As you all know, I love TV (and I watch a lot of it). I also love bad ass females. I love bad ass female actors who play bad ass female characters. So - brilliantly - I decided to put all of these things together so I can gush over some ladies and maybe inspire you to watch these shows!
Here is my list of my favorite performances of those bad ass ladies who got shit done this year on the small screen - 5 drama and 5 comedy.
[Note: I picked characters from shows that I currently watch (or still watch); there are plenty more actresses out there doing their thing in a boss-like fashion (e.g Keri Russell, Claire Danes, Mindy Kaling, Kerry Washington, Wonder Woman etc.) but there are so many to choose from I had to just stick to what I know. Cool?]
1. Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, "The Fall" (BBC2)
Gillian Anderson is probably most known for "The X Files." Until now! "The Fall" is three seasons of the most intense serial killer vs. unwavering detective drama that you could ask for. Set in Belfast, Ireland, Stella's adversary is Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan of "Grey" fame) and she wants to take him DOWN. This clip is from season one to avoid spoilers. Season three just completed on BBC2 and Netflix. Each season is about 6 episodes so it's easy to catch up!
2. Constance Zimmer as Quinn King, "UnREAL" (Lifetime)
Not the most likable character to hit Lifetime (or TV in general, for that matter), but Constance Zimmer's "Quinn" is somewhat twisted example of a smart, fierce and aggressive business woman who doesn't take shit. We can all learn a thing or two from her. Catch up on Lifetime.
3. Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
I am not a faithful follower of "Game of Thrones," but Cersei can't NOT be on this list. She is the ultimate boss. She is the QUEEN boss. Sure she is wicked and she fucks her brother, but you have to be in awe of Lena Headey's performance. She scares the shit out of me.
GOT is heading into it's 7th and final season. Catch up on HBOgo.com.
5. Thandie Newton as Maeve, "Westworld" (HBO)
"Westworld" is my favorite new drama and Thandie Newton as "Maeve" steals the show for her portrayal of a "host" who knows too much. That's all I'll say because YOU HAVE TO WATCH!
The series finale is scheduled for next Sunday December 4. Catch up on HBOgo.com.
10. Carrie Coon as Nora Durst, "The Leftovers" (HBO)
"I lost EVERYONE. I lost EVERYTHING." Oooooh so good. This clip is from the first season so I wouldn't spoil anything if you need to catch up. An interesting, often confusing show, "The Leftovers" is chock full of great actors and Carrie Coon is at the top of the list. Catch up on HBOgo.com.
6. Issa Rae as Issa Dee, "Insecure" (HBO)
I reeeeeeeally got into "Insecure," one of the newest comedies from HBO this season. Issa Rae is captivating to watch as she navigates relationships and her career. Her struggles come through so authentically, and she raps too! Watch Season one on HBOgo.com.
7. Natalie Zea as Robin Randall, "The Detour" (TBS)
I'm sure you've seen Natalie around - she spent five seasons on "Justified" on FX; two seasons on Fox's "The Following;" and a few episodes on "Californication" on Showtime. She always plays a feisty chick and "The Detour" is no exception. (I've told you before to check this one out - it's like "Vacation" for TV.) Click here to learn more about The Detour and catch up.
8. Pamela Adlon as Sam Fox, "Better Things" (FX)
My fave new comedy of the year, "Better Things" is the L.A. based, Pamela Adlon-driven version of "Louie." Adlon's "Sam" is crass and straightforward as she singlehandedly raises three daughters, supervises a drunk, aging mother and manages her career as an actor in Los Angeles. She is my spirit animal. Find out how to watch on FX.
9. Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag, "Fleabag" (Amazon)
I love this description of "Fleabag" on Amazon: "Fleabag is a hilarious and poignant window into the mind of a dry-witted, sexual, angry, grief-riddled woman, as she hurls herself at modern living in London." How can you resist? "Fleabag" is one of the best new characters on TV. Watch season one on Amazon.com.
10. Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, "Veep" (HBO)
Can't have a list of bad ass women without a little JLD. So, last but not least...the pièce de résistance: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer. Her performance on "Veep" should be homework for any aspiring comedian. She is the best. The end.
(P.S. Catch up on "Veep" on HBOgo.com.)