Our favourite females leading the way on TV

With every passing season, we're treated to some of the finest actresses around exploring interesting characters and keeping us entertained on the small screen.  As part of our Women On Top issue, here are some of our favourite females leading the way on TV.





Claire comes Home(land)

We first fell for Claire Danes on television as cherry-red-haired teen Angela Chase in My So-Called Life.  She then left the small screen to star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, and went on to a pretty successful movie career.  But her second coming on television arrived with award-laden mini-series Temple Grandin and it has since continued, with the phenomenal Homeland.  Aside from the fact the show is among the best new series of the past few years, Danes' performance is standout in an excellent cast.  As Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent who believes a returning former prisoner of war has been turned, Danes gives a startling, unpredictable performance.  Carrie is not always likeable, but she's among the most layered, human characters you can see at the moment, and the performance and character feed into the tense, complex nature of the show.  It's good enough that, seventeen years after first winning a Golden Globe for My So-Called Life, Danes returned to the podium to take the honour again this year.





Downton's Dames

Quickly establishing itself on the must-watch list, Downton Abbey took the Upstairs Downstairs formula of aristocracy and servants and thrust it into the mainstream again, with withering one-liners, soapy dramatics and addictive story arcs.  The Julian Fellowes-created hit has gone down just as well in America, hooking in fans like Young Adult's Patton Oswalt, who live-tweets every episode with glee.  It swept up six Emmys, won a Golden Globe and is even inspiring fashionistas to pick up faux-fur capes and elbow-length gloves.  Joanna Froggat and Jessica Brown-Findlay are among the younger breakouts from the show, but the crown goes to Dame Maggie Smith, reeling off memorable lines as the Dowager Countess of Grantham.  If she weren't enough, Shirley Maclaine is due to join in series 3!



Read the rest of The First Ladies Of Television, in our March 2012 issue.  Out now!



Who are YOUR favourite TV females?  Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section, below.

"Claire Danes’ performance is standout in an excellent cast."

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