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Most iconic TV shows with a powerful female lead

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It is again that time of the year where we honour and celebrate the role of women in obtaining our democratic dispensation and freedom, and these spectacularly beautiful women have been part of our journey since time ‘immemorial.’ 

Women are often bombarded with imagery that portrays female leads as wilting flowers, pushovers and doormats. But we at GLAMOUR headquarters have compiled a list of powerful TV actresses who have gone against the grain, and have cast powerful female leads.

This list aims to celebrate four iconic television shows that have stood the test of time and have cast a bright light on women. 

The Queen 

This telenovela has captured South African’s hearts ever since it first premiered on Mzansi television screens in 2016. Starring veteran actress Connie Ferguson as the lead, the show has been known to trend every day on Twitter and has played a part in switching the largely masculine narrative of TV shows in South Africa.

The River 

The River is another South African television series created by Phathu Makwarela and Gwydion Beynon and airs on Dstv 1 Magic and is also available for screening on Showmax. Sindi Dlathu plays the lead role as the mining magnate Lindiwe Dlamini-Dikana, alongside the impressive young actress Larona Moagi who plays the role Itumeleng. 

The show is an interpretation of 'the have and the have-nots' chronicling the contrasting lives of Pretoria's elite and poorest.

In its two seasons so far, The River has seen Dlathu who is portrayed as Lindiwe - a polished and astute mining magnate whose stilettos have squashed anyone who dared stand in the way of her wealth. While on the other hand Maogi plays the role Itumeleng – a young character from the “poor” side of town who wants to put an end to Lindiwe’s ruthless gluttony, often at the expense of her beloved community.

How to get away with murder 

How to Get Away with Murder is an American drama television series that premiered on ABC on September 25, 2014. The series was created by Peter Nowalk, and produced by Shonda Rhimes and ABC Studios. The series airs on ABC as part of a night of programming, all under Rhimes's Shondaland production company.

Viola Davis stars as Annalise Keating, a law professor at a prestigious Philadelphia university who, with five of her students, becomes entwined in a murder plot. For her portrayal, Davis has received critical acclaim; she became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, also winning two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, and the Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series. 


Pose (stylised as POSE) is an American drama television series about the African-American and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in New York City in the 1980s and, in the second season, early 1990s. Featured characters are dancers and models who compete for trophies and recognition in this underground culture, and who support one another in a network of chosen families known as Houses.

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