The inspirational women this important week has been dedicated to have been commemorated in so many ways over the past few days. They have been ordinary women or essential to their field, but we have all shown our appreciation for them and their work throughout this week. The entertainment and television industry has also, over the past number of years, released some great new shows focusing on the power of women, and their exploration of their position in the world, as well as the discovery of their inner strengths. In honour of this inspirational week, here are 5 great new shows that, besides their overall quality, offer up diverse and complex portrayals of women that we should all aspire to be.
Written by the insanely talented Issa Rae, this show focuses on what it means to be a young black woman discovering herself in today’s America. It premiered in 2016, so it’s relatively new but has already made quite a name for itself, as evidenced by Issa Rae’s two Golden Globe nominations. Its profound exploration of race, and the realities of being black in our contemporary society has earned it the right to be talked about for quite a while! And, it’s also hilariously funny!
2. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
I’d be seriously surprised if any of you haven’t at least heard of this amazing new show. Set in the 1950s, about a Jewish housewife who becomes a stand-up comedian, this show has already taken the world by storm, and with good reason. The cast is perfect, as it includes Alex Borstein, a funny woman in her own right, and it’s written by Amy Sherman-Palladino. It also doesn’t shy away from portraying the difficulties of its protagonist in keeping her job, and showing the prejudices against women at the time, something which people need to know more about these days.
3. One Day at A Time
If you haven’t heard of this show, where have you been? It’s quite frankly groundbreaking in its portrayal of parenthood and teenage sexuality, particularly as it’s related to gender. Focusing on a Cuban-American family, it recounts the trials and tribulations of the single mother with PTSD from her time in the military, the gay teenage daughter and her non-binary girlfriend, and of a young man growing up with an absent father. It’s funny, it’s sad and heartwarming, and it has Rita Moreno, what more could you want?
4. Good Behavior
Perhaps the protagonist of this particular TV show shouldn’t be emulated as such, but she should definitely be admired. Upon her release from prison, Letty is determined to prove herself a good mother to her son and sceptical family. Ultimately, her criminal past and potential for alcohol and drugs comes back to haunt her. Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame proves her acting chops in a role that is sometimes scream-inducing due to her character’s self-destructive tendencies, but the story is complex and worth the time.
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
While not as relatively new as the other shows on this list, this is an important series to watch because of the undiminished positivity and strength of its main character Kimmy. Being kept in a bunker for 15 years and being told the world had ended, she has an understandably childish and innocent outlook on life in general, but she is not afraid of standing up for her beliefs and for other people. Jane Krakowski’s character is also important as she learns to discover her own inner strength. It’s also one of the funniest shows out there at the moment, with good reason as it’s produced by Tina Fey herself.