Elliot Reid from Scrubs
Through eight seasons of Scrubs, I have never stopped feeling bad for Elliot. She’s pudgy, and a complete emotional mess. She cries in broom closets, she loses all her stuff, she gets dumped so many times, I’ve lost count. But she’s a great doctor. She braves all that stuff (when she isn’t crying in a closet) and faces up to Dr Cox managing to not go utterly apeshit crazy.
Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy
Meredith Grey is one of the most boring protagonists ever. Christina is the real rockstar here. She is the best doctor at Seattle Grace, she’s focussed, she’s driven and she will not take your crap. Well she cannot seem to keep a man. But who cares? She isn’t whining and crying like poor little Meredith, she goes out and kicks ass.
Robin Scherbatsky from How I met your mother
Robin is a news reporter, a pop sensation, a bull fighter, a scotch drinker and a wearer of boots. She is starved for attention from her father and can’t have babies and has a job, that is downright humiliating at times, but through it all, she manages to look hot…I mean, keep a brave face and still be funny.
Arya Starck from Game of thrones
Her circumstances are not bleak. They downright suck. First her dad’s head gets chopped off and she barely has time to register this and she has to make a run for it on account of the most powerful people in the country wanting her captive. She escapes horrific fires, men with swords and inevitable torture. She’s alert, quick-witted and brave. Oh and btw, she’s only 11 years old. Stick ‘em with the pointy end, Arya.
Kima Greggs from The Wire
She’s a woman cop in the most dangerous unit in the city but who cares about that, right? We love Kima, because she comes out of five seasons with her professional integrity intact. Not even her righteous boss, Daniels can boast of this. In season one, when she awakes from a coma, she recounts exactly what she experienced, even when it meant that an extra name could put away a hardened criminal. Justice and fairness, all the way. In season five, she picks chain of command over shielding an errant colleague. Natural Poh-lice.