Exclusive Supercut: TV’s Year of Kick-Ass Women

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This Sunday’s Political Animals finale marks the near-end of one great year in television — specifically for the ladies. What was supposed to be the year of “the sad men,” ended up being the year of women kicking ass, in their jobs, on the battlefield, and (at the risk of sounding cheesy) in being true to themselves. Yes, Liz Lemon and Jess Day have received their share of flack, but they own their weirdness, and not in a faux-geek way (see Newsroom‘s Maggie Jordan dodge those bullets). From Pawnee and Capitol Hill to Westeros and beyond, television’s past year of intelligent, empowered, and awesomely flawed female characters is nearly enough to make us forget Sorkin’s “women problem,” which has been stealing our attention for over the past month (some publications have even kept tabs with their own Sorkin Sexism Watch). So here’s to the ladies, and what we hope will be an even better season beginning in September. If you’d like to pay tribute to your own personal favorite TV goddess, please do so in the comments.

CREDITS edited by MICHELLE RAFFERTY music by Jim Jones ft. Lloyd and Girl Talk featuring (in order of appearance): LESLIE KNOPE and THE PAWNEE GODDESSES– Parks and Recreation CARRIE MATHISON – Homeland LUNA GARZA – True Blood PEGGY OLSON – Mad Men ELAINE BARRISH – Political Animals JESSICA PEARSON – Suits YGRITTE – Game of Thrones EMILY THORNE – Revenge EILEEN RAND – Smash JESS DAY – New Girl PATTY HEWES and ELLEN PARSONS– Damages LEELA and AMY – Futurama EMMA SWAN – Once Upon a Time BRIENNE OF TARTH – Game of Thrones TARA THORNTON– True Blood JOAN HOLLOWAY– Mad Men SYBIL CRAWLEY – Downton Abbey SHIRLEY BENNET and ANNIE EDISON – Community LIZ LEMON – 30 Rock NIKITA MEARS – Nikita OLIVIA POPE – Scandal JANE BINGUM – Drop Dead Diva GEMMA TELLER MORROWSons of Anarchy OLIVIA BENSONLaw & Order OLIVIA DUNHAMFringe BRITTA PERRYCommunity REAGAN BRINKLEY– Up All Night DONNA MEAGLEParks and Recreation VICE PRESIDENT SELINA MEYERVeep ALEX UDINOVNikita SUSAN BERG– Political Animals DAENERYS TARGARYEN– Game of Thrones