To celebrate Women’s History Month, streaming services have gone above and beyond in bring female stories to the fold this month. This article will go in-depth on just five of the amazing, women centric shows available for streaming right now on Netflix.
Most of these shows are recent releases, dropping on the platform just this year, and all of them are fantastic programs that will have you hooked!
5 women centric shows on Netflix
No. 1 Pieces of Her
First on our list is a rather popular new release, Pieces of Her. The series follows Andy Oliver (Bella Heathcote), whose world is shaken after a shooter attacks during a birthday lunch with her mother, Laura (Toni Collette), who is able to eliminate the criminal at the cost of unwanted publicity. In the aftermath, both Laura and Andy become targets for dangerous men, and Andy must not only survive persecution, but unravel her mother’s mysterious past.
The show features two incredibly strong performances by Collette and Heathcote, who give the story steel-plated front wheels as the duo stars of the show. Furthermore, the characters themselves, particularly the daughter Andy, are emotionally resonant, making for a story that feels as meaningful as it is gripping. In a lot of ways it is the story of the character’s redemption.
Andy is an ex-artist from NYC who moved back with her mother to the “crime free” community of Bella Isle, taking a job answering 911 calls; a job she is clearly not too passionate for. Why move back to the city, she texts an old friend, “at least here I can fail rent free”. A dark omen for when her appearance as a cop at the scene of the mass shooting gives others the expectation that she would act and protect.
After news of Laura’s heroism (as well as location and continued existence) reaches a group of baddies who want her eliminated, Andy must leave the peace and comfortability of Belle Isle, and learn one way or another to take control of her life. The killing of hitmen aside, I find this story will resonate with any youth feeling adrift in life. And, needless to say, a very enticing triller however you slice it. Come for the great female performances, stay for the drama and story twists.
No. 2 Midnight at the Pera Palace
Next up, something for those international media appreciators, we have Midnight at the Pera Palace, a Turkish series just recently released on Netflix earlier this month. It stars Turkish actor Hazal Kaya as ambitious journalist and writer Esra. On assignment to do a fluff piece on the historic Pera Palace, Esra accidentally discovers a portal back in time to 1919 within the hotel, resulting in consequential alterations to the flow of history. Now it is up to her and the Pera Palace’s loyal manager Ahmet (Tansu Biçer) to correct the course of history and save the whole of Turkey.
Those who are familiar with Woody Allen (yeah I know, but bear with me) will notice a similar motif in Midnight at the Pera Palace found in 2011’s Midnight in Paris; an idealist writer unknowingly taken back in time to meet with their idols in their own era. The similarity in the titles is enough of a knowing wink, but where Midnight in Paris has the male main character share car rides and drinks with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pera Palace offers meetings with Agatha Christie, one of the greatest mystery writers ever to walk the Earth; an important detail, Esra meets her before her literary success.
This parallels Esra’s own aspirations that have been pushed back on by her boss. It is also an encouraging reminder to the audience that every star and success story we take inspiration in was, at one time, in the same doubtful spot we might find ourselves in today. Midnight in Pera Palace is empowering just for its reminder of the often overlooked female champions of the written word, but takes it that extra level by showing the struggle towards championship. Beyond that, Midnight in Pera Palace is a great time-hopping adventure with likable characters and fun historical tidbits.
No. 3 Inside Job
Here’s something for fans of animation or those shopping for a new comedy. Inside Job is a hilariously funny and inventive show released on Netflix late last year, and it is one not be passed over. The show follows Reagan Ridley and her team at Cognito Inc., a shadow organization that works for the deep state, making sure a slew of conspiracies go unnoticed and that the dark forces controlling all of our lives remain pleased.
Inside Job was one of my favorite shows of last year, for a lot of reasons. It combined Rick and Morty-esque science fiction plots with Gravity Falls-themed focus on the what–if speculations that you only find late night browsing on Youtube, as well as Bojack Horseman-level dedication to hidden background humor as the cherry on top. The inspiration Inside Job takes from other shows should come as no surprise if you look at the head staff; we have Alex Hirsch, creator of Gravity Falls and staff writer for Rick and Morty, as a main writer, and Shion Takeuchi, another writer from GF, as the creator and show runner.
The show is very clever too in making the premise not be as simple as a “female Rick”. While Reagan is certainly capable of inventing all sorts of sci-fi gizmos, she has her human limits, and those are emphasized in the show. She’s an up-and-comer, eager to claim a position her father once had, and in following that path she shows the same tyrannical ambitions. The heart of the show is her learning, through multiple stories, to relent on them. As a whole, the show invites the interesting question if, as they rise to power and influence in male dominated fields (even ones as fantastic as mad scientist), women should follow in exactly those same dominating footsteps, or aspiring to truly break the mold and become something more fair and just. So, what are you doing watching Rick and Morty for the twelfth time? Go support female creators and watch Inside Job.