During my recent Supernatural binge, I remembered two of my favorite characters, mother-daughter team Ellen (Samantha Ferris) and Jo (Alona Tal). I often jump around, but I stopped to watch the episodes featuring these characters, who are so well done. TV shows and movies need more women like them.
Beauty Within the Beast
Pop culture is big on women right now. We have strong female characters assuming more masculine roles, but if you think about it, few are really attractive or feminine. As much as I love Michonne from The Walking Dead or Ripley from the Alien movies, these ladies are not considered beautiful by today’s standards.
This is one reason Ellen and Jo are different. Especially for her age, Ellen is a simple but elegant woman. She will kick your a$$ in a heartbeat, though. The producers seem to have wanted her to be beautiful even though she runs a saloon. Her hair is always down, she always wears a little makeup, and has a nice figure, especially for a woman now pushing 50. Her facial expressions make her tough looking, but she still has nurturing eyes and worry lines to show the caring, softer side.
Simply put, Jo is a tiny hot blonde. When you think of petite blondes, you may think fragile and not very bright. Jo is tough and smart. Upon first meeting (Everybody Loves a Clown), Dean takes her shotgun away, and she punches him in the face. At first, he’s actually scared of her. Jo proves you can have a small, trim figure, long blonde hair and a great smile, and still beat the crap out of anyone who gets in the way.
Hard on the Outside, Soft in the Center
Sounds like a strawberry bon bon, doesn’t it? That’s the best way I can describe these two ladies. They are tough as nails on the outside through verbal expression, mannerisms, and weapon usage, but both are sensitive souls underneath.
In the show, Ellen instantly becomes a maternal figure for Dean and Sam, but shows she won’t take their crap. She wants to help them but kicks them out when they resist. She doesn’t want the same life for Jo as they have. In Good God, Ya’ll, she hugs Dean, then slaps him across the face for not calling to check in. Ellen cares for hunters, providing food, shelter, and much needed booze. She is every hunter’s mother.
Jo may punch you in the face, but you can see her vulnerability. In No Exit, Jo joins Dean and Sam on the hunt and is taken hostage. She’s terrified, but nothing will stop her from escaping and putting the spirit to rest. She even offers herself as bait, even though you see both her fear and insecurity. Jo seems fearless but learns quickly she needs Dean and Sam, and they need her.
The show’s producers don’t over testosterone these female characters or make them anti-men. Many producers create female characters on one end of the spectrum or the other, but Supernatural delivers both the independent and dependent spirit of the true modern-day woman. It’s not that women need men, or vise-versa, it’s that we all need each other.
If you haven’t seen the show or the older seasons recently, I recommend them – the older seasons rank among my favorite TV of all time. Happy hunting!