It’s all about female TV shows nowadays, which is perhaps an understatement considering that even the most popular series out there is currently focused on two very powerful queens seeking to rule the world (or the Seven Kingdoms at least). In any case, for quite some time now, we have witnessed a turn towards female protagonists that have played an important role in promoting an empowering image of women. Super heroines, lawyers, graduates, housewives, rappers, and even convicts, the largest production companies seem to have made room for the ladies. Here are a few of our favourite shows portraying women that are worth looking up to.
Although some of the most legendary TV series of this decade have featured male characters, like Mad Men, which featured Jon Hamm who has also appeared on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, or Breaking Bad, which featured Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul — now also famous for his off-screen passion — the last few years have been different. Indeed, the times of Wonder Woman are finally here. Speaking of hit Marvel Comics screen adaptations, we find Jessica Jones, which premiered on Netflix in 2015 and follows the story of a former superhero who has become a private detective as she runs from her past. Played by Krysten Ritter, Jones portrays a strong and independent woman that challenges traditional roles.
Along these lines, we also find Orange is the New Black, which revolves around the lives of a series of convicts in a women’s prison. Now in its 5th season, Orange is the New Black was Netflix’s most streamed series in 2016 and has been critically acclaimed, receiving numerous awards. The importance of this show rests on the fact that it not only targets the role of women but also other aspects of society, establishing new narratives while tackling stereotypes.
After the success of The Good Wife, Michelle and Robert King joined forces once again to write the first original series from CBS All Access, The Good Fight. Following the story of three female lawyers struggling to make their way in an unfair world, The Good Fight is entertaining, engaging, and critical at the same time, which earns it a spot among our favourite women shows.
We previously mentioned the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as it one of the best current sitcoms and just so happens to feature a mostly an all-female-cast, with the exception of the brilliant Tituss Burgess. Witty and hilarious, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt manages to communicate through humour several concerns that are ultimately linked to current issues in our society. Other series that have given women a central spot while also turning them into the most intelligent and multi-layered characters in their storylines include Fargo (in all of its three seasons), Big Little Lies, and, of course, The Handmaid’s Tale with Elisabeth Moss from Mad Men.
Many of today’s most interesting and thought-provoking TV series seem to feature women in the leading roles. Is this just a mere coincidence or has society become aware of an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed? Whatever the reason behind this new trend, we are happy that it is taking place as new legends have been born and they are undoubtedly an inspiration for many women — and men — out there.
George R Vaughan