23 TV Shows Every Woman Should See In Her Lifetime

Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO
Share

When you're as obsessed with TV as I am, you come to realize that there are certain shows every woman should see in her lifetime. These are shows that you come to re-watch time and time again. They're shows that offer a glimpse of comfort, understanding, or thoughtfulness about the female experience that you hardly find anywhere else. In my humble opinion, all of these on the list below are some of the best feminist TV shows ever made, providing differing perspectives on female identity that you just absolutely need to see.

While many of these must-see TV shows for women are so recent that they're still airing, (because what a time to be alive it is, you guys), others are groundbreaking classics. Of course, if you are anything like me, then there's a good chance that you might have seen the majority of the shows listed below already. In that case, treat this as an opportunity for some much-needed re-watch sessions. Because they're all perfect to be enjoyed on repeated viewings and never grow old.

For the rest of you, though, treat this as your new TV guide. You deserve to have all of these amazing female led TV shows in your life.

1'Broad City'

Giphy

By far one of the funniest, realest, and sweetest TV portrayals of female friendship ever made.

2'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'

Giphy

Not only was this show groundbreaking when it was released, but it still holds up as an inspiring comedy in which a young woman proudly asserts herself in society.

3'Big Little Lies'

Giphy

Full of complex, well written female characters, Big Little Lies also delivers some of the most powerful, if deeply unsettling, commentaries about rape culture ever shown on TV.

4'Living Single'

Giphy

One of the finest sitcoms of the '90s, featuring four hilarious, and often highly relatable, fictional women living single in the city.

5'My So Called Life'

Giphy

My So Called Life isn't just about the complexities of being a teenager; it also contains a lot of intelligent discourse about identity, friendship, and life itself.

6'The L Word'

Giphy

Captivating, heartbreaking, and full of swoon-worthy moments, The L-Word is a drama about sexuality that is well worth a marathon.

7'The Affair'

Giphy

Showing both the male and female perspectives of the same events, The Affair provides a savvy commentary on gender politics amid a sprawling love story, murder mysteries, and a ridiculous amount of twists and turns.

8'Orange Is The New Black'

Giphy

Telling the often complicated stories of the lives of the female inmates of Litchfield Penitentary, Orange Is The New Black can be touching, brutal, uplifting, sexy, and absolutely heartbreaking.

9'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'

Giphy

It never took itself too seriously, which made the show incredibly fun to watch, but its feminist subtext also made it inspiring.

10'Sex And The City'

GIPHY

As much about female friendship as it was about enjoying great sex and finding romantic love, Sex And The City is still one of the finest women-led dramedies ever made.

11'Insecure'

Giphy

Exploring female friendships, African-American identity, and that anxious feeling of hitting a dead-end of love and career in your 20s, Issa Rae's debut comedy show is perfection.

12'The Golden Girls'

Giphy

This one is all about proving that female stories are still valid and can be hilarious no matter the age of the protagonists.

13'Veronica Mars'

Giphy

Veronica Mars dealt with issues like sexual assault, teenage pregnancy, class warfare, and racism in a deft, smart manner.

14'Parks And Recreation'

Giphy

I don't care if she's fictional. Can Leslie Knope just be made President already?

15'Absolutely Fabulous'

Giphy

This cult British comedy features one of the most hilarious portrayals of friendship, and staying fabulous even when you're a hot mess, that you may ever see.

16'Gilmore Girls'

Giphy

Set in the idyllic small town of Stars Hollow, Gilmore Girls is a TV show that perfectly explores mother and daughter relationships. Combining screwball comedy with heartbreaking drama, it's also an incredibly easy show to marathon.

17'The Mindy Project'

Giphy

Mindy Lahiri is by far one of the most charming and hilarious comedy characters of recent years. It's as simple as that.

18'The Good Wife'

Giphy

It isn't just that Alicia Florrick and Diane Lockhart are two of the most well written and intriguingly flawed characters that have even been on TV. It's also the fact that The Good Wife always put female characters and female stories at the forefront of this captivating drama.

19'Jessica Jones'

Giphy

Jessica Jones is no ordinary superhero show. It pulls no punches when providing an unflinching and powerful portrayal of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and trauma. The show is beyond inspiring.

20'Queen Sugar'

Giphy

Created by Ava DuVernay and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, Queen Sugar features an impressive roster of women behind the scenes, and incredible African-American storytelling at the forefront. It's also full of surprises.

21'Grace And Frankie'

Giphy

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda prove that age is nothing but a number in what is by far one of the funniest, most inspiring, and most refreshing, contemporary comedies on TV.

22'The Fall'

Giphy

Full of feminist commentary, and with a strong female lead played with phenomenal power by Gillian Anderson, this British crime drama is essential viewing.

23'Top Of The Lake'

Giphy

By equal turns strange and disturbing, Top Of The Lake offers a beguiling mystery full of shocking twists and bold feminist statements. Elizabeth Moss and Holly Hunter turn in two of the greatest performances of their career in it, too.

It's definitely time to update your must-see TV viewing list, guys, and start scheduling in some marathon days for you and your best female friends.