Wow . . . That title was not something I ever would have guessed I would utter in a single sentence.
Surprise! If you're one of the responsible ones, you're locked up in your house quarantining and praying to whatever deity will listen that you don't contract a deadly virus (or you already have it). And right when the weather was just starting to warm up again. Fun, right?! Okay so maybe not, but you have to pass the time somehow. So in lieu of Women's History Month, I'm sharing some content to binge that I love, and that features strong female leads. Smash the patriarchy, especially when they run our country and don't prepare for viral outbreaks, amiright?!
Sex Education (Netflix) - You'll want to watch season one for context, but season two is where this show really shines. The music is great, and the writing showcases a number of complex female characters. Maeve is a character that media constantly neglects but exists everywhere in the real world: a low income girl from a "troubled home." Season two also covers sexual assault (nothing violent or too graphic) and how it affects every woman, and shows girls bonding over aggression — a rare depiction in a world that still likes to act like women just do face masks to deal with stress.
Pose (Netflix) - While Brad Falchuck unfortunately directs this show, it has the largest cast of trans WOC I've ever seen. It's set in the 80s New York Ballroom scene during the AIDS epidemic, so if the topic of another viral epidemic will trigger your anxiety, maybe save this show for later. Otherwise, the wardrobe, writing, and acting are incredible, and the trans issues they cover are real and never covered before in Hollywood.
Runaways (Hulu) - Based on the Marvel comics, it is truly a shame this show only got three seasons. The plot is complicated and full of twists and turns involving aliens and conspiracies, so I won't reveal too much for risk of sharing spoilers. The characters in this show are modern and fleshed out. Some suffer from mental illness, others abuse (nothing too graphic), but they really show a great representation of chosen family. There are even conversations between a guy and girl character about consent?! I know, wild. But magnificent.
Riverdale (Netflix/CW/Amazon) - It's a "teen drama" (quotation marks because the actors are all nearly 30 and the plotlines are adult), but don't be fooled. If you get and love camp, then you'll fall for this show hard. While the show could certainly do with more POC actors, the female characters are strong and complex. Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) dominate. There's also femme lesbian representation and lots of women in power in this show. Also nostalgic callbacks to beloved shows like Twin Peaks — Mädchen Amick even plays Alice Cooper (Betty's mother)!
Dr. Who (Amazon/BBC) - Jodie Whittaker plays this current iteration of the Doctor and she's adorable. Both a total goofball and unbelievably brave, she's the person we wish would save our Earth right now. The companions in the current season (introduced last season) are equally endearing with strong moral compasses and unbreakable spirits.
Orphan Black (Amazon) - An oldie but a goodie! This show ran for five seasons. Talk about acting — Tatiana Maslany played FIVE main characters (and even more minor characters) in this show and KILLED IT. From Wikipedia: "Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction thriller television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her fellow clones, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing Childs' suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its effect on identity."
The Changeling - Joy Williams
Valencia - Michelle Tea
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center - Bell Hooks
St. Lucy's Home for Girls Who Were Raised By Wolves - Karen Russell
Diving Into the Wreck - Adrienne Rich
The Punk Singer (the Kathleen Hanna documentary!)
But I'm a Cheerleader! (a feel-good gay/lesbian classic)
Le Tigre/Bikini Kill
Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below, or tweet me @estochen!