Image Credit: Getty, Netflix

All The Complex Female Characters You Couldn't Handle

Oh, so it’s “We need more complex female characters” now? Please. Many of you can’t even handle the legendary ladies of TV dramas from the past two decades. If a dash of crime, toxicity, lying, egomania, and screaming really grinds your gears that much, I don’t know what to tell you. Life is so much more more delicious when you embrace these wondrous girlies for who they really are — onions. Keep peeling and you might find some reasoning for their unhinged actions… or you might just encounter a whole lot of crazy, and that’s okay.

This fierce girl group made me the woman I am today. (I’m mentally unwell, always tired, concerningly addicted to these shows, and still stuck in the 2010s.) If you’re a fan of pieces of high art like Gossip Girl and Glee, maybe it’s time to reconsider some of your past harsh judgments about the characters. Let’s take a few moments to reflect on some of the most complex female characters of our time.

Georgina Sparks From Gossip Girl 

Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks on 'Gossip Girl'
Image Credit: Getty

The bully? The villain? The psychopath? Try… the independent, super advanced feminist, gorgeously messy mastermind. If this woman can singlehandedly take over Gossip Girl’s identity, have evil revelations at Jesus Camp, and convince Dan that she had his baby, the limit of her brilliance does not exist. She’s layered. She’s flawless. She’s a white-collar criminal. That’s The CW royalty right there.

Belly From The Summer I Turned Pretty

Lola Tung as Belly on 'The Summer I Turned Pretty'
Image Credit: Amazon

Ya know what? I’d like to see your 15-year-old self presented with two extremely hot brothers who both happen to be in love with you and are literally fighting each other for you. Are you realllly gonna tell me things wouldn’t get a bit ~complicated~? In my humble opinion, straight male characters should always be on their toes anyway.

Cassie Howard From Euphoria

Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard on 'Euphoria'
Image Credit: Max

This blondie is just a girl who wants to be loved and goes about it in absolutely the worst way possible — having an affair with her bestie’s concerning-as-fuck boyfriend. However, she did give us one of the greatest shriek-quotes of all time: “I HAVE NEVER, EVER BEEN HAPPIER.” I’m rooting for her to have a redemption arc in season 3… even though the whole cast will be 75 if and when that airs.

Olivia Pope From Scandal

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on 'Scandal'
Image Credit: Getty

She’s brutally misunderstood. I do realize that she had a preposterous affair with President Fitz for, like, way too many years. There’s just something about him, though. Also, I would like to point out that she’s the definition of a boss bitch, solving everyone’s problems and low-key running the country. All while running on popcorn and wine. I feel personally insulted when people simplify this down to “annoying.”

Hannah Horvath From Girls 

Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath on 'Girls'
Image Credit: Getty

All hail the extraordinarily complex, not-like-the-other-girls Queen of Millennials. Sure, she’s a touch toxic, but you have to admire how determined she is to become a writer despite never actually writing anything. Unfortunately, Hannah never learned the meaning of the word “boundary” and can’t handle criticism for her life… but I’m gonna be generous and chalk it up to some kind of childhood trauma.

Devi Vishwakumar From Never Have I Ever

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar on 'Never Have I Ever'
Image Credit: Netflix

“I swear I don’t love the drama — it loves me.” Yes, Taylor Swift was the one who said that, but it could 100 percent be a Devi quote. Do I understand why this girl feels compelled to go down the most chaotic path at every turn? Not completely, no. But I do respect it. I love this genius, awkward, hopeless romantic icon.

Rachel Berry From Glee 

Lea Michele as Rachel Berry on 'Glee'
Image Credit: Getty

Sigh. This actress was definitely (allegedly) a major issue on set, but the fictional character was a childhood hero of mine. You simply can’t blame a girl for taking charge, keeping her eye on the Broadway prize, shoving everyone else out of her way, and going to insane measures to get a solo (ahem, putting tape on her mouth as a “silent protest” when she wasn’t given one for a competition). Diva behavior.

Jackie Howard From My Life With The Walter Boys

Nikki Rodriguez as Jackie Howard on 'My Life With the Walter Boys'
Image Credit: Netflix

Yes, she’s a student of Professor Belly, and she aced the acting-innocent-while-playing-two-hot-brothers assignment. But people! Even if she doesn’t seem to remember that her whole family died very recently, that is indeed something that happened. She deserves at least a small amount of grace from us. And maybe she’s gonna better herself back in New York. You don’t know.

Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost is an entertainment writer at Betches. As a teenage girl in her twenties, she spends her time stanning Olivia Rodrigo, baking cakes for award shows, and refusing to ever leave her Reputation era.