“NCIS,” now the top-rated drama on television, is known for its comic banter, its constant movie references and the smoldering eyes of its star, Mark Harmon. Less remarked on is that while it’s a traditional crime procedural in a military setting — with all the violence that implies — and features three strong male characters, the main dispenser of that violence, the agent so lethal with gun, fist or foot that her partners gladly stand aside and let her do the dirty work, is a woman. Brennan acknowledges the visceral thrill to be had — on whatever level you care to have it — from watching a woman, rather than a man, pound heads or pump bullets...Read more
With her credible combination (by prime-time standards) of physical domination and quiet cool, [Ziva] David is one of the most appealing of a growing group of female action heroes who are infiltrating cop shows, spy shows, science-fiction shows and other genres where men once did the lion’s share of the enforcing... What feels different now is the degree to which action women have become an unremarkable part of the television landscape. In some cases they’re the stars, on “Nikita,” “Chase,” “V,” “In Plain Sight,” “Covert Affairs,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and other current shows. But they also appear, often in more interesting, less predictable fashion, as ensemble or supporting characters. These are the women who absorb punishment and provide gee-whiz thrills so that other actors — usually but not always men — can be lighter, funnier and more “relatable,” and can focus on family or romance or bromance.
Interesting piece. A good quote from Craig Silverstein, creator of the Nikita
reboot: “I think one of the reasons that it’s popular and it works in general is that for a woman warrior there’s a juxtaposition of nurturer and destroyer that creates a natural added tension. And as far as Hollywood goes, I think that juxtaposition is a good way for an action show to appeal to both the male and female audience.”