Let’s face it, 2017 is the year women are finally saying “no” to all this patriarchal bullsh*t. As more and more stories come to light about certain Hollywood perverts and creeps harassing and assaulting women, it can feel like no form of entertainment is safe.
Luckily for us, there have always been incredible TV shows by women for all audiences. Now more than ever, it’s time to give women artists and creators the attention and praise they’ve always deserved. So, here are some incredible shows made by brilliant women.
When it comes to TV shows by women, no one’s doing it quite like Broad City. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have created a nearly cult-like following for their hilarious and unique show. Broad City follows two stoner twentysomethings and besties through their daily misadventures and absurd antics. While Abbi is more reserved/shy, Ilana is over-the-top and fiercely independent. The brand of humor on this show is fast-paced and quirky. These two women combined are comedic gold.
If the title didn’t give it away, you probably already knew that Gilmore Girls is one of the most popular TV shows by women. Plus, pretty much every teenaged girl who grew up in 90s/2000s knows the stories of Rory and Lorelai Gilmore like they’re our own family. The show covers the average, everyday parts about being a teen/young adult female, but somehow makes it super interesting and relatable. Even if your mom wasn’t as hip and young as Lorelai, Gilmore Girls does an awesome job portraying that special, mother-daughter bond.
If you’re looking for TV shows by women that have a wacky sense of humor and an excellent cast of characters, New Girl is the show for you. While the majority of the characters on this show are men, it’s mostly about Jessica Day (played by Zooey Deschanel) and how she deals with living in an apartment full of some very… unique dudes. Each character has a totally unusual personality and ~thing~ about them that makes the show so dynamic and fast-paced. You’ll be able to fly through the whole show in like, 2 days.
If you’re talking TV shows by women, you better be talking Shonda Rhimes. The woman is a hit TV show-producing machine. In particular, one of her more recent shows that has taken audiences by storm is Scandal. Plus, it stars Kerry Washington, so it was destined to be a success. The show follows Olivia Pope as she tries to run a crisis management firm in Washington, D.C. As you can imagine with a political show created by Rhimes, the show is full of drama, suspense, and of course — scandal (ha!).
Speaking of Shonda Rhimes, we obviously had to list Grey’s Anatomy. This show is arguably one of the most successful shows of all time, and a TV show by a woman, no less. If you’re somehow not familiar, Grey’s is all about a bunch of attractive doctors trying to save lives at Grey Sloan memorial hospital. As you can imagine, things can get pretty dramatic pretty fast. There’s romance, death, heartbreak, lying, and all sorts of twists left and right. Basically, you should only watch this show if you’re ready to have your life ruined.
Orange is the New Black
Not only is Orange is the New Black the one of the greatest TV shows by women, it almost exclusively stars women. And the majority of the men that are depicted in the show are kind of the worst. (Relatable!) OITNB is such an incredible project because of the diversity it brought to television. There are characters of all different classes, races, religions, sexual orientations, and identities. It was really the first show of its kind, and boy are we glad it exists.
The brainchild of Tina Fey, 30 Rock is still one of the most hilarious and unusual TV shows by women. Like a lot of Fey’s work, 30 Rock has a super unusual brand of comedy. The jokes are fast-paced, quick-witted, and seem to get more bizarre as the seasons go on. All of the characters are completely unique and original, which makes the NBC show unlike any prime time sitcom in existence. While this sitcom was tragically cancelled, you can watch it in its entirety on Netflix.
Chewing Gum may be one of the most underrated TV shows by women of all time. Although the show got its start on British network television, us Americans now have the luxury of streaming it on Netflix. The show is all about 24 year-old Tracey Gordon. She’s super-religious and very conservative, and has yet to lose her virginity. The story follows her as she comes into herself, decides to have sex for the first time, and explores the world around her.
As far as TV shows by women go, few had main characters as badass as the one we got in Weeds. The show followed Nancy Botwin, a seemingly-average suburban, single mom who makes ends meet by selling weed after her husband dies. She ends up getting way over her head, becoming deeply involved in the violent drug trade. All the while, she’s trying to raise her two boys, Shane and Silas. To be honest, watching this show can be unbelievably stressful at times, but you’ll quickly find yourself 100% addicted. Plus, for those of us who watched Weeds in their teen years, the main draw of the show was obviously Silas. *Swoon*
Pretty Little Liars
There are few TV shows by women that can quite compare to the smash-hit teen series Pretty Little Liars. Based on the books by Sara Shepard, the TV show adaptation was developed by Marlene King, and continues to blow the minds of viewers everywhere. We’ll admit, it’s super cheesy and soap opera-esque, but you will be hooked from episode one. There’s nothing cooler than watching Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily solving mysteries and fighting dangerous criminals on their own.
The Golden Girls
Let’s be real, The Golden Girls is the OG TV show by women, for women. If you’re looking to watch a total classic about a couple of single gal pals getting through their older years, look no farther. It was totally unique in its premise, and continues to be one of the most popular shows of all time. This show ran for seven years that included 180 episodes. If you’re not familiar, this is where everyone’s favorite elderly celeb, Betty White got her start. Even more good news — it’s now available to watch on Hulu!
The Bold Type
Lately, Freeform has been the place to watch TV shows by women. Take, for example, one of its newest hits, The Bold Type. The show follows a group of three young women trying to make it in the professional world. They all work for the fictional women’s magazine, Scarlett, while trying to maintain active love lives and social lives. What makes this show even cooler is that it’s loosely inspired by the life of Joanna Coles, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. Basically, it’s a show about badass women, by badass women, for badass women.
Difficult People is one of Hulu’s hidden gems that you won’t regret starting. It’s a hilarious show created by Julie Klausner, that follows Julie Kessler (played by Klausner) and Billy Epstein (played by Billy Eichner). As the title suggests, the two are grumpy, sarcastic, pessimistic best friends who seemingly only get along with each other. However, their views on the world and the ridiculous things they do every day kind of make us wish we were their best friends. This TV show is raunchy, fast-paced and hilarious.
The Mindy Project
Can we please just say thank God for Mindy Kaling? Her show, The Mindy Project is exactly what you would expect from the mind of this The Office actor. As a character, Mindy is so much like us that sometimes it’s hard to watch. She’s not 100% sympathetic, she can be bratty, selfish and totally inappropriate. But, at the end of the day, she’s a total sweetheart that we think would make an excellent best friend. This show is hilarious, witty and has a few rom-com tropes that make it so addicting.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Another creation from the mind of Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is another one of Netflix’s greatest TV shows by women. A lot like 30 Rock, the humor on this show is wacky, offbeat, and incredibly fast-paced — but it’s a little less bizarre. Nevermind, it’s pretty bizarre. The show follows Kimmy Schmidt after she’s released from the captivity of a cult leader. Watching Kimmy try to navigate life in New York City after literally living underground for years is unbelievably entertaining and Ellie Kemper is perfect in the role.
Jane the Virgin
Next we have one of the smartest TV shows by women of all time, Jane the Virgin. This show has such a unique look, sense of humor and writing style to it. It’s got drama, comedy and romance all wrapped into one. It also kind of parodies a lot of the tropes from Latin telenovelas. The show follows Jane, a young woman who’s extremely religious and hardworking. However, her life gets turned upside down when she is accidentally artificially inseminated and becomes pregnant. The rest of the show’s antics go all over the place, but it’s incredibly entertaining and well-done.
Finally, on our list of TV shows by women, we have Insecure. This HBO original series is loosely based on the web series Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. The show, created by Rae, follows Issa and Molly as they try to navigate life in their twentysomethings, all while exploring the complex issues that being a woman of color presents. It’s an incredibly smart and funny show that talks about serious issues like race in a relatable way. The show was just picked up for a third season, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.