12 Feminist TV Shows You'll Kick Yourself If You Miss This Fall

Maressa Brown | Oct 4, 2016 TV

feminist tv showsLet's face it: There are plenty of shows on TV that are mindless, unoriginal, or just plain cringeworthy. But smart female viewers are demanding more from networks and streaming services alike, and as a result, we're actually getting served up entertainment about women that's written by, directed by, produced by, and/or starring brilliant, talented, and hilarious AF women.

The result? Feminist, empowering story lines that we can't help but keep up with. (Or, you know, binge in one weekend!)

Here, 12 shows -- new and renewed -- you'll kick yourself if you miss this fall.


Images via HBO; Amazon; The CW

  • Crazy Ex Girlfriend


    If you're not watching this critically acclaimed, hilarious musical comedy, you need to be. The title of the show sounds like the most anti-feminist thing of all time, but that's just creator/star Rachel Bloom calling out a ridiculous stereotype. "The title is meant to be a deconstruction of a stereotype, and the whole show is about deconstructing the boxes that we're supposed to be put into," she told SalonSeason 2 premieres Friday, October 21, at 9 p.m. EST. 

  • Supergirl

    Image via CBS

    The classic female heroine, played by Glee's Melissa Benoist, is at the heart of this hit one-hour dramedy. It's entertaining -- and inspiring -- for adults and kids alike. Season 2 debuts on October 10 on the CW at 8 p.m. EST.

  • Younger

    Image via TV Land

    If you loved Sex and the City and Beverly Hills, 90210, you need to be watching Younger on TV Land. Darren Star created the show about a 40-year-old woman named Liza who's posing as a 26-year-old to get back into the publishing world after separating from her husband. In other words, the crazy ageism women have to face is a central theme. It's been called one of the most "unabashedly feminist" shows on TV right now and we have to say -- we agree. 

    The season 3 premiere was on Wednesday, September 28, and new episodes will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST.

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  • Pitch


    Let's face it: TV shows about women in sports are few and far between. That's just one of many reasons Fox's Pitch is so necessary. The show follows the first baseball season of San Diego Padres pitcher Ginny Baker (played by Kylie Bunbury). Think A League of Their Own but with themes for a 21st century audience.

    Pitch is currently airing (season premiere was September 22!) on Fox, Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST.

  • Notorious


    Filling the gap for fans of Scandal (which was bumped to a January 2017 premiere to accommodate Kerry Washington's pregnancy!), Notorious stars Piper Perabo (oh, hey, Jersey!) as news producer Julia George and hottie Daniel Sunjata as Jake Gregorian, a criminal defense attorney. The dynamic duo is based on real-life attorney Mark Geragos and Larry King Live producer Wendy Walker. Sure, it's a "guilty pleasure," but it's also feminist, because George is a badass, take-no-prisoners HBIC

  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee


    Samantha Bee, former Daily Show correspondent, has her own news comedy show now in its second season, and it's uh-mazing. According to The Wrap's Diane Gordon, Bee's comedy and insight on the daily headlines picks up right where Jon Stewart left off -- and goes even further, writing, "With Full Frontal, TBS truly has a comedy show that's sure to become part of the cultural conversation and possibly fill the void felt by Jon Stewart's departure. There's so much scathing, insightful, intelligent funny packed into Full Frontal, and Bee's ability to land a joke is beyond impressive."

    Full Frontal airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. EST on TBS.

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  • Queen Sugar


    Created, directed, and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, OWN's Queen Sugar follows the story of two sisters, Nova Bordelon and Charley Bordelon, and their brother Ralph Angel, who inherit a sugarcane farm in Louisiana from their dad. All episodes in the series' debut season are directed by women. The critically acclaimed -- and Oprah-approved! -- drama, which premiered on September 6, airs Wednesdays on OWN at 10 p.m. EST.

  • American Housewife


    We need to crush all of the stereotypes, including what it means to be a good mom. The new sitcom American Housewife -- created by Sarah Dunn -- aims to do just that. Katie Otto (played by Katy Mixon from Mike & Molly) goes head to head with the seemingly perfect mamas in her fancypants Connecticut town. The season premiere is Tuesday, October 11, at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.

  • Jane the Virgin

    Image via The CW

    If you're not watching Gina Rodriguez as Jane Villanueva, what in the world are you waiting for? The super-smart, telenovela-style melodramatic comedy, which begins its third season on the CW October 17, follows seriously tough cookie Jane through so many twists and turns -- all starting with her getting accidentally impregnated by her ob-gyn. Last season, she was juggling grad school and the pursuit of her dream career (a romance novelist!) with dating and raising her baby boy (who is ridiculously adorable, BTW).   

    Jane the Virgin airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST. 

    More from CafeMom: 12 Ways the '90s Were All About Feminism & You Didn't Even Realize It

  • Insecure


    This new half-hour comedy, created by and starring YouTube sensation Issa Rae, is hotly anticipated, in part because Rae won such a following with her comedic YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black GirlInsecure follows the friendship, experiences, and tribulations of two black women. Rae explained to Time that the show's plot is "not the quintessential black-woman experience. It's a very specific experience." The season premieres on October 9 at 10:30 p.m. EST.

  • The Mindy Project

    Image via Hulu

    Now approaching the premiere of its fifth season, Mindy Kaling returns as Mindy Lahiri, a successful ob-gyn who cracks us up while juggling work, dating, and being a single mom. Mindy's smart, funny, and multidimensional portrayal makes the sitcom a feminist must-watch show we keep coming back to. New episodes are available, beginning October 4, on Hulu. 

  • Good Girls Revolt


    If you missed Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway, here's your new obsession. This Amazon series takes us back to 1969 NYC to follow a group of young female researchers at a (fictional) newspaper as they demand equality in the workplace. The show is based on a book of the same name by Lynn Povich. Starring Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter!) as Nora Ephron, Genevieve Angelson, and Anna Camp, the series will be released on Amazon on October 28. 

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