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Twelve Feminist Shows That You Can Binge-Watch In Twelve Hours

feminist shows netflix

As most of us are stuck inside our homes either self-isolating or home quarantining, nothing has become a bigger saviour this year than the various OTT platforms with their unique collection of web-series. Thanks to them, we have a wide range of content that we can choose and binge-watch from, although the task of finding a series that matches with one’s taste is not always an easy chore. Most shows are either too male-centric or outrightly misogynistic in their worldview. But that doesn’t mean feminist shows doesn’t exist. To make the task of finding such content a bit easier, here is a list of 12 feminist shows, each that you can binge-watch within 12 hours.

Dear White People (Netflix)

The three seasons of this show follows Samantha White (Logan Browning), a mixed-race college student who through her radio show aims to alert her classmates to the racial issues still at play at their fictitious Ivy League university. And the best part about this show is how it focuses on its Black women and Black queer characters, punching in one intersectional message after the other. So in case you are someone who has been keen to learn more about the anti-racism protests going around the world this year, there is no better place to educate yourselves about institutionalized racism than Dear White People.

Four More Shots Please! (Amazon Prime)

This show is all about four flawed, fearless, fashion forward women who are not afraid to take chances in life. They swear, drink, juggle parenthood with careers, get pregnant out of wedlock and challenge the status quo. Unapologetic about their lifestyle and their bodies, they are shown to have sex before marriage, during marriage, after divorce, with men married to other women, with women. In fact, the second season of the show even goes ahead to discuss things like sexual discrimination in the workplace, same-sex relationships, infidelity and freedom of expression. Rebelling against the concept of one-size-fits-all Feminism, Four More Shots Please is a 20-episode series that should be on the top of your feminist binge-watches.

Also Read: ‘Four More Shots Please!’ Is Not Without Faults, But Still Very Watchable

Sex Education (Netflix)

This young adult series brings in a range of diverse characters to discuss a multitude of issues. We’re talking consent, abortion, sexual harassment and blackmail, mental health, stalking, homophobia, … the list goes on. Each issue is handled with tact and sensitivity, which is what makes it both an educating and an entertaining watch. Not only does Sex Education acknowledge that sex is about so much more than the physical act itself, but it even goes a step further by accounting for how intersectionality, or the many different parts of people’s identities, affect their sex lives. With only 16 episodes sprawling over two seasons, this show is definitely going to leave you wanting for more.

Made in Heaven (Amazon Prime)

This show revolves around two wedding planners serving New Delhi’s elite and through them the show introduces us to the issues often hidden inside the closets of Indian households. Through their clients, the series deals with problems like dowry, homosexuality, the search of a ‘pure’ bride, beauty pageants to look for brides, honour killings, questionable Indian customs and the class divide found within their idea of marriage. In fact, the show further goes ahead to question the idea of class, monogamy and customs prevailing within the Indian society; it basically builds built a world primarily operating within privilege to critique privilege itself. And with names like Sobhita Dhulipala, and Kalki Koechlin starring in it, this nine-episode show is the perfect feminist watch.

The Bletchley Circle (Netflix)

This show is a feminist, period, murder mystery miniseries beginning during World War II at Bletchley Park, the center of British code-breaking, with four women cracking a code about German troop movement. Fast forward to 1952, with those women having signed the Official Secrets Act, forbidding them from disclosing their work during the war, a return to the four walls of domesticity has left many of them unfulfilled. So when a string of serial murders start occurring in London, four women come together to solve the case using the same code-breaking techniques they used at Bletchley. A powerful saga of women friendship and girl power, this seven-episode series should be a must watch for everybody.

Girl in the City (YouTube)

Girl In The City is a story about a young girl named Meera Sehgal (Mithila Palkar) who has come to Mumbai aka ‘Sapno ka Sheher’ to chase her dreams. A perfect combination of love, friendship, ambition, the show presents a realistic story along with a brilliant cast. The characters and scenarios are immensely relatable. What more, the makers have made sure that you are glued to your screens with the numerous twists and turns that happen throughout. Gender-role reversals portrayed too, with the male protagonist shown to be fond of cooking and housework while the woman protagonist is out to achieve her dreams. And with just three seasons, Girl in the City is the light-hearted feminist series you will not regret to have binge-watched.

Also Read: Movies That Disappointed The Young Feminist In Me

Marvellous Mrs Maisel (Amazon Prime)

The series tells the story of Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), the funny, fierce and foul-mouthed Jewish housewife from the Fifties who leaves behind her privileged to try her hand at comedy in smoky jazz clubs. Throughout the three seasons, we see Midge navigating the sexist world of comedy: “Comedy is fuelled by disappointment and humiliation,” she says during a performance, “who the hell does that describe more than women?” In a society which expects her to stay silent, Midge’s self-confidence, witty one-liners and very existence as a female comic is a defiance to patriarchy. And for all such reasons and more, Marvellous Mrs Maisel should definitely be on your binge-watch list.

Aarya (Disney+Hotstar)

Aarya is based on the Dutch series Penoza which told the story an Amsterdam woman — a wife, a mother, and then a widow— who has no other way out than to take over her late husband’s business in order to pay off his various debts. Following in the same footsteps, this Sushmita Sen starrer questions the extent to which a mother is willing to go, in order to protect her children. It is quite a brilliant show in how it interweaves a family drama by placing feminine subjectivity at its very core. There are murders, kidnappings and deceit, and with threats coiling around her family, this nine-episode series shows Aarya attempting to shield her brood at all cost.

GLOW (Netflix)

GLOW is an acronym for ‘Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’ and is a show that that illustrates feminism, empowerment, and sexism by following a group of women as they audition and prepare for televised wrestling. Through an engaging plot of overcoming physical struggles, mental blocks, and societal expectations the women of this show come together in a man’s world to depict a message of rebirth in women’s roles. We also get a whole ensemble of properly fleshed out female characters who get to explore their own storylines, not just become prop up the leads. And with only three seasons to go, this show is a perfect half day binge-watch!

Flesh (Eros Now)

Starring Swara Bhasker in the role of a cop, Flesh revolves around the theme of human trafficking of young girls in India. Replete with blood and violence, this show is somewhat Rani Mukherjee’s Mardani meets Pankaj Tripathi’s Mirzapur. We also get to see Bhasker’s character performing some parkour stunts throughout the series. Although the show has been criticised on its gory depiction of torture, it is quite interesting as to how such criticisms appear as soon as such a show is led by a woman (think of the many films and series that exist which are far bloodier and are celebrated just because of that reason). With only eight episodes, Flesh is quite an intriguing binge-watch if you are into cop narratives and are yearning to see women in such roles.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Played by Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones is the badass, lady warrior who repeatedly puts her life on the line to help the women around her. In fact, the show not only contains a strong female lead but also crafts a powerful narrative about abuse, addiction and rape culture — topics Marvel doesn’t usually like to dwell on. We also finally have a woman superhero who wears jeans, combat boots, a scarf, and a leather jacket. She often expresses throughout the show that she has no desire to wear something incredibly form-fitting, which in turn creates a confident character who is not overly sexualized. With only three seasons, this Marvel series is definitely an empowering binge-watch.

Also Read: Rewatching These Five Bollywood Blockbusters Made Me Cringe As A Feminist

The Trip (YouTube)

The trope of road trips has always been popular in Hindi entertainment industry, with films like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Dil Chahta Hai being huge hits amongst the audience. The Trip is a webseries that uses the same concept but places four women at the centre of it. The show is set in the background of a bachelorette trip from Delhi to Thailand, and chronicles their misadventures with a steady stream of giggling banter and whispered confessions. Packed with a stellar cast consisting of Shweta Tripathi, Mallika Dua, Lisa Haydon and Sapna Pabbi, the roles played by these actors are a beauty to behold. With two seasons already available, this show is a cosy feminist watch that pulls you in with its picturesque landscapes and colourful skies.

Now that you have a diverse category of shows up your sleeves, what are you waiting for? Pour a few drinks, cook those popcorns and make yourself comfortable binge-watching some quality feminist content.

Views expressed are the author’s own.