Tag Article List: Margaret Atwood

Bad Girls: Agency, Revenge, and Redemption in Contemporary Drama

Courtney Watson
Jefferson College of Health Sciences
Roanoke, Virginia, United States


Cultural movements including #TimesUp and #MeToo have contributed momentum to the demand for and development of smart, justified female criminal characters in contemporary television drama. These women are representations of shifting power dynamics, and they possess agency as they channel their desires and fury into success, redemption, and revenge. Building on works including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, dramas produced since 2016—including The Handmaid’s Tale, Ozark, and Killing Eve—have featured the rise of women who use rule-breaking, rebellion, and crime to enact positive change. 

Keywords: #TimesUp, #MeToo, crime, television, drama, power, Margaret Atwood, revenge, Gone Girl, Orange is the New Black, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ozark, Killing Eve


Author Bio

Courtney Watson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Humanities & Social Sciences program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, Virginia. Her scholarly interests include contemporary drama, modernist expatriates, and literary tourism. She is also a fiction writer, essayist, and travel writer. 


Suggested Citation

Watson, C. (2019). Bad Girls: Agency, revenge, and redemption in contemporary drama. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy. 6(2). http://journaldialogue.org/issues/v6-issue-2/bad-girls-agency-revenge-and-redemption-in-contemporary-drama/

Watson, Courtney. “Bad Girls: Agency, Revenge, and Redemption in Contemporary Drama.” Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy 2019, vol. 6, no. 2. Retreived from journaldialogue.org/issues/v6-issue-2/bad-girls-agency-revenge-and-redemption-in-contemporary-drama/

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