The wokest TV females to watch instead of ‘Sex and the City’
Ready yourself for an almighty groan, because this week marks the 20th anniversary of Darren Star’s iconic romcom show Sex and the City. Back then, no one had any idea the show would blow up the way it did, with the names of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda now synonymous with one of the biggest pop culture phenomena in TV history.
While papers are awash with headlines such as “Why we’re still into Sex and the City 20 years on”, as Carrie would’ve written in one of her impossibly fruitful columns, we can’t help but wonder whether it’s time to move on.
It’s been twenty years; while Sex and the City served its purpose, the outdated storylines on white privilege, sexuality, class, and race are looking a little tired now. So instead of turning to HBO to waste the weekend watching SatC reruns, we figure these more recent TV shows about badass women are more worth your time.
Good Girls (2018 – )
Jenna Bans’s dramedy survived its first season and is onto the next, telling the story of three suburban moms (Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who find themselves in desperate circumstances. Saying “screw you” to playing it safe, the trio risk everything to take their power back – by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. Sisters are doin’ it for themselves! (Not recommended at your local supermegamart.)
Claws (2017 – )
Season 3 of Claws is dropping June 9, meaning you’ve a few days to revisit the first installment beforehand. Described as “Breaking Bad meets Steel Magnolias,” this visually decadent female-fronted saga follows a group of hardworking manicurists who mesh acrylics with crime to keep their business afloat. Claws out, ladies!
Good Girls Revolt (2015)
If you’re looking for some feminist inspiration, join Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt, about a group of young female researchers at News of the Week magazine in the revolutionary times of 1969. It’s no Mad Men, but it still evokes the same spirit while showing a determined fight against systemic sexism in the workplace.
Vida (2018 – )
Emma & Lyn (Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera) are two estranged sisters who return to their old neighborhood where they are confronted by the past and the truth about their mother’s identity. This LGBTQI love letter ties in themes on sexuality, gentrification, and a side of LA not often portrayed in mainstream TV.
Fleabag (2018 – )
If you haven’t already, go and bingewatch the entire first season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s (Solo: A Star Wars Story) Fleabag. Right now! Following a self-confessed pervert as she comes to terms with her friend’s death while dealing with life in London, it tackles the big issues while also grappling with the less significant but equally perplexing questions in life, such as: “Do I have a massive a**hole?”
Season two is now also available to stream on Amazon.
Grace and Frankie (2015 – )
Put two life-long friends and former co-stars together and what you get is the chemistry shared between Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie. About two women forced to live together after their husbands leave them for each other, the show challenges industry ageism while showing us that getting older can be pretty damn fun!
Harlots (2017 – )
We’re in love with this period accompaniment to The Handmaid’s Tale, tackling female oppression in its 18th-century London setting. It follows a brothel owner and her struggles to raise her daughters in an unforgiving industry. Hulu recently announced the salacious show will return with a bang on July 10th for the season three premiere, meaning you’ve got plenty of time to binge or rewatch S1 before it hits.
GLOW (2017 – )
Don’t let the whole wrestling thing put you off – GLOW is so much more than just sweaty women in spandex body-slamming each other into oblivion (although we can’t deny we cherish these moments too).
A diverse cast including Alison Brie (The Disaster Artist), Sydelle Noel (Black Panther), Sunita Mani (Mr. Robot), and Britney Young (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) star as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as they grapple with life both in and out of the ring.
Insecure (2016 – )
There aren’t enough words to express our adoration for Issa Rae and the comedic empire she has built, from her Awkward Black Girl web series to the HBO hit Insecure. Following the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman, her craft and performance as Issa Dee is refreshing, inspirational, and funnier than it has any right to be.
Broad City (2014 – )
Yas queen! Forget the privileged world of SATC – Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson’s hit comedy is about being broke and young in New York city. Never taking itself seriously and always focusing on the power of female friendship, it’s thanks to Broad City we can’t leave the house without Bingo Bronson at our side and at least a couple of back-up vapes in our rucksack.