The Fairest and Most Badass of Them All: My Top 20 Greatest, Sexiest and Most Dangerous Ladies of Television.

Kendall Rivers
9 min readJul 13, 2022
Lucy Liu as Joan Watson from Elementary.

Television has given us many lovely and lethal ladies who can kill ya with their wit, looks or just literally kill ya. At the end of the day these are twenty of the fairest and most badass of them all.

20. Lois Lane. Lois & Clark.

Terri Hatcher.

For yours truly, no other actress has embodied Lois Lane, ace reporter and Superman’s sassy and gorgeous main squeeze on television better than Terri Hatcher. In her hands we saw so many of Lois’ wonderful colors: toughness & vulnerability; intelligence & sexuality; warmth & sharp tounged. Lois was not your typical damsel in distress. She was a highly capable reporter and a great partner for Dean Cain’s Clark\Superman in any situation they got themselves into. Lois Lane is someone who you don’t want to get on her bad side. You’ll live to regret it.

19. Christine Cagney and Mary-Beth Lacey. Cagney & Lacey.

Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless.

Christine Cagney and Mary-Beth Lacey were the super badass female cop duo of the 1980’s. They were different as night and day with Cagney being the single career woman and gung ho conservative tomboyish one and Lacey being married with children, a rule abiding liberal who was more lady like. But what they had in common were their dedication to the job and kicking butt. Cagney & Lacey made Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly superstars, and their chemistry together was simply magic.

18. Misty Knight. Luke Cage.

Misty was a no nonsense and highly skilled cop on Luke Cage. She was tough as nails but also had compassion and dedication to serving justice and taking down scumbags who polluted Harlem. Missy’s true strength and dedication was put to the ultimate test when she lost her arm in a fight, but after dealing with the harsh reality and struggles she persevered and continued to dole out justice with a totally killer bionic arm that definitely came in… “handy”… I’ll stop now.

17. Diana Prince\Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman.

Before Gal Gadot there was the lovely Lynda Carter who embodied and defined the role of Wonder Woman for millions of children and adults in the 1970s. One of the first superheroines ever presented on screen as well as one of the first female leads in an action\adventure type show, and she did it all with beauty, strength, and a truth telling rope.

16. Jessica Fletcher. Murder, She Wrote.

Jessica Fletcher could give the great Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. With her wickedly sharp mind and sweet nature that she could also use to manipulate her prey, Jessica Fletcher solved countless murders in Cabot Cove, Maine as well as everywhere else. Jessica may look and act like your favorite Grandmother, but if you get caught in this lovable busybody’s sights she’d annihilate you.

15. Kirsten Clark. Stitchers.

Kirsten Clark had Temporal Dysplasia which basically made it so she couldn’t express emotions therefore didn’t exactly have the best social skills. But what she lacked in etiquette she made up for in pure gangsta ambition; as a super determined, compassionate and uncompromising heroine who spoke for the dead and fought the Stitchers program every step of the way to get to the truth about her past, her parents and ultimately herself. Kirsten was more than “slightly badass.”

14. Parker and Sophie Devereaux. Leverage.

Parker’s a master thief, expert acrobat and twenty pounds of crazy in a five pound bag. Sophie’s a classy, elegant, gorgeous and suave master grifter with legs to die for and a British accent that oozes sophistication and sexiness. Parker and Sophie were the Leverage team’s aces in the hole during a job. Parker may have acted crazy but deep down she was anything but when it came to getting the job done or having her team’s backs. Parker and Sophie were Leverage’s sexy, naughty, bitchy ladies of badassery.

13. Anissa Pierce\Thunder and Jennifer Pierce\Lightening. Black Lightening.

The Pierce girls certainly are Daddy’s girls as Anissa and Jennifer aka Thunder and Lightning more than take after their superhero dad. Black Lightning certainly had nothing to fear as long as he had these two out there having his back. The sisters were fierce, relentless and just plain ol’ dangerous. What more can a parent want?

12. The Halliwell Sisters. Charmed.

The Halliwell Sisters aka The Charmed Ones, were the most powerful witches in their history. The power of 3 set them free throughout eight seasons. The first few seasons it was Prue, Piper and Pheobe that kicked demon ass like nobody’s business and after Prue died Paige came into the picture and the power of 3 was back and better than ever. These were witches and sisters with attitude, determination, passion and off the chart powers that scared the evil outta the demons.

11. Joan Watson. Elementary.

Joan Watson was very much the perfect partner to Sherlock Holmes: She put him in check when he needed it and gave him support and friendship when he wanted it. She was also a tough broad who from Sherlock’s tutelage became quite the skilled detective herself. Joan grew a lot over the years but what stayed the same no matter what was her compassion, empathy, strength of character and her ability to kick ass and take names.

10. Cookie Lyon. Empire.

Cookie may not have been mother of the year but she was the ultimate no joke mother of the Lyon clan. This woman’s durable will got her through seventeen years of prison time and it was that durable will as well as her dogged ambition and ruthlessness that gave her what she needed to reclaim her place in the castle of the Empire dynasty. Cookie was also queen of the clapbacks and could nail you with a spot on zinger as well as nail you with a mean slap to the face or broom to the behind.

9. Seven Of Nine. Star Trek: Voyager.

Seven was a former Borg turned Voyager crew member and was wonderfully unique with her very specific humor and drive for perfection. A very driven and bull headed woman who was part warrior, part super genius. Seven’s bad side. It was her push for efficiency and quick thinking that saved Voyager and its crew from destruction more times than they can count. Her high intelligence, toughness, wit, stunning beauty and exemplary singing talents were what made The Doctor (and us) fall head over heels for her.

8. Kensi Blye. NCIS: Los Angeles.

Hell hath no fury like Kensi Marie Blye. A goofball of a person and a girl whose both a tomboy who can hang with the guys; whose into action movies and guns, but also can hang with her girls and watch chick flicks during the weekend. Like Deeks once said: “You smell like sunshine and gunpowder.”

7. Ziva David. NCIS.

Ziva was and still is the ultimate weapon for the NCIS team. Gibbs, Tony and McGee knew they could more than count on her out in the field. She was also a straight up dime piece with a dorky sense of humor and a skill at mangling the English language. Lord knows what NCIS would’ve been like without Ziva.

6. Hetty Lange. NCIS: Los Angeles.

Hetty was quite the lethal weapon in her spy days, and even as the Operations Manager of the NCIS Undercover Los Angeles Division she’s still just as lethal, as well as the hardcore mama bear whose cubs you didn’t wanna mess with. Hetty’s the type of loving and protective boss we’d all love to have if we don’t already… Just a lot shorter and a tad scarier if we got on her bad side.

5.Olivia Benson. Law & Order Special Victims Unit.

Olivia Benson is that cop you don’t wanna mess with. She may have been the more “stable” one between her and temperamental partner Eliot Stabler, but trust me, you don’t wanna get on Olivia’s bad side. She had no patience for the pedophiles, rapists and other forms of monster polluting New York.

4. Kelly Bundy. Married… With Children.

Kelly may have been the world’s biggest air head but girly sure knew how to throw a mean right cross. Just like her daddy, Kelly was a real brawler and could unleash pure brutality on a target that dun messed up. Kelly could be sweet in that gullible childlike way, or gloriously bitchy and nasty both verbally and physically when provoked. Hot and lethal? What a perfect combo!

3. Captain Katherine Janeway. Star Trek: Voyager.

Out of all the Captains that led the ships of Star Trek, my favorite will always be Captain Katherine Janeway of the USS Star Ship Voyager. She was a fierce, fearless, dedicated and compassionate leader who would do anything for her crew and their safety. She was also as reckless and frankly badass as Captain as Star Fleet as ever had. Making the tough decisions is never easy but Capt Janeway did it with style, heart and flair.

2. Joss Carter. Person of Interest.

Carter was a true cop: Dedicated to seeking justice and avenging the deaths of the innocent. She was the moral compass for John Reese, Lionel Fusco and Harold Finch as well as an expert army interrogator and quite handy with a grenade launcher. Nobody on Person of Interest had more heart or more drive to make the world a better place than Joss Carter. As John Reese once said: “Some people the world can’t afford to lose.”

  1. Fiona Glenanne. Burn Notice.

No fierce, sexy badass lady on tv has ever been more dangerous, more delightfully unstable and simply more badass than Ms. Fiona Glenanne. Fiona was a girl who enjoyed the simple things: Expensive and stylish shoes, clothing, a block of C4 and guns aplenty. She may have had a fascination with violence and mayhem, but she was still a girl with a big heart and would get heavily emotionally involved in Michael’s cases. Michael Westen always knew he could count on Fi to have his back. Let’s be real, nobody should be stupid enough to mess with Fi, even the rest of the amazingly badass ladies on this list.

Much love to all the gorgeous and badass ladies of television that represent the title of “Queens” like nobody else. ’Til next time, folks.

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Kendall Rivers

Kendall is a screenwriter who’s a huge fan of classic tv and movies. He enjoys creating good stories and characters. https://www.facebook.com/kendall.rivers.3