5 Feminist TV Shows to Watch This Spring

It might be the most feminist TV season ever — and not just because there’s no Bachelor at the moment! Here, a few of our favorites to put on your must-see list:

Girls: Let’s just say you’re not allowed in the young, cool feminist club right now if you don’t watch this show when it premieres April 15. Seriously, everyone is talking about it. It also happens to involve Tiny Furniture’s Lena Dunham, producer Judd Apatow, and a wickedly realistic take on life as a struggling, confused, terminally poor young woman. So, win-win.

Mad Men: The drama phenomenon has been hinting at the coming feminist movement since its storytelling began in 1960 (with plenty of ’50s sensibility left over). Now that we’re deep into the ’60s, there’s no escaping the impact of women’s lib. Peggy is now openly lamenting having to “act like a man” to get ahead in her job, while Joan showed her military hubby the door for dominating her for too long. Thanks to those ladies’ show-stealing turns, we barely even care anymore what happens to erstwhile philanderer Don Draper. Oh, and he’s having terrible guilty fever dreams about that, by the way; his seeming desire to make good to second wife Megan makes her more intriguing to us than we thought possible.

Veronica Mars: Yes, our favorite crime-solving teen is back, thanks to cable. SoapNet, known for its awesomely addictive repeats of such hits as The O.C. and One Tree Hill, is now running Veronica, which brought us Kristen Bell, noirish intrigue, and important issues in one package. Set your DVR for the April 15 marathon that kicks it off.

Game of Thrones: This fantastical, sexy, bloody HBO romp was debatably feminist last season; now in its second go-round, it’s become an undeniable tale of female empowerment. Little Stark family runaway Arya is staying under the radar in a cross-dressing plot more believable than anything Shakespeare ever dreamed up; Dany has taken on an indisputable leadership role after the death of her husband; and Theon Greyjoy’s latest conquest turned the tables on him after a roll in the hay. We’re hooked on the soapy, layered plots and drooling over the scruffy hunks in addition to getting our weekly dose of woman-power from the cable net’s newest hit. Thank the Gods it’s already been renewed for a third season.

Nurse Jackie: The tough, pill-popping nurse played by Edie Falco feels real and complicated; she also gives us a dose of Falco’s brilliance every week.


Author: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong grew up deep in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, then escaped to New York to live in a succession of very small apartments and write about pop culture. In the process, she became a feminist, a Buddhist, and the singer/guitarist in an amateur rock band. She also spent a decade on staff at Entertainment Weekly, cofounded SexyFeminist.com, and now writes for several publications, including Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Writer’s Digest, Fast Company, and New York‘s Vulture. Her history of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted, will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2013; her collaboration with Heather Wood Rudulph, Sexy Feminism, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2013. She is the author of the Why? Because We Still Like You, a history of the original Mickey Mouse Club published by Grand Central in 2010. She has provided pop culture commentary for CNN, VH1, A&E, and ABC, and teaches article writing and creative writing. Follow her on Twitter: @jmkarmstrong


  1. Madalina says:

    I had a look at the series of feminist tv shows to watch and it did give me a good number of TV shows to get into. Recently I rewatched a ’90s show from my childhood – “Charmed”. It stroke me how feminist it is, they touch a lot of issues like breast feeding in public or free talks about period (instead of the embarassment most women feel in relation to their body). I used to watch when I was quite young, probably about 10 – 12 and it got me thinking that it was actually one of those things that made me feel so aware of women’s issues.

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