BitchWatch: 10 TV Shows Feminists Should Watch this Summer

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink) in Stranger Things 3 (Photo credit: Netflix)

Summer hasn’t technically started yet, but film critics are already lambasting a string of disappointing box-office flops. Dark Phoenix, Men in Black: International, Shaft, and Godzilla: King of Monsters all debuted with underwhelming numbers and negative reviews. While the movie industry’s health remains in question, we can thankfully take refuge in television. We don’t need to brave the summer heat—or ever leave our homes, really—when we can watch money-laundering nail technicians, ballroom drag queens, and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling from the comfort of our couches or computer chairs.

1. THE HANDMAID’S TALE

The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3 Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

{ HULU }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 5, 2019

Season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale was agonizing to watch. Gilead, a dystopian society that continually edges closer to our present, is built on a collapsing foundation of misogyny, sexual assault, forced birthing, and authoritarianism. We fully understand those who are avoiding such a grim and utterly depressing show, but Season 3 is still a fiery car crash that many of us can’t look away from.

2. TALES OF THE CITY

Tales of the City Starring Laura Linney & Ellen Page | Trailer | Netflix

{ NETFLIX }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 7, 2019

Netflix’s Tales of the City reboot is the queer show of our dreams. Several of the show’s original 1993 cast, including Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis, are reprising their roles as residents of 28 Barbary Lane, a sanctuary for San Francisco’s LGBTQ community. Ellen Page, Charlie Barnett, and Jen Richards are also apart of a rotating cast of characters who are navigating long-kept secrets, intergenerational traumas, and a series of threatening letters that threaten to rock the foundation of their beloved neighborhood.

3. BIG LITTLE LIES

Big Little Lies: Season 2 | Official Trailer | HBO

{ HBO }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 9, 2019

The second season of Big Little Lies homes in on the fallout of Season 1’s murder mystery. Guilt consumes the Monterey Five as they struggle to make sense of the traumatic events of Trivia Night and lying to the police about their role in the murder. While last season brought the five, seemingly-incompatible women together, this season just might tear them apart.

4. CLAWS

Claws Season 3 Trailer (HD)

{ TNT }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 9, 2019

Their crimes may be messy, but their nails are flawless. Claws is one of the funniest shows that you probably aren’t watching: It follows five manicurists in Palmetto, Florida, who become accidentally ensnared in organized crime. Season 3 picks up seconds after the second season’s cliffhanger and its female-dominated cast are still loud, playful, and empowered.

5. POSE

Pose | Season 2: Official Trailer [HD] | FX

{ FX }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 11, 2019

Pose entices fans of Glee, American Horror Story, and Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk’s other projects who have also wished for better LGBTQ and nonwhite representation. While the first season was set in New York City’s 1980s ballroom scene, the second season flashes forward to the 1990s to continue navigating heavy topics like transmisogyny and the HIV/AIDS crisis with flair, flamboyance, and poise.

Get Bitch Media's top 9 reads of the week delivered to your inbox every Saturday morning! Sign up for the Weekly Reader:

6. JESSICA JONES

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Season 3 | Trailer | Netflix

{ NETFLIX }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 14, 2019

Jessica Jones’s phenomenal first season grappled with psychological abuse, abortion, and sexual assault through nuanced performances from Krysten Ritter, Rachael Taylor, and David Tennant. Tennant’s Kilgrave is still one of the most terrifying villains to grace our TV and laptop screens. But after the second season lacked a compelling antagonist and consistent pacing, we’re hoping that Jessica Jones’s third and final season will deliver.

7. YEARS AND YEARS

Years & Years (2019): Official Trailer | HBO

{ HBO }
RELEASE DATE: JUNE 24, 2019

Years and Years brands itself as the nightmare dystopian future that could soon become our reality if we don’t course correct. Spanning from 2019 to 2034, the limited series follows the election of Vivienne Rook (Emma Thompson), an entrepreneur and TV personality who utilizes the 24-hour news cycle to her political advantage. As the far-right populist rises to power, Years and Years warns audiences that our political landscape can dramatically shift when there are no checks and balances.

8. STRANGER THINGS

Stranger Things 3 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

{ NETFLIX }
RELEASE DATE: JULY 4, 2019

Stranger Things 2 was a mixed bag. Though it was a joy to watch Hopper (David Harbour) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) develop a complex father-daughter relationship, there was also a lazy shoehorning of two additional love triangles (not including Nancy/Jonathan/Steve from Season 1). The mishandling of Max (Sadie Sink), the Cool New Girl character introduced as a love interest and point of tension for Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), was particularly glaring given Eleven’s initial coldness toward her. However, the trailer for Stranger Things 3 evidently features some serious Max and Eleven bonding, so hopefully the Duffer Brothers have learned their lesson and will stop pitting their female characters against each other.

9. SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER

She-Ra and Huntara in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Photo credit: Netflix)

{ NETFLIX }
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 2, 2019

Despite the initial backlash from creepy, older male fans, Noelle Stevenson’s rebooted She-Ra has been praised for its characters’ body diversity, the nuanced depictions of its villains, and its thoughtful portrayal of trauma and abuse. If you love animated shows with adult themes, like Steven Universe, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra, then She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is right up your alley.

10. GLOW

GLOW | Official Season 3 Trailer | Netflix

{ NETFLIX }
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 9, 2019

It’s GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling—now live from Las Vegas, Nevada! The misfit cast of women wrestlers are no longer struggling to sell tickets in Los Angeles and have (seemingly) found success by moving their act to a Vegas casino. With GLOW selling out shows every night, Season 3 begs the question: How will our scrappy band of weirdos fuck it up this time?

Members of The Rage get exclusive content, including Bitch magazine in print. Membership starts at just $5 a month and helps support Bitch’s critical feminist analysis.

Join Today

by Marina Watanabe
View profile »

Marina Watanabe is Bitch’s social media editor. She hosts a web series called Feminist Fridays and has been told that she’s an “astrological nightmare.” You can find her on Twitter most days.