C&L's QuaranStream: Best Female Protagonists In TV Crime Part II
April 1, 2020

Yesterday, I posted five of my favorite female protagonists in TV crime drama of all time

Here is the second installment of "what to watch when you're stuck at home for years," female protagonist edition. Not only are these performances exquisite, but the shows they are on totally rock.

Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer

I didn’t start to immediately watch this 2005 TNT show about an ex-CIA interrogator brought to the LAPD to get confessions before cases go to trial because too many high profile murderers were being acquitted by juries.

But I stumbled on it one day and I’m glad I did. Kyra and the show don't get enough props from the critic community but it is an excellent procedural with a terrific supporting cast.

The Closer
is reminiscent of Prime Suspect in that a brilliant female detective is brought in to lead a major crimes unit of a big city and had to fight against misogynistic blow-back as well as arrest the bad guys at the same time.

Not only is Kyra’s performance stellar as Brenda Lee, but each case rose above any TV procedure in its class.

It's streaming on Amazon prime.

Ruth Wilson – Luther

Ruth Wilson’s Alice ( Season 1 episode 1) What can I say about Alice? She doesn't work in law enforcement, but her genius character is one of the all-time greats on the small screen in a police series and she must be recognized.

In a way she was almost as important to the success of Idris Elba's signature TV show as he is and it made her a star immediately.

Streams on Netflix. Season 5 streams on Amazon.

Amy Acker – Sarah Shahi - Taraji P. Henson Person Of Interest

What started out as a case of the week crime series based on a super computer's predictions, morphed into a riveting heart pounding Sci-Fi series from the mind of Jonathan Nolan that is better than Westworld. Yes, it is better.

Okay, I admit I'm an Amy Acker fan boy because of her performance on Angel, so I was excited to see she had a role on Person of Interest which is the reason I took a shot at it.

She is just as deadly as Reese and rivals the brilliant mind of Finch and by the middle of season two she became just as important as anyone on the show.

I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to the other ladies of POI. During the shows five season run, there were not one, two, but three excellent lead roles for women.

Sarah Shahi's Sameen was a wet work specialist for the government who became crucial to the series.
And Taraji P. Henson was a cop at first chasing after the man in the suit, until eventually she became an ally and a lover.

Streaming on Amazon and Netflix

Jennifer Garner – Alias

Alias comes from the mind of JJ Abrams and it was his first mind-bending thriller. It’s a twisty espionage, double-crossing, mystic thriller featuring a fifteenth century Italian philosopher and inventor that turned Jennifer into a star.

Her disguises, along with her athleticism and acting chops turned Sidney Bristow into one of the great female protagonists of all time. It never had a tremendous audience so it goes un-looked by too many people, but trust me the double episode pilot will immediately reel you in.

Gina Torres, Merrin Dungey and Lena Olin turn in fine performance as recurring characters also.

As of this moment it's not streaming for free, but you can buy it for 14.99 a season (22 episodes) on all the streaming services like Apple TV and Amazon.

Krysten Ritter - Jessica Jones

This is the only Marvel/Netflix series I truly enjoyed and Krysten is the prime reason why along with a tremendous season one villain in David Tennant's Kilgrave.

Yes, she has some superpowers, but she hates the fact that she has them and how she got them and drinks alcohol to forget the pain and the loss of her family.

I wrote a review on it when he dropped in 2015.

It delves into the shattered psyche of a woman who was physically and emotionally abused by a man with mind control powers and how she attempts to deal with the aftermath.

Streaming on Netflix

Kristen Bell - Veronica Mars

Before I watched this show I thought it was a CW ripoff of Buffy, but after I finished the first episode I realized Bell was a star and the writing was terrific. Rob Thomas takes the HS genre and makes it his own.

It's really a series about the relationship between a father and a daughter and the class struggles within America. Oh, and her best friend gets murdered.

Streaming on Hulu. (We want a season 5)

Diana Rigg - The Avengers

Emma Peel. Need I says more?

Right now I can't find her episodes streaming for free. I imagine they are on some obscure app on Roku but you can buy episodes on Amazon.

This is very subjective list but I think one that will stand up to anybody's. We all have our favorites so please list others in the comments section.

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