Top Ten Powerful Women on TV

By: Maggie McMorrow

The past couple years has seen some great new TV shows and some wonderful developing plot lines on some old favorites. One theme that is definitely showing up in numerous different shows: strong female characters. Whether it be Vice President of the United States or head witch of New Orleans, females on TV are definitely kicking ass. Here is a list of the 10 most powerful female characters on TV.

1) Olivia Pope (Scandal)

Star of the show Scandal, Olivia Pope is head of the crisis management center, Olivia Pope and Associates, or as she likes to refer to them, “gladiators in suits.” After helping Fitz Grant with the presidency, Olivia becomes to number one girl for politicians with a crisis. Olivia breaks and bends the rules to help her clients which leads to some entertaining moments and never backs down from a challenge.

2) Claire Underwood (House of Cards)

As the philanthropic wife of Frank Underwood on House of Cards, Claire is cut throat and makes no apologies for who she is. She runs a DC nonprofit with as much intensity and apathy as she would a stock firm on wall street. She is represented as Frank’s equal if not his mastermind on the show and represents a woman who knows what she wants, and will do anything to get it.

3) Violet Crawley (Downtown Abbey)

She is the sharp tongued and witty grandmother and matriarch of the Crawley family on Downton Abbey. With cutting one liners and hilarious commentary for almost any family, despite not technically being the head of the Downton Estate, Violet might as well be. She is all about tradition but supports her granddaughters no matter their endeavors and will always win in a fight. She is surely one of the most entertaining characters on Downton.

4) Joan Holloway (Mad Men)

She is the office manager of the advertising agency, Sterling Cooper, Holloway has climbed her way to the top and used her powerful male counterparts as models for the woman she becomes in a time where women in power were not a common occurrence. She uses the men in the office as steps on a staircase to her way to partner sleeping and flirting with whoever necessary. She is a strong enough character to completely gain the respect and the attention of her male co workers.

5) Fiona Goode (AHS: Coven)

Fiona Goode will murder, manipulate, and destroy anyone that stands in her way of maintaining power as head witch of New Orleans. She is often the one to clean up the messes of the younger members of the coven and always knows how to solve a problem, whether it be digging up Madame Lalaurie for an anti aging potion or going against a voodoo master.

6) Carrie Mathison (Homeland)

Despite her struggles with her emotions and bipolar disorder, Carrie Mathison is undoubtedly brilliant. She will take a lead and follow it until she she answers all questions with an intensity that is both her strength and her downfall. She is one of the greatest and most trusted assets of the CIA and is definitely one of the most powerful and interesting characters on Homeland.

7) Selina Meyer (VEEP)

Chosen as Veep after losing the primaries to the now POTUS, Meyer is an indestructible and a force to be reckoned with in Washington. She is always looking ahead at the next big thing and will stop at nothing to reach it. Her misfortunes throughout the show prove to be some of the most hilarious moments and at the end of the day, as horrible as she is, you love and root for her.

8) Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)

The hilarious leader of the Parks and Rec Department in Pawnee, Indiana not only represents brilliance but also unwavering hope for a city that is almost never on her side. Leslie is an epic problem solver and support system for all her co workers and friends. She does every task with obsessive focus and positivity and by the end of the last season, all her hard work pays off. She is a wonderful example of how being supportive, positive, and smart are the three best qualities anyone can have.

9) Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

She may not be the top dog at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital, but Cristina is one of the most powerful, and badass characters on Grey’s Anatomy. She accepts every challenge brought to her and is the first to try out innovative medical practices. Her relationship with Meredith Grey is a great example of a positive and supportive female friendship on TV and throughout the show you are able to watch her grow both professionally and emotionally.

10) Red (Orange is the New Black)

The fearless head cook of the New York women’s correctional facility in which Orange is the New Black takes place. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and runs the kitchen with an efficiency that keeps the entire prison well fed. She seems like she has a serious hard edge on the outside, but once you get to know her, and learn her backstory, you understand that she is really an extremely supportive and empathetic person. She is just one example of the numerous powerful female figures on Orange is the New Black.


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