The CW has renewed its primetime line-up. Yeah, you read that right — and this isn't a dream! All 10 of the shows that are currently on air — plus Reign (for Season 4) — have been given the green light for more seasons. So, expect to see Arrow (for Season 5), The Flash (for Season 3), The Vampire Diaries (for Season 8), The Originals (for Season 4), iZombie (for Season 3), Legends of Tomorrow (for Season 2), Supernatural (for Season 12), The 100 (for Season 4), Jane the Virgin (for Season 3) and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (for Season 2) on your television screens sometime this year or next.
Of course, this is exciting news for TV aficionados, and fans of good television shows in general. However, it's important to keep in mind that out of the 11 returning shows, only four have a female lead. While that's not an uncommon statistic to hear about the TV landscape, it's still an important fact to digest — and it certainly makes the renewal of the four female-led shows (that is, Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and iZombie) all the more important to discuss. After all: Yes, there are only four, but it's great that they all got renewed. And the only way we're going to get more shows that center around women is if we start watching the ones that are already on air, and encourage networks like The CW to keep renewing them. Below, some reasons to start viewing each of these female-led shows, if you haven't already.
Jane The Virgin
A 20-something virgin (portrayed impeccably by breakout star Gina Rodriguez) becomes pregnant after she's accidentally artificially inseminated. (If that sounds crazy, it is. But don't worry, the show is well aware.) Most of the show centers around the relationships of the Villanueva women, which are often complicated, always complex, and — most importantly — never feel clichéd. Jane The Virgin is an unstoppable force, and an important point of reference when discussing gender representation on TV.
Like Jane The Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend sounds far fetched and fantastical (a woman who has recently been made partner at her NYC law firm bumps into a fling from summer camp and decides to leave everything and move across the country to West Covina to pursue him?!), but the show's rooted in so much glorious self-awareness, it's hard to look away. As a blend of rom-com and musical comedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — and it's co-creator/star Rachel Bloom — doesn't miss a beat.
Liv (played by Rose McIver) is a medical student who just so happens to also be a zombie. The blend of supernatural drama, dark humor, and mystery make iZombie pretty unique, but it's McIver's performance a Liv that really gives the show its edge. She's uncanny in her likability, and delivers the protagonist's lines with just the right amount of grim satire and wit. Also, it's created by Veronica Mars mastermind Rob Thomas, so you know it's amazing.
The drama follows Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots — and though the plots aren't built on historical accuracy (think more Gossip Girl than Downton Abbey), it still delivers. Adelaide Kane plays Mary with enough angst and relatable allure to make you forget she's the heir to one arguably important throne. It never takes itself too seriously, and that's what makes Reign a charming soapy respite from other period pieces.
We're long overdue when it comes to upping our game on female-led TV shows, but at least this renewal of four strong contenders — ones that can hold their own against their male-led counterparts — is a start.
Images: The CW; Giphy (4)