Unfortunately, stories by women and about women have seldom been at the forefront of television. It can be hard to find a show where the female characters are real, complex, and integral to the plot. In recent years, we’ve been experiencing a sort of golden age of television. Several critically acclaimed shows have been released, and with mediums like Netflix, binge-watching is now just a part of all our lives. Amongst these critically acclaimed shows are many which put women and their unique experiences at the forefront. We’ve compiled a list which includes some newly released series to binge on if you need your daily dose of girl power.
Not only is this show hilarious, but it features an almost completely female cast. It follows the story of a struggling actress attempting to find interesting and empowering roles as a woman, and is ultimately led to an audition for a female wrestling show. The relationships and bonds that form between the female wrestlers are unpredictable and intricate, making for a very real yet entertaining viewing experience.
Big Little Lies
Who wouldn’t want to watch a show where the leading ladies are Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon? This tantalising story is written in a way that keeps you hooked and deeply attached to and intrigued by every character. It also touches on important topics such as domestic violence and sexual assault. The female characters in this show are not only complex but also flawed, making them all the more human. Big Little Lies is nothing short of a masterpiece of television.
Strong Girl Bong-Soon
If you haven’t explored the world of Korean dramas yet, now is the time to start. Most of these series focus on romance and angst. Strong Girl Bong-Soon includes all the typical characteristics of a K-drama, but focuses on a young woman with superhuman strength, and her struggles with trying to conceal her identity while also kicking butt and protecting other women. So you get the perfect mix of dramatic love triangles and a strong female lead! You do have to read subtitles for this one, but it’s a small price to pay.
This show, along with being extremely funny, explores not only the female experience, but specifically the black female experience in America. The story revolves around a young woman named Issa and her experiences with work, dating, friendship, and so on. The lead actress, Issa Rae, also writes and produces the show, meaning that many of the awkward situations portrayed in the story are somehow related to her own personal experiences. Rae is quoted as saying “We’re just trying to convey that people of colour are relatable…This is about regular people living life”. This show is not only culturally significant, but super fun to watch.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Just a warning: this show is pretty difficult to watch. While it’s incredibly enthralling, its pretty heavy, making it an emotionally taxing experience. The story takes place sometime in the near future, where the country that used to be America is now governed by a fundamentalist religious group. In this world, women have essentially no autonomy or influence over their own bodies, and are forced to fulfill rigid roles within society. Given our current political climate, this show is very relevant. The female characters in this story all have rich background stories, and watching them form bonds and fight back against an oppressive system is pretty exhilarating.