Here is a list of some of the best female-led comedy shows that you all should be paying attention to!
Most of the top-rated comedies currently have male-dominated casts or leads and even though the gap between women and men holding protagonist character roles in Hollywood is getting smaller and smaller, there are so many underappreciated comedies with women leads.
Fleabag is a two-season British tragicomedy, focusing on an unnamed main character, presumed “Fleabag,” that travels through life and love with her wits after grieving a recent catastrophe. Most episodes are humorous singularly of one another, although background context from previous storylines is occasionally needed. Phoebe Waller-Bridge who created the series took inspiration from her previous one-woman sketch show and uses fourth wall breaks and commentary to the audience to keep the distance between the viewer and the supporting characters.
It is a very interesting series and undeniably funny, having won many awards, so if you care to check it out you can find it on Amazon Prime Video!
PEN15 is another two-season wonder and might be one of the few live-action TV shows comparable to Big Mouth’s “adults playing children” tropes. The series has two women as leads playing versions of their middle school selves, surrounded by actual children of that age group acting in it as well. Despite its short run, the show had a very high approval rating and lived up to its genre as a cringe comedy. It didn’t win any major awards, but as a more underground comedy with lesser-known actors/writers, it was still an outstanding performance and quite entertaining.
If you’re interested in another short and binge-able comedy, then you can find this to watch on Hulu!
I May Destroy You
I May Destroy You is a one-season British dramedy with Michaela Coel as the writer, creator, co-director, and star of the show. The main character, Arabella, is an avid social media user and novelist that becomes a Millennial icon, and the series revolves around her life after coming to realize that she’s been raped. When talking about such harsh subjects as sexual assault, it’s important to not use humor as points of making fun of it to minimize victims experiences, which is why this show does a good job at using its laughing points to cope and doesn’t intertwine the comedy when actually focusing on the assault. It was nominated for and won many various awards and its inspirations drew from Coel’s personal experience of being sexually assaulted while writing her sitcom, Chewing Gum.
You can find this daring and original trauma-dy on HBO Max or Hulu!
Dead to Me
Dead to Me is a dark comedy series about Jen, a widow to a hit-and-run victim that finds a friend at her grief support group that is lying about her trauma to the group and turns out to have had a larger impact on Jen than she would have imagined. The show is currently paused for production but has two seasons already released. It offers more ironic humor rather than something more giggle-inducing but doesn’t fail to deliver on winding and unexpected plot points. Liz Feldman created the show and had other renowned producers join the lineup like Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Although it hasn’t received any large-scale award wins, Christina Applegate has a lot to offer in her leading role.
Although awaiting its third and final season, the first two can still be seen on Netflix and should be watched ASAP!
Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens
Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens is a continuous comedy series where actress/rapper Awkwafina plays a fictional version of herself living in Queens in her 20s and finding herself. It’s been an overall well-received absurdist comedy, but this is not one of Awkwafina’s first comedic roles. She’s starred in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, The Farewell, and Crazy Rich Asians. The second season of the series had its finale back in October and there hasn’t been word of a third season yet, but the series has also not been canceled so there’s still hope for more to come from this production.
You can watch it for free on Comedy Central, but it is also available on Hulu or HBO Max to fit your streaming preferences!
Girls is a six-season closed series revolving around four women in New York City. Writer, Hannah, gets financially cut off from her parents after being out of school for two years and is left to fend for herself. There has been criticism for the depiction of sensitive subjects, but Lena Dunham, the creator, and star is known for being outspoken on feminist issues and doesn’t shy away from those topics. The show received a Golden Globe in 2013 for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in addition to many other nominations.
It can be found on multiple streaming platforms for viewing such as HBO Max and Hulu!
Insecure has been running now for five seasons and is a dramedy based on one of the creators’, Issa Rae’s, previous web series Awkward Black Girl. The show itself is meant to be a visualization of the experience of Black women, focusing on two best friend female protagonists, Issa and Molly. The two have been close since college and they live in Los Angeles while going through their careers, balancing relationships, and understanding themselves within their communities. The show was Rae’s breakout on actual television and her show, co-created with Larry Wilmore, has been very liked and received many high-level award nominations.
It is available to watch on HBO Max!
Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age comedy centering around a first-generation Indian American teenage girl, Devi, that has recently come out of paralyzation from the psychological trauma she suffered after her father’s sudden death. Devi is all about status and trying to change her image, so she defies her mother and friends, and breaks South Asian stereotypes that are often portrayed in the media. The two-season series was created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, with most of the premise being loosely based on Kaling’s environment growing up. It continues to be one of few shows with desi characters especially as leads, so it has been very helpful for integrating more diverse television characters for the future having seen its popularity.
It is only available on Netflix for streaming, so if you’re ready to binge a cute teen dramedy, you should go check it out!
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a period comedy that is actually about comedy. Midge is a housewife in 1950s New York City who had recently found out about her husband’s infidelity to his assistant. After coping while intoxicated, she ends up doing some impromptu stand-up comedy at a night cafe and realizes she has a knack for the funny stuff. The show has been successfully humorous and blends history into the plotline very well, especially having Midge continuously run into a famous comic of the time, Lenny Bruce. Along with receiving many critical awards, the series has also been a contributor to the actors and actresses of the show having their own wins as well. The series is ongoing and they have produced a teaser trailer for the fourth season and are planning on releasing it sometime in the near future.
Currently, you can watch it on Amazon Prime Video and we highly recommend that you go and find it!