By: Alexis Stackhouse –
Want to find shows that portray strong, independent women? We’ve got a list for you.
Available on: Netflix
Grilboss, loosely inspired by real-life businesswoman Sophia Amoruso, follows the rise of her multi-million dollar fashion empire, Nasty Gal. Britt Robertson plays the starring role of Sophia, a rebellious, broke, innovative young woman who starts to resell vintage clothing online. Over the course of the show, we watch Sophia redefine success for women in progress to achieving their ultimate career goals and explores the challenges that they may face along the way.
Available on: HBO Now
Don’t let the show title fool you. The show’s director, writer, and star actress Issa Rae created Insecure to combat the typical mainstream stereotypes that women of color face in the media. The show follows the life of Issa and her three best friends (all strong women of color with unique personalities and career paths) and capitalizes on the entertainment value that comes from extremely relatable day-to-day conversations/conflicts and navigating your way through life and relationships.
Source: Justina Mintz/HBO
Available on: Hulu, Freeform
Grown-ish, a spin-off of the ABC hit series Black-ish, stars Yara Shahidi as Zoey Johnson. As a freshman in college, Zoey, a typically confident, sure-of-herself young woman, deals with a number of new challenges that ultimately lead her question herself and her decisions. Overall, Grown-ish is a hilarious, extremely relatable show that explores a vast variety of concepts that new college students encounter as they transition into a new environment (gender politics, the ubiquity of drugs, relationships, the pervasiveness of culture and race in conversation, etc.)
(4) Jane the Virgin
Available on: The CW, Netflix
Jane the Virgin follows the life of Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriquez) and her family after she, a virgin, is accidentally artificially inseminated during a gynecologist appointment. In the parodic style of an eclectic telenovela (with whimsical narration), Jane the Virgin takes viewers on an emotional [and often hilarious] ride from plot twist to plot twist, filling our screen with not only women, but people of color, same-sex relationships, and characters struggling with addiction and other mental health issues while doing so. Not to mention, the show delves into the culture of a Venezuelan-American family and explores a number of cultural factors including religion that lead to complex = reactions and emotions during Jane’s pregnancy.
Source: The CW
(5) Orphan Black
Available on: Amazon Prime
*Mild spoilers* Orphan Black is a Canadian Sci-fi thriller following the life of Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), a street-savvy English woman with a troubled past who, along with her foster brother Felix, is uprooted by Mrs. S. to North America. After Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, she decides to steal that woman’s identity in an attempt to create a new life and reunite with her daughter. The story unfolds, even more, when Sarah learns that the woman whose identity she stole was actually her clone, and Sarah must navigate her way through a complex web of conspiracy and tangible danger. Aside from Sarah, the show also centers around five main clone characters (all of whom are female), and, over the course of series, viewers get a glimpse into their vastly different, flawed, deeply relatable personalities, as they each pursue their own versions of justice.
Available on: Netflix
Allison Brie stars as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actress in LA in the ’80s who embarks on an unlikely path to stardom—women’s wrestling. GLOW, which stands for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, revolves around Ruth and a fictionalization of the 1980’s women’s professional wrestling circuit; as the series unfolds, the audience is introduced to many-layered female roles who dominate the storyline, and the show provides a visual analysis of the misogynist [and other] challenges that strong women in the given time and field had to face (many of which still ring true and relatable to this day).
Source: Beth Dubber/Netflix
(7) Broad City
Available on: Hulu
Broad city is created by and stars Abbi Jacobson and Llana Glazer as 20-something best friends who are trying to navigate their way through life in New York. Their different shenanigans tend to lead them down bizarre paths, but they own their strength as badass feminist heroines, and they’re never afraid to tackle the sticky situations they encounter. Not only is the show undeniably hilarious, but Broad City pays tribute to women of every age and emphasizes the importance of strong female friendships.