Fall TV Roundup: Six Smart AF Shows Starring or Created by Women
Don't get us wrong. There is still a ton of work that needs to be done in terms of gender equality in film and television (and we can't wait for Geena Davis' documentary on the subject). But can we pause for a minute to appreciate how great this fall's lineup looks? Not only are there many highly anticipated shows starring women in substantial, real-person roles, but they're the creators and producers and showrunners for a lot of them, too. Here are some of our top picks for what you'll want to keep an eye out for in the next few weeks (all while keeping Girlboss on your radar, which drops on Netflix in the spring!):
Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO in what looks to be an uncomfortably funny series about, well, divorce. Thomas Haden Church plays her (supposedly) soon-to-be ex-husband and Molly Shannon will star as her friend Diane. The show’s creator is Sharon Horgan, comedian and star of the very funny Catastrophe, which she also co-wrote. If the preview seems like it’s only a retread of too-familiar material without much to distinguish it from every other story about white upper-middle-class divorce woes, have faith: Horgan is wildly talented and funny, as evidenced by the first two seasons of Catastrophe. And just for the record, SJP’s wardrobe this go-round on HBO looks to be stylish yet bereft of any puffy tulle skirts.
Premiere date: October 9 at 10 p.m. on HBO. Watch the trailer here.
If you weren’t already hip to Issa Rae via her web series Awkward Black Girl, now’s your chance to bear witness to her fresh charm, wit and talent. Rae stars in this half-hour show that she also co-created with Larry Wilmore; set in LA, it follows two friends navigating the scene and continues with ABG’s themes of examining and upending cultural stereotypes (Rae tweeted “Why did I call our show #InsecureHBO? Because sometimes I'm a weak black woman.”)
Premiere date: October 9 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO after Divorce. Watch the trailer here.
Haters Back Off
Also on the YouTube-to-major-TV-deal track: Classically trained singer Colleen Ballinger, whose hit YouTube character Miranda Sings is a talentless model-actress-singer-magician. The adapted series takes place in Tacoma, Washington, where Miranda lives with her mom (played by Angela Kinsey ofThe Office) and her uncle Jim, and revolves around her maybe-delusional aspirations to fame. Check out the announcement music video, which puts off a very Fred-Armisen-meets-Kreayshawn vibe.
Premiere date: October 14 on Netflix.
Good Girls Revolt
At the dawn of the ‘70s, three female researchers at “News of the Week” (does that name remind you of any particular publication?) band together to get writing positions on the staff when only men were hired and end up suing the magazine for sexual harassment. Based on the book by Lynn Povich, one of the women was the late great Nora Ephron, played in the series by Grace Gummer. Anna Camp of Pitch Perfect fame plays Jane Hollander and Genevieve Angelson plays Patti Robinson. Former journalist Dava Calvo The first episode of the series aired for free on Amazon way back in November 2015, and fared well enough that it was picked up for a 10-episode season.
Premiere date: October 28. Watch the first episode here.
And ICYMI, a few shows that aired recently that are also well worth your time:
It took supporting roles in two dude-centric series—Californication andLouie—for the Suits to figure out that if you put Pamela Adlon in a TV show, she’s going to be the best thing about it. Luckily for us all, Adlon is not only starring in Better Things, but she’s the executive producer and co-creator (alongside Louis C.K.). It’s a semi-autobiographical depiction of a former childhood star, Sam, who is now a single mother of three daughters. Season one looks to be rife with frankness about Sam’s sex and dating life, the struggles of parenthood, and the general struggle of trying not to let things fall apart. Plus, how good is the art direction for the promo image?
Premiered on September 8 on FX. Watch the Season 1 sneak peek here.
I Love Dick
Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent and Six Feet Under, got picked up by Amazon again for a new series based on the lauded feminist novel by Chris Kraus. Chris and Sylvere are struggling married intellectuals hailing from New York who wind up in Marfa, Texas, for Chris’ writing fellowship. They promptly become obsessed with one of the charismatic professors, Dick, played by Kevin Bacon. There’s magic between Soloway and Kathryn Hahn, who plays Sylvere here and also had a part in Transparent (and it’s terrific to see Hahn getting a much-deserved lead role after her consistent excellence in supporting roles). Paired with the forthcoming releases, we’d say that yeah, it’s probably time to break down and get that Amazon Prime subscription, because it’s the only way you get to watch it.
Premiered on August 18. Watch the first episode for free.