Binge Watch Like a Girlboss in 2017
Last week, we broke down a list of books by a bunch of brilliant ladies to frontload your resolution to read more this year, and while it’s probably no one’s resolution to watch more TV in 2017, there are so many projects being created by and featuring smart women. So, we say logging an increase in Netflix-to-the-face time is all in the name of progress. Right? Totally. Here’s a quick look at shows debuting in the first half of the year that boast a lot of badassery by way of female-driven casts and creators:
Girlboss, TBA April on Netflix
Of course, we can’t help but put this at the top of the list: It was announced last week that Girlboss on Netflix will be coming at you in April! Behold the first official photo above. The series, based on Sophia’s best-selling memoir/business book, stars Britt Robertson, who is perfection in the role. The mastermind adapting Sophia’s story is Kay Cannon, creator of Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, and former 30 Rock writer. Let the countdown begin!
The Handmaid’s Tale, April 26 on Hulu
The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, has been much anticipated since its announcement, and even more so since Donald Trump’s election (the storyline revolves around an extremist group that takes control of the government and begins to aggressively oppress women, so, uh, yeah—a little unsettling in its timeliness). The ten-episode series will make its debut on April 26 and stars Elizabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel and Samira Wiley. Watch the creepy AF trailer here.
Big Little Lies, February 19 on HBO
Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman not only star in this highly anticipated drama about how seemingly put together women in the ‘burbs have some darky, heavy stuff going on (surprise!), but they’re also the producers of this series based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name. There’s a murder, the mystery of which is the fulcrum of the show, and Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz also star. Watch the trailer here.
Star, December 14, 2016 on FOX
In the wake of the success of Empire, Lee Daniels brings us the story of three young women looking to break out of Atlanta’s music scene. The cast is full of exciting newcomers: Jude Demorest (pictured) plays Star Davis, an ambitious musician aging out of the foster care system; Brittany O’Grady, who plays Star’s younger sister and is rescued from an abusive foster home; and Ryan Destiny, who comes, conversely, from a wealthy New York family and a famous father. Queen Latifah plays Carlotta Brown, a mother figure of sorts to the three as they navigate the music landscape, and trans actress and model Amiyah Scott plays Carlotta’s daughter. As of this writing, the series is two episodes in; catch the pilot here.
Z, January 27 on Amazon Prime
Christina Ricci portrays Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the larger-than-life, much-fabled wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, in this 1920s period drama. Zelda has long been credited with having a huge direct influence on her husband’s work, and she had writerly aspirations of her own. Eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, Zelda makes for a fascinating, complex character study, and we’re eager to see how Ricci stacks up to the myths of one of the OG flapper girls. Stream the first episode on Amazon ahead of its series release.
XX, February 17
While this isn’t technically a binge-watchable series, an anthology of horror shorts directed by women certainly bears mentioning, and especially when the directors featured include Karyn Kusama (pictured), director of Jennifer’s Body, and Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent), among others. Sounds like it's almost enough to make a girl try and sit through some horror scenes without covering her eyes. Almost.
Gypsy, TBA 2017
So there’s no official release date yet, which means we probably *should* save this for the second-half-of-the-year roundup, but it sounds too good; we couldn’t help ourselves. Netflix continues to bring it by way of woman-led/directed/starring shows with this ten-episode series starring Naomi Watts as a therapist who crosses boundaries, enmeshing herself messily in the lives of her patients. Creator and showrunner Lisa Rubin is a newcomer on the scene, having attended Columbia University’s MFA program in film as recently as 2012, and Sam Taylor-Johnson, director of Fifty Shades of Grey, directed the first two episodes.
-by Deena Drewis