Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Now, this not only includes fictional female characters in geeky media but creators as well. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.
DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers for the Peacock comedy, Rutherford Falls.
Reagan Wells (played by Jana Schmieding) is everyone’s best friend. The Rutherford Falls bestie is loyal, encouraging, empathetic, and exudes positivity. She’s a dreamer and ambitious enough to chase after those dreams. Reagan is a member of the fictitious Minishonka tribe. She is proud of her heritage and her friendships. She is the type of person who will do anything for her friends and always puts their needs above her own. And that gets in her way sometimes.
Reagan’s greatest friendship is with Rutherford’s favorite son, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms). He values her opinion and is appreciative of her support for his dreams. Terry Thomas (Michael Greyeyes) also values Reagan’s tenacity. He mentors Reagan to improve her standing within the tribe. And someone else who appreciates Reagan is Josh Carter (Dustin Milligan), a public radio reporter and podcaster who is taken with her charm.
The Real Deal:
Reagan’s dream is to open up a cultural center, but she faces opposition from tribal members who don’t like that she left “the rez” to pursue her master’s degree. And she left her ex-fiance Ray (Martin Sensmeier) at the altar … so there’s that. A girl’s gotta chase her dreams though. And her boss Terry understands that. He mentors Reagan to reconnect with the people so she can be taken seriously. Through Terry’s mentorship, Reagan learns to be assertive and use her skills to help her people, despite what Wayne (Bobby Wilson) and Sally (Julia Jones) say.
At one point, Reagan’s dream collides with her best friend’s dream. Nathan also has aspirations of creating a family museum. And Reagan is there to encourage him every step of the way until she realizes that Nathan may not be as supportive of her aspirations. Reagan truly cares for Nathan and everything he wants to accomplish, but she also cares about her tribe and its history. She asked the question, “why is your history more important than mine?” It was this question that gave Reagan the courage to fight for her cultural center and she won.
And then there’s Josh. Who knew sharing a milkshake with a reporter would lead to such a cute little hook-up. Josh is ultimately chasing a story, but his infatuation with Reagan makes him a little bit sensitive toward the Minishonka tribe. She teaches him a thing or two about the Native perspective. Reagan doesn’t need a boyfriend, but she has a love interest who can empathize with her situation, but also gives her a different perspective on things. And he’s hot!
Why She Matters:
Reagan Wells matters because she is a determined Indigenous woman with big dreams. She learns how to be confident and go after what she wants. And at the same time, Reagan reconnects with her people, utilizing her education to help further the tribe’s standing, and empowering her people to celebrate their culture.
Reagan represents a lot of Indigenous women who look for ways to contribute to their tribes and improve how Indigenous people are seen. She is resilient, vocal, and persistent in her cause. She has a lot to learn from the people in her life, but she also has a lot to offer. And Reagan is an absolute joy to watch whether she wins or loses.
So be like Reagan, chase your dreams, snag the hot reporter, and celebrate your culture!