TV's 5 butt-kicking female bosses we need right now

Women are fighting for their rights, striking back against their abusers, and demanding the respect they deserve through the blossoming #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and that’s also true on TV, which is in a golden age of sterling, take-no-prisoners female leads played by great actresses on some of the medium’s finest shows. Unwilling to simply accept their given lots in life, these fictional heroines have scrapped their way to the top, refusing to kowtow to those in power, back down from a confrontation, or accept “no” for an answer. Ambitious, tenacious, and fearless, they’ve earned everything they’ve achieved — and we celebrate them in this video rundown of the small screen’s reigning five most powerful women who rose from humble origins to the apex of their fields.

— Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart (The Good Fight), who’s now one of Chicago’s most illustrious, and imposing, lawyers.

— Viola Davis’s Annalise Keating (How to Get Away With Murder), a law professor and defense attorney who’s as tough as she is brilliant.

— Mariska Hargitay‘s Olivia Benson (Law & Order: SVU), the special victims unit’s determined commanding officer and a law enforcement figure no suspect wants to have to confront.

— Robin Wright‘s Claire Underwood (House of Cards), who has transitioned from supportive first lady to Madam President — as well as to the main character of the show’s final season.

— Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope (Scandal), a White House aide turned crisis manager extraordinaire, who the rich and powerful — and the president — call when they’re in a bind.

Watch the full video above to see these women in action.