For decades on television, women were shown as helpers, sidekicks and even victims, but rarely shined on their own as strong personalities to be emulated. While female portrayals have yet to infiltrate all programs, many of today's women characters are shining examples of strong women who are independent and get what they want. Get Direct TV at home or Netflix to watch these leading ladies whose characters have admirable traits.
Peggy, 'Mad Men'
Little Peggy may have started out the series quiet and unassuming, but she quickly bloomed into a liberated woman in this '60s iconic show. Instead of being satisfied with a secretary's job, she has carved a career in the most old-boy-network possible, Madison Avenue advertising agencies.
Olivia Pope, 'Scandal'
Olivia Pope is the ultimate in strong women. She started out as White House Chief of Staff, had a love affair with the President of the United States, and left the office to start her own management firm. She uses her own myriad contacts in Washington to achieve justice for her clients, no matter who opposes her.
Claire Underwood, 'House of Cards'
Claire Underwood is one half of the ultimate political couple: wired into every place that counts, able to pull strings her husband Frank can't touch, and still pushing her own agenda. She runs the Clean Water Initiative, a nonprofit organization while working on her husband's career behind the scenes. Ever the pragmatist, she coldly acknowledges her husband's affairs as the cost of doing business, knowing all the time they have a strong bond: POWER!
Elizabeth Jennings, 'The Americans'
A character trying to bring down the United States government may not seem like one worthy of admiration, but Elizabeth Jennings is a strong woman doing what she does best and sticking to her morals as she sees them. Raised in the Soviet Union, she is trained to be a sleeper spy from a very early age. Planted in the United States with a virtual stranger as her "husband," she must create a typical American life on the outside while continuing to follow her spy instructions on the inside. Elizabeth is fiercely in love with her mother country and would never consider betraying her beliefs, even for the easier life of a true American citizen.
Temperence Brennan, 'Bones'
Temperence Brennan began this series as an almost emotionless forensic anthropologist, living in a world of logic and straightforward thoughts. She's come a long way since the series began, falling in love with her partner, Seeley Booth, having a child with him, learning to have a sense of humor, becoming a fiercely protective mother and going into hiding with her daughter when danger threatens and becoming a bestselling author. Always awkward and extremely intelligent, Brennan is the woman most of us root for when it comes to odd underdogs. She seems to have everything, but what she really deserves is happiness.