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21 TV Shows Every Woman Needs To Watch

Because girl power is everything.

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the show they think all women should watch. Here are their recommendations...

1. The Handmaid's Tale

Hulu

Watch on: Hulu, All 4

It is terrifying, it is brutal, and it will probably make you sick at your stomach, but you need to watch it. Everything in that show is something that has happened or is happening right now, and if we're not careful could very well be our future. But there are bits of hope, in the ways that people fight tooth and nail against their situation, and most importantly is that we can keep it from being reality. – maddiedanielle

While it can be a depressing watch at times, it's a staunch reminder of everything that's been done to women throughout history, how far there is to go for true equality between the sexes, and how fragile our current society is. – rebeccalouiseh2

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2. Harlots

Monumental Pictures

Watch on: Hulu, ITV Player

It's set in London in the mid-1700s when 1/5 women were working in the sex industry. As far removed as it seems, it's eerily familiar. Mother/daughter relationships are explored, yet still a culture of rape, abuse, and sexism exists. Aside from men in the government who prosecute and persecute prostitutes while simultaneously paying for sex, there is something very unique about the show. It's written and directed by women, and has an incredible female cast. – kellys435c4e67f

3. Orphan Black

Netflix

Watch on: Netflix worldwide

A show about a group of clones all played by Tatiana Maslany, a truly amazing actress. One of its main themes is women's rights to their bodies – through the lens of the ethics of cloning – and it showcases so many diverse female characters, from a con artist to a scientist to a suburban soccer mom. – Maddie Nissan, Facebook

4. Big Little Lies

HBO

Watch on: Hulu, Amazon

The mostly female cast is strong as hell. The show portrays important topics such as domestic violence, rape, and motherhood in a realistic way. While at times the women are pitted against each other, they more importantly unite for a worthy cause, showing how truly powerful the female bond is. – Molly McCormack, Facebook

Big Little Lies is a show for all women. So many relatable and realistic stories. It shows the resiliency and strength of us in such an empowering and, at times, heartbreaking way. – alissafrost

5. Chewing Gum

Channel 4

Watch on: Netflix worldwide, All 4

It's one of the funniest Britcoms I've ever seen. It revolves around the main character's honest and hilarious desperation to relieve herself of sexual repression as a result of living in a hyperreligious household. It's one of the best examples of a show that allows for women – and especially black women – to have fully fleshed out and open dialogues about sex and life. The concept of the show and both seasons were entirely Michaela Coles' work and she's a phenomenal comedian. – Izzy Nero, Facebook

6. Cable Girls

Netflix

Watch on: Netflix US, Australia, Canada, and more

It's a Netflix original about four girls working at a telephone company in Madrid in the 1920s. It vividly depicts the struggles of women in those times and is strangely redolent of the feminist movement today. It beautifully deals with ongoing issues surrounding sexuality, abuse, and oppression. – Boredtodeath

The show has not just one but FIVE empowered women who live life with the motto "SCREW YOU, PATRIARCHY!" (some outright, and some more passively). The show, set in 1920s Spain, deals with the suffragette and feminism movement. – msathish

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7. Call the Midwife

BBC

Watch on: Netflix US, Australia, Canada, and more

Most of the episodes are written and directed by women, and there is such a great strong female cast of young and old. It also doesn't shy away from difficult and controversial topics like racism, contraception, and sexuality. – susanm47b6d1eb4

There's a hugely diverse range of strong female characters overcoming some incredible obstacles. Heartwarming but gritty at the same time. –carolinel499de34cb

8. Grey's Anatomy

CBS

Watch on: Amazon, Now TV

The original Shonda binge is a must-have if you ever need some motivation. It continues to be one of the most feminist shows on television. Christina Yang is my role model for life. Start with Season 1 and let the magic take you away. – jordanbeverly

It shows that women can have positions of power in the workplace, and many of those women are women of colour. – brittanyj441b677dd

9. GLOW

Netflix

Watch on: Netflix worldwide

I watch a lot of female-centric TV shows and GLOW is the only one that makes me feel incredibly empowered. The women on the show are all so strong, independent, flawed, unique, realistic, and well-written. It makes me want to become a professional wrestler and I don't even like wrestling! – fredzesty

It starts off with stereotypes and their lives being very male-centered but then it totally twists around as the series progresses. It's very empowering and great to see in modern television. – KatyMarie

10. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The CW

Watch On: Netflix worldwide

It's pretty much exactly the opposite of what you'd expect from the misogynistic-sounding title. Amazing musical numbers in every episode, an emphasis on mental and emotional health, complex female characters, female friendship with your boyfriend's ex and a diverse cast. This is what happy feels like. – Kylee Carlson-Habegger, Facebook

It's so brilliantly written, has beautiful and hilarious songs, and really skewers stigma surrounding mental health and feminism. It shows how important relationships between women are, and the male characters are also well-rounded. Such a good watch, and very easy to sink into a bingeathon. – jasmineh479f84a8e

11. The Bold Type

Freeform

Watch on: Hulu

It's about three kickass young women and their even more kickass boss at a Cosmo-style magazine. The three main characters are unapologetically feminist and strong as hell. In the first two episodes alone, race, sexuality, and sexism in the workplace are explored – and these episodes were written by women. – Katie Flanagan, Facebook

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12. The 100

The CW

Watch on: Netflix US, Australia, Canada, and more

It's about a postapocalyptic world with the human race living in space until 100 teenagers get sent to earth. They have to grow up overnight and become warriors to fight the "grounders" to survive. Some of the most badass warriors are women, who are strong, smart leaders. There's no room for damsel-in-distress characters. The men aren't there to protect their women – they're in battle, fighting alongside them. It is an amazing show, and is great for feminism to show that girls are every bit as strong as boys. – CatherineElizabeth55

13. Bomb Girls

Muse Entertainment

Watch on: Netflix US

It's about women during World War II and shows different sides to the job of building bombs. It deals with real-life issues such as a failing marriage, abortion, and trying to hide a lesbian relationship at that time. It's an amazing show with a cast of women who would make their strong-willed characters proud. – morgans497f017c8

14. Supergirl

The CW

Watch on: Netflix Canada, Brazil, and more

It's a fun superhero show with strong female characters in almost every major role, a beautiful and unclichéd coming out story, a queer relationship that hasn't ended in tears, and two of the best sisters on TV. – alyxbernstein

It's badass. It teaches girls that they can save the world in their own unique way, and that they shouldn't be afraid to face their fears, even if it means stepping out of their comfort zone. Supergirl is the perfect show, because it teaches girls to never give up and to follow their dreams, no matter how long it takes. – Alexis Sullivan

15. The Good Wife

CBS

Watch on: Netflix US, Australia, Canada, Japan, and more

It's so underrated. There are strong women at every turn. Even though the show surrounds Alicia Florrick, honestly every woman – myself included – wants to be Diane Lockhart or Kalinda. – Sevans13

16. How to Get Away With Murder

ABC

Watch on: Netflix worldwide

No one writes badass female characters like Shonda Rhimes, and How to Get Away With Murder has a powerful, intelligent, and incredibly flawed female protagonist at its core. It's full of suspense and packed with often harrowing drama, but fundamentally it's a show about life experience and the deepest desire for love and acceptance. – Becca Williams, Facebook

How to Get Away With Murder. Viola Davis is a queen! – mcooper26

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17. Agent Carter

Marvel

Watch on: Netflix Brazil, Argentina, and more

Every woman should take the time to watch it. Agent Carter leads the way as the only female agent in a secret spy agency right after World War II, where she proved her worth in many ways. The show tackles how she handles being a woman in a "man's world" with grace, and she kicks ass while she's at it. Not only is she a great role model, but the actress who plays her is Hayley Atwell, who is a gift to humankind. – Invisiblewoman15

If you want girl power, she's the ultimate. – anne-mariel46854127c

18. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Fox

Watch on: Hulu, Amazon, Netflix Canada and more

I've never seen a show with as strong and relatable a protagonist as Buffy. Everybody should see it. – nikkicorvers

It turned the horror genre on its ear by having a short, blonde badass as its lead character, and introduced crazy different layered characters that fought both literal and metaphorical demons. – Becky Martin, Facebook

Recent programmes have come close, but I think it paved the way for these shows to empower female leads. – sianpinheirotorres

19. Orange Is the New Black

Netflix

Watch on: Netflix worldwide

It's empowering; it embodies all types of women and showcases their real-life struggles that every women can relate to. It's honest, funny, and dramatic. – beckis4d44254f5

There are so many strong female leads – women of colour, trans women, and women of all sizes and orientations. The backstories are nuanced, addressing issues like poverty, the privatisation of the prison system, parenting, being parented, and getting caught in an unescapable situation. It illustrates that nobody is evil and there are reasons why people are the way they are. – Mary Chambo, Facebook

20. Jessica Jones

Netflix

Watch on: Netflix Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and more

She is a no-frills hero who knows what she wants and while watching, you often forget you're part of a fantastical universe where her super strength becomes a mere accent to the winding story of emotional strength and weakness. The show tackles many themes and rights we are fighting for to this day as women. – ziggylost

While the show itself is dark, Jessica Jones shows that even after having something horrific happen in her life – like rape, mind control and murder – she is still able to fight her way back, confront, and ultimately beat the person who caused her trauma. – gillianleasteele

21. Gilmore Girls

The CW

Watch on: Netflix US, Canada, Australia, and more, Channel 5 On Demand

Even if you watched it as a teenager, watch it again! When I was younger I felt like I was watching the show through Rory's eyes, and now that I am older and have daughters, I'm watching through Lorelai's. Both characters are so relatable to women, and it shows the burdens and blessings of being a mother, daughter, and friend beautifully. – cgoldsmith7910

I watched it with my mom the summer before I went away to college. We'd never been able to talk like both of us wished we could. After a week or two of watching one episode each night, we were talking about Rory's relationships, Lorelai's witty comebacks, and Emily's stuck-up nature. It led us into more meaningful conversations about life and love. It's the perfect mother-daughter show. – abigailb408ca6edb

It's not just something that should just be watched by women, but by everyone else as well. It inspires, teaches, and overall makes the world a better place. – kieraw443193e91

Some submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

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