30+ amazing best TV shows with female protagonists

TV series with strong female leads stand out in a sea of guy-oriented shows, especially when they are showcasing their softer side.

Television watchers have begun to appreciate an upsurge in female-driven television series hitting the airways in recent years, even if society is still far from reaching true equality.

Nowadays, people can easily watch action or somber drama series with female leads in Tv dramas. There is no shortage of enjoyment, suspenseful, and thoroughly fascinating female-led television on this list.

So, sit back! We are going to list the best TV show with female protagonists to pick from.

Behind Her Eyes (2021)

Image Source: DMT

Director- Steve Lightfoot

Where To Watch- Netflix

Working as a secretary, Louise is a divorced mother. One night, she meets and falls in love with David, who also happens to be her new boss.

Louise meets his wife through fate and learns something about their relationship that she must further investigate. The wife is driven by bizarre nature and shocks Louise with her intuitive abilities. 

David, who was once in love with his wife madly, now hates being with her due to some past incidents. Something odd about his wife’s nature disturbs him, and Louise takes unintentional advantage of his unstable mental condition.

She started an illicit relationship with David while developing a good friendship with his wife. The series sheds light on two main female protagonists.

What If (2019)

Image Source: NPR

Director- Mike Kelley

Where To Watch- Netflix

Renée Zelwegger, an Oscar winner, plays Anne Montgomery in this neo-noir social thriller. Anne is a very wealthy woman who proposes seductively to young scientist Lisa.

Lisa’s impending invention could save millions of children’s lives, but she needs financing to see her technique through the trials and eventually put it on the market.

After being declined by other venture capitalists, Lisa receives an unexpected offer from Anne with a catch.

Anne wishes to spend a single night alone with Lisa’s husband, Sean, a retired professional athlete, to give Lisa the money.

If the couple accepts the terms, Lisa will receive the funds but will never be able to ask about what happened during her husband’s time with Anne.

Insatiable (2018 – 2019)

Image Source: The Independent

Director- Lauren Gussis

Where To Watch- Netflix

Patty was harassed, ignored, and underestimated by others around her for years because of her weight.

However, she has slimmed down and is looking to exact revenge on everybody who has ever body humiliated her. Here comes Bob Armstrong, a disgraced lawyer passionate about mentoring beauty pageant competitors. 

He adopts Patty under his wing as one of the few people who sees her potential, first as a client for legal services and later as a participant in a beauty pageant.

Bob wants to guide Patty to the top of the pageant world, but he and his wife Coralee don’t know the depth of her wrath or the extent to which she will go to get revenge on those who have mistreated her.

Never Have I Ever (2020 – 2023)

Image Source: Netflix

Director- Lang Fisher, Mindy Kaling

Where To Watch- Netflix

A first-generation Indian-American teenager, Devi is one of the most intelligent students in her class but the most neglected one.

In her final years of school, she and her two best friends are determined to be in a relationship; otherwise, they will be categorized into a group of losers. 

She has a strong crush on Paxton- the most attractive kid in her class with huge popularity among girls while she is always in a competitive mode with Ben, who has the same level of intelligence as Devi but is one of the loneliest guys in the school.

In her journey to find her love, she falls into situations where she has to pick between Paxton and Ben. 

Wednesday (2022- Present)

Image Source: EI

Director- Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Where to Watch: Netflix

A detective-driven, supernaturally interwoven mystery that follows Wednesday Addams throughout her time at Nevermore Academy. 

Wednesday struggles to control her blossoming psychic powers, stop a horrific killing spree that has terrorized the area, and solve the paranormal mystery that captured her parents 25 years ago – all while juggling her new and incredibly complex interactions at Nevermore.

The Crown (2016)

Image Source: Netflix

Director- Peter Morgan

Where To Watch- Netflix

Storyline- In this program, Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed as a young newlywed who must run the most prestigious monarchy in history while developing a friendship with the late Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.

The British Empire is in collapse, and the political world is in chaos, yet a new era is on the horizon. 

The Queen’s journey behind the public image is revealed with courageous candor in Peter Morgan’s well-researched scripts.

Get ready to peek behind Westminster and Buckingham Palace’s closed doors to the treasured world of power and privilege.

Orange Is The New Black (2013 – 2019)

Image Source: Netflix

Director- Jenji Kohan

Where To Watch- Netflix

Piper Chapman is a soap maker with a job and a fiance when her past comes back to haunt her.

She receives a minimum-security women’s jail sentence in New York in her mid-30s for her involvement with a drug runner ten years earlier. 

The same-titled novel served as the inspiration for this Netflix original series.

After being forced to switch from business attire to prison orange, Chapman navigates the correctional system and gets used to life in jail by making new friends with many eccentric, flamboyant, and unpredictable folks she meets.

How to Get Away with Murder (2014 – 2020)

Image Source: TV Insider

Director- Peter Norwalk

Where To Watch- Netflix

The ideal professor for criminal law, Annalise Keating, is intelligent, passionate, inventive, and charismatic. She’s also attractive, glamorous, mysterious, and dangerous—everything you wouldn’t expect. 

Annalise is a defense lawyer who represents the most violent and toughest offenders, including those who have committed murder, arson, and fraud, and she is as fearless in the courthouse as she is in the classroom. She will stop at nothing to get their release. 

Annalise appears to have it all on the outside, with a fulfilling career and a devoted husband, Sam.

Still, her friendship with a Philadelphia-based detective named Nate will compel her to face mysteries about her life that she never expected.

Anne With An E (2017 – 2019)

Image Source: TV Fanatic

Director- Moira Walley-Beckett

Where To Watch- Netflix

Storyline- It is a coming-of-age tale of a young orphan looking for love, recognition, and her place in society. This adaptation of the well-known book and movie.

Amybeth McNulty portrays Anne, a 13-year-old who had an awful childhood in orphanages and strangers’ homes. 

Anne is unintentionally sent to live with their elderly cousins, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, who reside on Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s.

Marilla, Matthew, and the rest of their small town experience life-changing changes because of Anne, who shows to be particularly lively, imaginative, and intelligent.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-2022)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Bruce Miller

Where To Watch- Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale tells the tale of life in the authoritarian dystopia of Gilead, which is set in the former United States.

In addition to dealing with environmental catastrophes and a declining birthrate, Gilead is governed by a fundamentalist monarchy that views women as the state’s property. 

The few fertile women still alive are forced into sex slavery to rapidly repopulate a ravaged globe.

One of these women, Offred, is adamant about surviving the horrible environment she lives and recovering her stolen daughter.

House of Cards (2013–2018)

Image Source: Simkl

Director- Beau Willimon

Where To Watch- Netflix

Francis Underwood, the majority house whip, takes you on a long trip as he exacts payback on the people who, in his opinion, harmed him—specifically, his cabinet members and the President of the United States—by claiming they were guilty. 

In this Americanized version of the original BBC series, the dashing, smart, meticulous, and cruel Frank Underwood and his equally cunning but contradictory wife, Claire, take Washington by ascending the hierarchical ladder to power.

The Good Wife (2009–2016)

Image Source: Peakpx

Director- Michelle King, Robert King

Where To Watch- Amazon Prime, Voot

Many critics saw The Good Wife as the “ultimate great drama” on network television during its broadcast duration because of how well-received it was.

It received multiple honors, including five Emmys and the 2014 Television Critics Association Award. The wife of a previous state’s attorney for Cook County is named Alicia Florrick. 

After a scandal involving corruption and sex, he was sent to prison. Alicia has to undergo shame in front of everyone.

She is also responsible for her two kids. She returns to work as a litigator at the legal firm Stern, Lockhart & Gardner after spending years as a housewife and mother. She will now have to defend herself in court.

Trinkets (2019–2020)

Image Source: Popbuzz

Director- Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer

Where To Watch- Netflix

Moe Truax (Kiana Madeira), Tabitha Foster (Quintessa Swindell), and Elodie Davis (Brianna Hildebrand) become friends after meeting at a Shoplifters Anonymous meeting.

Elodie is an introvert, Moe prefers punk flair, and Tabitha comes from a wealthy family. 

These characters all have separate personalities and personas at school, keeping their friendship a secret.

After learning that they all share a tendency to shoplift, they become close. As they deal with their troubles, such as familial and academic concerns, each also finds strength in the other.

Russian Doll (2019-2022)

Image Source: YN

Director- Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler

Where To Watch- Netflix 

Natasha Lyonne, an Emmy-nominated actress, plays Nadia, a young woman traveling to be the guest of honor at a party in New York City in this comedy-drama series. 

But she finds herself in a strange cycle where she keeps going to the same event and passing away at night, to wake up the next morning healthy, as if nothing had occurred.

Along with writing and directing the Netflix original comedy, Lyonne also stars in it and co-created it with Amy Poehler, a former cast member of “Saturday Night Live.”

Jane The Virgin (2014–2019)

Image Source: TWP

Director- Jennie Snyder Urman

Where To Watch- Netflix 

Young Latina waitress Jane, who practices religion, works in a hotel in Miami. When her gynecologist accidentally artificially inseminates her at her exam, her life takes a bizarre twist for the worst.

Although Jane’s grandma Alba, a typical religious Latina, encourages her to follow her heart, Jane’s mother Xiomara, who became pregnant with Jane at a young age, fears that Jane will lose her life by choosing to carry her baby to term.

Rafael Solano, a married cancer survivor, and former playboy, is the biological father. He used to be Jane’s teenage crush and is now the hotel’s new owner.

After learning of the mistake, Rafael’s unscrupulous and smart wife, Petra, invents her plan.

Big Little Lies (2017–2019)

Image Source: Firstpost

Director- David E. Kelley

Where To Watch- Disney+ Hotstar

A darkly-comedic tale of homicide and chaos in the peaceful coastal town of Monterey, California.

The town is divided between haves and have-nots and is fueled by rumors, exposing the complicated relations between wives and husbands, parents and children, and neighbors and friends. 

This community is flanked by caring mothers, wealthy fathers, adorable children, and stunning mansions.

The story of the series, which is seen through the perspective of three mothers, exposes society’s preconceptions about perfection and its idolization of friendship, marriage, sex, and parenting.

Insecure (2016–2021)

Image Source: Youtube TV

Director- Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore

Where To Watch- Disney+ Hotstar

Issa and Molly, the two female characters who have been close friends since their Stanford University days, unpack stories of the Black female experience.

They are both in their late 20s and manage their careers and romantic relationships while living in their native Los Angeles, California.

They have a strong bond, and the drama revolves around their challenges with one another, their friendship, and the African-American community.

Issa works for the nonprofit organization “We Got Y’all,” which supports black middle-school students.

Her long-term lover, Lawrence, has been neglecting their relationship since his start-up failed, and she tries to rekindle the spark in their relationship.

Molly is a successful corporate lawyer who finds it challenging to date guys despite having a respectable career. The half-hour show explores racial and socioeconomic themes related to the modern Black experience.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015–2020)

Image Source: Time

Director- Robert Carlock, Tina Fey

Where To Watch- Netflix 

Kimmy Schmidt decides to travel to New York City after being rescued from an underground bunker where she had spent the last fifteen years. 

She befriends her new roommate Titus and finds employment as a babysitter for Jacqueline Voorhees, the troubled billionaire’s wife.

Despite her many challenges, Kimmy learns to adjust to her new situation and make the most of her new life.

WandaVision (2021)

Image Source: Pinterest

Director- Jac Schaeffer

Where To Watch-  Disney+ Hotstar

Three weeks after the incidents of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Wanda Maximoff and Vision are enjoying an idyllic suburban life in Westview, New Jersey, trying to conceal their real qualities.

The pair becomes increasingly suspicious that something is wrong as their surroundings shift between decades, and they come across several television clichés. 

It combines the look of vintage sitcoms with the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision, two super-powered individuals living their domestic dream lives, start to suspect that nothing is what it seems.

Girlboss (2017)

Image Source: VF

Director- Kay Cannon

Where To Watch- Netflix

This series, inspired by the best-selling book by Sophia Amoruso, tracks the evolution of Nasty Gal, Amoruso’s multimillion-dollar fashion empire.

Sophia is a rebellious, impoverished activist who chooses to launch an online vintage clothing store, and Britt Robertson portrays her in the lead role. 

As her passion and retail fashion business expand, Sophia suddenly becomes an entrepreneur and starts to comprehend the advantages (and challenges) of being in charge of her destiny.

Sophia Amoruso is an executive producer on the film with Charlize Theron and Kay Cannon.

Dead to Me (2019–2022)

Image Source: Netflix

Director- Liz Feldman

Where To Watch- Netflix

Recently, Jen’s husband was killed in a hit-and-run, and the tired widow is desperate to solve the case.

The upbeat, free-spirited Judy recently had a sad loss of her own. Despite having completely different personalities, the women become friends after meeting at a support group. 

Judy tries to protect Jen from the awful news that can end her life as she knows it as the ladies become closer over glasses of wine and a shared love of “The Facts of Life.”

The cast of the dark comedy, which explores the weirdly amusing sides of grief, loss, and forgiveness, features TV veterans Christina Applegate and Ed Asner.

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (2018–2020)

Image Source: IGN

Director- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Where To Watch- Netflix

This remake of this show is a gloomy coming-of-age tale focusing heavily on the occult and horror.

Sabrina Spellman struggles to balance her dual nature as a half-mortal, half-witch while battling off the evil powers that endanger her, her family, including her aunts Hilda and Zelda, as well as the world in which people live in the daylight. 

The show’s titular character, played by Mad Men actor Kiernan Shipka, is based on a comic book series of the same name.

Critics gave the show favorable reviews, complimenting Shipka’s performance, plot, design, and direction.

Jessica Jones (2015 – 2019)

Image Source: IGN India

Director- Melissa Rosenberg

Where To Watch- Netflix

An event involving the evil Kilgrave led Jessica Jones, a superhero with special abilities, to accidentally kill someone.

Jessica Jones has been re-collecting the pieces of her personal life and profession as a hot-tempered, witty private investigator in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City since her short tenure as a superhero ended horrifically. 

Jessica, who suffers from severe PTSD and self-loathing, fights internal and external demons while acting as an unlikely helper for people in need, especially if they’re prepared to hand her a check.

Jessica must take action to stop Kilgrave when he reappears. She discovers in the second season that her mother is still alive due to Karl Malus’ research.

She battles Trish Walker, her adopted sister turned homicidal vigilante, and Gregory Sallinger, an adversary out to disprove her legitimacy, in the third season.

Godless (2017)

Image Source: TG

Director- Scott Frank

Where To Watch- Netflix

The infamous criminal Frank Griffin is on a quest to exact revenge on Roy Goode, a former student who betrayed the brotherhood and his band of outlaws. 

In search of safety, Roy finds it in the remote mining community of La Belle, New Mexico, where he makes Alice Fletcher, a tough widow, and pariah, his companion.

Griffin’s deadly gang is faced with resistance from the citizens of La Belle, a town exclusively run by women.

The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

Image Source: FC

Director- Scott Frank, Allan Scott

Where To Watch- Netflix

Beth Harmon, a nine-year-old orphan, is quiet, moody, and ordinary on the outside. That is until she competes in her first chess match.

Her senses sharpen, her thinking becomes clearer, and she feels ultimately in control for the first time. 

She enters the U.S. Open championship tournament by the age of sixteen.

The danger intensifies, Beth’s solitude becomes more dreadful, and the idea of escaping becomes more appealing as she develops her talent on the professional circuit. Walter Tevis’s novel inspires the series.

Killing Eve (2018)

Image Source: Variety

Director- Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Where To Watch- Disney+ Hotstar

Unlike her perceptions, Eve’s life as a spy is not turning out as she had hoped. She is a desk-bound, extremely intelligent MI5 security officer who is bored.

Villanelle is a skilled assassin with a volatile temper who clings to the advantages of her employment. 

Eve and Villanelle engage in a vicious game of cat and mouse, each lady equally fascinated with the other as Eve is charged with tracking down the ruthless killer.

According to BBCA President Sarah Barnett, Killing Eve stands out in a world of scripted plots as a genuinely fascinating and a great deal of fun.

Watchmen (2019)

Image Source: CNN

Director- Damon Lindelof

Where To Watch- Disney+ Hotstar

The fascinating and scary Watchmen, based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ famous comic novel, takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 34 years after the original plot. 

After a white supremacist ambush on the local police force, which only leaves two surviving officers on duty, rules allow the officers to disguise their identities by wearing a mask.

One of these officers, Angela Abar, takes the identity of Sister Night and confronts racists while dealing with the decades-long bandit history.

Hotel Del Luna (2019)

Image Source: PV

Director- Studio Dragon

Where To Watch- Viki, Netflix

No one has ever seen a strange hotel tucked away in the center of Seoul’s bustling downtown. The building is incredibly old and has stood for millennia as a living reminder that things are often not what they appear.

Jang Man Wol, a corrupt, questionable person who has spent the last thousand years serving as the elite’s CEO, is in charge of this hotel.

Man Wol, cursed for a sin she can’t remember committing, is forced to spend all eternity running this strange hotel, catering to the demands of strange clients.

Finding someone who has sinned worse than her own would be her only chance of escaping, but she is now losing hope after a century.

However, things take an exciting twist when Goo Chan Seong walks there. Chan Seong, formerly the youngest assistant manager to ever work for an international hotel corporation, is now assigned to supervise the Hotel del Luna due to an agreement his father signed with Man Wol years ago.

He is a rigid enforcer of rules and regulations and a perfectionist to the extreme, but it may be precisely what this odd company and its ancient CEO need.

Fleabag (2016–2019)

Image Source: FS

Director- Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Where To Watch- Amazone Prime Movies

Fleabag, a woman with no filter who navigates London’s dating scene while dealing with tragedy, is dry-witted.

The angry, grief-riddled woman tries to heal while rejecting anybody who tries to help her, yet Fleabag keeps up her attitude through it all. 

The series, based on Phoebe Waller-2013 Bridge’s one-woman play of the same name, features Waller-Bridge as the main character and comic actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Shrill (2019-2021)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Aidy Bryant, Lindy West, Alexandra Rushfield

Where To Watch- Hulu

As an overweight pre-teen growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, life was pretty challenging because of all the size 0 clothing thrown at you.

Because of that delicate phase, it was easy to become caught up in poor body image and harmful habits for decades. 

Aidy Bryant plays Annie, an overweight young lady who wants to change her life but not her figure, in the comedy series Shrill from executive producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks.

Annie is attempting to launch her profession while balancing problematic lovers, a sick mom, and a perfectionist boss. Annie learns about herself and her goals for the future along the journey with the help of her best friend, Fran.

Mrs.America (2020)

Image Source: Amazon

Director-  Dahvi Waller

Where To Watch- Hulu, FX

The FX-produced historical drama miniseries Mrs. America debuted on the sister streaming platform FX on Hulu.

The series tells the story of the failed attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and the unforeseen backlash spearheaded by conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly. 

Cate Blanchett plays Phyllis Schlafly, a well-known conservative political lobbyist, attorney, and founder of the “STOP ERA” movement.

Gloria Steinem, portrayed by Rose Byrne, was a well-known feminist, reporter, and sociopolitical activist who co-founded Ms. magazine and the National Women’s Political Caucus.

In the role of Shirley Chisholm, played by Uzo Aduba, a politician, educator, and author, she was one of the first two women to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination and the first black woman to do so.

Unorthodox (2020)

Image Source: IMDb

Director- Anna Winger, Alexa Karolinski, Henning Kamm

Where To Watch- Netflix

The show centers on a young woman who left her upbringing in an ultra-Orthodox area in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district for Berlin, leaving behind an early marriage and a close-knit religious community to pursue her goal of finding her way.

Eight Primetime Emmy nominations were given to the show, including one for Outstanding Limited Series, one for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series, and one for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series (Anna Winger). 

Unbelievable (2019)

Image Source: NY Times

Director- Susannah Grant, Lisa Cholodenko

Where To Watch- Netflix

Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever feature in the true crime television miniseries Unbelievable. It is about a string of rapes in Colorado and Washington State.

Det. Grace Rasmussen, played by Toni Collette, is a Westminster Police Department investigator in Westminster, Colorado; she was modeled after Edna Hendershot.

Stacy Galbraith served as an inspiration for Merritt Wever’s portrayal of Det. Karen Duvall, a detective with the Golden Police Department in Golden, Colorado. Marie Adler, a victim of sexual abuse, is played by Kaitlyn Dever.

Maid (2021)

Image Source: MUBI

Director- Molly Smith Metzler

Where To Watch- Netflix

The series is based on Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive.

Its main character is a young mother who flees an abusive relationship and fights to support her daughter while working handyman works like cooking and cleaning.

In the role of Alexandra “Alex” Russell, played by Margaret Qualley, the young mother leaves her extremely abusive partner, takes her two- or three-year-old daughter Maddy, and gets a job as a maid.

Sean Boyd, Alex’s violent ex-husband and the father of her daughter Maddy, is played by Nick Robinson.

I May Destroy You (2020)

Image Source: FC

Director- Michaela Coel

Where To Watch- HBO, BBC One

 Unpacking the trauma of sexual abuse with dark humor and unsettling situations, this series is bold and sensitive all at once. 

Millennial idol Arabella (Michaela Coel) is a young Twitter star-turned-novelist in her late twenties who rose to stardom with her debut book Chronicles of a Fed-Up Millennial.

She takes a break from her job to meet up with pals for a night out in London even though she is short on time to fulfill a deadline for her second book. 

The next morning, she has difficulty remembering what happened, but with the help of her friends Terry and Kwame, she can recall what unfolded that night.

Featured Image Source: TV

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment