Gone are the days of controlled and stereotypical female characters who are damsels-in-distress and waiting to be rescued. Nowadays, most series and films flaunt well-rounded, complex female leads.
Being strong does not necessarily equate to physical strength. It simply indicates a person’s resilience when faced with different kinds of situations. Similarly, a strong female lead does not imply a muscular one. It is only a label offered to brave and undaunted female protagonists who belong to different walks of life. If such stories and people fascinate you, then these five series are perfect for you.
Written, created and led performatively by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is a comedy drama based on her 2013 solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It traces the story of a young woman as she deals with grief, guilt, loneliness and sexual needs, while running a failing café. Her unique narrative method, the consistent breaking of the fourth wall to provide monologues and commentary, as well as Fleabag’s way of dealing with life’s adversities makes it a compelling and bittersweet watch. It is available on Prime Video.
This teen mystery noir series was created by Rob Thomas and starred Kristen Bell as the eponymous character. Premiering in 2004 before running for four seasons and a film, the show follows teenager Veronica Mars, who is a part-time detective at her father’s private investigation firm. Once a part of the IT crowd but now an outcast, Veronica suffers stoically, from her mother leaving, to her best friend Lilly’s murder, to being roofied and raped at a party. But she never gives up and continues investigating till the truths come out. The series can be viewed on Prime Video.
This quirky supernatural-forensic-crime Netflix drama is in equal parts humorous and inspiring. Seattle medical resident Olivia Moore becomes a zombie after attending a party. She thinks her life is over, what with her white hair and strange hunger for brains. But what happens is a complete change in the course of her life. Liv breaks up with her fiancé Major, changes profession to work at the morgue, and discovers unique, appealing ways of cooking human brains.
Loosely based on the rise to power of Russian Empress Catherine the Great, the Hulu original follows an anti-historical and satirical adaptation of the marriage between Catherine and Emperor Peter III. Dreaming of an ‘epic love,’ intelligent and ambitious Catherine is almost pushed to despair, and often to her death, by her ignorant, depraved and immature husband, before she decides to love the nation instead. While viewing a pregnant Catherine order and continue a military coup, one feels a burgeoning sense of admiration and respect for her grit.
The Queen’s Gambit
This Netflix miniseries has won hearts and massively increased the buzz around the prestigious sport of chess. The show traces the story of a fictitious chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, as she carves her way across chess tournaments all over the world from a tender age. Orphaned young, Beth learned to play chess with the orphanage’s janitor Mr. Shaibel. A poignant tale of loneliness, chess, friendships, alcoholism, and addiction, it invokes both tears of sadness and laughter, as well as tense, breathless moments of chess.