10. Sarah Braverman (Lauren Graham) on Parenthood
2012-2013 Rank: 15 (+5)
Usually Sarah's storylines revolve around romances as she is the only unmarried Braverman sibling, but this past season didn't see a lot of that. I mean there was a tenant in her building who turned out to be a wealthy philanthropist, but she mostly didn't give in. While being a landlord, Sarah also found time to become more skilled in photography and landed a spread for a surfing company. By the end of the season, she found her way back to her boss/partner Hank, who had been working his way back into her heart.
9. Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) on Shameless
2012-2013 Rank: 4 (-5)
Shameless continues to be a show that makes me cringe more than any other. It succeeds in the uncomfortable with a family who never can seem to do anything right. Fiona finally looked like she was on a track to positive success. She got a great job and won custody of her siblings away from her deadbeat dad. Unfortunately in typical Gallagher fashion, it all went to Hell. Fiona was happily dating her boss, until she slept with his brother. She then reacted by binging on drugs and in a low point, allowed her baby brother to ingest cocaine which led to her arrest. Her siblings found it hard to forgive her, but eventually they did. It's safe to say she learned a big lesson and will hopefully clean up her act, especially since she lost her job and is finding out how hard it is to find a new one with a criminal record.
8 Amber Holt (Mae Whitman) on Parenthood
2012-2013 Rank: 5 ((((((gfgw(-3)
Amber is stuck in an awkward place as a character. The adult Braverman siblings get the most storyline time and she's not a kid anymore that can be a focus of their parents' storylines. Also, her younger brother started college and a decent amount of time was spent with the drama of his Freshman year. Amber still finds a way and I continue to enjoy her as a character (and actress). The big events in Amber's life was getting engaged to a veteran with emotional problems, then breaking off the engagement, then running to his bedside after he was in a terrible accident. Doing this all while helping out her younger brother with his girl problems.
7. Molly Solverson (Allison Toman) on Fargo
2012-2013 Rank: New Show
Fargo arrived this past year with a lot to live up to. The Coen Brothers film is a classic and the show was going to revive the magic while not trying to steal from it. They did a really good job in that its multitude of characters were all so interesting that you couldn't help but enjoy all of them, good or bad. The central point of "good" throughout the show was Molly Solverson, a police officer who as a pregnant woman is not respected by her peers even though she is probably the most competent cop they have. She see's the reality of the mystery that takes place throughout the show, but no one really believes her. That leads to the "bad" characters to continue to exist. As I mentioned earlier, it is difficult with this show because I very much enjoyed the "bad" characters and found myself rooting for them often. Fortunately things pretty much worked out for Molly and I'm happy they did.
6. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) on Orange is the New Black
2012-2013 Rank: New Show
Netflix struck gold with their new series Orange is the New Black. Creator Jenji Kohan (Weeds) has brought us another strong female lead who has questionable motives. The show is focused around a female prison filled with many interesting characters, but the central character is Piper. She has turned herself into the authorities for having dated someone several years ago who was smuggling for a crime lord. Piper didn't really do anything, but she technically was involved and knew about it so she felt she needed to do the right thing. After two seasons (I'm writing about two since they have occurred in the last year), Piper has gone from an innocent scared girl to a strong "I don't give a damn" woman.
5. Galina "Red" Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew) on Orange is the New Black
2012-2013 Rank: New Show
Though Piper is the main character of Orange, there are a slew of characters who all get plenty of attention in the storylines. My favorite is probably Red, a Russian whose husband was connected to the mob. Red was the leader in the kitchen through season one, but in season two fell into some hard times. She found herself moving back into power amongst the inmates by the end of season two.
4. Elizabeth Burke (Tiffani Thiessen) on White Collar
2012-2013 Rank: 3 (-1)
In a typical White Collar season, we see plenty of Neal, Peter and Mozzie with a bit of Elizabeth. She may not be a focal point on the show, but when she does appear she definitely makes an impact. Sometimes the cases relate to her or her field of expertise (art), and sometimes she gets in on the action (undercover, kidnapped, etc). I will take an little bit of Elizabeth as I can get. She makes Peter better while bridging the friend gap between him and the criminal Neal and Mozzie.
3. Joss Carter (Taraji P. Henson)
2. Shaw (Sarah Shahi)
1. Root (Amy Acker) on Persons of Interest
2012-2013 Rank: 1 (-2), Unranked, Unranked
For a show that mainly started with a male tech genius/millionaire and a male former marine/assassin, Persons of Interest has really moved in the direction of strong female characters. It all started with Detective Joss Carter, who was at first the main opposition to Reese and Finch, then eventually she saw the good they were doing and decided to work with them. Then came along Root, who was at first an enemy to the boys (seems to be a trend) but as there arrived larger threats she became more of an ally (the enemy of your enemy...). Then early this past season Shaw, also a former assassin, got tied in with the boys and started working with them. It soon became clear that she was brought in as a replacement for the soon to depart (by character death) Detective Carter halfway through the season. Overall they have all become sort of a ragtag team, and the show has only gotten better with the emergence of these characters.
11. Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen) on Parenthood
12. Kristina Braverman (Monica Potter) on Parenthood
13. Debbie Gallagher (Emma Kenney) on Shameless
14. Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren (Uzo Aduba) on Orange is the New Black
15. Erin Reagan-Boyle (Bridget Moynahan) on Blue Bloods
16. Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) on The Newsroom
17. Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) on Boardwalk Empire
18. Eva (Robin McLeavy) on Hell on Wheels
19. Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) on Justified
20. Det. Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) on Blue Bloods
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