We’ve already discussed how there are too few women writing for TV and movies, and how that makes it challenging to find worthwhile women to watch. Even when there are women on television, they’re often the kind of cloying and annoying characters that make too many compromises, or are possessed with stereotypical flaws that allow them to be palatable to viewers at home (Liz Lemon, I’m looking at you). Or worse, they serve as simply foils or disposable love interests for the show’s male protagonists.
So it’s refreshing when there’s actually a smart, well-written, complex female character on a show. Here are 11 of our favorites (plus an honorable mention). But listen, we can’t watch all the TV (we’ve tried, trust us, we’ve tried). So we’re looking to you to tell us what lady characters don’t make you want to wretch. Tell us in the comments.