The Women Who Dominate Summer TV

For your consideration, our favorite new and returning shows of the summer feature a lineup of strong female performances. The season brings us unrivaled quality in the form of unique storytelling. From drama to action to comedy, these women dominate the primetime schedule.

As you prepare for your summer staycation, add these titles to your queue.

Orange is the New Black
Samira Wiley


Possibly you’ve already binged this in one sitting. If not, be prepared for an emotional storyline for Samira Wiley’s Poussey. As her backstory is unraveled, her fate in season four has become the subject of controversial discussion. Concluding with cliffhanger that leaves us on the edge of our seats for season five, Wiley’s performance is dynamite.

Queen of the South
Alice Braga

Queen of the South 2

Alice Braga stars in this new USA drama as Teresa Mendoza, a woman who flees Mexico to America after her boyfriend is murdered by his drug cartel. In an attempt to take down the drug lord that is now after her, she starts her own drug empire, making her into the richest woman in the world.

Constance Zimmer & Shiri Appleby

UnReal 4

In season two of Lifetime’s surprise hit, Julia and Rachel return to produce another season of Everlasting. This time, the ladies are in charge and have plans to make a historical change in this sexist dating show. But as tensions rise, they soon find themselves in a deceitful battle for power over this empire.

Animal Kingdom
Ellen Barkin

Ellen Barkin

Ellen Barkin plays a deadly matriarch in this organized crime drama. When Joshua “J” Cody’s mother dies of a heroin overdose, he’s sent to live with his grandmother (Barkin) and her three sons who’ve made a family business out of armed robberies. What grandma says, goes in this household. Otherwise, the consequences could be deadly.

Tara Lynne Barr & Michaela Watkins

Casual 3

Mother and daughter further prove that age means nothing when it comes to life experience. Season two of this Hulu dramedy puts Valerie back in the post-divorce dating scene. Meanwhile, Laura opts for homeschool after things got complicated with her teacher. There, she finds herself making a complicated friendship with a girl in her class

Carla Gugino & Imogen Poots

Roadies 4

Returning to his musical roots, Cameron Crowe’s inaugural series follows the road crew of the Staton-House Band. At opposite ends of the power spectrum, Shelli and Kelly Ann often find themselves at odds. But they share their passion for music as they struggle to produce a successful tour.

Ray Donovan
Katherine Moennig

Ray Donovan

Katherine Moennig returns for season four of one of Showtime’s best. They say behind every successful man is a woman. In Ray Donovan’s case, it’s Lena. She may have anger management issues but her methods are effective.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

BrainDead 2

New this season in the CBS lineup is a dark political comedy. Laurel’s first job on Capitol Hill is a bit more stressful than she imagined. She soon learns that the country’s politicians are not who they appear to be, hosts of aliens feasting on human brains.

Difficult People
Julie Klausner

Difficult People

The struggle is real for women in comedy. Julie Klausner proves that in season two of Hulu’s breakout comedy. With her GBF in tow, this TV recapper struggles to break into the competitive world of comedy, one whimsical mishap after another.

Mr. Robot
Grace Gummer

Mr. Robot 2

In season two of Mr. Robot, Gummer is introduced as FBI Agent Dom DiPierro. A new threat to the fsociety’s band of vigilante hackers, she finds herself at Elliot (Rami Malek), but perhaps they have more in common than she thinks.

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