In Hollywood female filmmakers and showrunners are glaringly underrepresented, particularly those of color. This is problematic given the incredible contributions women have made to the big and small screens over the years. So why aren't they being celebrated? That's the million dollar question and precisely the reason this blog exists. I figured why wait for others to celebrate us, when we can do it ourselves!
Not only do some of my current and former favorite TV shows feature strong female leads, they are also from the blood, sweat, and tears of female writers, producers, show runners and directors. Without further adieu on this #WCW, here's 9 amazing shows created by some of Hollywood's most finest in no particular order.
1. Greys Anatomy
Shondaland's first masterpiece made it's debut in 2005 and has been going strong ever since. The medical drama starring Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey was created by all-around badass (and my personal hero!) Shonda Rhimes. Featuring some of the most dramatic scenes and moments in television history (Derek's death, Shonda? Really?), Shonda's work can only be described as iconic.
I never knew politics were so scandalous, until Scandal debuted in 2012. Okay, maybe I did, but Shonda takes this sh*t to a whole other level. The show takes place in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope's (Kerry Washington) crisis management firm, as well as the surrounding political scene. It's also partially based on former George H.W. Bush administration press aide Judy Smith.
3. Living Single
Not only does this classic show have the *best* theme song ever (admit it; you just sung it in your head!), it was also created by the uber talented Yvette Lee Bowser. In 1999, Bowser had an incredible breakthrough: she became the first African-American woman to develop her own primetime series starring Queen Latifah as one of a group of female friends making their way in New York.
4. Gilmore Girls
Let me preface this by saying I'm #TeamJess. Always and forever. That's never going to change. Rory choose him, even though you don't exactly deserve him. Since that's settled back to the women! Amy Sherman-Palladino's much-loved mother-daughter drama never failed to pull on our heartstrings or have us wishing we could as much takeout as these two. Fans, like myself, loved the show so much, that Netflix revived the series last year and managed to rip our hearts out all over again.
Going into it's fourth season (!), this crime drama is the perfect mix of suspense, lust and drama, and is the brainchild of magazine journalist turned TV writer/producer Courtney A. Kemp. Her idea for what would become Power (aka, the first series she ever sold and pitched) came about when she met rapper 50 Cent and executive producer Mark Canton at a coffeehouse in Los Angeles. where she thought up the concept about a guy who becomes destined to leave his life as a drug dealer behind him to become a successful club owner and businessman. Thank God for this conversation, because without it what would we watch on Sunday nights?
Even though it's only been on one season, (with the second coming July 23!) Insecure is already an instant classic! Following the quirky, adventures of a twenty-something black woman living in Los Angeles, it's the creation of everyone's favorite homegirl Issa Rae. Touching on traditional themes of love and friendship, along with more modern ones of racial and social issues, this show has a way making us laugh and leaving us shocked in just 30 minutes. And I love the friendship between Issa and her girls, especially Molly.
7. Pretty Little Liars
Based on the book series by Sara Shepard, this teen suspense drama was adapted for TV by I. Marlene King and follows four young women (Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, and Shay Mitchell) as they seek to uncover the truth about their murdered friend. It's so good that I'm actually glad it's final season is premiering this month, so I can finally have my life back and stop going crazy trying to figure out who A is.
For women of color this show was groundbreaking! Four educated black women who did yoga, lived in nice areas of Los Angeles, had good careers, and the ladies were as thick as thieves? Yes, please! At the time this was super rare to see on television, which probably contributed to the success of the show. Many black women saw some version of themselves in Joan, Mya, Lynn and Toni. For this we have writer and producer Mara Brock Akil to thank, and we're forever grateful. (Also: She also created my other fave show, Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union.)
9. Shots Fired
New to the scene, but already something amazing, this drama follows the events that transpire after a racially charged shooting in a fictional town in North Carolina. And it's sooo GOOD. Although, I didn't expect anything less from Gina Prince-Bythewood, the iconic writer and director who also brought us two romantic classics: Love & Basketball and Beyond the Lights.
What's your favorite show created by a woman? Let's celebrate our ladies!
Let me know in the comments!