Happy International Women’s Day! This month, we raise awareness for gender equality and celebrate the achievements of womankind. In this week’s Netflix recommendations, I thought it fitting to share six shows with strong female characters that exude tenacious personalities as we take in their varied plot lines and absorb lessons on how they fight patriarchy in inspiring ways. Regardless whether you are a housewife, stay-at-home-mom or someone battling a debilitating illness, remember, like the women in these shows, you too can be a superhero.
Jessica Jones first came to reality from Marvel Comics’ Alias, a comic book series created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos. The creation of the show was Netlfix’s attempt at creating an interconnected universe of darker themes as compared to its silver screen cousins.
New York City’s Jessica Jones has lived a long life of suffering. On top of getting raped, manipulated, and, betrayed, Jessica was orphaned from a young age due to a fatal car crash that took her parents lives. Follow her journey of revenge as this seemingly innocuous private investigator uses her superpowers to tear down anything that stands in her way.
Who should watch it: For those who are sick and tired of lead male characters dominating the Marvel universe and are looking for a badass female lead living her true angry self.
Jessica Jones | Watch Here
Having recently come to an end, The Good Place was a crowd favourite dearly loved and will be missed by many. The show is built on the premise of viewers journeying through the afterlife with Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, Janet, and Michael as they navigate the twists and turns that lay in wait. Never too far from trouble, the endearing Soul Squad always finds a way to tackle the challenges as a team. You know what they say, when (the after) life gives you lemons.
Played by the queen herself, Kristen Bell, Eleanor quickly becomes a character who we love and are rooting for simply because of how relatable her thoughts and actions are. Unbefitting of the ‘good place’ nor the ‘bad place’, Eleanor fights to be sent to the ‘medium place’ instead, where mediocre people, like the most of us, deserve to go. Fearless, compassionate, and clever, Eleanor leads the Soul Squad throughout their misadventures, overcoming them with her wit and intelligence.
Who should watch it: For anyone who enjoys going through a casual existential crisis as they watch the show.
The Good Place | Watch Here
Set in the Big Apple and featuring big-shot lawyers, Suits tells the story of Mike Ross who makes a living by sitting the Law School Admissions Test for other prospective lawyers. In a chain of random events, Mike somehow stumbles upon a job interview, where he meets Harvey Spectre, the best closer in the city.
As we witness the duo take on the city’s most challenging cases with finesse, we eventually meet Jessica Pearson, Harvey’s mentor and managing partner of their law firm, Pearson Hardman. Jessica is a no-nonsense African American woman who had her humble beginnings at the law firm as an associate and through sheer hard work, rose through the ranks and eventually ran the firm herself. She goes on to establish her alpha position by saving her boys whenever they land themselves in a sticky situation.
Who should watch it: For those who dream of being a lawyer but are not academically inclined to do so.
Suits | Watch Here
Set in the bustling city of San Francisco, Girl Boss is loosely based on the real-life entrepreneur, Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography, #Girlboss. The show follows Sophia (played by Britt Robertson) as she navigates life as a 20-something who has lost her job. Plagued by unemployment and hits to her self-confidence and esteem, watch as Sophia picks herself up on her own and feel inspired by her perseverance as she builds her clothing business.
The portrayal of our female lead in this series hits close to home for us millennials who are still figuring out our life. Perhaps you’ll feel motivated by Sophia’s blind faith in herself and start a business too.
Who should watch this: Watch this if you’re all about the female-empowering herself through plain hard work.
Girl Boss | Watch Here
Set in Madison Avenue, New York in the 1960s-70s—Mad Men is shaped against the trope of the Golden Era of advertising (and sexism). Viewers follow the life of our main characters Don Draper and Peggy Olson, who at the beginning of the show lead lives apart as a Creative Director and secretary.
The strong female character that stands out in Mad Men is Joan Holloway, Who began her journey as the Office Manager at Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency. While she may appear as a glorified secretary to her male superiors, we learn throughout the show that she is the glue that holds the agency together. Joan’s character believes in soft power and exhibiting her influence in discreet and subtle ways. We see Joan navigate many roles from working woman to housewife and eventually founding partner of an advertising agency in the troubling times of patriarchy and sexism.
Who should watch it: Watch this if you’re one to feel inspired by all things vintage and nostalgic for the Golden Era of advertising.
Mad Men | Watch Here
Sick and tired with struggling to make ends meet, three suburban mothers from Detroit, Michigan decided to risk it all and rob a grocery store, only to get more than what they bargained for. Watch as we follow Beth, Annie and Ruby steer through cheating spouses, custody battles and ailing children, on top of their debts.
What makes Good Girls such a compelling show to watch is the execution of strong female characters and the power of motherhood. Whilst morally questionable, this show fundamentally portrays that women too can be dangerous criminals for the right causes.
Who should watch this: Watch this if you’re all about that double mom life—you’ll never know what your mother actually does during her free time.
Good Girls | Watch Here