TV's Leading Ladies: The Almost-50 Somethings Are Killing It

This article was originally published on Better After 50.

I was not one of the people who were addicted to soaps, and had their "favorite shows," but that was then.

During our child rearing years, we were never big TV show watchers and the only family TV time was watching sports and the Simpsons. But, that all changed 10 years ago when Jack Bauer and "24" first entered our living room. With the DVR at our fingertips we became irresponsible TV marathon "24" junkies and shamelessly drove our kids bleary eyed and late to school.

We weren't proud of our addiction but frankly this was the best entertainment series we'd ever known. And, this was just the beginning as TV series have gotten even better.

Today I credit many TV shows as additive in my life; it's great for at-home date nights, super relaxing, delightfully distracting, girlfriend bonding, plus it keeps us connected and current with the kids.

What appears to have shifted over the years in TV series offerings is the number of Leading Ladies who are dominating. There seem to be more women than ever who are at the centerpiece these days.

Strong women role models, TV heroines, and more importantly for we mid-lifers, women in their almost 50s are showing up in great leading roles. I started to make a list and wanted to share some of my favorites, and was hoping you'd share some of yours in the comment section below.

If you're looking for great entertainment here are some of my favorite Leading Ladies dominating TV these days -- and --they are almost 50-somethings.

The Good Wife, boasts two mid-life super lawyers, Christine Baranski at 62 years old as Diane Lockhart and Julianna Margulies, 48, as Alicia Florrick. For those who have left the law profession, maybe this will inspire you to go back. If you haven't started this series -- pray for a few rainy days this spring and enjoy.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep. A member of the BA50 team. Ok, doesn't she look amazing -- she's 52 years old. We loved her as Elaine on Seinfeld and she continues to make us laugh in Veep. She is truly the leading lady and this comedy series is fun to keep up with -- but not as addictive for me.

Robin Wright, 48 years old in House of Cards. I admit it, I'm obsessed with Robin and just love to watch her steely, smart, conniving, sexy, coolness. She's totally unrelatable to most women but fascinating in this drama of demonic Washington power politics. You will want to clear two days for marathon watching if you haven't dosed on this already.

Connie Britton, 47 years old, dominates the TV series Nashville. Have you seen it? Michelle Obama has and will be on this week. If you love great singing, good family dramas and you are curious about the music industry -- Nashville will suck you in. By the way, if you missed Connie in Friday Night Lights as Coach's wife -- put it on the must-see list.

Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie at 51 years old and is totally compelling. Edie is far from being the "perfect" mother, challenged with difficult teenage girls. She is a drug addict and cheated on her husband, who is a great guy. So why is she so damn relatable for BA50s? Because she is flawed. The show is as habit-forming as her addictions.

Have you see the new series Suits with Gina Torres at 45 years old? You'll love the way Gina as Jessica Pearson, managing partner of the law firm Pearson Specter, keeps her testosterone-crazed law firm in balance. It takes a woman to balance out a pack of ego-crazed men.


Claire Danes in Homeland is whacked and exhausting to watch and like Jack Bauer -- she leaves us breathless in her attempt to keep America safe. And, she is forever flipping out. For many she's an acquired taste but she gets under our skin and you will most likely wake up on the couch in the wee hours hungover from Homeland. PS: she's only 35.

Lizzy Caplan plays Virginia Johnson of Masters and Johnson in Showtime's Masters of Sex. I've included her on the list because the subject of this duo revolutionized how women view the big "O" -- something that changed the landscape for BA50s. Lizzy is sexy, steamy and smart and there's lots of explicit "matter" in this show. Stick with it because not every episode is great but once you're in -- your in. Lizzy is only 32.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

22 Amazing Actors Who've Never Won An Emmy