The 20 most female empowering TV moments of 2012

Candy Crowley owns the second presidential debate

The first presidential debate of 2012 was an absolute free-for-all as the candidates ran all over Jim Lehrer, refusing to answer his questions and talking over each other and their time limits. So it was a welcome surprise to watch CNN’s chief political correspondent handle the candidates in the second debate. She fact-checked on the spot with her brain, called them out for telling lies, forced them to stay on-question and under-time, and won the respect of everyone watching around the world.

Arizona Robbins gets back up (Grey’s Anatomy)

After a plane crash that left her nearly dead in the wild for four days, and also left her without a leg, Arizona Robbins became a surly, self-pitying mess — but only for a minute or two. After Bailey helped her remember how important her work is, and Callie helped her remember how important her family is, Arizona accepted her new differently-abled body and explained simply to her wife, “I got back up.”

Ol’ Bo Blue Eyes does a number on Garuda (Lost Girl)

Even in 2012, American TV is a little squirrely about centering its shows around women, especially women superheroes. So it’s a good thing we have Canada. They have given us a female heroine for the ages in Bo Dennis, and this year, she was more powerful than ever when she saved the whole world from the ultimate baddie Garuda.

Liz Lemon proves third-wave feminists right, has it all (30 Rock)

One of the long-running jokes of 30 Rock has been how Liz Lemon is deluding herself into thinking that a woman can balance a successful career with a successful romantic relationship with a family, but in the final season, Liz finally has it all. Well, almost. Her wedding was one for the sitcom record books. After protesting wedding culture and the whole idea of princess brides, she confessed to Chris that it’s actually what she wanted. Of course, he already knew. And a Princess Leia wedding it was.

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