10 Unproblematic TV Shows to Watch for Feminists
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
By Laylah Beattie.
“In a certain light, feminism is just the long, slow realization that the stuff you love hates you”Lindy West.
Do you want to watch a TV show without the fear of being offended by stupidly crass jokes? I know there's a rhetoric around feminism that says we're easily offended, that we've become the "PC police." But it's disheartening to become attached to characters on a TV show, only to hear them spout some stereotypical nonsense about a minority group. With this in mind, I've devised a list of enjoyable, unproblematic TV shows that you can binge-watch free from fear of being upset by insensitive remarks. I'm not endorsing any of these TV shows as perfect in terms of their storylines. I'm just saying that you should be able to watch them without feeling guilty about any of the jokes.
Let's kick off with one of my personal favourites and a TV show that's incredibly underrated. The fosters is a touching drama about an adopted family with two kickass lesbians at the head. It deals with a hugely extensive range of issues between its main characters and its extended cast. Over the years, the show included many topical storylines such as the real-life on-camera transition of Tom Phelan, the youngest same-sex kiss in TV history, the romance of a straight, cis teenage girl with a trans man all with the overlying message that everyone deserves to be loved. It's also been an instrumental piece of television in giving a voice to marginalised kids in the foster-care system. I truly believe this show should be a compulsive watch for all teenagers and their parents due to its beautiful message and diverse cast.
Don't be put off by the bad press this show received last year, it's amazing. Aside from the fact that it employs a huge amount of trans actors, the show has some of the most intriguing storylines. The show centres around Maura Pfefferman's family. The ex-wife and children of this trans woman are dealing with the discovery that their loved one has been struggling with her gender identity for years. This discovery leads the family members on their own paths of self-discovery as they navigate their separate difficult worlds. This TV show includes one of the most beautiful representations of family I've seen. What on the surface appears to be a show about a trans woman actually becomes so much more. Every episode of this show is a work of art.
This zany comedy is one of the funniest TV shows I've seen in a long time. When an aspiring actor and his sister discover that their 13-year-old brother has become an internet sensation, they struggle with where they'll fit into his world. With the most realistic writing around a gay character on TV, this show pulls out all the stops. Also, the songs and music videos are hilarious. Bring on season two!
This Australian TV show centres around a group of young people living together. Josh, after breaking up with his girlfriend, discovers that he's gay. The show is laugh-out-loud funny but also features some incredibly powerful storylines. It also includes the most realistic representation of a psychiatric hospital I've seen on TV. If you're sitting down to watch this one, be sure to bring the tissues. There will be tears of laughter as well as real ones.
The premise of this TV show sounds trite: Three struggling Moms who desperately need money and get into a life of crime, but give this one a chance. It has an incredibly empowering message as well as some great actresses. There is nothing patronising or obvious about this show. Also, tune in just for the sexy gang boss. Manny Montana is a feast for the eyes!
Rarely has female friendship been represented in this way. Abbi and Ilana are goals in every sense of the word. When Broad City ended this year, we lost a really good show. Fuck Sex and the City's representation of New York, I'm here for Broad City's. One of the funniest comedies I've ever seen, tune in for a lot of laughs.
Schitt's Creek gets better and better with every season. What was originally a TV show about a rich family who lose all their money and end up in a crappy rural town has become a touching story about a family doing their best to support one another through their separate endeavours. Having an extremely likeable pansexual character as a main character just makes this show all the better.
If you haven't heard the recent buzz about Fleabag, you must have been living under a rock. The BBC comedy is an art! Beginning with a monologue about hooking up with a guy only for him to make you feel insecure about the size of your arsehole, this show will grip you from the very beginning. the flawed characters are incredibly complex and entertaining to watch. No matter what your situation, you'll probably feel better about your family after watching this gem.
For everything great about this TV show, see my section on The Fosters. Good Trouble is the spinoff of the show, which sadly ended in 2018. It follows Callie and Mariana, two of our favourite family members as they begin their careers. Living in a massive apartment with a range of characters creates many entertaining storylines. This show also doesn't mess around when it comes to dealing with serious issues. And one of the best parts is that we get to see our favourite Foster family members make appearances.
Watch the trailer of this show and you'll immediately want to tune in. I Love Dick is a story about obsession within a marriage. Grab a glass of wine and binge-watch the remarkable Kathryn Hahn's infatuation with Kevin Bacon. What more could you ask for?