By Angie House 

Strong female characters have made their mark on the big screen lately, to wit Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. With the 71st Emmy Awards show scheduled to air this September, Lifestyle Collective is weighing in on our favourite female television characters. We’ll be on the edge of our seats, rooting for these fantastic women this year. Grab a snack, some cosy pyjamas, and pull up a comfy spot on your sofa. Let’s crack into it!

Pulling Rank

First, let’s review some rankings to give you an idea of television’s ‘big picture’ for this year’s nominations.

Despite HBO’s Game of Thrones’ underwhelming series wrap up, this global giant managed to dominate the ranks with a record-breaking 32 total Emmy nominations, the most nominations earned by a drama series in a single year. It’s 10 more than the series had last year, breaking the 25-year-long record previously held by NYPD Blue, which obtained 26 nominations for its first season in 1994.

A close second went to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) with 20 total nominations.

Other notable series with impressive nomination totals include Chernobyl (19) and Barry (17), both on HBO; and When They See Us from Netflix with 16 selections.

HBO also managed to reclaim its Emmy throne and take back the lead from Netflix this year, with 137 overall nominations compared to their 108 received last year–beating its own record from 2015 with 126 nominations. Netflix received 117 overall nominations this year, over a mere 112 last year. NBC came in third with 58 total nominations, followed by Amazon with 47.

Needless to say, Game of Thrones (GoT) is the title to beat this year with 47 Emmys already carved out in their collection–topping the record for most primetime wins in history. However, all good things must come to an end, and much like the GoT series finale, we will be rooting for nominees that many may not be expecting to take the throne.

Here are our top picks for leading or supporting actress in the main categories for drama, comedy, and limited series.

Madam President

Topping our list for lead actress in a drama series this year is Robin Wright in House of Cards, airing on Netflix. Robin Wright portrays Claire Underwood, the 47th President of the United States after her husband Frank Underwood (46th President of the United States) passes away.

As his VP, she occupies the highest office becoming the first female Commander in Chief by calculated default. After Netflix cut Kevin Spacey from the show due to sexual misconduct allegations, Robin Wright has stepped into her Madam President role with grace and shines in her role as the first female President of the United States.

She’s a fierce and determined female presence, and she’s positively got our vote both on and off the screen.

Funny Gal Midge Maisel

From housewife to fast comedienne, no tomato throwing from us for Rachel Brosnahan who portrays Midge Maisel in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. She gets our vote for lead actress in a comedy series at this year’s Emmy Awards. Midge represents so many aspects of motherhood and wifehood, you can’t help but relate to her through her journey of exploration and self-discovery.

She’s brave, complicated, curious, and filled with joy. It’s infectious to see a woman reinvent herself against the pressures of traditional-societal expectations.  

Troubled Journalist

Amy Adams portrays Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects, in the HBO mini-series based on the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name. She fully captures the character’s gritty dark persona as we follow her journey as a crime reporter, investigating the murder of two young girls in her hometown in Missouri. We witness the impact of her external role on her internal nature as she suffers severe mental challenges from alcoholism, self-loathing, and sardonicism.

We are rooting for Adams to take home the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Limited Series for this amazing role, bringing to light important mental health issues and conquering some of the taboos society places on self-harming disorders.  

Honorable Mention

Rounding up our list is Emmy nominee Gwendolyn Christie, who portrays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones (HBO). We don’t have anything against GoT, or any grudge to pick by not rooting for them in the above categories, and we wanted to end this list with a bang.

Gwendolyn gets our support as an honorable mention on this list as a strong female presence who, as did Brienne, took her destiny into her own hands. She nominated herself for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series as HBO did not see fit to submit her directly. Well, her $225 application fee paid off, with the nomination–and the media buzz surrounding it–creating a storm large enough to keep even the Golden Company fleet busy.

Her boldness caught our attention, and we would expect no less from the GoT crew following suit from the series’ overarching theme of always looking out for number one. As a strong female presence, we would want Brienne of Tarth on our side in the GoT world, so we will definitely be rooting for Gwendolyn when September rolls around.

The Countdown

Join us in the fun of throwing your own picks at the television this September. The 71st Emmy Awards airs on Fox at 5pm Pacific Time on September 22nd from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Tune in live as the best in U.S. prime time television programming (from June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019) is honored and chosen by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.