Life imitates art? Or does art imitate life? Amid these questions, one thing is certain: fictional characters are often great sources of inspiration in the lives of ordinary people, like you and me.
In addition to movies and books, television series are also good birthplaces for amazing characters who have a lot to teach. Thanks to the structure of development in episodes for several seasons, the series are able to build outstanding personalities and develop the character of those who are part of the narrative well.
In this universe, it is important to highlight the productions that focus on female characters and portray them with all their complexities, profiles and facets. After all, TV is a medium responsible for the cultural formation of a large part of the population and series can be tools in the empowerment of women, in the deconstruction of standards and in the debate of fundamental issues for society.
It may seem like just a detail, but having a woman as the protagonist is not banal. Women who run away from stereotypes, who are presented with their own desires and goals, who are not portrayed just as a support or accessory to tell the story of men – all of this is important and seeing this on screen can be a step towards change. .
Next, we’ve selected 15 series that have amazing female characters in central positions in the plot. They are productions of different genres, which are still active or which have already been closed, and which bring together inspiring women who can teach us a lot of things. Check out!
1. Gilmore Girls
Starring two women, Gilmore Girls tells the story of Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). The plot deals with the close relationship and complicity of the two, balancing comedy and drama and developing their personalities very well. Lorelai is a young mother who raised her daughter on her own and Rory is an extremely studious and goal-oriented girl. Both are independent, dreamy and inspiring women, each in her own way.
In addition to the main characters, the series also highlights the friendship between the two Gilmores and other incredible and well-built women: Sookie (Melissa McCarthy), Lane (Keiko Agena) and Paris (Liza Weil), accompanied by the ups and downs with Emily. Gilmore (Kelly Bishop), Lorelai’s mother.
Gilmore Girls ran from 2000 to 2007, running a total of seven seasons. The series was shown in Brazil by SBT, with the title of “Tal Mãe, Tal Filha”.
2. Parks and Recreation
With seven seasons, aired between 2009 and 2015, Parks and Recreation introduced the audience to the wonderful Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler). The story follows Leslie, an employee of the Pawnee City Parks and Recreation Department.
Throughout the episodes, the comedy builds a strong protagonist, full of skills, who spares no effort to make the city better and achieve her goals, with great emphasis on her professional career. On a personal level, Leslie also proves to be an amazing woman: she is an exceptional friend, thoughtful, captivating and devoted.
3. Orphan Black
The Canadian Orphan Black does not bring just one amazing protagonist, but several – and all with the same face. The series is about a mysterious experiment that generated clones and begins when Sarah discovers that she is one of those clones when she runs into a woman identical to her.
From there, the plot develops with the constant presence of Sarah, Cosima, Alison and Helena in dangerous situations that demand the most of the (many!) skills of each one. The characters also build a strong support network and form an unshakable partnership.
Playing all the clone characters, the series features actress Tatiana Maslany, who does an amazing job of characterization, changing her mannerisms, hair, and accents. Orphan Black premiered in 2013 and is heading into its fourth season.
4. Orange Is The New Black
With three seasons aired so far, the Netflix original series follows the lives of several characters in a women’s prison in the United States, from the arrival of Piper (Taylor Schilling).
Orange Is The New Black explores the life story of each of the characters in depth, presenting the audience with a great personality build. Women are the stars of the plot, which raises controversial issues and raises important discussions, especially in relation to the situation of women’s prisons.
5. My Mad Fat Diary
Already finished, My Mad Fat Diary is a British series that had three seasons that aired between 2013 and 2015. The series follows Rae Earl (Sharon Rooney), a teenager who has just come out of a period of hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. and is taking back his life.
The series questions beauty standards and shows in a sensitive way how all these rules imposed on appearance can interfere with people’s lives and health. Rae shares each of her thoughts, fears, desires and insecurities with the public through a diary. My Mad Fat Diary explores Rae’s strengths and weaknesses, making it easy to identify with and be inspired by.
Airing between 2010 and 2015, Parenthood ended its sixth season. It is a family drama centered on the Braverman family, telling in each episode the daily lives of each mother, father, grandparents, children and grandchildren.
Among the Bravermans are incredible women: Camille (Bonnie Bedelia), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Julia (Erika Christensen), Kristina (Monica Potter), Amber (Mae Whitman), Jasmine (Joy Bryant) and Haddie (Sarah Ramos). They are ordinary women living ordinary lives – but no less extraordinary for that. It is easy to identify with several of the situations and you can be inspired by several examples of strength and overcoming.
7. The Newsroom
The Newsroom chronicles the saga of the newsroom’s newsroom after a major shift in the editorial line, when the team decides to commit to the truth and stop selecting content solely based on the audience.
Responsible for this change is one of the great women of the series, MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), a competent producer who directs her team with wisdom and skill. She is closely followed by Maggie (Alison Pill) and Sloan (Olivia Munn), two brilliant journalists who embrace the new proposal.
Created by the trendy Aaron Sorkin, the series is a dive into the world of telejournalism and uses real facts of recent history (especially North American) to build its narrative. It is a good choice for anyone looking for inspiration in their professional life, regardless of their area of expertise.
Sense8 is a Netflix original series that tells the complex story of eight connected people, who manage to share feelings and sensations even though they are in different places on the planet. Among the main characters are four women: Sun (Doona Bae), Nomi (Jamie Clayton), Kala (Tina Desai) and Riley (Tuppence Middleton).
The highlight goes to Sun, a Korean who runs the family company and is a master of martial arts; and Nomi, an American transgender, activist and highly computer literate. The two face different problems, cause reflection and are inspirations of strength and perseverance. Out of the top eight, Amanita (Freema Agyeman), Nomi’s girlfriend and main source of support, also stands out.
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Also a Netflix production, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt centers on Kimmy’s (Ellie Kemper) story after she and other women manage to escape a cult that kept them trapped in an underground shelter. Free, Kimmy is focused on starting her life over, now in New York City.
Created by Tina Fey, the series has a sharp sense of humor and raises a number of issues, including feminism. In addition, Kimmy is a well of optimism and determination, which inspires both the characters of the series itself and the audience.
10. United States of Tara
Completed in 2011, United States of Tara told the story of Tara (Toni Collette), a woman who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, over three seasons. The plot shows each of the other identities, narrating how Tara deals with the disorder and with family and professional life.
In addition to the incredible character, the series also features the great performance of Toni Collette, who unfolds into multiple characters and manages to bring the situation closer to the audience.
11. Once Upon a Time
You know that story about helpless princesses who are always waiting for a prince to save them? Forget it! In Once Upon a Time, a series that brings an inspired and updated version of classic fairy tales, the female characters are much more independent than in Disney films.
Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) is a determined princess who is very good at taking care of herself and fighting for her own goals. Regina (Lana Parrilla) is the main villain, whose character has been developed more and more since the series premiere in 2011. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) is the main key to the plot and carries the nickname of “Savior”.
That is, in Once Upon a Time, the traditional idea of a fairytale princess is deconstructed and the stage belongs to women.
12. The Good Wife
Airing since 2009, The Good Wife tells the story of Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies). In the plot, Alicia’s husband is arrested after being caught in a scandal involving corruption and prostitution. From there, the protagonist becomes responsible for raising the two children and resumes her career as a lawyer.
In addition to inspiration as someone who takes control of her professional and personal life with strength and determination, the series also shows how Alicia deals with what happened with her husband and keeps her footing amid the scandal.
13. 2 Broke Girls
The comedy that premiered in 2011 follows the lives of two women working as waitresses in New York. Caroline (Beth Behrs) is a woman used to the comfortable life of the rich who loses everything and has to start her life from scratch. Max (Kat Dennings) ends up taking Caroline in and sharing what little he has with her.
The two become great friends and also business partners. Throughout the episodes, we follow the entire trajectory of the protagonists in search of making their dreams come true, despite the many obstacles.
Shown since 2012, Veep is a comedy that explores the American political scene focusing on the career of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the vice president of the United States.
The plot follows Selina’s professional life, including her strategies for staying in office and maintaining good relationships with other politicians. Alongside her, the vice president has the work of chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky).
Also with a foot in the political plot, Scandal centers on the story of public relations professional Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). The series builds a highly skilled professional who leads a team that is the best at what they do.
Scandal has been on the air since 2012 and has since addressed crisis cases and issues resolved by Olivia and her team.
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