It was a good year for female characters on TV. There were action heroes and anti-heroes, old favorites and new additions. As the finales air and they leave the screen for summer, it’s time to look back and crown a handful of these ladies the most interesting, funny, evil, and just plain entertaining we’re seen in years. It doesn’t matter if they popped up on the prestige channels, network, or even a channel normally reserved for teenagers, these women of television are awesome, and they deserve serious recognition.
Queen Catherine, Reign
The best characters don’t have to be nice. This season Catherine tried to murder the show’s infinitely more likable leads too many times to count, but every time she walks into a room, the chorus of “Itty Bitty Piggy,” seems to play. And as Tina Fey once said, bitches get stuff done.
Fiona Gallagher, Shameless
Shameless was completely heartbreaking this season, mostly because it followed Fiona’s descent from selfless caretaker to self-destructive inmate. Still, the audience was rooting for her to climb out of the hole, and take back her place as protector of the Gallaghers.
Abbie Mills, Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow, come for the cute British guy, stay for Abbie Mills, kicking ass and stopping the Apocalypse. She and Ichabod might technically be partners, but with her fearlessness and cool head, Mr. Crane often came off as her hunky, slightly confused sidekick.
Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
Poor Alicia has had a rough season (if you’ve managed to avoid the spoilers, congratulations and invest in some tissues) but she’s also had one of her strongest, opening her own firm and holding strong against her old one.
April Ludgate, Parks and Recreation
This year we saw some much-needed vulnerability and self discovery mixed in with April’s trademark death stare and sarcastic remarks. She dealt with a lot—from a long distance relationship to becoming a boss—and she did it with just the right amount of snark.
Detective Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
She’s a little terrifying, but that’s part of her charm. And the fact she would drop kick anyone who said she had charm is the other part.
Dykes and Fats, Saturday Night Live
Less than two minutes of screen time, still the best.