Let’s face it. We all need a way to relax. There are plenty of options, from yoga to gardening. One thing I’ve taken to for an hour or two each night lately is watching TV with my hubby. He knows I love shows that feature badass women, so we’ve watched quite a few of them together. Below are my top picks for streaming TV shows with female leads:
The Queen’s Gambit
There was a lot of hype surrounding this miniseries when it aired in 2020 and I admit put off watching it because I didn’t think watching episodes about a chess player would interest me. I was wrong!
After hearing only good things about this one, I gave in and started to watch it late last year. Hubby encouraged it as he knows how to play the game better than me (I forget what piece moves where), and I was hooked from the start.
It’s about so much more than chess, although that certainly is the theme. It is about Beth Harmon, a woman in the 1960s who grows up in a US orphanage and finds herself through the game. Her path to stardom as a renowned chess player is full of turbulence, from romantic loves to her relationship with her foster mom.
The acting of Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays Beth, is exceptional. She is dramatic, beautiful, and very believable.
This one is on Netflix, if you want to watch the seven episodes. I rewatched it with my mom and enjoyed it just as much the second time around. Yes, she loved it too.
Do you want more physical action? If so, Killing Eve might be more your thing than The Queen’s Gambit. It Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri and Jodie Comer as Villanelle. A big shoutout to Fiona Shaw as Carolyn Martens too because she’s an amazing actor in this one (and in Fleabag, which is next on the list).
There are four seasons to watch and I enjoyed each season very much! It began in 2018, and the fourth season of Killing Eve is scheduled to come in 2022. I am excited as I only just found out about that while writing this post.
OK, so the title of the show got me right off the bat. Then I dug into the first season of this British show and had to keep going, watching the next two within about a month. Eve is an MI5 security officer and Villanelle is an assassin who is coming for her. It’s a thriller and I was on the edge of my seat a lot.
The character of Villanelle is cold yet there are so many scenes where she reveals a human side, and so it is a complex woman who is obviously very broken. I think what I like the most about this show is the chemistry between the two female leads. I also often didn’t know what would happen next.
Watch it on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and iTunes. Use an internet speed test like the one at Speedcheck to make sure that you have a fast connection for a smooth viewing experience.
Fleabag is another great streaming TV show with a female lead
I actually caught my husband rewatching episodes after we had finished it! He had a show on while I was working, I came out of the office, and saw an episode playing. He loved it.
I think I could rewatch it too, although I haven’t yet. Like Killing Eve, Fleabag is British, and it is another of the best streaming TV shows with female leads.
We both agreed that it was done too quickly, and we wanted more! There are two seasons, and each season has six episodes.
There’s a reason this one receives rave reviews. The main character, who is referred to as Fleabag, is played by Phoebe-Waller Bridge. I love both the acting and the way the character is written because she is so complex.
I also love that she talks to the camera a lot with snide comments. There is a crudeness to this show though in some of the topics and what she says to the camera, so you’re forewarned.
I won’t give any spoilers but I will say that the last scene is a tough one, and you’ll want to have your kleenex ready. It is emotionally charged and so well done. You can see it on Amazon Prime and iTunes.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This comedy series ended in 2019 but I only just watched it this year. I finished it last month and found it was a great escape from stress.
I found myself looking forward to the moments when Kimmy Schmidt, the main character, was embracing her inner kid. She was kidnapped in eighth grade and is rescued as a young woman, so she has a lot of growing up to do still.
Kimmy, played by Ellie Kemper, moves to New York City and has to adapt to it, alongside her roommate Tituss Andromedon, played by Titus Burgess.
Written by Tina Fey, this series is funny, sweet, and has great lessons that put what’s really important into perspective. I will say, though, that you’re either going to love it or hate it. Hubby listened in a few times to the show and said it was very “schmidty” or… well s*itty. He thought it was over the top, which it is, but I liked the innocent main character so much that I enjoyed it.
If you want to give it a try, it is on Netflix. The episodes are only 30 minutes, so it’s nice to be able to just put on a few episodes and unwind at the end of the day.
Other streaming TV shows with female leads to watch
Here are a few more to check out that I have been watching:
- The Crown – Netflix
- Seven Seconds – Netflix
- Big Little Lies – Amazon Prime
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Amazon Prime
- The Good Place – Netflix
- The Sinner – Netflix
Let me know what you’re watching! Have you seen any of these shows?