8 Female-Led Shows You Should Be Watching

8 Female-Led Shows You Should Be Watching

You won't find "Girls" on this list.

It’s not hard to find yourself sucked into a television show these days. We are truly living in a golden age of television where there is everything to be watching right now. The perks often come with a price, mostly your Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGo accounts.

And with this new age, I am always looking for shows that are reflective of the strides we have taken in media production. In terms of more nuanced and clever storylines, more than the love triangles, or girl who’s boy crazy or just a sidekick to the male lead. I look for shows with female characters and actresses I can look up to, hope to emulate, and to inspire me.

Thankfully, today that is not hard to look for. With our streaming capability now for both beloved stories of the past and present, it’s refreshing to be able to see so many shows representing females as they truly are, showing stories that are actually relatable, honest, and not derogatory towards our sex. Here are some recommendations below if you are longing to get down with your feminist side!

1) Parks and Recreation

Perhaps one of the best female characters written for television, Leslie Knope is the shit. She runs the parks and recreation department of her beloved small town, Pawnee, along with dealing with whatever shenanigans are thrown her way by her coworkers. Played by the impeccable Amy Poehler, the show focuses a lot on Leslie’s ambition to succeed with her career while not making her give up her love for others to do so.

If you hate shows that wait forever for the girl to get the guy, or other unnecessary love plots, then this show is for you. The romantic relationships feel natural and are not the core of any of the female characters. From Leslie to April to Donna, and yes even lesser favored Ann; the show does a great job of showing different kinds of strong women and friendships.

2) Gilmore Girls

While there are a lot of story-lines that revolve around romance, at the heart the show is about three strong women: Lorelei, Rory, and Emily. And with the upcoming revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, we will get to continue that journey of seeing where they are now.

Witty, ambitious, and not afraid to speak their mind, the Gilmore women are definitely role models. Although we may not always agree with their choices like cheating on your significant other or stealing a yacht with a beau, they prove that mistakes lead to growth. And at highs and lows, female familial relationships can help lift you up.

3) How to Get Away with Murder

In terms of plot, this may seem like a stretch but this is a show that is first and foremost carried by one force of a woman: Miss Viola Davis. Is her character a moral and great person? Not so much. While Anneleise may not be the best person, she is still a boss in her very being.

As are the other female characters on the show like Bonnie, Laurel, Micheala, and Rebecca (RIP).It’s refreshing to see that women can make mistakes, but not be punished for them because of their sex but because they are merely human. This is seen in how they lie, murder, and manipulate just like the men on this show. It’s an equal playing field which makes for a great watch.

4) Jane the Virgin

Another breath of fresh air is this delightful series playing on the classic telenova tropes. Jane, our protagonist, tries to deal with love, motherhood, and her career while also be trapped in this dramatic genre. It also doesn’t hurt that Jane happens to be played by the wonderful Gina Rodriguez, the epitome of a role model especially for young women.

While there is still romantic conflict and the classic love triangle, the twists the show manages to do in making it central to the plot and brought about in a new light that makes it feel worthy instead of tiring. There’s also a lot of focus on the relationship between Jane and her mother who had her very young and is now trying to find her own path. There's also Jane's abeula who deals with generational and immigration issues. Funny, charming, and emotionally resonant, you can’t go wrong.

5) Call the Midwife

Speaking of charming, if you haven’t gotten hooked on this series yet you are missing out. With the fifth season just being released on Netflix, there’s no better time to be binge watching this lovely BBC drama. Following several midwives in 1950s London, your heart will be taken on a lovely and unforgettable journey.

It’s based on the actual experiences of Jennifer Worth, with her experiences lifted and expanded upon throughout the run of the series. It’s history brought to life from the female perspective, putting us in situations we face now that were dealt with so differently regarding women’s’ rights and mothers’ rights. Topics like adoption, abortion, mental illness, substance abuse are explored and more! You’ll get sucked in so fast you’ll wish you would have found it sooner.

6) Bomb Girls

On the lines of historical dramas, Bomb Girls will also be your jam. Previous to Call the Midwife set in the 1940s and in Canada, this series centers around a group of women who work in a factory making bombs during World War II. In a male dominated setting, talking about issues that still resonant with us today it truly could not be more important to watch.

What makes the concept so great as well is it helps us imagine what we would do in the position of a woman trying to be acknowledged or rise up during this time. Suffragette will still very well at play as well as sexism, and just because we don’t hear about these great women during this time doesn’t mean they didn’t have that desire to stand up for themselves and prove their worth. So was the war effort a way for women to assert their independence or further lose it? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

7) Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If you’re looking for less serious and more upbeat, than Kimmy Schmidt is your girl. Though it can veer into an almost cartoon like quality, Kimmy is at heart a woman worth looking up to. This is proven in the ways in which she has the guts to start over, confront the past, and be unapologetically you. And the problems she has can be relatable in trying to keep a job, a date, and maintain lost familial relationships.

We also see similar to Parks and Recreation witty and passionate female characters (Jacqueline, Lillian) with big hearts and ambitions. Even if that means having to completely abandon who they used to be or deal with while their relationships and environments are changing, they all keep going. They find new ways to deal with changes as well as how they are changing, that are ultimately for the better. Finding ways to explore how changes affect us as well as the strength to keep on going is inspiring.

8) Broad City

For a funny show about women created by women, Broad City is where it’s at. The show follows two young women, Abbi and Illana, as they strive to get by in life in short in New York. For a show where women are able to vent, mess up, be silly, lazy and not give any cares about it is delightful.

Humor, heart, and hijinx, and more! And especially in terms of having female characters who we could relate to more, Abbi and Illani fit the bill. They smoke pot, don’t want to settle down in terms of relationships, and want to do something, but struggle in getting the actual courage to do things. Their struggles are one in the same, theirs to ours.

Cover Image Credit: http://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/10848/what-were-the-halloween-costumes-that-leslie-and-ann-used-in-parks-rec-episode

Popular Right Now

To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

What The 2019 'Season Of The Crab' Means For Your Zodiac Sign

It could be a super emotional month for everyone.


It's officially summer, and that means it's time to dive into the watery depths of Cancer season on June 21. There is a different energy in the air; different from the vibe in Gemini season. Each sign can expect to notice its effects, whether they are obvious or more subtle.

Cancer season means you're probably going to feel more moody than usual. Maybe you're crying more often. Maybe you'll feel more dreamy and intuitive. Maybe you'll be more irritable. Whatever the case, it never hurts to know what you're about to get yourself into.

So what does Cancer season mean for you, based on your zodiac sign?

1. Cancer - 21 Jun to 22 Jul


Happy solar return, cutie crustacean!

This is one of the dreamiest times of the entire year for you, but lacking structure and planning could prove stressful. You're in an imaginative zone and you may not feel like settling down before chasing the stars, but you must think ahead so things will work out.

2. Leo - 23 Jul to 22 Aug


Cancer season will find you exploring who you want to become, and what you want to leave behind. With your season just around the corner, this is also a magical time for healing and exploring yourself. Journaling, creative pursuits, or talking things through are wonderful ways to nourish your soul.

3. Virgo - 23 Aug to 22 Sep


This Cancer season, you'll find that the stars and the moon are asking you to rest. You will be faced with many choices and decisions this month. Enjoy your time fostering whatever creativity comes to mind. Do not force yourself to go out if you're not feeling up to it. It's okay to be you and be alone sometimes.

4. Libra - 23 Sep to 22 Oct


Cancer season and Neptune retrograde begin on June 21, causing you to need to pause and reflect on your goals. Change can be uncomfortable, but every small shift brings us closer to our goals. Be willing to take a risk, and let the universe push you in the direction of happiness and adventure.

5. Scorpio - 23 Oct to 21 Nov


Cancer season finds you traveling and opening new doors of opportunity. Are you really gaining anything by holding onto the past so tightly, Scorpio? Set your sights on new dreams, and leave all those people and situations that are holding you back in your rearview mirror.

6. Sagittarius - 22 Nov to 21 Dec


The question Cancer season asks you now, Sag, is whether you'll run away from your past, cling on to it, or do the emotional work necessary to process it and let it go. Appreciate the memories you are making and try not to get too wrapped up in the little things that annoy you. This is a time for experimentation.

7. Capricorn - 22 Dec to 19 Jan


You love your deadlines and goals, but remember that taking care of your emotional health will ultimately help you be more efficient! Trust your intuition, take it slow, and use the energy for play and creativity rather than detailed planning.

8. Aquarius - 20 Jan to 19 Feb


Cancer season this year is all about being comfortable and doing what you know, so go ahead and stick to that. This is also a great time for you to check in with yourself when it comes to wellness and your habits.

9. Pisces - 20 Feb to 20 Mar


This Cancer season, the heightened emotion that is in the air will bring you natural happiness. Go out, have a wonderful night under the summer stars, and use your experiences for inspiration. It will reinvigorate your soul to be more creative and more adventurous.

10. Aries - 21 Mar to 19 Apr


Cancer season finds you focused squarely on your personal life. It's a wonderful time for an adventure. Go on that hike. Wake up early and drive to the beach. You'll feel an inclination to do it all-- and you can! Remind yourself that you are capable.

It will be hard to stay focused because the vibe just feels so good, but Neptune's retrograde brings intriguing messages to your dreams, so pay close attention to your inner voice at this time.

11. Taurus - 20 Apr to 20 May


Cancer season causes emotions to be even more extreme so you'll probably reach your breaking point this month, Taurus, but you are never alone in the problems that you face. Remember to control your temper long enough to cool off and take some relaxation for yourself.

Take a day off and drive around with the windows down. Take five days off and drive to the beach to hang out and reflect. Whatever it is that you need to feel better, it is time to do it this month.

12. Gemini - 21 May to 20 Jun


Cancer is a sign that's all about security and protection, and you're really feeling those vibes right now. Your confidence is running high, as you are feeling more in control of your life. Get rid of the elements in your life that won't propel you forward.

Just as the moon and ocean cycle, so do we. Cancer is that strong energy that gets you up in your feels; it's sure to be a ride.

Related Content

Facebook Comments