-time streaming Women's History Month Food Network Super Bowl indie directors 4/20 social media ABC Lifetime X-Men free movies breaking bad Nat Geo The CW Pixar Polls and Games franchise Warner Bros. YouTube MTV Action sports Film Festival IFC Awards 21st Century Fox Disney+ Disney Plus crime Year in Review revenge OneApp comic television cancelled television cartoon space Spike 24 frames Marathons President The Witch Brie Larson cooking VH1 DC Universe BBC One movies video on demand Countdown composers cults Emmy Nominations TIFF Black History Month biography Sundance Now Columbia Pictures zero dark thirty Adult Swim BET Awards police drama crime thriller Turner Classic Movies golden globes CBS Superheroes foreign supernatural Lifetime Christmas movies Winter TV Amazon Studios vampires Mary Poppins Returns blockbuster Star Trek batman Acorn TV Freeform Anna Paquin dogs Biopics Netflix Music hist facebook critics romantic comedy Valentine's Day El Rey Election Sony Pictures based on movie Black Mirror mission: impossible name the review green book Infographic Arrowverse DGA Trophy Talk halloween harry potter FXX robots GLAAD TNT best Pop canceled concert binge theme song Starz documentary Cosplay cops joker Dark Horse Comics Ghostbusters TLC LGBT Tomatazos Photos stand-up comedy Toys Cartoon Network SDCC RT21 Star Wars