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13 feminist TV shows to binge this spring



13 feminist tv shows to binge this spring, depicted on an old television on a pink polka dot background

Happy April, Feministas! As better weather and the return of real social life approaches, we're taking some time to luxuriate in the final few months (or maybe weeks?!) of cozying up at home and catching up on our favorite feminist shows. 

We know you've probably heard of The Handmaid's Tale by now, and that highly-awarded feminist favorite, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Maybe you've also heard murmurs of the more recent Mrs. America, highlighting the origins of the Equal Rights Act and starring Cate Blanchett. Honestly, we're here for all three, but we've rounded up our own list of 13 lady-led, binge-worthy shows that we think deserve that same level of feminist acclaim. 

So get comfy in your favorite Feminista tee and settle in for some fun, empowering feminist TV. 


Feminist Show #1: Pose

Set in New York in the 1980s, Pose gives you a glimpse of drag culture and the underground ball scene, and explores a variety of perspectives from within the LGBTQ+ community. This show gives you glamour, glory, and highlights everything from sex work, the AIDs crisis, chosen family, and so much more.

It’s brilliantly written and features some of TV’s highest, most joyous highs and lowest, most difficult lows, so sit back and let this show take you for a ride. You’ll love the cast and learn so much along the way. Plus, they just wrapped filming the final season so when you finish binging, you can rest assured, there’s more to come :)

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Feminist Show #2: GLOW

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling bring the heat in this LA- and eventually Vegas-based dramedy that challenges gender norms and explores the depths of female strength in a multitude of ways. Come for the grit and glitter of the weird world that is ladies wrestling in the 1980s and stay for the deeply feminist storylines on issues from equal pay to agism in the entertainment industry and beyond. Bonus: Allison Brie and the rest of this female-led cast truly kick ass. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Feminist Show #3: I May Destroy You

This one made lots of headlines early this year because many felt it was snubbed at this year's Golden Globes and, if you ask us, it was worth all the uproar. Michaela Coel created and starred in this refreshingly honest story about a young writer as she processes the blurry, but very real trauma of her experience with date rape. This show is super sharp, beautifully produced, and deftly explores the boundaries of consent in modern dating--a topic that we don't confront enough as a culture, especially from the perspective of a Black woman

Where to watch: HBO Max

 

Feminist Show #4: Sex Education

This show follows a group of young Brits as they navigate their newfound sexuality alongside all of the usual stresses that come with that age--from high school social status to family life at home--in a way that feels a little more enlightened than usual. Mistakes are made and mended, friendships are formed and strengthened in ways we can all aspire to (women for women!), and divides along the lines of race, sexual orientation, and class that we can all relate to are carefully considered along the way.

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Feminist Show #5: Grace & Frankie

This show is such a gift. For one, it’s about time we got a modern show about women in their seventies. But the fact that it stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, two legendary actresses who are real-life feminists with incredible friend chemistry just takes it to the next level. Watch as two women grapple with the fact that their husbands have been having an affair with one another for the past several years, and follow along as the show takes you through the ups, downs, and humor inherent in marriage, female friendship, and coming out at an older age. 

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Feminist Show #6: Self Made

This mini-series chronicles the empowering story of the first female self-made billionaire, an entrepreneur by the name of Madam C. J. Walker. She's played by none other than Octavia Spencer, who is a joy in just about everything she does and provides a truly inspiring tale of success that feels like just the thing after a long, tough winter. Let there be light!

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Feminist Show #7: Shrill

Based on the book by feminist author Lindy West and starring SNL cast-member Aidy Bryant and the incredible Lolly Adefope, this is a funny, feel-good story of dating, friendship, and body positivity. It's full of memorable characters and hilarious situations and antics and pairs well with a pizza and a pillow fort... you know, for proper binging with your besties. 

Where to watch: Hulu

Feminist Show #8: Dickinson

Oh, to be young and feminist in yesteryear. This show borrows the story of Emily Dickinson, a poet often lauded for writing work that feels ahead of her time and tells it with a quirky, modern twist. A weird-but-wonderful combo of funny, daydreamy fantasy, young love and rebelliousness, and a killer soundtrack, plus a little poetry. Yes please. 

Oh, and remember Hailey Steinfeld from our Spotify playlist?! She plays Emily Dickinson, so you can watch for a while, and then keep the party going with this badass feminist mixtape :)

Where to watch: Apple TV+

 

Feminist Show #9: Big Little Lies

We’ve all heard of this one, but it feels downright wrong not to mention it. So few portrayals of domestic abuse and complex relationships between female friends feel so nuanced. Then throw in an all-star cast, some epic California coast scenery, and a murder mystery and you’ve got DRAMA, baby.

We would be remiss if we didn’t shout out some of these actors’ other mega-feminist projects, from Reese’s Little Fires Everywhere with Kerry Washington and The Morning Show with Jennifer Aniston to Zoe Kravitz’s High Fidelity, a modern, lady-led TV remake of the classic film that rocks, to say the very least.

Where to watch: HBO Max, Hulu Premium

 

Feminist Show #10: Black-ish

The premise revolves around Dre and his family, but it doesn’t take long for his wife Rainbow (played by the hilarious and incomparable Tracee Ellis Ross) and the kids (including feminist badass Yara Shahidi) to steal the show. This one tackles issues about race, family, aging and more in a way that feels modern and well-informed, but also downright funny. Plus, it’s got classic sitcom vibes that’ll help you cozy up and relax at the end of a long day of fighting the patriarchy ;)

Where to watch: ABC, Hulu Premium

Feminist Show #11: Killing Eve

From the mind of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who gifted us with Fleabag (another Emmy award-winning feminist show), comes this gem about something we didn’t know we needed: a female assassin and the lady detective hunting her down. 

Starring Sandra Oh as Eve, the spy, and Jodie Comer as Villanelle, the best-dressed assassin you’ve ever seen, this show explores the potentially fatal attraction between two deeply complex women at odds and gives us the feminist, female-centered action story we've all been waiting for.

Where to watch: Hulu

Feminist Show #12: Queen Sugar

Queen Sugar--produced by Oprah(!!) and adapted from a novel by legendary director Ava Duvernay--takes place on a sugarcane farm in rural Louisiana and follows the story of a family in the throes of grief after their father's sudden death. Focused on the complexity of family, legacy, and the perils of living in a deeply racist south, this one's earned a lot of love from the critics, and in our opinion, that's well-founded. 

Where to watch: Hulu

 

Feminist Show #13: The Queen’s Gambit

Might as well make this a baker’s dozen, right? One final queen to round out the list and another saving grace in 2020, this show gave us an epic, beautifully styled story of a female prodigy who had to fight her way through a difficult childhood, financial insecurity, and drug issues (among other things) and step into her power and take on the all-male chess championship scene. 

Spoiler alert: in this story, the princess saves herself, so to speak ;)

Where to watch: Netflix

 

Did we miss one of your favorites? We’d love to hear about it in the comments. These are some of our recent faves, but it’s by no means a comprehensive list of what’s out there. And the more we watch, share, and support work that's made by women and represents the complexity and reality of life in their shoes, the better. 

See you next week, Feministas, right here at The F Word <3



1 Response

Michelle Martinez
Michelle Martinez

April 06, 2021

Vida feels like a necessary addition to this list.

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