‘Killing Eve’: All the best female-fronted shows to watch
The verdict’s in: Netflix’s new satirical comedy Insatiable is pure trash. And not the good kinda trash you can sit and enjoy with a bottle of wine and absolutely no shame. The kinda trash that misfires in its attempt to be edgy while lacking the sharpness and wit to nail the delivery of its core message.
The show itself follows a “fat girl” (a thin girl in a fat suit) named Patty (Debby Ryan) who gets punched in the face, has her jaw wired shut, loses weight (and subsequently becomes “hot”), and seeks revenge on those who bullied her.
Although the premise is problematic in itself, we were quick to challenge the naysayers who denounced the show before they’d even seen in. However, having seen the first few episodes ourselves now, we can confirm Insatiable contains none of the sharpness it needed to deliver such a satirical statement on body image.
The show is at once aggressively cruel and a total yawnfest, and contains some tired queer tropes via its depiction of Patty’s closeted lesbian bestie Nonnie (Kimmy Shields) to boot. So while everyone expected Insatiable to be bad, the reality is even worse.
Instead of wasting your time on this trash heap of a “comedy” (which drops on Netflix today), turn your focus to better content with these stunning examples of #GirlPower. Here are ten of the best female-fronted shows to stream instead of Insatiable:
GLOW (2017 – )
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling body-slammed its way into our hearts when it first hit Netflix in 2017, and continued to do so into S2 with a solid core cast, nostalgic 80s setting, heartfelt portrayals of female friendship, and oodles of spandex.
A diverse cast including Alison Brie, Sydelle Noel, Sunita Mani, Britt Baron, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, Ellen Wong, Jackie Tohn, and Britney Young star as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as they grapple with life both in and out of the ring, managing to remain both frothy and fun while exposing societal prejudices that are still prevalent today.
Broad City (2014 – )
Yas queen! While it’s bittersweet to know that Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson’s next season will be their last, marking the end of an era, we can at least remind ourselves of the hilarious times the comedy duo have brought to us over the years (from seafood allergies to Val’s diamond-munching antics – no mo FOMO).
For four tumultuous seasons (soon to be five), Abbi and Ilana have kept our sides splitting with their portrayal of two broke girls living in NYC, while teaching us the true value of female friendship. It’s thanks to this show that we can’t leave the house without a Bingo Bronson at our side and a backup vape in our backpacks.
Killing Eve (2018 – )
A dazzling thriller from Phoebe Waller-Bridge – the creative mind behind Fleabag – Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as a woman whose job as a bored low-level MI5 security employee takes an exciting turn when she links a string of murders to the capricious and dangerous assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).
As Eve embarks on the task to seek out her culprit, the two end up obsessed with each other and enter into a risky game of cat & mouse. The genre-bending miniseries is at once slick, gripping, and wildly entertaining, bringing fresh energy to a worn out genre.
Good Girls (2018 – )
Jenna Bans’s dramedy is getting a second season and we’re here for it every step of the way. Centering on three suburban moms (with glorious turns from Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who find themselves in desperate circumstances, the tired trio have had enough of playing it safe and swap wholesome housewife values for a life of crime, chaos, and dollar bills by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint.
Some girls are good, some girls are bad, and some are just doing what they can to get by.
Veronica Mars (2004 – 2007)
A show that was cut from the air and from our lives too soon, the neo-noir YA crime thriller saw Kristen Bell long before her The Good Place days, as a snarky high school student turned private investigator who dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune, including the murder of her best friend Lily.
Using her smarts and determination to unturn a number of stones (while dealing with sexual trauma of her own), Veronica is the ultimate example of girl power, proving you don’t have to show physical strength to be powerful.
Riverdale (2016 – )
The CW’s dark, edgy, and sexy take on the Archie comic books has proved highly addictive, set in the once-idyllic small town that becomes a hotbed of controversies and secrets with the death of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines).
From Betty (Lili Reinhart), to Veronica (Camila Mendes), to Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), Riverdale features a host of female characters who show strength and are fierce in their own special ways.
The TV show equivalent of your 00s teen angst, Daria was more than just a cartoon – it was a way of life.
Fuelled by misanthropy and cutting wit, Daria was and still is the perfect example of sardonic apathy, following the titular character through teenage life as a proud outsider in a world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults. Together with her bestie Jane, the pair take on the world in Creepers and grunge boots, one snarky quip at a time.
Big Little Lies (2017 – )
Arguably one of the best crime dramas of last year, HBO’s Big Little Lies stars Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as suburban moms who exist in a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots.
As their seemingly perfect lives unravel, dark secrets bubble to the surface and we begin to see that life is not as it seems in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey. Not only does the show offer a gripping storyline and three-dimensional characters whose arcs you can’t help but be enthralled by, but the show also tackles the tricky subject of domestic abuse in a complex and nuanced manner. With season two on the way, we’d recommend giving season one a watch or rewatch ahead of its release.
Vida (2018 – )
Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera star in Tanya Saracho’s latest comedy as Emma and Lyn – two estranged sisters who return to their old LA neighborhood where they are confronted by the past and the truth about their mother’s identity.
In its first season, the show has been praised for its portrayal of Latinx culture, LGBTQI relationships, and gentrification – with another season on the horizon, we’re excited to see what hot topics Saracho and the creative team will take on.
Pose (2018 – )
Ryan Murphy’s portrayal of 80s NYC ball culture is dazzling, authentic, and deals with its challenging topics with tact and finesse. A landmark show in terms of LGBTQI representation, Pose explores the fetishization of trans women and the details of gender reassignment surgery in ways that have not been seen on TV before.
As well as lifting the curtain on the bold ball subculture and the issues the trans community faced both inside and out of the scene, Pose also feels like a family drama thanks to the relationships formed by the sweet yet powerful Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), who builds lives and shows love by making a home for Angel (Indya Moore) and Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain). In short, Pose demands to be seen – it’s one of the greatest shows on TV and we’re giving it tens across the board.
You clearly didn’t give Insatiable a fair chance and completely missed the themes, motifs, build up of the plot, the fact that it’s representation done correctly (fully developed characters that happen to be of X demographic rather than just trying to throw in as many different demographics as possible and ending up with characters whose entire identity is “gay” or “trans” or “black” with nothing else to them), character development, not to mention the excellent acting. You decided it was offensive and that you didn’t like it before even finishing the first season (as you say in the article that you only watched the first few episodes), which gets really intense and serious (while still maintaining the black comedy tone) really fast, with tons of important plot points coming together and blowing up in the characters’ faces at the end of the second season. It’s also one of the few shows that addresses false sexual abuse accusations and male suicide, and is the best representation of eating disorders I’ve seen in any media (aside from documentaries) so far without being emo about it and having that be the entire plot with a sappy ending of a completely smooth speedy recovery. Honestly, I don’t know how you could watch even the first few episodes without going, “oh no, oh no, oh no, don’t do that! Terrible idea—oh! Good! Keep doing—wait no!” pretty much the entire time. Did you even pay the slightest bit of attention to ANYTHING that was happening in the show?
And as for the comment about Nonnie: oh yeah, cause teenagers are NEVER exploring, confused about, embarrassed by, or trying to deny their sexuality, no, never! That doesn’t ever happen and so it shouldn’t be shown happening in anything! It’s not like both straight and gay teenagers alike ever develop crushes on their close friends or anything.May 19, 2020