One of my first HC articles was “Television Shows with Strong Female Characters,” where I discussed shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Parks and Recreation.” In honor of Women’s History Month, I’d like to provide a few updates to that list, drawing from some more shows—some fairly recent—that you should definitely check out!
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” (2018–Present)
I’ve written an article about this show already, but it needs to be reiterated—”She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” is the show we need, but not the one we deserve. It’s easily binge-able, incredibly heartwarming and unyieldingly moving. It’s the kind of show you can watch with friends on a rainy day, a show you can lose yourself in. In “She-Ra,” the titular character holds her sword aloft and fights against the Evil Horde, even if that means going up against her childhood friend, Catra. The show is chock-full of powerful women—sometimes literally powerful. The ability to control water or plants? Fantastic. The ability to build robots with feelings? Priceless. The ability to… have a scorpion tail and pincers? Yeah, I’ll take it.
“The Umbrella Academy” (2019–Present)
My elevator pitch for this show is that there’s a shootout sequence in a donut shop, featuring several armed agents and a teleporting boy, all set to They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople).” Which is, like, arguably the best thing I’ve ever witnessed. But in actuality, “The Umbrella Academy” goes so much deeper than that (insanely awesome) scene. Based on the comic book series by Gerard Way (yes, that Gerard Way), “The Umbrella Academy” follows the lives of seven adopted siblings as they come together in the wake of their father’s death. Oh, and six of them have superpowers. And one of them is dead. And one of them, the one without powers, is played by Ellen Page. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, and it just weird and campy enough to be something that I couldn’t help but binge-watch. And, if you view it multiple times, you’ll pick up on some crazy easter eggs in the background. But honestly, we’re all rewatching just to see Hazel and Agnes’ love story over and over and over. They just wanted to go birdwatching!
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” (2018–Present)
If you’ve seen “American Horror Story: Coven” and have been waiting for another group of witches to enchant you, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is the perfect choice. Set during everyone’s favorite season of pumpkin spice and “frickin’ bats,” “Sabrina” puts a dark twist on the teenage witch we know and love. If you like “Riverdale,” even better—the original “Sabrina” comics, on which the show is based, are part of the Archie Comics universe. Though Betty and Veronica don’t make an appearance, Sabrina’s witchy aunts are a joy to watch. And of course, the presence of Salem the cat as Sabrina’s familiar makes the story, while mysterious, quite (dare I say) familiar.
Combat skirts, gun-scythes and animal-people. What more could you want out of a show? “RWBY” is free to watch on YouTube and Rooster Teeth. Presented in 3D animation (that gets better as the show goes on, I promise), “RWBY” tells the story of four Huntresses—Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long—as they attend Beacon Academy to learn how to hunt creatures of Grimm and protect the world of Remnant. It’s a show that’s plot-heavy and character-driven, a show that’s equal parts hilarious and tragic (I’m looking at you, Volume Three). It’s a show about growth, about girls learning to grow and young women learning to heal. I can’t recommend this show enough—you just have to check it out for yourself!
“Broad City” (2014–2019)
The favorite show of NYC twenty-somethings is coming to an end, but you can hop on over to Hulu and binge it (especially if you have a Spotify Premium account—yay capitalism, I guess?) As a central Pennsylvanian, I like to joke that visiting NYC a few times means I “get” this show (my sister, a Queens resident, says otherwise). Still, there’s nothing more fun than watching Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer running around the city, wreaking havoc and struggling to get by. The show is a lot of things, but above all it’s a feel-good comedy about a ride-or-die pair that’ll have you wondering about the Bevers in your life. And you’ll probably fall in love with Hannibal Buress. There’s that, too.