We all deserve to take a mental breather after a long day of hard work. For me, throwing on a face mask and watching a few episodes of my favorite TV show is a must. However, finding something new and diverse to watch can cut into my much needed “me-time.”
The entertainment industry is full of male energy, from the writers and directors to the lead actors themselves. Not to diminish the hard work these individuals put into their craft, but it is time to shine the spotlight on a few television shows with strong female leads.
If you’re looking for something new to binge, we’ve got you covered with some of our top female-driven shows.
Available On Freeform & Hulu:
Calling all fans of Freeform’s “The Fosters.” If you miss your fix of your less than average family, don’t fret. The spin off series “Good Trouble” follows Callie and Mariana Adams Foster as they navigate their new lives in Los Angeles, without the constant supervision and comfort of their family. One a paralegal, the other an engineer, the two sisters will face more than one obstacle while working to figure out where exactly life is leading them. Will they actually accomplish everything they’ve set out to do or will the city of dreams prove to be harder than they ever could have imagined?
Personally, as an individual with eyes on the West Coast, the opening credits alone gives the viewer an even stronger urge to pack up and move to a big city. The show also centers around social justice issues, the LGBTQ community, and female centered issues in the workplace.
“The Bold Type”
Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan’s former editor-in-chief, Joanna Coles, this TV show primarily focuses on three 20-something friends living in New York City. Jane, Kat, and Sutton must learn to navigate their professional lives at the fictional, female driven magazine, Scarlet, while also dealing with health, relationship, sexuality, and identity issues. “The Bold Type” offers not one but three strong female leads portrayed by actresses: Katie Stevens, who also appeared on season nine of “American Idol,” Aisha Dee, and Meghann Fahy.
A spin-off of the American sitcom “Black-ish,” “grown•ish” follows Zoey Johnson as she begins college at Cal U. The series is a journey of self-discovery as Zoey soon comes to realize life isn’t as easy as when you live at home with parents who constantly give you guidance. Zoey learns that even if you don’t have your family to support you, friends can easily become your home away from home.
“Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”
I have a secret and I can no longer keep it. I was obsessed with the series “Pretty Little Liars.” Let’s be real, finding out the identity of “A” seemed to be more important than studying for the SAT while I was in high school. After the series ended in 2017, a second spin-off series “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists,” was announced in early 2018 and finally premiered in 2019.
The PLL familiar faces of Mona Vanderwaal and Alison DiLaurentis are seen in the pilot episode of the spin-off. It seems the show will center around Alison’s new life and position as a teaching assistant at Beacon Heights University. The mystery that drives the PLL franchise will be more than present within the series, with a sudden death in the very first episode.
See On The CW:
“Jane the Virgin”
Calling all my Latinas! “Jane the Virgin” is back for a final season. The drama continues as Jane is faced with her biggest obstacle yet. No spoilers here, but if you are a fan of the show, you know that season four finished with the return of a familiar face that no one was expecting. Fans, and Jane herself, were left with so many questions unanswered.
If you’ve never watched the show, all four seasons are available for streaming on Netflix. I would start binging as soon as possible so you can catch up and watch the fifth and final season on the CW. Will Jane and Rafael finally find their novela-worthy happy ending?
Watch On TNT:
Organized crime, a predominantly male driven world—even in the fictional world of television. Crime dramas don’t usually have female leads, but a TNT series has introduced five somewhat normal and street smart female manicurist to the game.
“Claws,” starring Niecy Nash, is set in a fictional nail salon in Florida where salon owner Desna Simms launders money by selling painkillers for the Dixie Mafia. Simms, along with her co-workers and partners, all have their troubled pasts and being part of the crime world seems like the solution to most of their problems.
For Simms, money could help with her salon business as well as help with the care of her autistic brother. “Claws” is the story of five diverse women who despite being incredibly hardworking, get caught up in bad situations in the hopes of getting-by in our current economy.
If for some reason you haven’t hopped on the “Stranger Things” train, then we highly recommend adding this series to your watch-list as soon as possible.
While it may seem like the show is centered around the fictional character of Will Byers, the real stars of the show are Winona Ryder and Millie Bobby Brown. Brown, 15, has received critical acclaim since starring in the show. She will reprise her role in the third season as “Eleven” and will try her best to be a “normal” teenager in a new romantic relationship while still facing problems from her past.
Winona Ryder, acting as Joyce Byers, was a star in the first season where she portrayed a single mother whose son mysteriously disappeared. Since the first season, Joyce has gotten her son back but what obstacles will the town of Hawkins, Indiana have to face now? The cast has grown up and put their past behind them, but are the monsters back?
“The Handmaid's Tale”
Set in a dystopian future, “The Handmaid’s Tale” depicts a fallen United States of America where fertile women, known as “Handmaids” are forced to bear children for the leaders of the new society. A show focused on oppression also sends out a message of hope and it can be thanked to the strong female lead, June, also known by her Handmaid name, Offred. Portrayed by actress Elisabeth Moss, June is constantly faced with adversity, yet she always finds a way to come out stronger and prove that she or any other woman is never truly alone.
The first season of this true crime drama anthology, “The Act,” follow the lives of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. After years of being sheltered and lied to, Gypsy goes on a road of self-discovery and independence to escape her toxic mother/daughter relationship.
The events of the show follow their lives in flashback, leading up to the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard and disappearance of Gypsy Rose. The two lead roles are portrayed by Joey King and multiple award winner, Patricia Arquette. Actress AnnaSophia Robb also appears in the show, as a confidant and only female friend to Gypsy.
“Shrill,” starring “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant, is a comedy series now streaming on Hulu. The show follows Annie as she begins to make changes in her life relating to her family, friends, and relationships, but not her body. Annie is described as a fat, young woman; but, she does not let her weight define who she is.
Society has a way of distorting how young girls and women should view their bodies, especially with the examples given out by the media. “Shrill” is a refreshing take on a protagonist with a strong and positive body image. This positivity will lead Annie to follow her dreams of becoming a successful journalist.
Are you ready to snuggle up and start viewing our top picks?
Highlighting diverse females in the entertainment industry is a huge stepping stone towards change. Whether you'd rather watch a true crime anthology, a feel-good sitcom, an inspiring take on owning your own power, or a wild story of a virgin being artificially inseminated, we hope that after reading about these ten TV shows you add a few of them to your queue.