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Daisy Phillipson

The verdict’s in: Netflix’s new satirical comedy 'Insatiable' is pure trash. Here are ten of the best female-fronted shows to stream instead.

All the best #GirlPower shows to watch instead of ‘Insatiable’

By News

The verdict’s in: Netflix’s new satirical comedy Insatiable is a disastrophe. And not the good kind you can sit and enjoy with a bottle of wine and absolutely no shame. The kind that misfires in its attempt to be edgy while lacking the sharpness and wit to nail the delivery of its controversial subject matter.

The show itself follows a “fat girl” (a thin girl in a fat suit) named Patty (Debby Ryan) who gets punched in the face, has her jaw wired shut, loses weight (and subsequently becomes “hot”), and seeks revenge on those who bullied her.

Although the premise is problematic in itself, we were quick to challenge the naysayers who denounced the show before they’d even seen in. However, having seen the first few episodes ourselves now, we can confirm Insatiable contains none of the sharpness it needed to deliver such a satirical statement on body image.

The show is at once aggressively cruel and a total yawnfest, and contains some tired queer tropes via its depiction of Patty’s closeted lesbian bestie Nonnie (Kimmy Shields) to boot. So while everyone expected Insatiable to be bad, the reality is even worse.

Instead of wasting your time on this trash heap of a “comedy” (which drops on Netflix today), turn your focus to better content with these stunning examples of #GirlPower. Here are ten of the best female-fronted shows to stream instead of Insatiable:  

GLOW (2017-)

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling body-slammed its way into our hearts when it first hit Netflix in 2017, and continued to do so into S2 with a solid core cast, nostalgic 80s setting, heartfelt portrayals of female friendship, and oodles of spandex.

A diverse cast including Alison Brie, Sydelle Noel, Sunita Mani, Britt Baron, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, Ellen Wong, Jackie Tohn, and Britney Young star as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling as they grapple with life both in and out of the ring, managing to remain both frothy and fun while exposing societal prejudices that are still prevalent today.

Broad City (2014-)

Yas queen! While it’s bittersweet to know that Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson’s next season will be their last, marking the end of an era, we can at least remind ourselves of the hilarious times the comedy duo have brought to us over the years (from seafood allergies to Val’s diamond-munching antics – no mo FOMO).

For four tumultuous seasons (soon to be five), Abbi and Ilana have kept our sides splitting with their portrayal of two broke girls living in NYC, while teaching us the true value of female friendship. It’s thanks to this show that we can’t leave the house without a Bingo Bronson at our side and a backup vape in our rucksacks.

Killing Eve (2018-)

A dazzling thriller from Phoebe Waller-Bridge – the creative mind behind Fleabag – Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as a woman whose job as a bored low-level MI5 security employee takes an exciting turn when she links a string of murders to the capricious and dangerous assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer).

As Eve embarks on the task to seek out her culprit, the two end up obsessed with each other and enter into a risky game of cat & mouse. The genre-bending miniseries is at once slick, gripping, and wildly entertaining, bringing fresh energy to a worn out genre.

Good Girls (2018-)

Jenna Bans’s dramedy is getting a second season and we’re here for it every step of the way. Centering on three suburban moms (with glorious turns from Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) who find themselves in desperate circumstances, the tired trio have had enough of playing it safe and swap wholesome housewife values for a life of crime, chaos, and dollar bills by robbing the local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. Some girls are good, some girls are bad, and some are just doing what they can to get by.

Veronica Mars (2004-2007)

A show that was cut from the air and from our lives too soon, the neo-noir YA crime thriller saw Kristen Bell long before her Good Place days, as a snarky high school student turned private investigator who dedicates her life to cracking the toughest mysteries in the affluent town of Neptune, including the murder of her best friend Lily.

Using her smarts and determination to unturn a number of stones (while dealing with sexual trauma of her own), Veronica is the ultimate example of girl power, proving you don’t have to show physical strength to be powerful.

Riverdale (2016-)

The CW’s dark, edgy, and sexy take on the Archie comic books has proved highly addictive, set in the once-idyllic small town that becomes a hotbed of controversies and secrets with the death of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines).

From Betty (Lili Reinhart), to Veronica (Camila Mendes), to Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch), Riverdale features a host of female characters who show strength and are fierce in their own special ways.

Daria (1997-2001)

The TV show equivalent of your 00s teen angst, Daria was more than just a cartoon – it was a way of life.

Fuelled by misanthropy and cutting wit, Daria was and still is the perfect example of sardonic apathy, following the titular character through teenage life as a proud outsider in a world of mainly idiotic adolescents and condescending adults. Together with her bestie Jane, the pair take on the world in Creepers and grunge boots, one snarky quip at a time.

Big Little Lies (2017-)

Arguably one of the best crime dramas of last year, HBO’s Big Little Lies stars Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as suburban moms who exist in a community fueled by rumors and divided into haves and have-nots.

As their seemingly perfect lives unravel, dark secrets bubble to the surface and we begin to see that life is not as it seems in the tranquil beachfront town of Monterey. Not only does the show offer a gripping storyline and three-dimensional characters whose arcs you can’t help but be enthralled by, but the show also tackles the tricky subject of domestic abuse in a complex and nuanced manner. With season two on the way, we’d recommend giving season one a watch or rewatch ahead of its release.

Vida (2018-)

Mishel Prada and Melissa Barrera star in Tanya Saracho’s latest comedy as Emma and Lyn – two estranged sisters who return to their old LA neighborhood where they are confronted by the past and the truth about their mother’s identity.

In its first season, the show has been praised for its portrayal of Latinx culture, LGBTQI relationships, and gentrification – with another season on the horizon, we’re excited to see what hot topics Saracho and the creative team will take on.

Pose (2018-)

Ryan Murphy’s portrayal of 80s NYC ball culture is dazzling, authentic, and deals with its challenging topics with tact and finesse. A landmark show in terms of LGBTQI representation, Pose explores the fetishization of trans women and the details of gender reassignment surgery in ways that have not been seen on TV before.

As well as lifting the curtain on the bold ball subculture and the issues the trans community faced both inside and out of the scene, Pose also feels like a family drama thanks to the relationships formed by the sweet yet powerful Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), who builds lives and shows love by making a home for Angel (Indya Moore) and Damon (Ryan Jamaal Swain). In short, Pose demands to be seen – it’s one of the greatest shows on TV and we’re giving it tens across the board.

There are a handful of period films that rise above the stereotypes of the genre, and we’re here to celebrate these films with this romantical listicle.

Five period romance films any feminist can love

By News

The period romance is back, ladies and gents! With the recent release of Michael Mayer’s much anticipated period film The Seagull and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley, there’s a lot for fans of the genre to celebrate, but there’s also a lot to question.

Films set in the past often present women as damsels in distress, stuck in male-dominated worlds that would never fly today except in pretty Hollywood remakes of Jane Austen novels.

That said, there are a handful of period films that rise above the stereotypes of the genre and we’re here to celebrate these films with this romantical listicle.

Mona Lisa Smile

Give us a film that honors adventure and travel over some sleazy asshole who has sex with his students any day. We love this movie because it interrogates what feminism actually means – does it mean a right to choose or does it mean breaking the mold? Mona Lisa Smile is a film that gives you all the joys of any good romantic film, but will ultimately leave you whooping when the heroine (Julia Roberts) ends up on her own, with adventure as her only companion.

Love & Friendship

Although Jane Austen is great, she is a product of 18th and 19th century England, which (lets face it) wasn’t exactly known as a time for gender equality. That said, Whit Stillman’s brilliant Love & Friendship is the wittiest, most biting, most Austen-esque film to be made based on the writer’s work. The film’s heroine – Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) – is as fierce as she is cunning and would even make Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice) balk at her audacity.

Far From the Madding Crowd

Far From the Madding Crowd is really less of a romance film and more of a coming-of-age one, as we watch Bathsheba Everdene (played the lovely Carey Mulligan) choose herself and her needs above all else.

Belle

It’s through love that our protagonist – Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) – ultimately seems to change, rather than the change coming from herself and her own desires. That said, it makes the list because it incorporates some diversity into a genre that is so whitewashed it hurts. Here’s a period film that features a badass woman of color is its lead, portrayed with excellence by actress Amma Asante.

Outlander

Yes, we know – Outlander is a TV show. But if you truly want to dive into a period romance that upholds strong feminist values, you’ve gotta give it a watch. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is the ultimate feminist heroine, primarily because she isn’t from the 1700s. Perhaps it’s only through time travel that Hollywood can give us a truly progressive heroine in a period setting. Either way, we’re living for Outlander and we hope you are too!

With news of a standalone 'Black Widow' film heating up again, we thought we’d take a look at all of the fierce female characters of MCU who we think deserve their own movies. Badass boss bitches, assemble!

The Marvel heroines who need their own movies

By News

Although news surrounding the standalone Black Widow movie had gone quiet since January, it heated up again back in July as it was revealed the mega-franchise was scouting directors for the job.

As the MCU fandom rejoice (and teenage boys across the world ready themselves for the most exciting ride of their lives), we thought we’d take a look at all of the fierce female characters of MCU who we think deserve their own movies. Badass boss bitches, assemble! Who will win their own movies in the next year?

Gamora (Zoe Saldana) – Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Yes, there might be a fair few plot holes surrounding Gamora, Thanos, and her home planet, but that’s by no means her fault and if anything, a standalone movie would serve as an opportunity for Marvel to explain itself. Plot holes aside, Zoe Saldana reprising her role as the green-skinned goddess to kick some butt in her own standalone movie is something we would pay good money to see.

Elektra (Elodie Yung) – Daredevil (2015-)

Last year, Daredevil and The Defenders actress Elodie Yung got our hearts pumping when she said she was open to reprising her role as Elektra in the MCU. Since then, we’ve heard nada about a potential movie with Yung at the center, but we’re still keeping those fingers crossed in the hope that Hand’s top assassin will return in some capacity, if only to see more of her wicked sword skills.

Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) – Jessica Jones (2015-)

A movie centered on Jessica Jones? Erm, hello? Massive potential to make one of the darkest comedy features in the MCU. She’s had her own TV show, so why not give her a feature-length flick? Just imagine the sardonic titular character (reluctantly) carrying out her PI duties, only for Kilgrave to return and Jessica to kick his butt one last time, before and / or after chugging a 1L bottle of JD. It writes itself!

Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) – Iron Fist (2017-)

Colleen was an absolute highlight of Iron Fist and with her history as a master of Bushido, she quickly proved to be a steady companion for Danny (Finn Jones). As a capable fighter with powerful alliances and scene-stealing skills, we have no doubt she’d slay on the big screen as she does on the small one.

Misty Knight (Simone Missick) – Luke Cage (2016-)

As CBR put it, “The Marvel Cinematic Universe had more than its share of strong, powerful woman, but Misty Knight was like no other.” Portrayed by the glorious Simone Missick, this headstrong detective soon proved herself as a force to be reckoned with, taking no shit from the likes of Cottonmouth and Mariah Dillard. We’d love to see her in her own standalone movie, or better yet, see her team up with Colleen for a Daughters of the Dragon movie. Could. You. Imagine.

Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Jaimie Alexander’s Asgardian warrior quickly became a fan fave in Thor and Thor: The Dark World for good reason – she’s a feared fighter and, now the Marvel writers have started to embrace the character, has enjoyed stories that highlighted her skills, unquenchable spirit, and battle prowess. We’d love to see more from this engine of destruction.

Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) – Black Panther (2018)

Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther gave birth to some of the most badass female superheroes in the MCU, one of those being Nakia, played by the glorious Lupita Nyong’o. She’s a wonderful woman of Wakanda – intelligent, crafty, and lethal – making her an ideal candidate for a standalone movie.

Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) – Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

We’d love a Valkyrie movie just so we could spend 120 minutes crushing on Tessa Thompson. She’s a badass fighting machine too, obviously, and brings some much-needed humor to the MCU. In contrast to her male counterparts, Valkyrie is a force of nature who subverts all tropes often surrounding the female characters of the Marvel comic books. As Little White Lies pointed out, her battle feels “as emotionally significant as Thor’s” and it’s for this reason we’d love to see her journey played out in her own feature-length film. It makes sense Marvel, and you know it!

Shuri (Letitia Wright) – Black Panther (2018)

Letitia Wright (Black Mirror) is having a moment and we’re with her every step of the way. Portraying Shuri – the Princess of Wakanda, sister of T’Challa, daughter of T’Chaka & Ramonda, and the leader of the Wakandan Design Group – Wright was absolutely outstanding as the tech guru with a big brain and a sharp tongue and could easily hold her own in a Shuri-centered movie.

She-Hulk

Okay, so we haven’t seen She-Hulk enter the MCU yet. But we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again – MCU needs to make She-Hulk a reality. Just imagine the levels of badassery of the big green beast in female form on the big screen. Especially since she’s a total boss bitch who is fully in control of her own body with a strong intellect and sharp-as-knife wit. Please MCU . . . please!

Did we ever tell you we’re huge fans of Greta Gerwig’s. Oh we did? Well, let us tell you once more. Here are ten of Gerwig’s greatest gifts of on-screen glee.

10 reasons to fall in love with Greta Gerwig

By News

Did we ever tell you we’re huge fans of Greta Gerwig’s. Oh we did? Well, let us tell you once more.

The buzz surrounding this multi-talented figure reached peak this year with the release of her endlessly brilliant Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) as a teenager trying to navigate herself through kidulthood in the unglamorous setting of Sacramento, California.

It was an absolute cinematic feat from the evidently witty & charming director, which is why we’re delighted at the news Gerwig is planning a series of Sacramento-based spiritual sequels to the film, inspired by the mysterious works of author Elena Ferrante.

While this is all fabulous news, we’re here to celebrate the actor / writer / director’s brilliance before Lady Bird. After all, Gerwig’s talent has been dazzling us for years, from her roles as one of the preeminent actresses in “mumblecore” films to her writing collaborations with director Noah Baumbach. Here are ten of Gerwig’s greatest gifts of on-screen glee:

The Dish & the Spoon (2011)

In this exquisitely charming indie love flick, Gerwig stars as a woman reeling over her husband’s infidelity. As she embarks on a journey to find her spouse’s lover, she collides with an English boy (Olly Alexander), who travels with her out of infatuation. What’s great about Alison Bagnall’s flick is it avoids all the tropes of a cliche boy-meets-girl kind of movie, with Gerwig’s performance making the tender drama all the more convincing.

Wiener-Dog (2016)

As always, Gerwig brings quirky comfort in another quirky film alongside Danny DeVito (Batman Returns), Kieran Culkin (Igby Goes Down), and Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream). The story centers around a dachshund taken in by a veterinary technician named Dawn Wiener (Gerwig), who soon sets off on a road trip with a guy who’s on a game to find crystal meth. What’s not to love?

The House of the Devil (2009)

Stepping out of her mumblecore pants and into her horror ones, Gerwig takes a different kinda role in Ti West’s The House of the Devil. Despite her relentlessly nonchalant vibe, Gerwig pulls off the performance as the protagonist and eventual victim’s (Jocelin Donahue) best friend with convincibility, even when she’s getting her face blown off.

Lola Versus (2012)

Gerwig has such a knack for depicting the charmingly human weaknesses we all secretly possess – in the case of Daryl Wein’s Lola Versus, she portrays the devastating aftermath of getting monumentally dumped. “My world is shattered and I’m eating.” Coming to terms with being single and nearly 30, Gerwig’s character Lola decides to embark on a series of adventures she hopes will help soothe that aching heart of hers.

Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007)

In her peak mumblecore role for the peak mumblecore director Joe Swanberg’s 2007 dramedy, Gerwig plays the neurotic, sweet, and mildly sarcastic Hannah. The movies sitting in this category are less known for their story and more for the low-fi production, improvised dialogue & plots, and fleeting conversations about huge epiphanies. Hence why this bathtub scene is the perfect example of both the mumblecore scene and Gerwig’s position in it.

Baghead (2008)

In a film from mumblecore director brothers Mark & Jay Duplass, Gerwig stars as the kooky bombshell Michelle. Injecting new life into the horror genre, Baghead is a spin on the cabin-in-the-woods format, as four writers head into the woods to try and bang out a screenplay, only to discover their sinister plot starts to come true. The best moment has to be this cringe yet endearing scene in which a drunk Chad (Steve Zissis) hits on a drunk Michelle. Needless to say, hilarity ensues.

Damsels in Distress (2011)

This wonderfully surreal and stunningly unique offering from Whit Stillman (Metropolitan) follows a trio of girls – led by Gerwig’s character Violet – as they set out to change the male-dominated environment of their college campus while rescuing their fellow students from suicide and depression via the art of tap dancing. If your mind isn’t blown by the end of this movie, it certainly will be once you watch the final dance scene.

Greenberg (2010)

Gerwig performs alongside Ben Stiller (Zoolander) in Noah Baumbach’s dramedy that perfectly encapsulates the development of a romance between two flawed characters. Gerwig sets the dramatic tone while also bringing high levels of her usual LOL kookiness to the mix. We’re pretty sure Gerwig dancing to “Uncle Albert” around her room drinking champagne during a personal crisis is all of us at some point in our lives.

Mistress America (2015)

Baumbach & Gerwig teamed up to write the screenplay for this hectic comedy in which Gerwig’s character is a woman overflowing with charismatic energy so overpowering, it shadows her egocentric edge. It’s hard not to fall for her zest for life and the same can be said for her newly-adopted infatuated sidekick – student Tracy (Lola Kirke). This film is a stunning example of Baumbach & Gerwig’s uncanny ability to make audiences laugh out loud with glee and cry from the feels all at the same time.

Frances, Ha! (2012)

In number one spot has to be this monochrome triumph (also from the co-writing talents of Gerwig & Baumbach) about a 27-year-old New Yorker who is far from having her shit together. Despite her many flaws, Frances (Gerwig) somehow navigates through the tricky world of dancing and while she makes many mistakes along the way – including a savage BFF breakup and a pointlessly expensive trip to France – she works her way to the top, leading to a heartwarming ending that will make you sob with joy.

Did we ever tell you we’re huge fans of Greta Gerwig’s. Oh we did? Well, let us tell you once more. Here are ten of Gerwig’s greatest gifts of on-screen glee.

Did we ever tell you we’re huge fans of Greta Gerwig’s. Oh we did? Well, let us tell you once more. Here are ten of Gerwig’s greatest gifts of on-screen glee.

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While we wait for the second season of 'Vida' to drop, here are a number of other TV shows taking on tricky subjects and addressing reality in a conscious way.

‘Vida’ fever: The TV shows addressing reality in a conscious way

By News

Last month, Starz announced the renewal of its hit dramedy Vida. Following a successful first season, the second round will see an expanded episode count, as well as an expanded cast, with Roberta Colindrez booking a series regular role in Tanya Saracho’s Latinx half-hour show.

Vida centers around two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who returned to their hometown in S1 following the death of their mother. It has been lauded for its portrayal of Latinx culture, while also tackling important societal issues regarding gentrification and LGBTQI experiences throughout its debut season.

With another round on the horizon, we’re excited to see what hot topics Saracho and the creative team will take on. While we wait, here are a number of other TV shows taking on tricky subjects and addressing reality in a conscious way.  

Pose (2018-)

Ryan Murphy’s Pose made history by featuring the largest transgender cast in TV history, as well as taking on the first transgender woman of color to direct an episode of television thanks to the talents of best-selling writer Janet Mock.

As such, Pose is a landmark show in terms of LGBTQI representation, exploring the fetishization of trans women and the details of gender reassignment surgery in ways that have not yet been seen on TV before.

Taking place in the 80s, Pose is centered around the acrimonious relationship between two ball houses and delves into the lives of the trans characters who are finally shown to be more than just one-dimensional sex workers.

Via its numerous side stories, from Blanca’s journey as a “mother”, to Angel’s love affair, to Ricky and Damon’s blossoming relationship, Pose tackles a number of important issues including transphobia, homophobia, the HIV crisis, and racism, and it does so with tact, sensitivity, and finesse.

Transparent (2014-)

While Amazon Prime’s Transparent centers on one trans woman’s journey as she transitions in later life, the show also veered into political grounds as the Pfeffermans headed to Israel in season four.

Offering a ten-episode exploration on the issue of borders, Transparent explores the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Maura is invited to give an Israeli conference on gender and Judaism, bringing her kids with her to the holy land.

Their journey allowed for the creators to explore Israel, the West Bank, themes on God and religion, politics, the history of the area, and the conflict that has been going on for 70 years. As Transparent does so well, these heavy themes are lifted with moments of hilarity and humanity – but more essentially, they were a departure from the usual way Israel is depicted on US television.

Shay Roman, who advised the show on issues relating to the conflict, highlighted the way Ali talks about how the American media and the Israeli government are so conflated.

“She refers to them as ‘they,’ sort of like ‘the man.’ Personally, as a young American Jew, I’ve felt often frustrated by the one-sided Israel at all costs perspective. I think I was excited to bring in a world that we don’t get to see, and hear people’s opinions that we don’t get to hear.”

Black-ish (2014-)

The ABC family show has never shied away from exploring cultural issues within its storylines, having focused on issues such as gun control and racial prejudice in modern society.

However, there’s one episode in particular that serves as a significant example of why  Black-ish deserves credit for incorporating such serious subjects into its narrative and that is season two, episode 16 “Hope”, in which the Johnson family discusses race issues while watching news coverage of a grand jury considering the indictment of a white police officer accused of killing an African American teen.

Sparking emotional responses on social media, the episode put the show within the thick of the Black Lives Matter movement. “This is the age of #BlackLivesMatter and sometimes there is no better way to get a message out to the American public than secreting it in one of their favorite sitcoms,” noted The Guardian.

13 Reasons Why (2017-)

There are thirteen reasons why we support Netflix’s decision to renew the young adult drama 13 Reasons Why for a third season, one of those being the show’s dedicated to not only portraying mental health issues, bullying, depression, sexual assault, and suicide in an honest and frank manner, but also its efforts to help audiences seek help if suffering from such afflictions.

S1 depicts the suicide of teen protagonist Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who leaves behind a series of tapes revealing the events and the people who led her to commit the act. The show incorporates narratives of depression including those dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault.

Although many of the adult viewers clutched their pearls in horror at a show discussing these topics and portraying them uncensored (you know, like in real life), a study showed teenagers reacted well to the content, with more than three-quarters of respondents stating they learned about depression and suicidal ideation.

Meanwhile, another major issue the show tackles is that of sexual assault and rape culture, which it does so convincingly by using the narrative to highlight its persistence in schools, its dark evolution through social media, and the debate surrounding consent.

The scene in which Hannah is raped shows her turning numb and unresponsive, portraying how rape doesn’t necessarily mean the victim has to fight back to show they do not consent and that there is no right or wrong response when faced with a traumatic experience.

It’s rare for a teen show to level with its audience in such an honest manner and it’s for this reason its audience deserves a third season. No matter how much it “offends” the Parents Television Council.

Big Little Lies (2017-)

Starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, HBO’s Big Little Lies was one of prestige TV’s big wins. A dark crime drama about the seemingly perfect lives of three mothers as they unravel to the point of murder, the show won over audiences and will continue to do so with a second round set to premiere in 2019.

Not only does the show offer a gripping storyline and three-dimensional characters whose arcs you can’t help but be enthralled by, but the show also tackles the tricky subject of domestic abuse in a complex and nuanced manner.

While Kidman’s Celeste appears to have the perfect marriage, we soon discover the opposite to be true. On the outside, her husband Perry is kind, caring, and affectionate. But behind closed doors he is controlling and dominating, flipping between love and rage like a light switch.

As is seen in so many domestic abuse cases, Perry manipulates Celeste into forgiving his behavior and even into feeling guilty herself. Speaking to Marie Claire, CEO of Refuge Sandra Horley praised the accuracy of Big Little Lies’s portrayal of a controlling and abusive relationship, adding that the show highlights how “women like Celeste should never be judged for how they respond to abuse.”

Atlanta (2016-)

Donald Glover’s surreal comedy tackles social issues via the lens of rap, successfully weaving together themes of oppression, racial prejudice, and poverty told with an absurdist and entertaining oddball ride about a rapper named Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) and his manager / cousin (Glover).

“With Atlanta, Glover uses the platform of network television to express his opinions on race, black culture, hip hop, mental health, masculinity, and fatherhood,” noted The Mercury. In particular, Paper Boi’s journey provides an insight into what it’s like as a rapper in the landscape of Atlanta.

Season two of the show explores themes on exploitation and poverty, starting with a shootout at a drive-through and going on to show how Earn is now homeless and Paper Boi is under house arrest. It makes poignant statements without veering into overtly political commentary.

“The way I look at it, the years Obama was in office, and the year after Trump was inaugurated, if you were poor, you really didn’t see the difference. That stuff really didn’t touch you,” noted Glover. “We just look at what happens when someone is really poor, when someone really doesn’t have a stake in any of this.”

Dear White People (2017-)

Justin Simien’s Netflix dramedy made bold political statements in S1 by focusing on racial issues at an Ivy League college. However, it was in season two that the show really came into its own, addressing its flaws on slippery politics and building on its topical takes on racism, black identity, and police brutality.

For round two, we see the characters of Winchester University as they deal with white supremacy, online alt-right trolls, and the psychological fallout of racial discrimination.

But we’re also shown the bigger picture, including Reggie’s suffering mental state following his traumatic experience when held up at gunpoint by a police officer, as well as the emotional distress Sam felt when being targeted by a racially-charged social media attack.

Yet the reason Dear White People resonates, outlined The Verge, is because “it’s adept at finding those little moments that feel like in-jokes to black viewers, and the ways we use humor to cope with living in a less-than-welcoming country.”

In celebration of the leading ladies of 'Terminator 6', here are the fiercest female characters from the previous movies in the franchise.

The women warriors of the ‘Terminator’ films

By News

When the Terminator said he’d be back, we didn’t think he meant it quite so literally. The sixth Terminator film is currently in production and set for release on November 22 2019, 35 years after the first film hit theaters and changed the face of sci-fi forever. We can only hope Terminator 6 will ignore all of the sequels past Terminator 2: Judgment Day and will offer a fresh spin on this wrung out franchise.

Although the opposite often rings true, with Tim Miller (Deadpool) directing, James Cameron (Avatar) producing, and (best of all) a story that will see the triumphant return of our fave Terminator character Sarah Connor, it is looking hopeful. But better yet, Linda Hamilton (Dante’s Peak) is back on set, reprising her role as SC.

In line with the rise in the female-led action movies in recent years, the new Terminator instalment will introduce a bunch of new characters including Dani Ramos – a young Mexican woman played by Colombian actress Natalia Reyes who’s being hunted by a new Terminator (played by Gabriel Luna). Oh yeah, and Mackenzie Davis is set to star too!

In celebration of the leading ladies of Terminator 6, here are the fiercest female characters from the previous movies in the franchise.

Ginger Ventura – The Terminator (1984)

A contrast to the relentlessly badass Sarah Connor in the first Terminator movie, we had her roommate and BFF who, while not quite of the woman warrior status of her buddy, was still powerful in her own right.

Did she ever stop listening to that Walkman? No, no she did not – it might have led to her demise, but at least Ginger (Bess Motta) was jamming out right up to the end.

Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The OG Sarah Connor played by Hamilton is one of the most kickass film-based females in movie history. As she becomes a warrior on a mission, she must protect her son John from an even more powerful cyborg while also preventing Judgement Day from ever happening. Yikes! While we might be experiencing franchise fatigue, we can’t wait to see the actor return to her role in Terminator 6.

T-X – Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003)

Jonathan Mostow’s threequel really did mark the rapid descent of the Terminator franchise. By this point Sarah is dead, signalling Hamilton’s departure and leaving Nick Stahl’s John Connor and Claire Danes as his confused wife to deal with the human elements of the Rise of the Machines.

On the plus side, it was the first time we got to see a female terminatrix, so that’s something. Named T-X and played by Kristanna Loken, she had all the deadly elements of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s cyborg but with none of the questionable bulges. Oh no wait, scrap that . . .

Blair Williams – Terminator Salvation (2009)

Set in the year we’re currently in, the fourth in the franchise centered on John Connor, this time with none other than Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) as the central character.

But we’re all about Blair Williams played by Moon Bloodgood (Faster), pilot of the Resistance under John’s command and friend of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Sexy, smart, and a dab hand with weaponry, Blair is one of the fiercest females of the entire franchise.  

Detective Cheung – Terminator Genisys (2015)

We were kinda disappointed at the lack of female characters in the fifth Terminator film, But then again, we were kinda disappointed with the movie, period.

Aside from Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as a totally weak version of Hamilton’s Sarah Connor, there’s only really one other woman to speak of and that is Detective Cheung (played by Sandrine Holt). That’s not to say we’re not totally for her character, who actually turned out to be the T-3000 in disguise. Who knew!?

To celebrate its recent Netflix release, here’s a ranking of the ten moments that made us fall in love with 'Amélie' – the character and the film.

Ten moments that made us fall in love with ‘Amélie’

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Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2001 cinematic masterpiece Amélie stars Audrey Tautou (The Da Vinci Code) as the innocent and naive girl in Paris who, on a quest to help those around her, discovers love along the way. To this day, it remains one of the greatest love films of our time, moving beyond the tropes of the genre as it paints a fantastical brightly-colored portrait of Paris, the protagonist, and the magical and surreal world in which she lives.

Jeunet covers both the light and the dark of the world in a sweet, whimsical manner, and builds characters in an eclectic and unusual way, with all the eccentricities of the film combining to make one of the most memorable love stories of the 21st century. To celebrate its recent Netflix release, here’s a ranking of the ten moments that made us fall in love with Amélie – the character and the film:

Beating heart

Rather than depending solely on dialogue, Jeunet uses visual effects to enhance the film and reflect the character’s feelings and emotions. This is perfectly exemplified the moment Amélie spots Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) at the train station and her heart starts to flutter.

Amélie’s question

Amélie is distinctive in that the viewer is given true insight into each character’s idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, for example the way our lead amuses herself with questions like, “How many couples are having an orgasm now?” The answer? Fifteen.

Coffee shop colleagues

Speaking of eccentricities, Amélie’s coffee shop colleagues & customers are full of them, from the hypochondriac coworker (Isabelle Nanty) who offers more than a few laughs to the demanding customer Joseph (played by the ever wonderful Dominique Pinon).

Amélie’s childhood

The foundation of Amélie’s story is set with the unorthodox childhood she endured, spending much of her upbringing isolated from everyone except her parents due to their displayed characteristics of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Jeunet uses these scenes to develop our understand of Amélie while adding charming insights into the young lead’s imagination and the peculiarities of her parents: vinyls made like crêpes, the mother’s broken nerves following Blubber the pet fish’s suicide attempt, and the used Instamatic that causes Amélie’s OCD tendencies to kick in.

Childhood treasure box

The night Amélie sees Princess Diana has died, the shock causes her to drop a bottle top, which rolls across the floor to hit a loose tile on her bathroom wall. It’s here she discovers a hidden childhood treasure box and experiences an epiphany – to find the owner of the box, return his treasure, and if he is touched, she promises to become “a regular do-gooder”. The scene in which she reunites the owner with the box is enough to warm the coldest of hearts.

Amélie’s revenge

Of course, Amélie’s journey to help those around her doesn’t just involve the good. On her quest, she gets creative when playing pranks to torment the mean-spirited grocer for mistreating his assistant.

Even artichokes have hearts

Speaking of the grocer, there’s no denying the brilliance of the moment Amélie calls him out for calling his assistant a “useless vegetable”. “You’ll never be a vegetable. Even artichokes have hearts.” Mic drop!

Crossroads

When the urge to help mankind suddenly engulfs her, Amélie helps a blind man cross the street, narrating the sights she sees in great detail to go along with the smells and sounds he’s experiencing. It’s truly one of the most heartwarming moments in the entire film, showing Amélie’s ability to spread joy and happiness wherever she goes.

Amélie likes

A whimsical insight into the film’s characters is provided during the scenes in which we’re shown the small pleasures experienced by each one (even the cat). While Amélie’s life is described as lonely and simple, we can see she takes joy in the little things, like dipping her hand into sacks of grain, cracking crème brulée with a teaspoon, and skipping stones at St. Martin’s Canal.

True love

At the end of her cat-and-mouse game with Nino around Paris, it takes her good friend Dufayel’s (Serge Merlin) insight to give her the courage to pursue a relationship with the man who truly loves her (and she loves in return). Turning on the television set, he tells her, “If you let this chance go by, your heart will eventually become as dry and brittle as my skeleton. So, go get him for Pete’s sake!” After discovering Nino at her doorway, Amélie finally gives in and allows herself to find the happiness and love she deserves. And, well, you know what comes next . . .

We’ve decided to flip the male-centric 007 talk by speculating what the Bond world would look like if a woman were behind the lens.

Our pick of female directors who would kill the next ‘James Bond’ movie

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With Danny Boyle confirmed to direct Bond 25 and rumors of Idris Elba being next in line as the British spy after Daniel Craig, we’ve decided to flip this male-centric 007 talk by speculating what the Bond world would look like if a woman were behind the lens.

After all, there are countless female directors who know their way around gritty, “masculine” subject matter appreciated by both male and female audiences, so why shouldn’t / couldn’t it happen? With this in mind, here are the female directors we think would nail Bond 25:

Kathryn Bigelow

According to Screen Rant, The Hurt Locker director was even urged by the former Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal to direct a Bond adventure. Although she dismissed the idea, Bigelow has proven herself to be a true master of big budget productions.

Patty Jenkins

Jenkins absolutely killed it with the portrayal of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and her team of Amazon warriors, so why shouldn’t she be able to deal with Daniel Craig amidst a series of explosions and gun fights? Just imagine how much fiercer the Bond girls would be.

Niki Caro

If Spectre taught viewers anything about James Bond, it’s that the franchise had reverted back to its traditional misogynistic leanings. Perhaps for Bond 25 the film could use the magic touch of the Mulan master Caro, with her gender-inclusive sets and focus on strong male and female leads.

Ava DuVernay

Skyfall was another of the franchise’s flicks that was criticised for its portrayal of women, with each major female character being killed off to motivate Bond’s actions. Perhaps then DuVernay’s experience making movies and TV shows that have been firmly grounded in race and female power would add a nice touch to the next Bond instalment.

Susanne Bier

While rumors of The Night Manager star Tom Hiddleston becoming the next James Bond were flying around in 2016, why don’t we start our own fresh rumors linking the show’s director Bier as the next in line to direct Bond 25? After all, she’s already proven her ability to tackle big budgets and “masculine” themes.

Amma Asante

We’d love to see the actress-turned-director handed the reigns for the next 007 flick, mostly because she previously spoke out about how “women are pigeonholed into making ‘certain types of movies’ due to ‘misguided distrust’ from executives”. We’re sure Asante would be the ideal candidate to prove otherwise.

Jane Campion

No doubt the award-winning Campion could shake (not stir) the franchise up with her unique vision on gender politics and the female gaze. Maybe we’d see even more strong female leads alongside Bond (a la Judi Dench in Goldeneye).

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Another director with big-budget finesse, Taylor-Johnson raked in more than half a billion dollars for Universal Pictures with Fifty Shades of Grey (not that the Bond franchise has ever had an issue with selling tickets). If it were to ever happen though, she’d have to switch silver chains for golden guns.

More than a woman: The best actress performances on TV this year

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Not long now until the Emmys, folks (September 17, in case you’re interested). With the race truly underway since the announcement of the nominees, we thought it a good time to turn our focus to the talents of the fierce females of the small screen.

Because although there might only be a handful of women to take home the title of Outstanding Lead Actress in the various categories, there are dozens of winners in our eyes. Here are ten of the best from the past year:

Indya Moore as Angel – Pose

Indya Moore’s turn as Angel in Ryan Murphy’s Pose was one of the sweetest, most endearing, and yet also integral and determined characters we’ve seen on TV in recent times. From the scene in which her and Stan (Evan Peters) slow dance to Kate Bush to that moment she screams at him to get out of her apartment when he asks her to leave sex work, there’s no way Moore’s compelling performance won’t get you right in the feels.

Gina Rodriguez as Jane – Jane the Virgin

In this flaming trash heap we call earth, it’s characters like Rodriguez’s Jane that provide a glimmer of hope. Season four of the show was an absolute triumph in every episode, dealing with some very real life issues among a series of telenovela style shocks and surprises.

But it was once again Rodriguez’s performance as the sweet and charming titular character who pulled the show together for its fourth round, offering a layered knockout performance yet again as she dealt with familial problems, romantic feelings for Rafael, and a reunion with an ex-boyfriend. Drama!

Tessa Thompson as Charlotte Hale – Westworld

Thompson gives it her all in the second season of HBO’s Western / sci-fi hybrid, proving her villainous chops as the cold-hearted and brutal executive of Delos Inc. Her understated performance shines through in a show full of singular characters, showing that the females are the fiercest in this male-built world.

Gayle Rankin as Sheila “The She Wolf” – GLOW

There are so many characters to pick out from the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, but it’s Rankin’s turn as Sheila “The She Wolf” that really pulled at our heart strings throughout the first and second seasons of the show.

Giving an absolute howler of a performance as a woman who never loses sight of herself, unlike the other characters, Sheila is the only one who lives her persona 24/7. Her character’s dysmorphia is misunderstood by the others, forcing her to have to try and articulate why dressing and acting like a wolf is part of her identity.

Catherine E. Coulson as The Log Lady – Twin Peaks: The Return

Along with David Lynch, the world mourned the death of Catherine E. Coulson as she passed away from cancer four days after filming her final scene on Twin Peaks: The Return, giving a bittersweet air to her outstanding performance as the philosophically inclined Log Lady.

Coulson truly deserves all the praise she receives for her lifetime’s work – hopefully she is looking down on us right now from heaven above and musing such wise words as, “Where does creamed corn figure into the workings of the universe? What really is creamed corn? Is it a symbol for something else?”. RIP.

Alexis Bledel as Emily – The Handmaid’s Tale

Obviously, Elisabeth Moss deserves all the awards for her ability to express a thousand emotions with a single facial expression. But the fact is, Elisabeth Moss likely will get all the awards for her turn in season two (just like she did in season one), so we thought we’d allow Bedil to take center stage today.

A far cry from her Gilmore Girl days, Emily endures an absolute roller coaster ride of emotions in season two, culminating in the ever-so satisfying beatdown of evil incarnate, Aunt Lydia. Never before have we seen Bedil express such an extreme range of emotions, from joy, to fear, to rage, portraying with finesse a woman who has been damaged deeply by her experiences, but is not broken just yet.

Zazie Beetz as Van – Atlanta

Van is one of the most complex female characters on TV right now and this is in part thanks to Zazie Beetz’s star turn in the role. Beetz is an unstoppable force, running a range of emotions throughout every episode with a commitment to the performance that is both luminous and captivating. It’s no wonder Beetz is up for an Emmy this year and sweet lord, does she deserve it.

Christina Hendricks as Beth – Good Girls

Good Girls at the front! Hulu’s recent offering features three suburban moms who decide enough is enough and rob their local supermarket at (toy) gunpoint. A far cry from her award-winning turn in Mad Men, Hendricks’s character is a woman who at first glances is a cookie-cutting Stepford wife. However, as she gets into the business of money-laundering, she finds herself enthralled by this new life. Bringing a fresh comedic tone to the role, Hendricks steers her character with finesse and confidence, leading Beth’s journey with an air of grace.

Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings – The Americans

It feels bittersweet to include Russell on this list, since The Americans signed off with its sixth and final season back in May. But her performance as Elizabeth is well worth a mention, as the undercover KGB spy with enough pseudonyms to fill up a game board of “Guess Who”. Not only did she help create one of the most complex female characters ever seen on the small screen, but she also performed a lot of her own stunts because (in her words) “it’s fun”. Never change, Keri, never change.

 

Hear me soar: The best pop culture depictions of Amelia Earhart

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May marked the anniversary of a huge milestone in Amelia’s life – the day she landed her airplane in Ireland, thus becoming the second pilot and the first woman to complete a nonstop solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean back in 1932. In loving tribute, here’s a ranking of the best fictional TV and film depictions of one of the most important boss bitches in world history…

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