One week after the Supporting Actors, it's time for the ladies, and like the men this was a tough category to narrow down, at one point in the year I had 9 or 10 women vying for the topic six spots in this category. These six women became the no brainers. Not only are these some of the strongest women on television, but they provide some great layered female characters, which are hard to find!
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife
Diane navigated the potential break up of her firm, the choice between career and love, and at the end of the day did so with poise. While everyone loves Kahlinda Diane stole this season making her one of the most valuable pieces to The Good Wife family. Watching her fight to keep her firm was like watching a parent fight for a child, Diane battled to keep the firm, and made sure that at the end of the day she and Will kept control of their baby. Diane is the most underrated character on the show, and Baranski plays her like no one else could; she is strong, and one of the most commanding female performers on television.
Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in Dexter
Boom, you find out your brother is a serial killer, go! Carpenter's acting skills have grown throughout the years, and while everyone has paid attention to Michael C. Hall they often have forgotton about Debra. Watching Debra cope with finding out about the "dark passenger" was one of the most amazing story lines, and Carpenter gave incredible performances week after week. I think the most heart breaking moment was within the last episode where (spoiler) she killed Laguerta instead of Dexter. The ramifications of this act are going to be interesting but Carpenter proved that Deb, not Dexter was the most interesting character this season.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys "Khaleesi" Targaryen in Game of Thrones
Over the years Clarke has grown into her acting much in the same way Lena Headey grew into character in Thrones. Khlaeesi is the "mother of the dragons"she is becoming a force to reckoned with, and the growth of her character has been chronicled well this season. As Khaleesi grows Clarke's strong performance is something powerful, and that should be recognized. In the past this story line, often was my least favorite, but as Clarke's determination and power grow her performance becomes
impressive time and time again. I love the way she not only commands her army, but the screen.
Anna Gunn as Skylar White in Breaking Bad
Skylar may not have spoken much, her grief about the way she and Walt handled themselves and their fake business got the best of her. I always hated this character, and to be honest I still do, but Skylar's portrayer Gunn has taken this once shrill character and made her layered, and given a new depth to her, which never existed. Whether its watching her disgust for Walt, in a more subtle manner or empowering herself Skylar is a different women after a year (the time passed in the show). Gunn has turned in the most spectacular performance this past season, namely because you can't imagine someone working through the complexity of a husband who makes and deals meth.
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards
House of Cards who be nothing without the foil to Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), Ms. Zoe Barnes. Zoe is young naive, driven, selfish, and I could use many more adjectives to describe this young woman. At the beginning of Cards Zoe is ready to do and be anything in order to get ahead. As the season passes by Zoe grows more and more hesitant about the path she has chosen, and the darkness within the political realm which has made into something she never expected. There are times when you believe Zoe and Frank are cut from the same clothe, but in reality this character is the millenial opposite, biting off more than she can chew. Mara is fantastic in this role.
Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman in Parenthood
Runners Up: Abigail Spencer-Rectify, Olivia Munn-The Newsroom, Morena Baccarin-Homeland