With the amount of coverage about severe misconduct in the entertainment business, the industry has obtained a bleak shadow over its content. It’s easy to get caught up in the scandal and think poorly towards the industry, thinking nothing good can come from these tragedies.
To combat these thoughts, some lean towards distraction to ease their minds. Netflix has become a great tool for distraction, but, with so much content and so little time, it might be difficult to sort through the binge-worthy content to completely immerse oneself in the television world. But, in relation to the allegations being exposed every day, let’s focus on shows specifically led by females. Let’s focus on the ones that uplift the female protagonist rather than make the female “lead” a side character or a mere plot device.
So, here are some of the best and some new Netflix Originals with strong female leads.
Jessica Jones (1 Season)
Arguably one of the best shows currently on Netflix, Jessica Jones defied expectations upon release. With great action and a stellar lead by Krysten Ritter, the show has yet to be beaten by any other Marvel show. Over the span of the series, private investigator Jessica Jones must defeat Kilgrave (David Tennant), a mysterious man from her past that continues to threaten her, no matter what she does. With diverse and complex themes and storylines, the show doesn’t cease to amaze, making it highly addictive. It’s easy to fall in love with the character of Jessica Jones, despite her misdoings. The show’s premise should be kept mysterious to keep intrigue and to keep the show from getting spoiled so there won’t be much more said about the plot, but this is definitely a must-watch, even if for those who aren’t necessarily a superhero fan. Though there are obviously superhuman abilities within the show – Jessica herself has super-strength – it doesn’t get bogged down with the super-ness and focuses on characters and each of stories rather than making it merely about the action of it all. To put it simply, it is a fantastic show that is easily binge-able. Also, the second season is currently in production, so it’s not too late to get caught up before the next season’s premiere.
Wanted (2 Seasons)
This series came up seemingly out of nowhere, but it definitely one to watch. Wanted follows Lola (Rebecca Gibney) and Chelsea (Geraldine Hakewill), two strangers who witness a murder together when waiting for the bus. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the two get kidnapped and then blamed for a murder they didn’t commit. Seeing the two female characters bond and, ultimately, show their strengths in their best ways is refreshing, especially since romance is not the prime reason for their partnership. While the two definitely have their weaknesses, they also have qualities that make them stand out from the typical female protagonist. Lola and Chelsea allow themselves to be imperfect since perfection is not a reality. It’s nice to see a realistic portrayal of female leads rather than forcing them to be the best people in the world. Their flaws make them intriguing and make viewers yearn for more.
Alias Grace (Limited Series)
A newer series, Alias Grace is a Margaret Atwood adaptation about Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a woman accused of a murder she does not remember committing. Ten years after her sentencing, she is approached by Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), who wants to help her regain her memories of the day she supposedly committed the murder. Since it seems as if men lead every show about crime, this one with a female protagonist is a great sight to see. The mystery of whether she committed the crime creates that tension that’s so intriguing, making the audience wish for immediate answers.
Godless (Premieres November 22)
This compelling series looks to be a great new addition to Netflix’s already great resume of originals. Taking place during the 1880s in the Midwest, Godless centers around the town of La Belle, New Mexico, a town that Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) discovers is completely run and made up of women. Though this is all that has been released about the series, the interest is still rampant on this show. With a great cast – including Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery – and an idea that begs to be seen on television, Godless could be Netflix’s best next series. Thinking about the time period and pairing it with this concept of a town led entirely by women makes for great drama and action to come.
She’s Gotta Have It (Premieres November 23)
Based on his 1986 film of the same name, Spike Lee returns with his new show, She’s Gotta Have It. The series follows Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise), who has three lovers: Greer (Cleo Anthony), Jamie (Lyriq Bent), and Mars (Anthony Ramos). Looking to be yet another great new Netflix Original, She’s Gotta Have It takes the typical romance and turns it on its head. Instead of having a woman chase a singular man, Nola is strong and firm in her own beliefs. She appears to be a great and complex character, making her an example to follow for future female leads in television. Though not much is known about this series as well, it’s a great sight to see a female character so different from anything else seen on recent television. Hopefully, it will bring a new perspective to femininity and allow people to hear new voices of those like Nola.
It’s stressing to see so many entertainers being accused of horrible things. So, let’s focus on the female protagonist for a change. Let’s uplift the image of women in television, ones who are strong and prove that female-led TV works. Netflix has been great at providing this kind of content; let’s boost its popularity and give these women the acknowledgment they deserve.