5 women-centric Netflix series to put on your watchlist amid the coronavirus lockdown
The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the virus, has led many to searching for interesting ways to pass their time. This includes binge-watching TV shows. With Netflix’s popularity, and its seemingly unending database of shows, it’s impossible to not find something to watch.
If you are on the lookout for some women-centric series that might have missed your radar, here is a list that goes beyond the stereotypical damsel-in-distress portrayal of women on film.
Aaditi Pohankar play constable Bhumi Pardesi in the series SHE. (Image credit: Netflix)
This recently released Indian TV series is among the top 10 watched series on Netflix India. The suspenseful crime drama follows protagonist Bhumi Pardesi, played by Aaditi Pohankar, who made her debut in Love Sex Aur Dhoka.
A lower-middle class constable, Bhumi breaks through her timid demeanour and goes undercover as a sex worker to nab a drug lord. The seven-part series, created for Netflix by Imtiaz Ali, is described as “a timid Mumbai constable’s road to empowerment as she realizes her dormant sexuality’s potential”.
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones in a scene from the series. (Image credit: Netflix)
This Krysten Ritter-starrer Marvel superhero series is unlike any of the franchise’s usual gamut of entertainment. Jessica Jones is a broke, hard-drinking, sarcastic private detective who takes on cases to make money for more alcohol. A mess of a human being with a dark past, Jessica uses the superpowers she received because of a chemical spill to defend herself, and other women, from a villainous mind controller.
This gritty three-season series, with its riveting plot twists and mystery is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat.
Detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall, portrayed by Merritt Wever and Toni Colette, in the series Unbelievable. (Image credit: Netflix)
Inspired by a true story, Unbelievable is a crime investigation thriller. This 2019 limited series follows the two detectives - Grace Rasmussen (Merritt Wever) and Karen Duvall (Toni Colette) - investigating a series of rape cases after a young girl is accused of lying about being raped.
Humane, and at times emotional, two prominent narratives stand out in the story: one that explores how a victim is persecuted, and how people who are supposed to help often make it more difficult.
The second narrative is of the two detectives who wade through a mountain-load of evidence to help the victim, and uncover the attacker.
Rene Zellweger in a scene from What/If. (Image credit: Netflix)
This 2019 anthology series features Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger, who portrays Anne Montgomery, a ruthless and wealthy venture capitalist. The second lead is Lisa Donovan - played by Jane Levy - an aspiring entrepreneur who is desperately looking for funding for her medtech startup. With a medical cure that could save millions of lives, the series explores morally murky themes that cause friction between the two protagonists. This Mike Kelley-created anthology is filled with twist-driven thrillers, and mounts up the drama to make for an addictive television.
A scene from the series Godless. (Image credit: Netflix)
The Western genre of films is one of the most well-known forms of cinema, and, at the heart of it, is an ode to male-driven violence and uber masculinity. However screenwriter Scott Frank’s, Godless takes a fresh stab at the typical Wild West drama, featuring women at the centre of it. Set in a village full of strong-willed women, the series begins with a gang member taking refuge in this town. Michelle Dockery plays Alice Fletcher - a twice-widowed, gun-wielding protector of the village – and delivers a standout performance. The cherry-on-top is the thoughtfully brilliant cinematography, which helps make the series a visual treat to behold.
(Edited by Aparajita Saxena)