1. Bomb Girls
While the show was tragically cancelled earlier this year (despite good ratings, critical acclaim and a dedicated campaign from viewers to save the show), you have two seasons of this wartime female-driven drama to binge-watch until 5am.
This show has Canadians, feminism, sexually-liberated women, gorgeous Italian men and lesbians, set during the height of World War II, i.e. it has pretty much everything. With the majority of men off fighting overseas, Bomb Girls focuses on the home-front within Canada, at a ammunitions factory where women are at work, fighting off misconceptions while attempting to adjust to their new found freedoms. A two-hour TV movie concluding the series is set to air early next year.
2. Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black is the latest original-content offering from Netflix and it’s getting a lot of buzz right now. Based upon the book by Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black is a comedy-drama that gives a complex look into a women’s federal prison.
As well as having a female-majority cast, with smart and dark commentary on the types of women who end up in prison, the show is one of the only ones ever to have such a diverse cast, including a transwoman character, Sophia, who’ll steal your heart.
3. Some Girls
Some Girls is a British comedy about four sixteen-year old girls who live on a housing estate in South London. It’s like ‘The Inbetweeners’, but about girls and more refined in its comedy - a witty, honest portrayal of everyday life for modern teenage girls. The first season was broadcast in late 2012 to critical acclaim, with its second season scheduled to air later this year.
4. Orphan Black
Technically there’s only one woman in the main cast of Orphan Black (Tatiana Maslany), but there are multiple female leads on the show. I’ll leave it to you to watch to find out how that’s even possible.
Orphan Black is a sci-fi drama that’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, this show will blow your mind.
P.S. 99% of the time, the show fails the reverse Bechdel test and it’s kind of amazing.
5. Scandal & Bates Motel
I’m cheating here because neither of these shows have majority-female casts, however they have badass female leads so you should definitely be watching both.
Kerry Washington plays lead character Olivia Pope in Scandal, a political thriller drama. Olivia runs a successful PR firm that aims to remedy political scandals while also having an affair with the President of the U.S. So, she’s a total badass.
Bates Motel is a horror drama series that acts as a ‘contemporary prequel’ to the classic film Psycho. Vera Farmiga stars as the crazy-yet-endearing Norma Bates and completely kills it. Norma is tough, outrageous, sweet and creepy all at once. My favourite thing about her character is that she is emotionally complex, at times both a hero and anti-hero, and that’s a rare thing to see on tv.
P.S. Both Kerry and Vera are nominated for ‘Lead Actress in a Drama Series’ at this year’s Emmys.
So those are my picks of the best recent tv shows with female casts and leads, feel free to mention any I might have missed in the comments. Happy watching!