Empowering Female Characters: My Favorite TV Shows to Watch on International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is when women are recognized for their achievements, highlighting issues like gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. Your ethnicity, language, culture, status, or political view doesn’t matter. We all join forces. It is a day where the United Nations has held conferences to help commemorate the day and allow anybody to engage in conversations.

I can be rather picky when it comes to watching TV shows and movies, as I’m constantly looking for solid female-centric characters that are well-written, inspiring, and moves me. When I read a book, it is entirely different.

  • Agent Carter

Captain America has never been my favorite superhero (and I will not add why as I want to avoid getting into disagreements with anyone who reads); in the first movie, Peggy Carter is played by the underrated Hayley Atwell.

What I love about Peggy is that although she serves as a “love interest,” she is never a one-dimensional character. We are given layers as she plays a pivotal role in Steve’s transition from that skinny boy to that golden hunk of testosterone of Captain America.

In Captain America: The First Avenger, Agent Carter is independent, capable, intelligent, and strong. The first time I saw her scene where she gave orders to the soldiers as they would perform pushups, it brought me giggles. Still, it gave me the confidence that you don’t need to feel down, and instead, it’s perfectly fine to prove yourself, especially when male colleagues surround you.

Marvel gave her time and space on the small screen with ABC, where she is relegated to secretarial duties in the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SRR). When Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is accused of treason, he secretly recruits Peggy to clear his name with the help of his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy).

  • Jessica Jones

Jessica’s personality might seem rude and sarcastic to a few, but she is another character superhero with darkness and groundedness that any viewer can sympathize with.

Described as an introvert since she was a girl, she only opens up to a few people; beneath that hard-bitten armor, she’s vulnerable and insecure but with a good heart. Thanks to the trauma of losing her family at a young age and her experience with Kilgrave, she has PTSD and develops a tendency to rely on alcohol to deal with her problems.

What I love about the show is not only Krysten Ritter’s performance, but also showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and the writers’ department tackle the topic of sexual assault with honesty and choosing characters to express emotions and relive through their own stories their past experiences without showing viewers what Kilgrave did as explicit as Law & Order: SUV.

  • Orphan Black

This underrated Canadian show is a gem!

Tatiana Maslany plays 12 clones, each with a different look, accent, and mannerisms. Those who have seen this show know it can be difficult to pick a favorite clone. Sarah is a tough cookie, brave, adaptable, clever, will do anything for her daughter Kira, and has shown how she would keep the ones she loves safe.

What grabbed my attention, besides Maslany playing clones with ease, writers coming up with more clones to challenge Maslany, the complexity of visual effects during production and post-production, but how they also want viewers to engage in conversation about the science deciding to push for advances when it comes to cloning and the repercussions of this.

  • Mary Kills People

This Canadian series revolves around Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), an ER doctor by day and by night she and her partner, a former plastic surgeon, moonlight as underground angels of death who help terminally ill patients slip away on their own terms.

It is the first TV show to tackle this topic, alongside a female-centric behind-the-scenes crew. The series tackles a theme that is often explored more regarding animals. However, the show allows the viewer to hop on the journey with Mary and ask themselves whether what she is doing is fair or question the ethical implications.

  • Wynonna Earp

Based on the IWD Comic, Wynonna Earp follows Wyatt Earp’s great-granddaughter as she battles demons and other creatures. With her unique abilities and a posse of dysfunctional allies, she’s the only thing that can bring the paranormal to justice.

I wanted to share a brief story on how I found this show. I was scrolling on Netflix, and I’m a very visual person. Posters help, but when I see a trailer, it makes it much easier to decide whether it interests me. My two options were: Wynonna Earp and Van Helsing. During this time, both shows were being broadcast on Syfy. I decided to pick Wynonna Earp and didn’t regret it.

The show balances western well with fantasy and good characters, and as a viewer who’s always ahead of the plot, it’s really difficult to do so. You might think “how on Earth can you balance a western with fantasy?” but trust me, it does. Not to mention, you have a badass “crazy chick” like Wynonna, who knows how to rock a leather jacket or be a pregnant mom and always deliver good one-liners.

  • Fleabag

I’m a big fan of British TV, and I’ll explain why.

American writers have a tendency to rush to tell a story. In contrast, British writers (and often times a single writer) dedicate a long time to developing the story and the characters. American are more direct when it comes to humor, whereas the Brits tend to be a bit darker and dry.

Phoebe Waller-Bridges adapts from her award-winning play of the same name about a young woman trying to cope with life in London while also coming to terms with a recent tragedy.

The show is short, well written, my cup of tea, and features some good laughs. Did I mention it has Olivia Colman in it?!

  • Penny Dreadful

Set in the 1880s, this horror series revolves around Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), Ethan Chandler (Josh Harnett), scientist Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), and medium Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), who unite to combat supernatural threats in Victorian London.

Created by John Logan, this series is one of my favorites and features some of horror’s favorite literary characters like Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dorian Gray, to name a few. It features top-notch quality production, performances, sets, and writing. Logan also credits that he wrote the show and was constantly looking for ways to write challenging scenes for his “muse” (Green).

  • How to Get Away with Murder

How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM) revolves around a group of ambitious law students (The Keating Five) and their brilliant criminal defense professor (Viola Davis) who become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives.

HTGAWM comes from Pete Nowalk (who worked with Shonda Rhimes ‘Scandal’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’), and if you are a big fan of Viola Davis like myself, you are in for a treat. Viola elevates the material, gives moving and heartbreaking performances, and shines whenever she is vulnerable.

These are some of my favorite TV shows that I have enjoyed. I’m very picky when it comes to TV shows as there are a lot out there in networks and streaming sites being delivered weekly and made, so you want to spend your time wisely. If it has an outstanding actress or actor, writers, and directors behind it, I will definitely put it on my list.

I know I’m late to join International Women’s Day, but it’s better late than never.

Do you have any TV Shows to add to this list?

* Chat GPT did not write this.

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