We’re truly in the era of Peak TV — there is more (much, much more) than enough to watch; so much that we couldn’t possibly sift through it all. So, what do you make time for? What do you watch on a Tuesday night at 9:30 — when the rosé is freshly poured, the comforter is wrapped around your waist, and the bra is looooong gone?
Before you queue up that eighth New Girl binge (#zeroshame), HANG ON GIRL, I’VE GOT YOU. Read on for a list of some of the best under-the-radar shows to watch when you need a serious girls night.
1. The 100
Netflix, 4 Seasons
The CW gets a lot of flack… but it’s actually seriously bringing it with #GRLPWR (I’m so sorry) content these days. From Jane the Virgin, to Crazy-Ex Girlfriend, to The 100 — it’s a plethora of kickass women, and my feminist heart is LOVING IT.
The 100 has a bit of a complicated backstory: there’s a nuclear armageddon (so what else is new), and decades later, 100 teens (lol, of course) get sent back to Earth to test its habitability. Everyone is beautiful — what did you expect — but there are actually some seriously A-MAZE-ING ladies on this show. You can thank me later. #Clexa4Eva.
2. Being Erica
Hulu, 4 Seasons
I stumbled onto Being Erica my freshman year of college. I was instantly obsessed and remember my suitemates teasing me mercilessly about my “Canadian soap opera.”
A (more than a little) silly-but-I-don’t-know-somehow-it-works show about our connection with the past, Being Erica is a refreshing dose of fantasy — what if we could revisit the defining moments of our personal history? Would we be the same women? Bonus: how refreshing is it to see a woman over 22 who has no idea what she’s doing with her life? We all struggle, even Canadians.
3. The Bletchley Circle
Netflix, 2 Seasons
Badass code-breaking ladies on the trail of murderers and criminals? Count. Me. In.
Set in 1952, The Bletchley Circle centers around four women as they assimilate into their normal lives after working at the infamous Bletchley Park during WWII. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the slow unraveling of a mystery — plus fearless women armed with serious mathematical skillz… and this is already in your Netflix queue, right?!
Amazon Prime, 3 Seasons
It feels like everyone I know has heard of Catastrophe, but *just doesn’t have the time* to watch it. I, being single and #foreveralone, have never experienced this problem and make it a priority to binge each season upon its arrival to Amazon Prime (because, life goals).
If you’re going to make time for one thing, make it Catastrophe. It’s disarmingly funny, and is co-written by Sharon Horgan (she also stars in it because hello women rule), who also EPs and writes on Divorce (that other HBO show with Sarah Jessica Parker). Horgan is one of the funniest and most real ladies in the biz, so just do yourself a favor already and queue it up.
Netflix, 1 Season
Did you watch Buffy? Do you take kickboxing? Are you a woman? Then you will love Crazyhead. It’s irreverent demon ass-kicking, with some sass on the side. Serious bonus: the two main characters upon which the show revolves are women… that don’t solely discuss men — a surprisingly hard thing to find. The Bechdel Test is weeping with joy right now.
Amazon Prime, 1 Season
I’ve never felt such love for a piece of television brilliance than I do for Fleabag. Written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge (#queen), Fleabag is a stunning look at sex, love, and relationships — and it’s some of the most real sh*t I’ve seen committed to film. There’s a monologue early on by the titular character that is so raw, honest, and scary open that it teeters on a razor edge between fascination and pain. Watch it when you’re ready for some escapistrealityTM that will make you think and cry with laughter in unison.
7. Gavin & Stacey
Hulu, 3 Seasons
Gavin & Stacey embodies the word “pure.” It’s my favorite hang-around show, and makes you feel really good — a sorely underrated quality many “prestige” shows lack. Co-written by Ruth Jones and James Corden (many moons before Carpool Karaoke), it’s body-positive, love-positive, and sarcasm-positive. What more could you need?
8. Orphan Black
Amazon Prime, 4 Seasons
Tatiana Maslany is, hands down, the best actress working today (and she’s also making history). I kid you not. She plays upwards of seven characters on Orphan Black — a fact I routinely forget while watching because she is just. that. damn. good.
Way (way, way, way) more than just a sci fi show about clones, Orphan Black is a deft and powerful allegory of what we face in the political and technological spheres today. Who really controls female bodies? Who is really in charge of our reproductive rights? The series seeks to answer these questions, with many fascinating arcs in between.
9. Queen Sugar
Hulu, 1 Season
Queen Sugar breaks barriers left and right. Co-created by Ava Duvernay and Oprah (bow down), the series boasts an all-female directorial team… literally unheard of in television. Based upon the novel of the same name, the series centers around three siblings who inherit their deceased father’s sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Chock full of D-R-A-M-A, this series is powerful and exciting — both in what it shows us on the screen and what it proves is possible behind it.