Now that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is over and you’ve already seen the “Wonder Woman” movie eleven times, you may be searching for more women-centric media. Seeing empowering women in complex roles, while also spotlighting the unique struggles of women of color, can make TV show selecting an almost scientific endeavor. Never fear: there are plenty of [diverse] women-centric shows being made, full of 3-dimensional, relatable and engaging characters.
Here are five programs to check out before summer ends:
1. “State of Undress”
Often fashion is dismissed as frivolous and superficial, but journalist, model and actress Hailey Gates proves in her show “State of Undress” that fashion, like any other form of art, can be a vehicle for social and political change. Airing since 2016 on Viceland, “State of Undress” documents Gates’ travels around the world, analyzing how fashion reflects a country’s pride, turmoil and aspirations. Often these journeys will lead her to other women who have found their voice in their art and listening to their stories is an inspiring and eye-opening experience.
Created, written and directed mainly by women, it should be no surprise that Netflix’s “GLOW,” a new comedy-drama on a group of female wrestlers in the 1980s, focuses on an ensemble of diverse women. Each character has her own conflicts, nuances and perspective included, despite the fact that there are so many to observe. Still, “GLOW” has succeeded in impressing critics and presents the complicated but united relationship dynamics between different women in respectful and honest ways. Moreover, its insistence on introducing the importance of race within these relationships adds another layer to the must-watch show.
3. “One Day at a Time”
A reboot of an ‘80s sitcom, Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” centers on the daily life of a Cuban family, led by single mother and war veteran Penelope Alvarez, her mother, feminist daughter, son and landlord. As Danielle Fraiser wrote in her article, “The New Modern Family: Families of Color in the American Family Sitcom:”
“In a deviation from the traditional formula, the foundation of this family isn’t a happily couple but is instead two matriarchs — one recently separated and the other a widow, both trying to make ends meet. It is truly empowering to see them support each other as they navigate through the difficult process of parenting together.”
Adding diversity and female-centered roles to the well-known family sit-com format makes “One Day at a Time” a fresh and feel-good show for the summer.
4. “Hello, My Twenties!”
A 12-episode South Korean drama made in 2016, “Hello, My Twenties!” focuses on the lives of five women in college as they forge friendships, endure trauma and find their futures together. The show follows the quiet freshman Yoo Eun-jae, the hard-working and sincere Yoon Jin-myung, the eccentric journalist Song Ji-won, the mysterious Kang Yi-na and the bubbly Han Seung-yeon as they each face their own obstacles, always finding support and acceptance in each other. The show has been applauded for its “loving, loyal scenes between the women (“Serious Opinions”)” and “empowering story (“United Kpop”).” Plus, the relationships develop in realistic but beautiful ways. Be sure to add this to your watch-list on Dramafever for a sometimes-hilarious, sometimes tear-wrenching story.
5. “Queen Sugar”
A family drama documenting the lives of the complicated Bordelon family, “Queen Sugar” made headlines when it announced that the second season would be directed solely by women. As noted by Mediaversity, 48 percent of the dialogue is spoken by the female characters and the relationships between the women are well-explored and complex. As the next season picks up, now is the time to dive into the show A.V. Club has praised director Ava DuVernay for “impressively… turn[ing] a quiet, emotional story about a black family in flux into one of the year’s most beautiful and challenging series, one that suggests black America’s best days may still be ahead of it.” The series can be streamed on Hulu.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. As we speak, there are a plethora of women (of various backgrounds) directing, writing, acting and producing their own content. Though the next female-led story can never come too soon, here’s to hoping that the shows above help in keeping you entertained until then.
(Special mentions to “The Queen of the South,” “Atelier,” and “The Underground.”)
What are some other female-centric shows that you plan on binge-watching?
Feature Image via Zoey Jean