During this Women’s History Month, it’s all about the amazing female figures we look up to; the ones that inspire us. There are so many ways to celebrate, one of which is to check out female-led TV series. TV shows that have powerful female characters portrayed by amazing women are always great entertainment, and these eight shows are led by empowering female leads that I can’t get enough of.
Created by the leading lady Issa Rae, Insecure is a comedy series about the unpacked stories on the Black female experience. The show revolves around two Black best friends, Issa and Molly, who met in college and continue to help each other get through the experiences of life, relationships, careers, and so on while living in Los Angeles. Issa works at a non-profit that benefits middle school-aged students, and Molly is a successful corporate attorney. Both women have a close bond and they get through many struggles of relationships, their friendship, and the overall African American community together.
Stream on HBO Max.
2. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker
The story of millionaire and trailblazer Madam C.J. Walker is an inspiring one for sure. Self Made tells the journey of Madam C.J. Walker, portrayed by actress Octavia Spencer, who built an empire with her own haircare line, becoming America’s first self-made millionaire. This mini series not only gives great Black representation with their cast, but the plot line and the story alone inspires other women to become famous entrepreneurs themselves.
3. Dear White People
Based on director Justin Simien’s celebrated film of the same name, Dear White People follows college student/activist Samantha White and her friends, who are also Black students at a P.W.I. (predominantly white institute). Throughout the show, Samantha is the host of a controversial and politically-charged radio show called “Dear White People,” where she discusses the racism of the campus and Black identity. Throughout the show, the whole gang navigate racial inequality, along with other forms of discrimination, while attending their university.
4. She’s Gotta Have It
Another great female-led series based off of a great film of the same name, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It is centered in Brooklyn, NY and follows artist Nola Darling and her three male lovers. DeWanda Wise takes on the role of Nola, a pansexual who dates various men, while she lives her life the way she wants to. What I love about this character is that she does what makes her happy, accepting herself for who she sees herself as, and not for how others see her.
5. New Girl
A classic, female-led series about a bubbly, optimistic, always-in-a-singing-mood teacher named Jess, who finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her with another woman, New Girl follows Jess as she moves into a loft with three single guys, who, despite never having met her before, support her and her crazy shenanigans. This comedic series shows a lovable female character that many people, like myself, can’t get enough of.
6. Mrs. America
This mini series follows conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, played by Cate Blanchett, as she leads an unexpected fight against the Equal Rights Amendment movement during the 1970s. She caused plenty of backlash, and some of the ’70s most powerful women and feminists, including Shirley Chisholm, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, pop up. Through this show, we take a look at one of history’s toughest battles for women of the era, and how much they had to fight.
Fun Fact: Kayli Carter, an actress and an alumna at my alma mater, SCAD, is in this show, and she’s fantastic!
Stream on Hulu.
7. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
In 1950s New York, housewife Midge Maisel discovers her love for stand-up comedy and entertainment. This show is hysterical, and such a passionate series about a woman who defies all cultural expectations of her era to boldly chase her dreams. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is an example of how a powerful woman can follow her heart and do what inspires her. Every woman should always follow their passion, regardless of what others say.
Stream on Amazon Prime.
8. The Queen’s Gambit
This is the story of Beth Harmon, who found her love of chess as a child in an orphanage. She grows up a child prodigy, quite the star of the game. Her brilliant skills and intelligence opens new doors for her, including big competitions. But being a famous genius comes at a cost for her. This coming-of-age story, based off the book by Walter Tevis, is a very unique and compelling series that I highly recommend.