Nine years ago, the pilot episode of the famous series “Girls” was released – a subtle and accurate portrait of the generation of twenty-year-old girls with their neuroses, problems, and ambitions. “Girls,” invented by Lina Dunham, showed high ratings for six seasons. Esquireadvises what other series with a bright female composition is definitely worth watching.
The film adaptation of the play of the same name by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (she is also the producer of the series and the performer of the main role) lasts a total of six hours. That is, the series can be devoted to two evenings (or sit tightly for it on the weekend) – and never regret it. In the center of the story is Fleabag, an unnamed girl with a dirty nickname who gets into ridiculous situations in the best traditions of sitcoms, mainly related to her personal life. Today’s events are intertwined with episodes from the past in the same way as comedy is intertwined with drama here – in the course of the play, the viewer learns about the tragic turn in the life of the heroine, brought out into an almost independent detective line. It is an example of a comedy of a new generation, ironic over the genre (the main character regularly breaks the fourth wall and pronounces remarks directly into the camera lens), a modern view of relationships and religion. Waller-Bridge’s character may seem incredibly cynical, sex-obsessed, greedy, and immoral. But on closer examination, it turns out to be a female collective image and not a merger. If you’re still thinking about whether to include or not, another argument for Andrew Scott, known for his role as Moriarty in the BBC series Sherlock, is demonically beautiful in the cassock of a vicious Catholic priest.
Orange is the New Black (2013)
Seven excellent seasons of a dramedy about women behind bars: broken destinies, attempts to establish a socially acceptable life and romantic lines that evoke in the viewer’s memory a meme about the “funeral of heterosexuality.” Blonde Piper Chapman lives the impeccable life of a privileged middle-class woman, but suddenly her long-standing involvement in the drug trade is revealed – and the girl goes to prison. Chewy and unfit, she finds herself in an unfamiliar world with incomprehensible values and people. Piper has a hard time with the crazy cellmate, dirty gossip, burning Nikki Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) and Alex Vose (Laura Prepon), aggressive authorities, and a transgender hairdresser. It is unlikely that she will return to the freedom of the former: from season to season, the series confirms that penitentiary institutions are not so much re-educated as they break, delay, and do not allow the prisoner to become a full-fledged member of society after release. At the same time, the romantic, hilarious, and unfortunate story falls in love with the viewer in all the characters at once and leaves with a broken heart for the finale. The series is based on the autobiography of writer Piper Kerman, who spent 13 months in a correctional facility for money laundering.
Another dramedy, this time Russian and outstanding – film critics called “Chick” one of the best series of 2020. “Chiki,” directed by Eduard Oganesyan, really became a breakthrough – no one had ever shot so frankly, scathingly, and realistically about the life of women in the Russian south. The main characters – Sveta (Irina Nosova), Lyuda (Varvara Shmykova), and Marina (Alena Mikhailova) – prostitutes on the track, settled in a small Kuban town and hardly thinking about the future. A peaceful life with vobla and beer by the lake breaks their old friend Zhanna (Irina Gorbacheva), who once moved to Moscow: she plans to do business in her small homeland. Inspired by a common cause, the girls face an inexorable reality, but neither the Cossack squad, the scammers, nor even internal quarrels stop the chick. Irina Gorbacheva, Varvara Shmykova, brilliant eleven-year-old Daniil Kuznets, and even Anton Lapenko – the series is worth watching, at least for the sake of an exemplary cast. “Chiki” is a rare case of an original product that does not try to repeat the popularity of Western hits but offers a new look at the surrounding reality – ironic and sad at the same time. The drama’s toggle switch is twisted to the maximum by the end – a comedy about the misadventures of provincials turns into a powerful statement about the position of women in a conservative society.
The Great (2020)
Mockery of noble life and parodies of the way of royal life secretly formed a separate genre (thanks to Yorgos Lanthimos and his “The Favourite”). “Great” has waited with special trepidation, at least because not every pseudo-historical film the creators dare to easily tell about the adultery of Catherine II with a horse. But the ruddy Elle Fanning, who played the all-Russian Empress, manages to playfully. The set of clichés about tsarist Russia in the Hulu series is so terrible that it is even good: vodka, bears, and sybaritism are everywhere. “Great” in any case does not claim historical authenticity. On the contrary – the creators casually scatter well-known myths, change real characters (for example, instead of Count Orlov, the favorite of the Empress, There is An orlo), and ridicule customs. Above this satirical whirlwind rises a foreigner Catherine – perhaps the most unfunny and at the same time the charming character of the story, although from time to time her boundless love for Russia seems to be another scripted tool for ridiculing the royal way of life. It is noteworthy that on Russian services, the rating of the series is much lower than on foreign ones: “Great” touched the feelings of believers in tsarist Russia.
Broad City (2014)
The sitcom, invented by friends Abby Jacobson and Ilani Glaser, actually tells about their relationship. First, it’s terribly funny. And it’s not just that Abby and Ilana smoke marijuana all the time. They bring simple joys and problems to the point of absurdity: watch at least the series about sex toys and pegging, remember the punch about the infantility of millennials: “Married? I’m 27. It’s like a child marriage!”
Secondly, the series manages to cover the feminist agenda quite widely while avoiding tragedy and moralizing – the show fascinates with intimacy, humor, and charisma of the main characters, who do not look like anyone and at the same time are a little like each of us. There is no drama. There is no desire to work out the current agenda – thanks to honesty and simplicity, the project from a web series turned into a show with a million audience. After all, “The Life of a Nesting Doll” writer and actress Amy Poehler won’t patronize anyone, and she participates in Broad City both as a producer and as a guest star.
Sequins, bright makeup, and muscles – no, this is not a new season of the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, but a large-scale series about women in the world of wrestling. The series reproduces the true story of the show GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, literally: “Luxurious Ladies of Wrestling”) and seems to be something between a sitcom and a theatrical farce. In the Netflix series, the main role is given to Alison Bree – her character Ruth fails after failure in the acting field but finds herself in the ring. In addition to the brilliant costumes in every sense of the brilliant costumes, the entourage of the 1980s in the series is conveyed verbatim: from the heroines’ experiences about the Cold War to the discussion of the deplorable situation of women even in such a seemingly extra gender community.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus did not spare “Glitter”: due to the pandemic, the series was closed after the third season – contact sports had no place in the new realities.