10. Debbie Gallagher (Emma Kenney) on Shameless
2013-2014 Rank: 14 (+4)
When watching television shows with children for several seasons, the children eventually grow up into teenagers and the awkward stage of puberty. Of course Shameless thrives on the awkward and have had no problem addressing these issues with the Gallagher children (Debbie and Carl). Debbie is no longer the mostly innocent little girl of the Gallagher clan but has now followed in the footsteps of her older family members with some questionable decisions. The biggest one was to sleep with her very drunk (and older) friend, without his consent, just so she could lose her virginity. Unfortunately she seems to be moving toward more questionable decisions, but maybe she can right the ship before it's too late. Actually it's probably too late as the season ended with a question of whether or not she might be pregnant.
9. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) on Orange Is The New Black
2013-2014 Rank: 5 (-4)
OITB is based off a book that chronicles one woman's choice to admit to knowledge of a crime and go to prison for her deeds. Piper is meant to be that woman, and the main character of the show, however after three seasons I find myself less interested in her and more interested in the other inmates. With that being said, Piper still gets more attention than most on the show and therefore there's more storyline involving her. She really turned a corner this past season and has embraced her inner criminal which has made her a bit more interesting. She's certainly not the most likable inmate, but she still represents the backbone of the show.
8. Eva (Robin McLeavy) on Hell On Wheels
2013-2014 Rank: 18 (+10)
This was a strange season for Eva, but not in an unwatchable way. Eva successfully distanced herself from her previous life as a prostitute when she accepted the love of Elam and had a baby. Unfortunately she gave up her baby and Elam disappeared at the end of the previous while going to rescue Bohannon from the Mormons. While Elam remained MIA most of the season, Eva first went off the rails then calmed down to try to get herself in a better position to survive. She was later reunited with Elam, who after being attacked by a bear was brain damaged and not the same. Bohannon was forced to kill him for his own good and Eva would not forgive him. Now it is unclear whether she will return for the final season as she became Madame of the whore house and decided to move them west. That and the story seems to be following Bohannon as he looks for his family and finds himself in the employment of a rival rail company.
7. Amber Holt (Mae Whitman) on Parenthood
2013-2014 Rank: 6 (-1)
Throughout its six year run, Parenthood has provided some of the most feel good and heart wrenching moments on television. The show was simply a family drama, but its feeling of reality successfully embraced the happy, sad, funny and dramatic moments of life. The show consisted of an ensemble cast, but I always felt there were two main heartbeats of the show...Adam and Amber. The two of them do not really intertwine much, but it seemed they were each (though separately) close to many of the biggest moments. Maybe I'm just biased cause these were my two favorite actors of the show going into it, but still. Amber, who has gone through the end of her high school years and into adulthood throughout the series, has been engaging to watch. Sometimes for poor decisions, other times for situations she was forced into. But she usually had good intentions and good relationships with everyone in her family.
6. Fiona Gallagher (Emmy Rossum) on Shameless
2013-2014 Rank: 10 (+4)
Fiona has been on a roller coaster ride since the series started. Sometimes she makes really bad decisions, and other times she seems to be on the right track to being a mature adult (and head of household). This past season was definitely some of her better times, though it is never perfect. She maintained a stable job, but it's never too late to mess it up. Her man issues are always a problem even when they seem good. She quickly got married to her boyfriend, but of course would cheat on him when Jimmy/Steve returns. She was, and will always be challenged by her family. Ian is struggling with being bipolar, Debbie wants to get pregnant and may actually be and Carl is in juvenile detention.
5. Elizabeth Burke (Tiffani Thiessen) on White Collar
2013-2014 Rank: 4 (-1)
The final season of White Collar didn't feature a lot of Elizabeth, who occasionally over the years has stepped in to help on a few cases (as well as become a victim). We did however find out she is pregnant, which is exciting news for Peter and her and a good way to end their story.
4. Galina 'Red' Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew) on Orange Is The New Black
2013-2014 Rank: 7 (+3)
As mentioned in Piper's entry above, I have become more interested in the supporting cast of OITNB more so than the main character (Piper). Yet I still ranked her above everyone on the show...except for one. Red is one of the more interesting in entertaining characters on the show. She appeared to have given up on everything at the start of the season, but it didn't take long for her to start working her way back into power. She is quite manipulative and cannot stay away from leadership. Things might not go so well for her in the next season as a celebrity chef is arriving and is most likely primed to take over her spot in the kitchen which Red so dearly loves.
3. Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) on The Americans
2013-2014 Rank: Previously Didn't Watch
I recently started watching and caught up through all three seasons of The Americans. At first I wasn't sure about it but I found myself pretty addicted. I guess that's what happens when you binge watch. Elizabeth is a Russian spy during the Cold War who created a secret identity with a fake husband (Peter) and has been living in the United States for several years. The two of them continue to work as spies while completely integrating themselves into American society. Elizabeth found herself eventually falling in love with her husband, with whom she had two children with as a cover. Peter has been doubting being a spy for a little while now as he mainly wants to protect his family, but Elizabeth is dedicated to the Motherland. It is however clear she would do anything to protect her children. It'll be interesting to see how she handles her daughter now that 1) she knows her parents are spies and 2) has told her priest.
2. Sameen Shaw (Sarah Shahi)
1. Samantha Groves/Root (Amy Acker) on Person of Interest
2013-2014 Rank: 2 (-), 1 (-)
For a fourth straight year, women of Person of Interest top my list of favorite female characters in a drama. The first two times was solely Joss Carter, who would be killed off last season, and basically replaced with Sameen Shaw and former villain-turned-"enemy of my enemy" Root/Samantha Groves. Now we've had a full season without Carter and the other two women are as important and badass as ever. There was a scary moment mid-season when Shaw appeared to be killed off. Luckily there would be signs by the end of the season that she is still alive, though it is unsure if she is still on the side of good or not. As we go into a final season, Root and the boys must figure out how to save The Machine after they came moments from losing at the end of this past season. And I'm sure we'll see the return of Shaw.
11. Nina Krilova (Annet Mahendru) on The Americans
12. Ruth Cole (Kasha Kropinski) on Hell on Wheels
13. Sarah Braverman (Lauren Graham) on Parenthood
14. Martha Hanson (Alison Wright) on The Americans
15. Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) on Orange Is The New Black
16. Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) on Justified
17. Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) on Boardwalk Empire
18. Kristina Braverman (Monica Potter) on Parenthood
19. Julia Braverman-Graham (Erika Christensen) on Parenthood
20. Diana Barrigan (Marsha Thomason) on White Collar
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