Ranking your Favorite Female Performances on Television for 2020

We had so many incredible female performances on television in 2020, as these strong, courageous, and slightly quirky women lit up the screen. Whether it was a moment of empowerment, the unexpected transformation of a character, or a breakout role, these women captured our undivided attention throughout the year.

Again, it was difficult for me to narrow down my favorite female performances for 2020 because there were honestly so many and I didn’t think it was possible for me to choose my absolute favorite one, which is where you came in!    

I ran a three round poll (randomized tournament style) on Twitter and asked for fans to cast their votes so that we can all decide who our favorite female performances are for the year.  Thank you so much for your participation and support, as the tournament was so much fun and actually really competitive!

Round One featured the following Female Performances on TV from 2020:

  • Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper from Riverdale
  • Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant
  • Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit 
  • Cynthia Erivo as Holly Gibney from The Outsider
  • Nicole Kidman as Grace Fraser from The Undoing
  • Kerry Washington as Mia Warren from Little Fires Everywhere
  • Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland
  • Jodie Comer as Villanelle from Killing Eve
  • Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake from The 100
  • Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler from Better Call Saul
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

After your votes, the following female actresses moved on to Round Two:

  • Danai Gurira
  • Jodie Comer
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Claire Danes
  • Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Kaley Cuoco

After your votes in Round Two, the following female actresses moved on to the FINALS:

  • Jodie Comer
  • Danai Gurira
  • Claire Danes
  • Kaley Cuoco

Honorable Mention: Anya Taylor-Joy came up short, but I think she should honestly get an Emmy for her performance!!!!! Perfection!

Image courtesy of Netflix

After your votes in Round Three, the FINAL results are:

4th place: Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison from Homeland

Image courtesy of Showtime

Claire has always been so intense and emotional in her portrayal of Carrie, but I thought that she also channeled a lot of maturity and strength in the final season. Well deserved!

3rd place: Kaley Cuoco as Cassie Bowden from The Flight Attendant

Image courtesy of HBO Max

Kaley Cuoco really showed off a completely different side of her by delighting us in one of my favorite shows of the year. Her quirky portrayal of Cassie was spot on and it really made the show that much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

2nd place: Danai Gurira as Michonne from The Walking Dead

Image courtesy of AMC

It wasn’t easy knowing it would be Michonne’s final season, but wow did Danai deliver some incredible performances along the way. She brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion and really reminded us that she has been the heart and soul of this show for so long! Thank you Danai!

Drum roll please…

I am so beyond excited to announce your WINNER for Favorite Female Performance of 2020: Jodie Comer as Villanelle in Killing Eve!

Image courtesy of BBC America

Jodie has been such a joy to watch. Villanelle is a complex character and Jodie has really brought her to life. In the third season, we finally got to peel back some layers and witness what truly makes Villanelle tick. Her humanity has really been showing more and more, which makes her an even more remarkable character in my mind. Jodie will always be one of my favorite actresses and I am so pleased with the results! Congrats Jodie!

Thanks to all the fans who voted!  I wish you all the best for the New Year!

View Final Poll Results Here!

I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite female performances on TV from 2020. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing for 2021!

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

My performance of the week ending 3/14/20 on TV goes to…

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler on AMC’s Better Call Saul season 5.

The entire cast of Better Call Saul is extremely talented and it’s difficult to outshine the infamous scene stealer himself, Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, but somehow Rhea Seehorn’s performance each week continues to move me. Kim Wexler is the heart of the show and she is always so brilliant and believable.

**Please note some spoilers are ahead if you are not caught up on the series.**

While Saul (formerly known as Jimmy) is known to cut through some red tape to make things happen, Kim always tries to do things by the book. Sure, she certainly has had some fantastic cons with Jimmy, but you truly empathize with her internal struggle to be taken seriously as a lawyer.

Better Call Saul AMC 1
Images courtesy of AMC

I honestly don’t know anyone who works harder and sometimes it takes a toll on her, but she is so driven to fight for things in the right way. However, Kim recognizes that following the book doesn’t always pay off even when she has gone through every possible scenario and detail. I actually get so annoyed with the team from Mesa Verde and how they treat Kim.

They take advantage of her and don’t see how valuable she truly is. In season 5, episodes 3 and 4, Kim tries to reason with a man who refuses to leave his home, which is on land owned by Mesa Verde. Kim stands her ground, but also gets a wake-up call when the man asks her about her own morals.

Kim does everything in her power to try and find another way, but when her ideas are dismissed, she starts to realize that perhaps she does need Jimmy/Saul to get some real justice.

Kim’s moral compass is what makes her such a likable character. We accept and know that Jimmy/Saul is going to entertain us with his schemes, but Kim wavers back and forth between what is actually right and wrong. Out of all the characters on the show, Kim is the one I relate to the most. She is so real and convincing and my heart goes out to her whenever something bad happens to her because she doesn’t deserve it.

What’s next for Kim Wexler? We’ll have to see how her team-up with Saul pans out, but I’m hoping that Kim can find her way and earn the respect and recognition that she deserves. I’m also wondering what’s next for Kim and Saul. I think that they are such an adorable couple and almost remind me of a modern day Bonnie and Clyde in the attorney world, but we also know that Kim is not mentioned or seen in the Breaking Bad series.

Better Call Saul AMC 2
Images courtesy of AMC

Was it a bad breakup or do they part on good terms? I’m not sure, but it’s clear that Saul needs Kim in his life. They both are conflicted in different ways and somehow bring out the best in one another. I’m hoping that with the series wrapping up next year, we will get some kind of concrete answers and closure for them.

Since we do flash forward to the future quite a bit, there is still hope for Saul to make things right with Kim, but I am also nervous about what actually split them up in the first place because it honestly breaks my heart even though I don’t know what actually happened.

Through it all, this series continues to be one of the best on television and Rhea Seehorn shines every single week with her incredible performances. Kim Wexler is one of the strongest female characters on television right now and she is an inspiration to women everywhere. Let’s just hope that she doesn’t get caught in the middle of another mess because she deserves the world and then some.

Stay tuned for a recognized performance on TV each week!

Have a performance on TV that you think is simply outstanding? Feel free to contact me with your nomination for the week by Friday at midnight! 

Best,

Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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