Top 5: Female Led TV Shows

The emergence of multidimensional lead female characters who are more than just a love interest or sidekick has become prominent in entertainment media.


There’s still a long way to go in terms of representation on our screens. But for now, the TV shows listed below embody female empowerment, on-screen and behind the scenes.

jane
© CW

1. Jane the Virgin (2014 – present)

Although the title may not sound intriguing, the series is entertaining and informative. Jane Villanueva, a religious young Latina woman, discovers that she has been accidentally artificially inseminated during a checkup. The telenovela style series focuses on three generations: Jane, her mother Xiomara, and her grandmother, Alba. Jane the Virgin is more than just a love triangle, it shatters the stereotypical portrayal of Latina woman whilst dealing with issues surrounding motherhood, citizenship, immigration, abortion and so much more.

Similar to: Ugly Betty

broad city
© Comedy Central

2. Broad City (2014 – present)

As previously mentioned, Broad City follows two young women throughout their daily adventures in New York City. Abbi and Ilana are not only comedy geniuses but they are accurate portrayals of young women living in the 21st century. Their friendship is probably the most realistic and relatable, they don’t shy away from any topics whether that is politics or sexuality. The pair not only star in the series but are creators, writers and producers too!

Similar to: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

howtogetawaywithmurder
© ABC

3. How to Get Away with Murder (2014 – present)

Annalise Keating, a criminal defence lawyer and professor, is one of the many reasons to watch this series. Her character is so well written as she is intelligent, unafraid to speak her mind and best of all she makes mistakes like a well-rounded character should. She deserved a spot on my Top 10 TV Characters list! Alongside her ambitious law students, they are involved in twisted murder plots that throw various obstacles their way. Michela Pratt and Laurel Castillo are also strong, independent and incredibly flawed women which makes them realistic.

Similar to: Quantico

orphan black
© BBC America

4. Orphan Black (2013 – present)

Sarah Manning, a streetwise hustler, witnesses the suicide of a girl who looks identical to her and is caught up in a conspiracy. Throughout the series, important topics are explored such as science vs religion, women’s bodies and its control. Not only is the plot so engaging but the acting is phenomenal. Tatiana Maslany portrays almost a dozen clones, all with different personalities, sexualities and gender identities. The multidimensional clones form an unconventional family bond which makes the series a must see.

Similar to: Sense8

parks and recreation
© NBC

5. Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)

The women of Pawnee and their friendships bring such joy to our screens. Leslie Knope is extremely loving, she showers her friends with creative compliments and hosts her Galentine’s Day dinner all about “Ladies celebrating ladies”. Ann Perkins is the empathetic and supportive friend. April Ludgate is intelligent, sarcastic and sharp. Donna Meagle is confident, self-assured with a loving heart. All of these women are so supportive of each other which makes the show even more entertaining to watch.

Similar to: The Office


What are your favourite TV shows led by female characters?

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16 thoughts on “Top 5: Female Led TV Shows

  1. That is an amazing list!!! i love all of these shows to death.
    I think Jessica Jones, Supergirl and Agent Carter are/were also good shows with a female lead!!

    1. Thank you! I haven’t seen Supergirl but I absolutely loved Jessica Jones. I think Peggy Carter is a great character but I feel the plot of the TV show wasn’t particularly engaging.

  2. great picks! I would also add veep to this list, i think it’s one of the funniest shows currently on television, and selina meyer is such an interesting character

    1. Veep has been on my watchlist for the longest time, I should get on it! Julia Louis-Dreyfus was hilarious in Arrested Development so I’m excited.

  3. Great choices. I love Jane and Orphan Black. Two of my favorites currently. And both really have a number of prominent women featured. With Orphan Black, you obviously have the clones and with Jane, you have her relationship with her mother and grandmother at the center of things (plus Petra is awesome). I think my all-time favorite female lead on TV would be Veronica Mars!

  4. I LOVE JANE THE VIRGIN!!! Its one of my favourite things to watch ifI’m having a bad day. Its so great how they are so in tune with current affairs!! And will definitely be starting Broad City, it looks really good 🙂

    1. It’s so fun whilst also discussing progressive issues. I’m sure you will love Broad City, I finished it in a few days because it was so addictive!

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