Please can someone tell me of a really good series that has a strong female lead?

(142 Posts)
Lighthousekeeping Wed 20-Mar-13 23:41:58

And not some self absorbed whining woman. I'm looking at you Carrie Bradshaw and you Hannah from Girls and, especially you bloody Meredith Grey.

MrsRochestersCat Wed 20-Mar-13 23:43:21


nemno Wed 20-Mar-13 23:44:51


NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 20-Mar-13 23:45:31


ubik Wed 20-Mar-13 23:45:55

The Killing.

Watch it.

First series of Homeland.

The Killing (Danish original or US remake).

OohShinyChocolateHollowBunnies Wed 20-Mar-13 23:46:38

Buffy the vampire slayer!


Watching it now. Fucking fantastic.

ubik Wed 20-Mar-13 23:46:55

Friend really liked Nurse Jackie

theliverpoolone Wed 20-Mar-13 23:47:17

Scott and Bailey.

montmartre Wed 20-Mar-13 23:47:18

The Bridge, Borgen, The Killing, Six Feet Under

NotAnotherPackedLunch Wed 20-Mar-13 23:48:28

Getting On.

onedev Wed 20-Mar-13 23:50:09

The Closer & now the spin off Major Crimes (but I've only seen 1 episode of that so far - looked promising though!).

Sinkingfeeling Wed 20-Mar-13 23:51:06

Prime Suspect

Lighthousekeeping Wed 20-Mar-13 23:51:11

Oh, I'm liking this list. Loved Damages and am still waiting for the last Season. When is that coming?

Homeland was great.

Haven't seen any of the others yet.

P.S. I couldn't even make it through the pilot of Greys thanks to Meredith Grey's simpering, lisping, needy, whiney, man-obsessed idiocy.

How is that show a thing??


Seconding packedlunch with Getting On.

Best UK comedy of recent years. Bloody ace.

VenetiaLanyon Wed 20-Mar-13 23:52:46

The Good Wife is excellent.

EggyFucker Wed 20-Mar-13 23:53:57

I was going to suggest Homeland but you have seen it.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 20-Mar-13 23:54:21

I'm on the finale of season three of Greys and really can't take anymore.

I loved The Sopranos do will investigate Nurse Jackie.

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 20-Mar-13 23:55:35

Another for The Good Wife

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 20-Mar-13 23:55:36

second buffy - she absolutely kicks arse!

the x files.
yes to homeland
and the killing (danish one)

and the excellent Fringe. olivia rocks.

Nurse Jackie is fantastic. As a Sopranos addict I didn't think I'd like Edie Falco in anything else. I was wrong. She's amazing.

A confusing and conflicting lead character. Thought provoking and heartbreaking.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 00:01:58

Oh I must see if I can get in on Net Flix. She's an amazing actress.

Six Feet Under - Brenda, Clare and Ruth all complicated and fascinating characters.

Also loved Nurse Jackie.

Kima a strong female character in The Wire also.

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 21-Mar-13 00:08:00

Gosh yes vicar Scully in the X Files was amazing.

It's still being made, but Up The Women on BBC4 sounds like it will be great.

Greenshootsandleeves Thu 21-Mar-13 00:14:41

new tricks

BertieBotts Thu 21-Mar-13 00:15:09

Fringe is brilliant - you must watch it.

LuisGarcia Thu 21-Mar-13 00:16:36

BSG. Yes, really

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 21-Mar-13 00:22:12

The Killing
The Bridge

Judyandherdreamofhorses Thu 21-Mar-13 00:24:19

30 Rock

mrsruffallo Thu 21-Mar-13 00:26:56

prime suspect or the closer

runawaysimba Thu 21-Mar-13 00:27:49

Veronica Mars. Fab strong girl detective. She's my lady crush.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 00:30:10

What's Fringe?

BertieBotts Thu 21-Mar-13 00:41:17

It's amazing.

First series is similar to X-files but less boring, with a mad scientist and just generally brilliant character development. It's hard to say much more about it if you want to avoid spoilers - there's a pretty big part of the general plot which doesn't come in until very near the end of season 1, although arguably it doesn't really spoil the story.

It's just fantastic - the characters are likeable and well-developed, the relationships between them are interesting, all of the actors are amazing and deserve several awards (especially in later series) and it manages to be funny, warm, thought provoking and occasionally tense/adrenaline/scary too.

I sold it to my friend by saying - look - do you want to watch a series which has a kick-ass female lead, a genuinely mad scientist, an ex-con man who has a good heart and a sense of morality, a man-in-charge with nerves of steel with one expression which is perfect in every single situation, a proper New York cop and a sassy young black assistant who is much much more than filler?

MartyrStewart Thu 21-Mar-13 00:43:00

The Hour

TanteRose Thu 21-Mar-13 00:52:57

yy to The Good Wife, Getting On and Six Feet Under


Weeds (suburban, middle-class American mum of 2 turns to drug dealing after her husband dies - it is dark and funny!)

The United States of Tara (Toni Collette is brilliant, with the rather lovely John Corbett (Aiden in SATC)

OutragedFromLeeds Thu 21-Mar-13 01:17:44

Another for The Good Wife. Loads of great female characters.

KatieMiddleton Thu 21-Mar-13 01:26:26

Yy The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, Getting On, The Hour and The Closer.

crabb Thu 21-Mar-13 01:32:05

Star Trek Voyager.

ChinngisKhan Thu 21-Mar-13 04:35:12


MsMoppet Thu 21-Mar-13 04:57:59

That is easy - Ashes to Ashes is awesome with two great female characters.

Also The Bridge - the story and female lead stay with you as its utterly engaging.

Yamyoid Thu 21-Mar-13 05:18:24

Heroes? I loved that series and Claire is a particularly strong character.
Another vote for The Killing and Scott and Bailey.
Good suggestions on this thread, must watch some.

Another vote for The Good Wife.
Excellent series.

TheRealFellatio Thu 21-Mar-13 05:24:36

Damages. With knobs on. The two main characters are women, both very strong characters. The men all get supporting roles. It's hugely exciting and full of skullduggery.

And I would agree that Six Feet Under has very strong female characters as well.

TheRealFellatio Thu 21-Mar-13 05:26:18

Although they are not the 'leads' as such - I'm not sure there is really a lead, but if I had to pick one I'd say it was Nate.

Scott &Bailey fan here too.

3 strong female leads. New series about to start.

TheKnackeredChef Thu 21-Mar-13 05:36:43


crabb Thu 21-Mar-13 07:13:45

Ooh, some more - The West Wing. CJ rocks! And Silk, with Maxine Peake as Martha Costello, QC.

tribpot Thu 21-Mar-13 07:26:34

Rizzoli & Isles, and basically everything everyone has said.

Another vote for Fringe of the best Sci-Fi series EVER in my opinion (and I'm a massive geek).

Warehouse 13 has good female characters, though they share the lead with men (not a bad thing, I love it).

Also, Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica is AWESOME.

ChunkyPickle Thu 21-Mar-13 08:00:17

Once Upon A Time has a good number of female characters, and both the people who might be thought of as leads, as well as one of the primary villains are women.

Bones also has strong, competent, permanent female characters

BecauseImWoeufIt Thu 21-Mar-13 08:02:26


yy to Fringe. Olivia rocks.
Whole series was brilliant.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 21-Mar-13 08:09:35

Big Love has lots of women, some strong and many flawed; it's excellent.

Ahh Big Love was brilliant, I wish they'd made more.

Brothers and Sisters

Definitely Weeds

GirlOutNumbered Thu 21-Mar-13 08:15:11


I'm jealous of people who haven't seen they can watch it without having seen it...Is it possible to erase part of my memory so I can watch it for the first time again? I'm sure Walter must have some kind of new-fangled doo-hickey that could help grin

Goodwordguide Thu 21-Mar-13 08:19:45

Yay to Veronica Mars - should be required watching for all young girls as a lesson in self-respect and being smart.

Also second Borgen, The Killing, and The Bridge, though the latter two leads are slightly too dysfunctional for my liking - I sigh a bit when strong women are seen as flawed to the point of being barely able to manage a personal relationship.

Another vote for Fringe, and Star Trek Voyager! grin
Suprised no one's suggested Body of Proof. Dana Delaney (Katherine in Desperate Housewives) as an ex neuro surgeon, now medical examiner. She's not perfect, but brilliant and strong. It also has Jeri Ryan in it (Voyager's Seven of Nine) as Dana's characters boss.

guineapiglet Thu 21-Mar-13 10:08:01

Would definitely agree with the X files, Borgen, the Killing and West Wing!

I really love the role of Gemma, played by Katey Sagal in Sons of Anarchy - it is not for everyone, very violent ( which I usually hate), lots of sex and bad language as you would expect - she is the matriarch of a hardcore biker gang in California, and basically holds it all together, a stong female in a very testosterone filled world, but it is surprisingly tender and emotional at times, and although she is very feisty and dominant. One episode covered her discovering she was menopausal, and it was a surprisingly emotional and touching episode. I cannot think of one drama which has handled this subject without hilarity or mockery or complete lack of understanding, so in amongst some pretty dark and dubious scenes, some real light and empathy from a superb actress.

guineapiglet Thu 21-Mar-13 10:08:28

PS how did I miss Fringe? It looks really good.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 21-Mar-13 10:14:45

Second Body of Proof

gilly86 Thu 21-Mar-13 10:27:23


Lighthousekeeping Thu 21-Mar-13 10:44:19

Aren't I abit too old for Buffy?

No one is ever too old for Buffy.

iseenodust Thu 21-Mar-13 11:41:23

Another for Prime Suspect.

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 11:46:06

fringe very lightweight i thought.

was damages the show with rose byrne and glenn close? that was veyr good if i'm thinking of the right show.

must check out the bridge and ashes to ashes.

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 11:58:56

Ashes to ashes gets good reviewson amazon. do you need to have a good grasp of life on mars? i saw maybe a third of those on tv, whenever it was on. years ago now. I liked it when I caught it i seem to remember. is that patchy knowledge of Life on Mars enough for Ashes to Ashes?

Tallyra Thu 21-Mar-13 12:03:45

Hex. Just found it on Netflix, it's got Jemima Rooper as a strong lesbian character in a 6th form college of some description - some reference to sex and clubbing etc, but it's generally about witches (strangely enough).

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 12:10:36

Good Wife
The Closer (although she can be a bit twee at times)
Law & Order, SVU - Liv and the DA (various women)
Body of Proof
Prime Suspect - I quite like the American version as well.
NCIS LA - Hetty cracks me up.
Medium - but that might be a bit woo for you.
Charmed is probably in the same bracket as Buffy... and about as old, if not older.

keely79 Thu 21-Mar-13 12:15:46

Love the Good Wife.

If you look police procedurals, check out Rizzoli & Isles (on alibi) - focus is on the friendship between the two main female leads - refreshing. Also Castle has a strong female lead detective.

Thumbwitch Thu 21-Mar-13 12:36:49

The Mentalist - joint lead though, the main character is male. But the female lead, Robin Tunney, is good (she was in that film, The Craft, with Fairuza Balk)

LeslieWrinkle Thu 21-Mar-13 13:20:09

she played a strong character in the prisoner, until she was killed off. i find her character in the mentalist just the ground for jane to bounce off. yes, she's likeable, but just a likeable springboard.

trikken Thu 21-Mar-13 13:28:29


Dinosaurhunter Thu 21-Mar-13 13:33:02

True blood ......

LadyFlumpalot Thu 21-Mar-13 13:35:39

Buffy! Also, Firefly by the same chap. Very strong female characters in that.

pompompom Thu 21-Mar-13 13:41:08

Fringe is good (on to season 4 now I think) but the first series took a lot of getting through, IMO. Worth it though, as the story develops a lot and it gets much more involved and interesting straight from the start of series 2. The opening sequences get considerably less gory as well.

Zookiemay Thu 21-Mar-13 13:44:01

Definitely agree with Fringe and so sad that it is no more sad

MaybeOrnot Thu 21-Mar-13 13:47:44

Getting On
Nurse Jackie
The Big C

Continuum is very good.

SignoraStronza Thu 21-Mar-13 13:49:17


JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Thu 21-Mar-13 13:53:49

Hit and Miss. Although technically the lead character is transgender.

ThingummyBob Thu 21-Mar-13 13:55:54

Another fan of Weeds here, plus Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, Scott & Bailey are all bloody brilliant. Yy to the new Major Crimes, loved the first episode.

I must watch Getting On, name sounds familiar and I'm playing catch up on Law & Order too atm. Lots of feisty famale roles in both UK and US versions from what I've seen so far!

Dinosaurhunter Thu 21-Mar-13 13:56:10

Another vote for hit and miss .

motherofallmuddles Thu 21-Mar-13 13:58:17

One Word - Borgen

ivegotaniphone Thu 21-Mar-13 14:02:02

Yes to Buffy! Anything by Joss Whedon has really good female characters.

Dinosaurhunter Thu 21-Mar-13 14:15:11

Oh just thought of another one - revenge

OhSheesh Thu 21-Mar-13 14:17:46

What ivegotaniphone said. Dollhouse is his other series, featuring Eliza Dushku, though it takes some work (I think we'd have given up if it wasn't by Joss). Also voting for Veronica Mars, BSG - not only for Starbuck but also President Rosslyn (sp?) - and Castle.

How did I forget Castle! I'm reading the books as well at the moment. Very funny, and Beckett is kick ass. grin

I second Hex as well, even though it was a little weird.

Dollhouse is brilliant. Something new starting called Defiance has Darla from Buffy in it and I like to think she wouldn't be in something terrible!

Oh and indeed you are never too old for Buffy.

Once upon a time

notyummy Thu 21-Mar-13 14:45:12

Def Starbuck and the Pres in BSG. Both awesome. And not at all glamorous.

megandraper Thu 21-Mar-13 14:49:56

rather old, but available on DVD. You can't beat the Prime Suspect series with Helen Mirren.

musickeepsmesane Thu 21-Mar-13 15:00:38

Rizzoli and Isles, Body of Proof, Bones, Harry's Law, Once upon a time and blush Gilmore Girls

comeonbishbosh Thu 21-Mar-13 15:03:23

Just to take the list into lightweight territory: Gilmore Girls smile

comeonbishbosh Thu 21-Mar-13 15:03:56

Ooh snap cross post!

ThwartedbyMum Thu 21-Mar-13 15:16:12

Another Rizzoli &Isles recommendation here.

musickeepsmesane Thu 21-Mar-13 15:22:56

comeonbishbosh grin

Going back in time, Cagney and Lacey (not even joking).
Also, My So Called Life with Clare Danes was excellent.

rottenscoundrel Thu 21-Mar-13 15:40:07

The Killing

loved them all - massively strong women in there

I feel bereft every time one of those series ends. I think Spiral just ended again and I LOVED that.

Good to hear of all the recs for Spiral. Have the first series unopened and unwatched on my shelf.

Anyone mentioned Mad Men? I think that should be included.

BikeRunSki Thu 21-Mar-13 15:46:40

And Gavin and Stacey for Ruth Jones in that too.

fluffywhitekittens Thu 21-Mar-13 15:48:11

Agree with Fringe, Once Upon a Time, Bones, Buffy, Charmed, Warehouse 13, Battlestar Galactica.
A Town called Eureka was good too and Cold Case, although some of these are quite old.

Whyriskit Thu 21-Mar-13 15:49:30

Getting On.
Must see where I can find Fringe, very much sounds like my kind of thing!

TigerFeet Thu 21-Mar-13 15:55:16

my first thought was Buffy
Followed by Voyager
Then Cagney & Lacey
Finally the Sarah Jane Adventures - officially for children but great viewing nonetheless

My first thought was Ashes to Ashes.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 21-Mar-13 23:42:54

i am so going to miss Fringe - 5 seasons and every one was gripping and different. it evolved, it was incredibly clever, with such likable characters.

who said something about being too old for buffy?

it so wasnt a kiddie series - i was reluctant to watch it when DH got it - first season was a bit weak as it was just finding its feet, but from season 2 on it was amazing. i was totally hooked. i was 36 when we got it....we ended up buying the entire thing on DVD and watched it one after the is seriously good!

i was so annoyed when Dollhouse got cancelled....pissed off didnt cover it. That had the capacity to become truly brilliant. as it stood it ran to 2 seasons, and they let him finish properly (unlike Firefly which just stopped!! and pissed me off equally! i loved both series)

you would be mistaken in thinking they were for teens....(in fact....some episodes of buffy had to be after the watershed as they were, a!)

LittlePushka Fri 22-Mar-13 00:02:11

Xena Princess Warrier - old, I know but she is all that and some.

Contradictionincarnate Fri 22-Mar-13 00:05:30

rizzoli and eyles

BertieBotts Fri 22-Mar-13 00:10:01

I so want to like Buffy but I just can't get into it sad

Newmumsuchfun Fri 22-Mar-13 00:48:22

Buffy the V slayer was originally created as writer wanted a strong female lead who didnt just run and hide from danger. Depending on your age the series go from high school age range (series 1 / 2) to a bit older (3/4) to really quite adult content!! (567). Tackles lots of issues, continually funny, well written. Extremely under rated. Highly highly recommend.

Newmumsuchfun Fri 22-Mar-13 00:49:26

Do NOT recommend ally mcbeal or greys A for STRONG female leads.

EggyFucker Fri 22-Mar-13 06:37:42

What is Fringe about?

TwllBach Fri 22-Mar-13 06:42:34

Anther vote for Buffy - watched it as a you g teen all the way through to now (I'm 25) and honestly, it isn't just for teens. Shaped the person I want to be, it did <wierd>

Revenge does have a few strong female characters in and is quite gripping grin

What about ER? Lots of strong women in that.

merlottits Fri 22-Mar-13 07:28:14

Son's of Anarchy - the mother figure is hardcore.

EggyFucker - it's kind of like X that the "Fringe" division of the government is secret and deals with all sorts of wierd things....instead of aliens though it's parallel universes, time travel, weird science etc. I can't say too much more without spoiling the story but it's ace. Great characters (including John Noble as an acid-head mad scientist who is fantastic), great script, very funny in parts and heartbreaking in others. You really care about ALL the characters and I may have cried a little bit when it finished...

musickeepsmesane Fri 22-Mar-13 09:05:32

the sarah connor chronicles

Osmiornica Fri 22-Mar-13 10:20:25

Lots of people recommending Fringe on here. Is it on Netflix?

EggyFucker Fri 22-Mar-13 18:19:27

sounds good, scarlet

DCIlouisemonroe Fri 22-Mar-13 19:37:25

This Life boxed set - Anna

Six foot under-all females strong but loved Clare

Nurse Jackie

Lighthousekeeping Fri 22-Mar-13 19:44:03

This Life was fab. I can't watch anything more than once that's my problem.

I don't know about Mad Men and strong female leads? I guess the one he's married to mow is pretty feisty.

Re: Mad Men. Peggy, Joan and Betty - incredibly strong women in the face of the incredible sexism of the time.

ElegantSufficiency Fri 22-Mar-13 21:21:50

Megane is strong, but perhaps not any stronger than Betty. Her 'power' at the moment is her youth, her family's wealth and the fact that as yet she has no children and can walk away if she is unhappy. Megane had an education but so did Betty!

Peggy is my favourite. I love the way she pushes back the boundaries even though that is the hardest path. Joanie is clever enough to use what god gave her to get on the world as it was without ever trying to change that world. Peggy was braver. Joanie is strong though. Such an excellent show! love it.

Lighthousekeeping Fri 22-Mar-13 21:24:38

Peggy most definitely. I don't know about Betty really. I wish it would hurry up and come back on. I can hardly remember what happened last season.

I've got quite a list now I shall have to see if I can try and download some of them or else IRS going to cost a fortune. grin

BertieBotts Sat 23-Mar-13 09:48:15

Fringe is probably one of my favourite programmes ever. I may also be slightly in love with Peter

Cherrypie32 Sat 23-Mar-13 17:04:51

Prisoners Wives, new series currently 2 episodes in on BBC. Last series was fab too.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 23-Mar-13 22:39:43

Edie Falco was on this weeks Who do you Think You Are? I can't wait to watch it.

KateBeckett Sat 23-Mar-13 22:48:40

Blue bloods (strong female characters though main lead is Tom selleck!)

EggsPressYourself Sat 23-Mar-13 22:56:03

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy - original Swedish films starting with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander is amazing, and the actress who plays her - Noomi Rapace- is brilliant. Not seen the British version with Daniel Craig so can't comment on that, but highly recommend original.

cherrycherry41 Sat 23-Mar-13 22:58:21

Best thing on the box.

SlatternismyMiddlename Sat 23-Mar-13 23:42:15

I absolutely agree with Buffy, Good Wife and Fringe, fabulous shows that I wish I could watch from scratch.

Also, Nikita for kick ass moves. I enjoyed Chuck as well, strong female co star.

I also think Sons of anarchy is amazing.

ER always had consistently strong females even if it was more famous for the male eye candy.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 23-Mar-13 23:59:56

Silk! Martha Costello is my hero!

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 24-Mar-13 00:05:31

For some trash- revenge is also pretty good! And Judge John Deed- Jenny Seagrove is really good.

I also really love Getting On and in a similar genre, The Thick of It, although it doesn't have strong women as such!

crazy8 Sun 24-Mar-13 00:07:06


Tortington Sun 24-Mar-13 00:07:15

body of proof


rizzoli and isles <----like cagney and lacey and just as cheesy i love it

scarlettsmummy2 Sun 24-Mar-13 00:07:54

Nashville also looks promising.

onedev Sun 24-Mar-13 08:05:48

I'm really enjoying Nashville but not sure I think they're strong women - will reserve judgement on that! grin

House- she's not the main character but cuddy is a very strong female character

littlepinkpear Sun 24-Mar-13 08:19:10

Elementary. First series is available on Sky Go.

Loving Lucy Liu in it.

Thumbwitch Sun 24-Mar-13 10:16:03

Watching Elementary right now. It's great - I didn't think I was going to like it [stuffy old gimmer doesn't like classics being mucked about with] but I really do!

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