Recently, Entertainment Weekly came out with their list of the top 25 Badasses of the past 20 years. While there are quite a few on the list I agree with – Tony Stark/Iron Man, Don Draper, Captain Jack Sparrow, Sydney Bristow – There are definitely quite a few that I think were left off.
1. Joan Holloway, Mad Men
I feel like Joan barely needs explanation as being number one on my Bad Ass list, but here’s a few: She singlehandedly ran Sterling Cooper. Joanie was the HBIC, and everybody knew it. She kept the ladies AND the men in line, and maintains a strong dominating presence in both her marriage and her affair with Roger Sterling. Joan is always cool and collected – even when some guy’s foot is run over by a John Deere lawnmower. While everyone else was freaking the FUCK out, Joan gave him first aid. She’s strong and capable, but still feminine – as those curves will prove. Tough and calculated, Joan is practically as much of a badass as Don Draper.
2. President Bartlet, The West Wing
I know what you’re thinking to yourselves right now – “Josiah Bartlet? The old guy with Multiple Sclerosis? He walked with a cane.” Yea, but he also (in the alternate West Wing universe, of course, which is basically the same as ours with some changes):
- secured a peace agreement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (even firing Leo, his best friend and Chief of Staff to do so)
- Had the brains to step down when he was too personally involved in an international issue – when his daughter Zoey was kidnapped
- Shows strength and leadership in every situation, no matter how small
- His one-liners are 12 times as funny as any superhero’s, because he’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF MOFOING AMERICA
- He can press ONE BUTTON and bomb everyone, but never would because he’s above that stuff.
So while Josiah Bartlett is definitely not building flying metal suits or exploding things (although he could if he wanted to), he’s ruling the country your superheroes live in. Chew on that.
3. Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother
OK. Robin may be on a fluffy sitcom, but she’s on one of the best fluffy sitcoms of all time. Why is she a badass? She carries a gun in her purse at all times, played hockey, is a former canadian pop star, and is a news anchor for Metro News 1. She’s strong and independent, and did I mention she almost always carries a gun?
4. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation
All Picard has to say are those three little words – “Make It So” – and the whole Starship Enterprise sets off in a scurry around him, doing what they are ordered to. His crew comes first, and don’t you forget that, Romulans & Borgs of the universe. HE WILL TAKE YOU DOWN. Plus, he knows everything about history there is to know, and pretends to be a 1940’s Private Eye in his downtime (Dix Hills). Ladies want him; men want to be him. Jean-Luc is badass personified.
5. Melchior Gabor, Spring Awakening
I’m the first to admit that, as much as I love musicals, it’s rare to find a “badass” character in there. But Melchior is more badass than every other teenage heartthrob. He challenges authority, informs his fellow teenage males about “labia majora”, and escapes from boarding school to try to find his love, Wendla Bergman. Melchior is fearless and principled, and that’s pretty rad.
6. Dr. Horrible, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Dr. Horrible made his way into our hearts forever the minute he sang “Freeze Ray” to his super-crush, Penny. But what everyone forgets is that Dr. Horrible goes from wimpy Evil League of Evil reject to number one villain in 45 minutes. When Captain Hammer destroys his plans and inadvertently makes him kill Penny, Dr. Horrible vows to avenge her death and make you quake with fear.
7. Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada
Miranda has the capability to instill fear and awe in every one of her employees. To her, a hurricane is just a drizzle, getting the manuscript of the new Harry Potter book months before it comes out is a piece of cake, and steak is always what’s for lunch. On a warmed china plate. Arranged perfectly. She doesn’t need to remember anybody’s name; she has people for that. She’s biting, quick, decisive, and the HBIC. And forget about entering her house to drop something off – who do you think you are? Just leave it on the entryway coffee table and be on your way.
9. Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris is the one who taught us all how to be sneaky. He convinces Cameron to “borrow” his dad’s car, sings Twist and Shout in a parade, and somehow everyone in school knows he’s sick and sends him balloons and singing telegrams, And even though the principal is on to him, he’ll never catch him. You know why? Because he’s FERRIS FREAKING BUELLER. And, in the words of the school’s secretary, kids “think he’s a righteous dude.” And he’s got a point – life moves pretty fast, and if we don’t stop and look around every once in awhile, we’re going to miss it.
10. Cosmo Kramer, Seinfeld
Kramer. He’s everyone’s favorite character. The ladies love him, he charms everyone he meets, and he somehow has connections everywhere and enough money to live in Manhattan, although nobody is sure what exactly he does; except for that he published the coffee table book of coffee tables. He’s the man, the enigma, the mystery, the legend.