There’s no question that entertainment lacks representation of females of various backgrounds. But over the years, and most recently, there has been a bundle of shows that feature strong female characters. From Veep to Firefly this is a list of the best female lead TV shows over the years. When viewers turn on their TV they no longer have to see a damsel in distress. Finally Television is giving its female viewers characters that we can relate to and be inspired by. (This list is in no particular order)
Scandal is a political thriller that airs on the TV network ABC. The hit series was created by Shonda Rhimes (Greys Anatomy) who is also the executive producer. The series stars Kerry Washington who plays Olivia Pope. Olivia Pope owns her own crisis management firm where she is a “fixer”. Pope represents a wide variety of clientele, from rape victims to hate crime victims. Besides the fact that this is one of the only shows on TV with an African American female lead, the show has an ensemble cast of various extraordinary female characters who won’t let anyone stand in the way of getting what they want.
2.Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie is a comedy series created by Marta Kauffman (Friends) that streams on Netflix. The currently prime time Emmy nominated series stars Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomlin (Frankie) as two women who find out their husbands are a little more than business partners when they announce they are in love with each other and want a divorce after 50 years of marriage. Trying to cope with the pain and betrayal, the two main characters (who never really liked each other) bond and form a friendship like no other. It is immensely refreshing to watch a TV show about older women for a change.
3.Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black is a comedy-drama created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds) that streams on Netflix. If you haven’t heard of this prime time Emmy nominated show by now you must be living under a rock. OITNB is based of off the memoir “Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Womens Prison” by Piper Chapman. The show revolves around Piper Chapman’s experience in a minimum security womens prison. For starters, pretty much the whole cast is an ensemble of highly talented women of every age who come from various backgrounds. The show represents female identity in a practical way with its characters. The characters deal with many societal problems like sexism, racism, trans-phobia and even mental illness
Veep is a political comedy created by Armando Iannucci that airs on HBO. The TV show that has been nominated for six Prime time Emmys stars Seinfeld’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Nominated for a Outstanding Lead Actress) as Selina Meyer a Vice President who is navigating her way through the white house with her quirky entourage. Don’t go looking for your average femme fatale in Veep, besides the VP’s right hand woman Amy (portrayed by Anna Chlumsky), because the main character is just as arrogant and irresponsible as her male counterparts which is what make the show so funny. Selina Meyers is just your average politician who has sold her soul and will do anything to win Presidential candidacy.
Firefly is a space western sci-fi series, written by Joss Whedon (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer) that takes place in 2517. The action packed TV show stars Nathan Fillion (Mal), as the captain of a Fire-fly spaceship vessel called Serenity, and GinaTorres (Zoe), who portrays his first mate. Fillion is accompanied by a brilliant crew of bandits who travel the galaxy preforming various tasks for clients while staying out of the alliance’s radar. The show has many inspiring diverse female characters and even represents a gay relationship in one episode. Although the show only lasted one season it was highly praised and even received an Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
6.Jane The Virgin
Jane The Virgin is a comedy drama created by Jennie Snyder Urman based of off the telenovela Juana la Virgen. The highly praised series stars Gina Rodriguez (Best Actress in A Television series) as Jane, a young virgin who becomes pregnant after being artificially inseminated. Only on its second season, the show has an amazing cast of predominately Latino American characters and has already picked up a Peoples Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. The second season is set to air in October and it has already been announced that Britney Spears will be guest starring.
7.) Don’t Trust The B**** In Apt 23
Don’t Trust the B**** in Apt 23 is a sitcom about two roommates who live in New York trying to make ends meet. The series was created by Nahnatchka Khan, although the show was cancelled after two seasons and didn’t pick up many awards, the cast was admirable and the show itself definitely had its laughs. Don’t Trust The B**** in Apt 23 is a perfect example of sexism in Hollywood. The sitcom can be added to the list of many female lead TV shows being cancelled too early because they don’t appeal to male viewers, despite the fact that females are the ones watch the most television. Krysten Ritter stars as one of the main characters, Chloe, who is not what society would deem as the average female. Chloe is confident and free spirited, character traits that can easily be seen as negative when you are a woman due to double standards. Chloe resembles a present day Holly Golightly, she loves having one night stands and is the complete opposite of nurturing. She is the cool party girl that everyone wants to be friends with. At first it may seem as though Chloe has no feelings, but in all actuality she is just too tough to show them. There needs to be more female characters like Chloe on TV to show a strong, independent, rather strange, and definitely different type of woman, who embodies the ideas of many young women today.