On June 5, 2019, Season 3 of the Hulu original series "The Handmaid's Tale" premieres and honestly, we're not sure we can contain our excitement. The Golden Globe-winning series starring Elisabeth Moss and Alexis Bledel takes place in a dystopian future run by fundamentalist men where fertile women are captured and forced into sexual slavery to procreate the next generation of humanity. Featuring a predominantly female cast, the show is proof that women are the true masters of entertainment. To keep us busy until Season 3 premieres, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at more of the greatest shows with mostly female casts. Keep reading for more…
"Sex and the City"
HBO's "Sex and the City" — based on the collection of essays by Candace Bushnell — debuted in 1998 and starred Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kim Cattrall as a quartet of female friends living, loving and laughing together in New York City. Although the series ended in 2004, the legacy of Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha still resonates with audiences today.
"Big Little Lies"
HBO turned the myth of the perfect mother on its head when, in 2017, it premiered the Golden Globe-winning series "Big Little Lies." Starring Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern (not pictured), the series focuses on the lies (both big and small) a group of women tell and hide, ultimately connecting them to a gruesome murder. Season 2 of this mystery-drama series premiere in June 2019 and will include the indomitable Meryl Streep. We can't wait!
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"Orange Is the New Black"
Honestly, the Netflix original drama "Orange Is the New Black" starring Jessica Pimentel, Taylor Schilling and Jolene Purdy (among other vibrant actresses) needs no introduction. The massively popular Emmy-winning series that debuted in 2013 was based on the memoir by Piper Kerman in which she detailed her time spent in a women's prison on money laundering and drug trafficking charges. Since its inception, "OITNB" has broken barriers by featuring trans women in leading roles, LGBTQ storylines and heavy subjects like sexual assault, mental illness and the human impact of the prison industrial complex.
"Grace and Frankie"
It turns out that the Netflix original comedy "Grace and Frankie" was the show we needed in our lives, even if we didn't know it yet. The series, which premiered in 2015, stars Lily Tomlin as Frankie and Jane Fonda as her roommate and (eventual) BFF Grace, two women in their 70s who are thrust together when their husbands come out of the closet and confess their 20-year love affair with one another. This surprise hit was such a success, it's been nominated for an impressive 36 awards. Season 6 is slated to premiere in 2020.
One of our favorite shows from the early aughts, "Girlfriends," followed four very different black women who faced life's trials and tribulations together. The women went through breakups, marriages, career changes, friendship fallouts and everything in between — all with a sense of humor. The TV series, which helped launch Tracee Ellis Ross's acting career, was the longest running live-action sitcom on UPN. The show ended in 2008 but there have been rumors of a possible movie for a few years now. Here's hoping!
"The Golden Girls"
Paving the way for "Grace and Frankie" was the 1985 comedy series "The Golden Girls" starring Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty. The show, about four senior women roommates (and all their hilarious antics) won four Golden Globes before it went off the air after seven seasons in 1992.
Issa Rae's web series "Awkward Girl" inspired her HBO comedy "Insecure" — an incredible show that makes us laugh while providing an authentic look at the struggles of being a black woman today. The show, starring Issa, Yvonne Orji and more, premiered in 2016 and is set to debut Season 4 in 2020.
If you haven't yet watched "Harlots," you need to — trust us, it's worth it. The Hulu original series (which suffered a bit of an eclipse when "The Handmaid's Tale" was released less than a month after its premiere), is a fascinating look at rival brothels in London during the 18th century. Starring Eloise Smyth, Jessica Brown Findlay and Samantha Morton (not pictured), the drama has all the sex, scandal and intrigue we want while also giving us a provocative glimpse of history. Thankfully, Hulu ordered a third season that debuts in July 2019.
What makes "Broad City" such an epic series? Its stars, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. The duo appear as fictional versions of themselves, women trying to figure out life, friendship and adulthood in New York City. Since premiering in 2014, the comedy — which earned two Critics' Choice nominations — has covered a wide range of subjects including everything from the presidential election to where a woman can hide her marijuana (spoiler alert: not in her pocket).
"Full House" might have been led by three men, but its spin-off, "Fuller House," focuses on the women. The Netflix series centers around D.J. Tanner-Fuller, a vet and widowed mother of three whose sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy — along with her teenage daughter — live together at the Tanners' childhood home. Andrea Barber, Candace Cameron Bure and Jodie Sweetin all reprise their original "Full House" roles in this fun family series. "Fuller House" was renewed for a fifth and final season in January 2019.
Hilarity has a name and it's "Mom." The comedy series starring Anna Faris, Allison Janney and Emily Osment is a fresh take on what it means to rebuild your life as an addict, a mother and a woman. The show first aired in 2013 and, thankfully, CBS renewed it for a seventh and eighth season in February 2019.
Long before our collective fascination with reality TV housewives began, ABC introduced us to the dramatic underbelly of suburban motherhood with "Desperate Housewives." Starring Nicollette Sheridan, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria and Teri Hatcher, the Golden Globe-winning mystery-drama series kicked off in 2004 and ran for eight epic years before signing off in 2012.
"The Real Housewives" franchise
Two years after "Desperate Housewives" first aired on ABC, Bravo debuted the first season of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and gave us an entirely new look at what it means to be a matron of the manor. The show was such an immense hit (because we love nothing more than watching rich women throw shade) that it spawned multiple offshoots set in New York City, Beverly Hills, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Miami, Dallas, Potomac and (our very favorite, pictured here) Atlanta. While the franchise isn't doing a lot to improve the perception of women, it is giving us all chance to peep into the ivory towers of some of America's wealthiest and most dramatic families.
Love them or hate them, the ladies from "Girls" captivated audiences when they first appeared on the small screen in 2012. Created by and starring Lena Dunham as well as Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams and Zosia Mamet, the series took a fresh look at being 20-something in New York City as it uncovered some of the weirdest nuggets about sex, romance, friendships and individuality. The show, which won two Golden Globes, ended in 2017.
Although single motherhood is no joke (especially while raising three daughters), the FX original series "Better Things," which is about a divorcée mom raising her kids while working in Hollywood, manages to make us laugh — a lot. Starring Pamela Adlon as the mother in question, this Golden Globe-nominated series paints a perfectly real (and not-so-pretty) picture of parenthood that every mother can relate to. Season 4 of this comedy is set to premiere in 2020.
Technically speaking, the BBC America drama "Orphan Black" doesn't have a majority female cast, but the star, Tatiana Maslany, did play a jaw-dropping 10 different female characters (and one trans man) on the show, giving us plenty of reasons to include it on our list. From Helena to Katja and all the clones in between, this sci-fi thrill ride always kept us on the edge of our seats. The series came to an end in 2017 and managed to snag an epic 66 awards, including one Golden Globe.
The good-versus-evil series "Charmed" put the power of the universe in three Wiccan sisters tasked with saving the world. Starring Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan (who replaced Shannen Doherty in 2001) and Holly Marie Combs (not pictured), the fantasy-action show made us all wish we had a little white witch power of our own.
Stop what you're doing right now and watch the Netflix original series "GLOW" starring Alison Brie and a dynamic cast of women who will make you laugh, cry and then laugh some more. The series is a fictionalized retelling of the 1986 series "GLOW: The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling" and has already racked up a Golden Globe nomination and several Emmy noms since its debut in 2017. Season 3 is set to air in August 2019.
The Showtime original comedy series "SMILF" (Single Mom I'd Like to F—) was one of our obsessions. The show was created by and starred Frankie Shaw as Bridgette Bird, a tough-as-nails single mom of a toddler living in South Boston who's trying to make sense of her crazy life (and equally bizarre ex) while exploring possibilities for new love. Season 2 of the hilarious series aired in 2018. The show was canceled in 2019 after allegations of on-set misconduct surfaced.
Years before "Sex and the City" popularized the storyline of four single female friends in New York City, "Living Single" was doing it first. Starring Queen Latifah, Kim Fields (a recent "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star!), Kim Coles and Erika Alexander (not pictured), the Emmy-nominated series ran from 1993 to 1998 and gave a much needed black perspective to friendships, dating and living life as an empowered single woman.
"American Horror Story: Coven"
Season 3 of "American Horror Story" kicked off with a bang in 2013 with "Coven" featuring a female-centric cast including Jessica Lange, Emma Roberts, Jamie Brewer, Taissa Farmiga and Gabourey Sidibe as a clan of witches in New Orleans fighting against the evil powers that seek to destroy them. The season garnered numerous nominations, including four Primetime Emmy nods.
"The Facts of Life"
In 1979, "The Facts of Life" starring Lisa Whelchel, Charlotte Rae, Nancy McKeon, Mindy Cohn and Kim Fields (the only actress to appear three times on our list!) aired for the first time and quickly won our hearts. The comedy series followed a group of teen girls in boarding school as they navigated all the challenges of growing up with the help of their loving, wise and hilarious house mother, Edna. The show ran for 11 years (and even starred a young George Clooney from 1985 to 1987) before finally going off the air in 1988.
The 1980s comedy "227" was all about friendship (and friendly neighborhood gossip). Starring Jackée Harry, Marla Gibbs, Helen Martin, Alaina Reed Hall, Regina King and more, the women of apartment building 227 were always causing trouble with each other but managed to settle their differences on their shared front stoop. The Golden Globe-nominated series ran from 1985 to 1990. Fun fact: Regina is one of the few cast members of "227" who still has a lively acting career today. The Emmy-winning actress can be seen in 2019 on the HBO original series "Watchmen."
"Sharp Objects" showed just how powerful — and sometimes evil — women can be. The HBO limited series followed Camille Preaker, an emotionally troubled reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. The mayhem and twists and turns that follow will leave you on the edge of your seat. Patricia Clarkson won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her performance and Amy Adams received a Golden Globe nod for her work as Camille.
Because we love nothing more than a family reunion, ABC brought us a televised version of "The Parent Trap" with its sweet family comedy series "Sister, Sister" starring identical twins Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry as two sisters who find each other after being separated and adopted at birth. The Emmy-winning show ran from 1994 to 1999 and also happened to star Jackée Harry (from "227") as Tia's adoptive mom, Lisa.
"The Bold Type"
Meghann Fahy, Katie Stevens and Aisha Dee star in the scintillating drama "The Bold Type," which was inspired by the life of Hearst Magazines CEO Joanna Coles. The series, which first aired on Freeform in 2017, features a group of strong female friends who work together at a world-famous women's magazine while dealing with romantic, interpersonal and professional dramas. Network execs renewed the show for a fourth season in May 2019.
"Pretty Little Liars"
Were you as smitten with the ABC family drama "Pretty Little Liars" as we were? The mystery of four teenage girls (played by Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario and Ashley Benson) who were taunted and threatened by a stranger (think "I Know What You Did Last Summer") while trying to uncover what happened to their missing friend kept us in delicious suspense for seven long years before it went off the air in 2017. Thankfully, reruns are a thing and we'll be watching this series on replay for years to come.