Fortune Magazine put together a list of the 25 most powerful female characters on TV but it's at best incomplete. It's bad enough that the #1 woman is the insufferably insipid and vapid Daenerys Targaryen from "Game of Thrones," whose sections in the book series made me want to put the book down and do something else, anything else. (In fairness, I haven't watched the TV series, so I suppose the producers may have done something to improve her, but then again, this is HBO, so "improvement" in their eyes is probably just having her show even more skin than is suggested in the novels.)
#2 is Olivia Pope from ABC's "Scandal," which I do watch and I can understand her appearance on the list. Fortune is no doubt going by her "I'm in charge of fixing things" mode, as opposed to her simpering, weak-kneed submission to President Grant's puppy-dog eyeing of her.
As for the rest, well, as much TV as I watch, I don't watch any of the remaining shows. Now, at first glance, that might suggest that maybe I get too much testosterone from TV, but I don't think that's it. For example, just consider my favorite current TV show, Once Upon a Time (not to be confused with its vastly inferior spin-off, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), which has not one, not two, but THREE powerful female characters who drive the show for all intents and purposes: (1) the Evil Queen/Regina Mills; (2) Snow White/Mary-Margaret Blanchard; and (3) Emma Swan.
How the Evil Queen fails to make Fortune's list is hard to fathom. I mean, she's the Evil Queen! She wields dark magic and is powerful enough to have cursed nearly all of the fairy tale characters we grew up reading about. (The article made clear it's not about realism; it's about the power that the women have in their fictional domains.) Daenerys may have her dragons and her Unsullied warriors, but I'm pretty sure the Evil Queen could defeat them all with magic.
I'll admit that the Snow White of the childhood fairy tale is somewhat of a passive figure, but in Once Upon a Time, she's more like a saner version of Xena: Warrior Princess. How powerful is she? Well, in Fairy Tale Land, she spearheaded the revolt to overthrow the Evil Queen's rule....
Finally, Emma Swan, though born from fairy tale royalty, grew up in our world and has no apparent magic of her own (though some latent magic has been coming out). But she's resourceful, independent, and a loving mom on a mission. In fact, her love for her son was so strong that it broke the Evil Queen's curse at the end of the first season. How powerful is that?
I could go on . . . okay, I will go on a little more. Let's take Person of Interest, which has been getting better and better with the introduction of longer arcs. Detective -- now Patrol Officer Carter, following her demotion for tangling with the secret, bad organization known as HR, has proven her worth to the good samaritan team. And as for recent joinee Samantha Shaw . . . sheesh! She's basically like a female version of Jim Cavaziel's Reese, deadly with guns, deadly with martial arts, and ice-cold under pressure. (Amy Adam's severely disturbed hacker Root, who's just a recurring character, is pretty interesting too.)
Piper Perabo's Annie Walker on the USA Network's Covert Affairs makes a lot of mistakes in the field that should get her fired or killed, but she somehow manages to keep her job and stay alive, so she must have some kind of special mojo. Plus, her boss, Joan Campbell, does happen to be head of the fictional Domestic Protection Division of the CIA, which sounds like a pretty powerful position.
Anyway, I guess my TV tastes are more conventional than Fortune Magazine's.