There are a lot of funny women on television, but there could be more! This list was not hard to narrow dow, the only other people I would have potentially on this would have been Tina Fey (30 Rock), or Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie). With Dern's show off the air, Foster's show potentially cancelled, and 30 Rock off the air, there are fewer shows with strong female leads. I am hoping that this category gets some great new potential with the fall 2013 shows.
Laura Dern as Amy Jellicoe in Enlightened
After only two seasons, creator Mike White's show had the plug pulled. I will admit that this show grew on me, partly because White found his groove, but also because leading lady Laura Dern is a great actress who make Amy incredibly realistic persona. Amy, and Enlightened are not your traditional comedy archetypes, but there is an something honest about her acting. Amy wants to live a vivid more connected life, and Dern provides audiences with acting that makes you feel connected with this character.
Zooey Deschanel as Jessica Day in New Girl
Jess went through a lot this year, from being sex buddies with her boyfriend, and realizing she wanted more, to thinking about wanting children, to dealing with her parental baggage, to dating her roommate Nick. While the first season introduced the quirk the second season added even more depth and layer to Deschannel's Jess. While many will argue the actress is playing herself, or a version of other characters she has played before, I have argue, that Deschanel still does a great job. Zooey added life to this character, and had one of the best years for a female performer; she is a vision here, and does a fantastic job within this role.
Lena Dunham in Hannah Horvath in Girls
Hannah, Hannah Hannah, you got a job writing finally, but then you couldn't put words on the page. One of the most interesting aspects of Hannah's journey this season was the exploration of her OCD, watching Dunham explore this offbeat topic with the blended mixture of humor and drama was some of the best television from this past season. At the center of this show Dunham is a captivating leading lady, who does not fit the mold, Hannah defies the norm constantly, and does so with guts. Dunham is great within this role, her performance within the season finale is proof.
Sutton Foster as Michelle Simms in Bunheads
Sutton Foster is one of my favorite Broadway babies, he performances in shows like Anything Goes, and even Shrek were fantastic. In Bunheads Foster continues the fast talking tradition of Amy Sherman-Palladino as the fast talking Michelle, who is whisked away from her life as Vegas showgirl to get married and move to a small town. Foster is brilliant as Michelle, the way she mentors the young girls with whom she teaches, and how she spars with Kelly Bishop; she carries the mantle of fast talking champ Lorelai Gilmore well. Let's just hope she gets to do more, and the show is picked up.
Julia Louis Dreyfus as Vice President Selena Meyers in Veep
Dreyfus is one of the best female comediennes in the history of television. This is of course a bold statement, but this woman has created three different television characters (all great), and been a player on Saturday Night Live. In season two Selena helped save hostages, ran into a glass door, and contemplated her own Presidential campaign, none of it was with ease, and most of it was clumsy. Dreyfuss is the commanding force on this show; she is is great in this role, and really nails every moment, every facial expression with ease.
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation
I like her and I love her! Leslie's first year on city council was met with many obstacles, like councilmen Jamm, town folk who were willing to let law keep them in the 1800s, and so much more. The beginning of the season also had her far away from her boyfriend Ben, but that was fixed after Gerry had his fart attack, and Ben proposed. Poehler still adds new layers to Leslie after all these years; she is one of the funniest women, and makes this sometimes compulsive women the most like able characters on television.