Top 10 Female-Led TV Shows You Should Be Watching In 2017
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
There are many new tv shows with female leads that you should add to your watch list, such as 13 Reasons Why, Big Little Lies, Girlboss, Harlots, The Good Fight, and Santa Clarita Diet. Join us as we look at the 2017 television shows that feature a female character in the lead role.
Girl power doesn’t even begin to do justice to these shows. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Female-Led TV Shows You Should Be Watching in 2017.
For this list, we’re focusing on shows whose first seasons were released to the public in 2017, and which feature a female character, or characters, in the lead role.
#10: “Z: The Beginning of Everything” (2017-)
A fictionalized account of the life of original party girl Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald; this period piece immerses viewers in the roaring ‘20s; a time of jazz, flapper girls and an exuberant lust for life. Zelda is a feminist before her time, and the series studies how she and F. Scott Fitzgerald struggle to balance their relationship and their burgeoning writing careers, while maintaining their party lifestyle. Though its first episode debuted for Amazon Video during the Fall 2015 pilot season, its full first season was only released in January 2017 – and it was worth the wait: Christina Ricci’s performance as Zelda is stellar, giving us a wild look at two of America’s greatest literary minds.
#9: “Shots Fired” (2017-)
In this crime drama, members of the Justice Department search for answers in a town divided by two racially motivated murders. Starring Sanaa Lathan and Stephan James as the investigators, the show mirrors the real life police-inolved shootings that have occurred in the United States in recent years and promises to give us an in-depth look at why these types of shootings continue to plague the country. It’s been billed as a 10-part limited series, but the minds behind the show have opened to door to future seasons, perhaps in an anthology style. Either way, a tension-filled drama with a strong female lead is exactly what the Fox network has been lacking.
#8: “Santa Clarita Diet” (2017-)
Drew Barrymore executive produces and stars in this horror comedy that sees her character, suburban real estate agent Sheila Hammond, starting to display characteristics consistent with…zombies? Yup, this hilarious Netflix series follows Sheila as she learns to cope with her new affinity for dining on the flesh of the living, with help from her husband Joel – played by Timothy Olyphant. Barrymore is awesome as per usual, playing the role of zombie-housewife to perfection. Sure, maybe it’s a bit gorier than your average comedy, but if you can get past the blood, guts and brains you’ll find a unique plot, strong cast and spot on writing.
#7: “Girlboss” (2017-)
If you’re in the mood for a quirky, rags-to-riches tale that’s loosely inspired by real events, “Girlboss” is based on entrepreneur and Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography, which details how she became one of the world’s youngest and most successful businesswomen. Brought to us by Kay Cannon, who’s written for “30 Rock” and the “Pitch Perfect” movies, the show features hilarious performances from lead actresses Britt Robertson and Ellie Reed, and strikes a great balance between dramatic and comedic. Okay, the lead character isn’t the most likeable person, but the show’s binge-worthy regardless. So, sit back, relax and watch Sophia struggle to maintain her sanity while building a fashion empire.
#6: “Harlots” (2017-)
If you’re a fan of costume dramas, this new series should be right up your alley. Picture it: London, 1763. Prostitution is one of the city’s most profitable businesses, and two equally conniving women control it: Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley. Between the two of them, not a harlot in London moves without them giving the OK. The indomitable Samantha Morton stars as Madam Wells; and she brings the same fire and professionalism that’s made her one of the industry’s most respected actresses. With a team of executive producers and creators comprised entirely of women, prepare yourself for an in-depth look at what it was like to own a brothel in 18th century London.
#5: “Star Trek: Discovery” (2017-)
It’s been over a decade since “Star Trek” last appeared on television; so Gene Roddenberry’s legendary franchise was due to find its way back to the medium that served as its first home. And this new incarnation promises to be something special: the series is set in the years preceding the events of the original ‘60s show and features Sonequa Martin-Green in the lead role. Sadly for Trekkers, “Discovery”’s been plagued by behind-the-scenes drama, so the release keeps getting delayed. As of now, it’s set to debut in late-summer/early-fall 2017 on CBS’s streaming service, All Access – meaning there’s plenty of time to get excited for this new “Star Trek” adventure!
#4: “13 Reasons Why” (2017-)
Does Netflix ever miss the mark? The streaming service stays relevant by producing successful movies, documentaries and TV series, and “13 Reasons Why” is just their most recent hit. The show follows high school student Clay Jensen as he tries to unravel the mystery behind the suicide of Hannah, his crush and fellow classmate. This show is much more than just a high school drama, as it delves deep into its characters’ psyches, peeling back the façade of adolescent life to reveal a dark and twisted world filled with unscrupulous characters. Though the mature content has been criticized by some as too graphic, Katherine Langford’s performance as Hannah is worth the price of admission alone.
#3: “The Good Fight” (2017-)
Fans of the CBS political drama “The Good Wife” will already know about this television sequel. The spinoff picks up one year after the events of its predecessor’s finale, with the focus now shifted to Maia Rindell and her mentor Diane Lockhart; lawyers who are forced to find new employment after a financial scandal shatters their perfectly manicured world. The series features a tightly woven narrative complemented by strong performances from all the leading ladies. Seeing as all the episodes have already been released on CBS All Access, and the show’s already been renewed for season 2, you can binge-watch “The Good Fight” to your heart’s content.
#2: “Big Little Lies” (2017-)
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley in a miniseries about a group of friends who get wrapped up in a murder? Yes please! Set in the scenic beach town of Monterey, California, the series is based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name, which revolves around these women and their pursuit of perfection. Featuring an exceptional musical score, truly inspired writing and standout performances from all three main actresses, as well as its entire supporting cast, “Big Little Lies” was packaged as a seven-episode miniseries for HBO – but there has been talk of a season two. Regardless, if you’re a fan of dark comedy and addictive TV, you must watch “Big Little Lies.”
#1: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017-)
If you’re looking for a hard-hitting series that’s set in a dystopian future, features a strong female lead and is based on an award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood, look no further. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is the story of Offred, a young woman who – in accordance with governmental law under the newly established Christian fundamentalist dictatorship – is forced to produce a child for her master. In her world, women have been stripped of their basic human rights, and we watch as she struggles to come to terms with her new reality. Premiering to widespread acclaim, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a seriously engrossing drama that’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.