Sometimes you need the kind of pick-me-up that only a powerful woman can provide. Netflix has a whole host of great shows, but they recently seem to have put some real effort into delivering films and series with strong female characters. We’re all familiar with the motto ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ but with these incredible actresses delivering such stellar performances, the future looks bright for female film. We’ve rounded up a handful of the best shows with strong female leads on Netflix, so you can enjoy a guilt-free television binge this weekend. Get it on your television, your computer, even your phone, just get it!
One of the most-watched movies of its genre of recent years is Molly’s Game. The casino movie craze died down a while ago, but this interesting view of it brought poker films right back into the attention of the public. Based on a true story, the film follows ex-Olympic skier Molly Bloom, as she pursues her second passion, poker. Yes, as if being an Olympian wasn’t enough, Molly also knows more than a little about holding high stakes poker games, very high stakes. The people invited to her poker games range from actors and musicians to politicians and everyone in between, as long as they’ve got plenty of money and a love of poker. Unfortunately for Molly, the FBI doesn’t like the way she’s running her gaming ring and they set out to shut her down. This film is fast-paced without being gimmicky and offers a look inside the brilliant mind of a modern-day antihero.
Caption: The dusty libraries of the English department get a shake up when Dr. Kim arrives If you’re looking for something a little more sedate than Molly’s Game, then The Chair might be a good place to start. Sandra Oh plays the brilliant Dr Ji-Yoon Kim, a newly appointed chair of a failing English department. She starts the series with the very best and most admirable of intentions but finds herself flung into a role in which she was destined to fail. Battling against patriarchal rules and regulations, whilst trying to provide the experience that is best and fairest for her students, demands are made of her that she simply cannot allow. She juggles all of this with endless likeability and tenacity, all whilst dealing with the difficulties of her home life.
Her adopted child who takes great joy in scaring off babysitters and the interest of a fellow lecturer combine with Dr Kim’s new role to create a whirlwind which she struggles to overcome. This series portrays the challenges facing almost all women who strive to raise a
family and achieve highly in their careers. Not only this, it highlights the problems that are uniquely those for women of colour to face too. It’s politically engaged without being too in-your-face and heartwarming in just the right measure.
Not all strong women have to be outwardly fierce and the film Carrie Pilby proves this. Carrie was a child genius, she skipped a lot of grades, graduated from Harvard at 18 and now at 19 is taking a little time to make sense of the world. For most of us, her story is hard to relate to, a tiny fraction of a percentage of us will get to go to Harvard, let alone graduate years and years early. It can be difficult to understand how a person with such an advantage could find life such a struggle.
Yet, despite most of us immediately feeling different to the protagonist, we warm to her. The way that she interacts with the world and those around her might not be considered normal, but after a while, you come around to Carrie’s way of thinking. We see the experiences that she has encountered and learn why she takes such a dim view of the world. Whether Carrie finds the happiness that she is, or perhaps isn’t, looking for, we’ll leave for you to find out, as it really is essential that you take a couple of hours and watch this film.