The best shows out there today teach us all something. Whether it’s a valuable life lesson, knowing that we can learn from our mistakes or even figuring out what not to do, TV shows can show us something important. As college females, it can be inspiring to watch shows even if they’re fiction. The characters often go through intense conflicts, but they figure it all out in the end. Shows with strong female actresses and captivating storylines are ones to look out for.
I recently stumbled upon something called the Bechdel Test, which is used for forms of fiction. Alison Bechdel created this test with three rules: there must be at least two women, they must speak and their conversation must be about something other than a man. I found this to be very fitting because it often seems that shows featuring women always feature men beside them, but this doesn’t have to be true. Here are five of my favorite shows with entertaining storylines that encapsulate what it means to be a girl and show how to live your best life.
1. Gilmore Girls
I’m guilty of watching the whole series of Gilmore Girls in just a few months and loving every second of it. For those of you that haven’t been blessed by the Gilmore family, the series surrounds a daughter Rory, named after her mother Lorelai. Together, they experience Rory transitioning into adulthood with bumpy paths along the way. They each experience monumental moments, heartbreak, happiness and plenty of laughs. Of course there are men in their lives at times, but what keeps the show going is their unbreakable bond. With seven successful seasons and a reboot made exclusively on Netflix in 2016, this show has captured the hearts of many, including myself. Watching Rory Gilmore grow up made me feel as if I were with her through everything, and I think that’s exactly the point of this show. Growing up and experiencing the transition from a teenager to an adult can be intimidating, but Gilmore Girls is sure to give us all hope.
We always hear that we’re only young once, but the show Younger gives the main character, Liza Miller, a second chance. In this show, 40-year-old Liza is struggling with finding a job in the publishing industry and decides to turn her whole life around. She masks herself as a 26-year-old, thus reshaping her old identity. Although this may not be the most realistic situation, this show sheds light on the difficulties women can face in the work industry. She faces obvious difficulties while trying to keep her true identity a secret, but she attempts to keep her priorities straight as much as possible. This show can bring inspiration and show us (cliché, I know) that anything is possible. Success is waiting for us all. We just have to go out there and get it.
The HBO hit Girls is interesting to say the least. Every episode is filled with 30 minutes of tension, laughing, crying and raunchiness. This series tests the limits of modern television. It follows the storyline of four young girls living in New York City trying to make their mark as best as they can. Their lives give us a good look into our twenties and ultimately show us that you can really learn from past mistakes. There are times when the girls feel as if what they’re doing with their lives is completely wrong, but they always fall on each other to feel better. Girls is the epitome of friendship, and as we all know, there’s nothing better than having your best girlfriends by your side.
4. Broad City
Although each of the shows I’ve mentioned have their times of humor, Broad City will have you in tears of laughter — or maybe that’s just me. This show, also based in the Big Apple, revolves around two best friends, Abbi and Ilana. With little money and even less motivation, they tumble through the city together experiencing anything and everything they can. Each episode is filled with a wild story and a crazy situation. Even though we shouldn’t completely follow in their footsteps, Broad City has showed me that having a best friend with you, no matter what the situation, can make things better. Their unique senses of humor is what draws me in the most, but there are also serious moments if you really look for them.
5. Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl is one of the most popular shows of our generation, and you may be wondering how we can possibly learn anything from it. This show has a lot of romance and relationships, but we have watched these characters grow every season. The contrast between Blair and Serena with their high-class, wealthy families, and people such as Vanessa, for example, who has little money to her name, is often underappreciated. Witnessing how all of the characters interact, which is sometimes very brutal, can teach us many life lessons. No matter how much boy drama the girls get into, everyone will always be familiar with the dynamic girl duo of Blair and Serena. They go through the worst imaginable situations and have a lot of drama, but they still always end up there for each other. If that’s not best friend love, I don’t know what is.
Many TV shows can be purely for entertainment, but I like to think that every so often we can learn something from them, especially as girls. These five shows can give us all a unique insight on how to live our lives as we grow up, and they can teach us lessons we never knew we needed to know.