Thanks to video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, the fate of television is no longer at the mercy of focus groups and Nielsen ratings. Today, more and more shows are getting made that might not have gotten the same opportunity ten years ago. The same can be said about heavy-hitting roles for women. With shows like Orange Is The New Black, Broad City, VEEP, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, to name a few, female-led TV shows are slowly but surely paving the way for a more gender-balanced media. Plus, these TV gals are so irresistible that they make streaming and binging a welcomed activity.
Here are 9 Netflix Originals that feature women we love:
Orange Is The New Black
Litchfield’s very own do-gooder turned veritable badass. In five seasons, Piper has gone through some serious character development: from beating a prison bully to within an inch of her life to running a full-fledged illegal business, time and time again she’s proven to haters how much you don’t want to mess with her.
Betty and Veronica
The best thing about the new live-action Archie re-imagination is the budding relationship between the show’s two female leads, Betty and Veronica. Despite their shared affection for a certain ginger-haired boy, the pair quickly dismantles the patriarchy by choosing to prioritize their friendship instead. Remember, two hot cheerleaders are always better than one.
Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie
The show stars Hollywood legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the titular roles of Grace and Frankie, two women whose husbands, both of whom are successful lawyers in San Diego, announce they’re in love with each other and that they plan to marry. Hearing Fonda and Tomlin’s verbal sparring is enough proof that good can still exist, even in a post-Trump world. After every episode, you'll realize that these are the grandmas you wish you had. Sorry, lola!
The Incredible Kimmy Schmidt
When it comes to characters with dark pasts, few can beat Kimmy Schmidt. After getting rescued from a doomsday sex cult, Kimmy takes on New York City and post-cult life, navigating adulthood and all its trappings with a disposition that can only be described as oppressively optimistic.
After a failed career as a superhero, Jessica Jones decides to become a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with special abilities while grappling with her own inner demons. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with, Jessica must also face a nemesis from the past who just won’t let her go. Marvel femme fatales make us go weak in the knees!
Queen Elizabeth II
Scandal, intrigue, drama—Netflix’s biographical account of Queen Elizabeth II’s rise to power has it all. The Crown offers both a humanizing portrait of the royal family and a gripping history lesson on postwar Britain. It’s a rare glimpse into the life and past of a figure we’ve all known since childhood.
To say that Chewing Gum’s Tracey Gordon is weird is an understatement: she’s socially and romantically awkward, desperate to lose her virginity, and is obsessed with Christianity. Still, despite her blatant idiosyncrasies, Tracey is undeniably loveable. She’s bucked societal norms by being completely devoid of shame and her misguided attempts at sexuality speak to that part in all of us that just wants to connect with someone, even if it means exposing ourselves for the embarrassing slug-people we truly are.
If you missed your chance to hop on the Bamford train after Lady Dynamite came out a few years ago, now’s your chance to make amends. The seasoned stand up comic recently came out with Old Baby, a new Netflix special that puts a spin on the genre’s tried and tested format. And while Maria Bamford’s brand of quirky comedy may not be for everyone, that doesn’t make it any less special. There's nothing quite like a hilarious woman to keep you glued to the screen.
The Incredible Jessica James
Struggling to make a career as a playwright and fresh from a failed relationship, Jessica James is a picture of twenty-something existential crisis. Played by Daily Show alum Jessica Williams, the Incredible Jessica James is a film that wonderfully encapsulates the pitfalls of adulthood with a decidedly modern frame of reference.