Finally, the time comes – let’s see who kicks ass on TV!

10. Jack Bauer – I don’t watch 24, therefore Jack Bauer is at the bottom of this list. I don’t really care to watch the show, but I can’t deny that Jack Bauer knows his stuff. Credit where credit’s due.

9. Echo – You may be less familiar with Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse since it only aired for one season. It was a decent show with a unique plot, too – but let’s face it, FOX has a penchant for prematurely canceling winning TV shows created by Joss. Echo is a unique woman who can be programmed to do or be anything, including being an dynamic force you do not want to mess with. Besides, who doesn’t love Eliza Dushku (remember her ass-kicking character on Buffy?)?

8. Sarah Walker – Let’s face it, John Casey kicks ass. But his CIA counterpart, Sarah, is the ass-kicker to watch on Chuck. She routinely holds her own against baddies that are trying to take over the country while wearing heels. You can’t beat a woman like that (mainly because she’d use her heels to kick you in the face).

7. Dexter Morgan – Dexter is pretty strong physically, but that’s not why he’s on this list. Come on, if you get on the guy’s bad side – or, you know, murder people – he’ll kill you. I’d say that’s pretty bad ass. You have to admit, Dexter provides some serious ass-kicking moments.

6. Jayne Cobb – See, Adam Baldwin (John Casey in Chuck) got his moment of glory here, too! Honestly, Jayne is one of the best ass-kickers on TV. He joins the team on Firefly because of the money and the ability to go kick some ass. He named his favorite gun. The guy likes to fight.

Tied for 4. Angel/Angelus and Spike – I really couldn’t separate these two enough to rank them, so they’re tied for fourth. Both characters were in Buffy and Angel, so I’m not going to bother separating the shows, either.Angel is a great fighter, but the real threat shows when he becomes Angelus – he wants to hurt people at that point. Spike has a similar ass-kicking personality, especially after he gets a chip in his head that doesn’t allow him to attack humans. Who better to take out frustrations on than demons?

3. Buffy Summers – I had to rank Buffy higher on this list (sorry, boys) because she’s the only person who routinely kicks the asses of our #4 players. In Buffy, when Angel turns into Angelus, she not only defeats him, but finds the courage to do what’s necessary and send Angel to hell when he gets a soul back. She also defeats Spike numerous times throughout the series, whether he seems to be on her side or not. Not to mention, ass-kicking is her job as the slayer.

2. Eliot Spencer – Those of you who have not seen Leverage (ahem, Kate) may not know how the show works, but there are five “criminals” with specific specialties that join together to basically play Robin Hood schemes – only 100 times cooler. Eliot is probably my favorite character on that show, although it’s hard to pick. He obviously kicks ass, though – he’s their “hitter.”

1. River Tam – Eliot may be a bad ass for his job, but River from Firefly doesn’t seem like the ass-kicker she truly is, which is why she’s our #1 character that seriously kicks ass. One of the most brilliant people in the world, the Alliance studies her brain, which makes her crazy. The purpose of these experiments, however, was to turn her into a secret government weapon – which means they taught her how to fight. The clip below should give you an idea.

Note for the clip: This clip is actually from the movie, Serenity, but I thought it best portrayed River’s hidden ass-kicking abilities. For those of you who don’t know what reavers are, they’re animalistic savages who attack humans and thrive on torture and death.

Honorable mentions: Monica Gellar (Friends), known for being “freakishly strong”; Zoe (Firefly), for more than just physical strength; Derek Morgan (Criminal Minds), who would make me melt in real life; and Jethro Gibbs (NCIS), who is always in control.

Which TV characters do you think seriously kick ass?