Here are eight series with women protagonists and characters that are worth a watch on Netflix.

  1. Trial By Fire (2023) – Created by Kevin Luperchio and Prashant Nair, ‘Trial by Fire’ tells the tragic tale of the 1997 Uphaar cinema blaze in India that claimed out 59 lives. Rajshri Deshpande delivers a powerful performance as Neelam Krishnamoorthy, a grieving mother determined to uncover the truth behind her children’s deaths and bring the culprits to justice.
  2. The Empress (2022) – Loosely based on the life of Duchess Elizabeth who was married to Franz Joseph I, the emperor of Austria, ‘The Empress’ is an entertaining slice of historical drama. Spread over six episodes, the show focuses on how the rebellious Elizabeth stirs up the royal court due to her refusal to become a puppet bride.
  3. Kleo (2022) – This retro German action series follows the antics of rogue assassin Kleo, who gets out of prison and goes on a murderous spree against who betrayed her, including some top Army guys. This is a quirky thriller with a lady lead who makes grown men shiver in fear. An unreal but entertaining piece that’s fantastically headlined by Jella Haase.
  4. The Law According to Lidia Poët (2023) – Starring Matilda De Angelis as Lidia Poët, Italy’s first female lawyer, this six-part series depicts her struggles against obnoxiously patriarchal men, loss of her license to practice law, and her determination to continue fighting cases. Undeterred by setbacks, she becomes an assistant to her older lawyer brother, Enrico Poët. Although the show takes many fictional liberties, it remains fascinating and engrossing.
  5. Wednesday (2022) – Okay, this is probably a ‘duh’ kind of recommendation, the fantasy-thriller starring Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams has been all over the internet and doesn’t need any more publicity. Regardless, it was one of my favorite shows in 2022 and in the rare chance that you haven’t seen it – check it out if have time to spare.
  6. The Haunting of Hill House (2018) – Based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ is a riveting psychological horror series which dwells into the lives of 5 siblings who struggle to come to terms with their mother’s mysterious death in a haunted mansion. Their father packs up all the kids and flees the house on the night of their mother’s demise. Watch this series for both the story and excellent performances by Kate Siegel, Victoria Pedretti and Elizabeth Reaser, who play the Crane sisters.
  7. Derry Girls (2018) – This is the only show on the list that I haven’t watched yet, but it has received rave reviews from my journalist girlfriends. A friend said, “I loved ‘Derry Girls’ because it feels authentic. The humor is spontaneous, and the casting is impeccable. The show manages to find a way to make light of a dark time in a believable manner, without minimizing the pain. Also, a part of me correlated with the coming of age stressors because the 1990s North Irish parental behavior is eerily reminiscent of typical Indian parents (zero mollycoddling when exams are around, forced religious behavior, emphasis on family, money management, etc)
  8. Maya and the Three – I obviously had to add an animated series on the list and ‘Maya and the Three’ is a fun one. Created by Jorge R Gutierrez, this 9-episode Netflix series is an epic tale of Mesoamerican princess Maya of the Tecas, who goes on a quest to find the greatest warriors in her land, to help her defeat the God of War. So it treads on high-fantasy realm, with Gods, demi-Gods, magic and high-voltage battles, all culminating into an Avengers’ style ‘end-game’ war.