Women's History Month is finally here, which is a great time to boost your efforts in supporting woman-created content. As far as TV goes, you're probably already familiar with all the heavy hitters: Broad City, Girls, 30 Rock, the complete works of Jenji Kohan and Shonda Rhimes. But what about the TV series you didn't know were written by women? There are plenty of surprises, from gritty dramas to classic comedies, to carry you through this month.
In 1981, Congress issued a national proclamation declaring March Women's History Month, which has been celebrated ever since. This year's theme is "Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence," which, according to the federal Women's History Month website, "honors women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society." Indeed, among the hallmarks of TV created by women is a commitment to doing away with needless violence, gratuitous rape scenes used as plot devices, and the general pillaging of emotional intelligence. The TV landscape is better for all the women who are creating work in it and they've been here since long before the current golden age of television. Here are some shows by women you may have missed.
Being Mary Jane
From Mara Brock Akil, the creator of Girlfriends, came Being Mary Jane, a BET drama based on the network's original movie of the same name. The series just ended its four-season run but a finale movie is scheduled to air in April. In it, Gabrielle Union plays Mary Jane Paul, a powerhouse broadcast journalist struggling to find love in the face of her intimidating career. She also faces the stress of intergenerational class mobility and is forced to navigate how it alienates her from her family. Being Mary Jane is currently streaming on Netflix.
Chewing Gum's creator and star Michaela Coel is perhaps best recognized from her memorable turn in the Emmy Award-winning Black Mirror episode "USS Callister." But on her own series, she plays a 24-year-old virgin constantly putting out the fires of, well, life, while trying to get laid. The BAFTA Award-winning two-season comedy is streaming on Netflix.
When The Good Wife alum Courtney Kemp struck out on her own, the results were pretty impressive. She currently serves as the creator and showrunner of Power, Starz's gritty crime drama about a club-owner-by-night, drug-cartel-kingpin-by-later-that-night. Co-starring and co-executive produced by 50 Cent, the series is slated to have its sixth season premiere on Starz later this year.
You know that the Peabody Award-winning scripted series is loosely based on the alleged goings-on behind the scenes of The Bachelor — but did you know it came from two women creators? Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and Marti Noxon teamed up to develop the show, according to The New Yorker, inspired by Shapiro's three-season experience as a producer on The Bachelor. Noxton, a veteran showrunner with credits like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Mad Men under her belt, helped Shapiro craft her experiences into a compelling (and legally above-board) scripted series, all of which you can now stream on Hulu.
If you adore Phoebe Waller-Bridge's BBC America series Killing Eve (and frankly, if you don't, then you might want to take an inventory of your life choices), then you may be interested to know that she actually has a lesser known, semi-autobiographical British comedy series, too. She created and stars in Fleabag, a sort of British Girls, with equal parts raunch and heart.
The Golden Girls
I guess, in retrospect, it's impossible to imagine The Golden Girls being created by anyone other than a woman, but the fact that Susan Harris is not a household name in 2019 is a crime. All 180 episodes of the groundbreaking seven-season comedy dropped on Hulu in 2017, giving the classic a major renaissance in contemporary pop culture.
Widely praised as one of Netflix's most diverse series, it's no surprise that Emmy and GLAAD Media Award-nominated Sense8 comes from the minds of Lana and Lilly Wachowski. The sisters, both transgender women, teamed up with J. Michael Straczynski to create and write the sweeping sci-fi series for Netflix. Its cancelation in 2017 sparked outrage amongst fans, which the streaming platform attempted to ameliorate by releasing a two-hour finale movie the following year.
As you can see, there's no shortage of critically acclaimed woman-created television at your fingertips, so take advantage of that this Women's History Month and dive in!
Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Courtney Kemp as Courtney Kemp Agboh.