It’s safe to say the days when women were relegated to being just accessories to the macho men on television are well behind us. In the 1970s, one could count (on one hand) the number of shows with female leads – examples: Police Woman, Charlie’s Angels and Laverne & Shirley. Thankfully, these days, there are a growing number of plots revolving around women, and each of their stories is as complicated on screen as women have it in real life.
Even when both the sexes have prominent roles on a show, the women are not portrayed as the weaker sex but finally, as equals.
Here is our pick of current TV shows highlighting strong, flawed women.
Big Little Lies
A prime example of how women rely on each other for good company and a strong support system. Each character here has a story to tell – suffering in silence from an abusive spouse, traumatised from a date rape, having an extra-marital affair, just to name a few. All of their stories are somehow weaved into a murder case. While viewers are interested in finding out who was murdered and who the perpetrator is, it is the portrayal of the women and their lives that are more gripping.
Agent Dana Scully is no one’s fool. Scully is one of the most prominent versions of intelligent and independent woman showcased on TV. When the series premiered in 1993, viewers can depend on Scully to stand her ground when it’s something or someone she believed in. Heck, we all wanted to be like that. Scully’s stance has not diminished an iota as the revived series goes into its 11th season.
The Good Fight
The spin-off from The Good Wife is all about the women. And phew, what a diverse group of fantastic, just simply fantastic, women they all are. These women on top – shout out to Diane Lockhart and Lucca Quinn – not only dress smart, but they also say very smart things. Even when their personal lives are in turmoil, they still give their 100% in court.
Game Of Thrones
It’s true that in the first few seasons of this show, the women are treated terribly – they’re constantly discarded like trash. But in the course of GOT’s seven seasons, the emergence of strong female characters on the show is undeniable. You may hate characters like Cersei Lannister and Sansa Stark, but in Season Seven both proved they have what it takes to be leaders. Not to mention, Daenerys Targaryen who rose from the fire (literally) to be someone deserving of the throne, and Arya Stark, who has transformed into a lethal youngster.
Having known Queen Elizabeth as just the head of the British monarch, it is interesting to get to know the woman wearing that heavy crown. Perhaps what is most notable about her position is that she is not allowed to interfere in politics and is bound by long-held tradition, upheld by hypocritical men. If the show is even 60% based on truth, then she deserves more credit that she has gotten. It isn’t easy being queen. As pointed out in Season Two, she has outlasted many male prime ministers who’ve chosen to resign from the stressful post instead of carrying on.
The Big Bang Theory
Amy Farrah Fowler, Bernadette Rostenkowski and Penny can outsmart the four guys anytime of the day. Anyone think different?
The Handmaid’s Tale
Adapted from feminist Margaret Atwood’s book, the award-winning series is an essential addition on how women persevere even in the most dire of situation. In the dystopian future, women are stripped of their rights and some have to endure repeated rapes until they’re pregnant. But, in their own way, not all women bow down – at the cost of everything, they rebel.
She is the Vice President of the United States, a post that has yet to be filled by a woman in real life. We’re not joking when we say, it’s time for the US to appoint a woman in the White House, especially seeing who is in charge at the moment.
Actresses have to put up with a lot of things… as shown by the recent flood of sexual harassment cases in Hollywood. Glow, which is about a group of women who perform for a wrestling organisation in Los Angeles, explores complex female friendships and the sacrifices the protagonists have to make for their careers. All the while facing discrimination.
This private investigator with superstrength is not out to make people like her. To be honest, she’s not likeable. But we can’t help but admire Jessica Jones, especially when she goes out of the way to protect the few people she loves. Superpowers or not, the fact that she overcame her mind-controlling captor to beat him in his own game takes extreme courage.