Self-quarantined? Avoiding movie theaters and social gatherings? Or just need something new to watch?
Whatever your reason or mood, it’s a great time to catch up on art starring, directed, written or produced by women.
If you’re overwhelmed by the choices, we have a list for you.
TV shows that are worth the buzz
“Fleabag” (Amazon Prime)
It’s so good, if you haven’t seen it yet, we’re jealous you get to see it for the first time. Season 1 may not click with everyone, but you don’t need to see it to get to Season 2, which is the pinnacle of artists working at their peak. Everyone from creator, writer and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge to Hot Priest Andrew Scott, sister Sian Clifford and stepmom Olivia Colman are mind-blowing. No one has been exaggerating when they call this brilliant.
“Grace and Frankie” (Netflix)
Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda are mismatched roommates who become friends after their husbands leave them for each other. It doesn’t really matter where you’re coming from, there’s something in this show for everyone. None of the archetypes fall into caricature and there’s plenty of sex, real estate porn and laughter. Come for Tomlin’s necklaces, stay for Fonda’s perfectly executed asides. Day drinking never looked so good.
“The Good Fight” (CBS All Access)
Christine Baranski redefines power suits and statement necklaces. Cush Jumbo’s facial expressions are pure joy and Sarah Steele steals every scene she’s in. Created by Michelle King, and her husband Robert King, and Phil Alden Robinson — “The Good Wife” spinoff feels like a fresh take on the weekly legal procedural. Season 4 premieres April 9.
“Briarpatch” (USA Networks)
Rosario Dawson plays a political aide who returns to her hometown on the Texas border to search for the person who killed her sister — a detective — and gets sucked into a larger investigation.
“Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu)
Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon star in this adaptation of Celeste Ng’s novel, set to premiere March 18.
“The Bold Type” (Freeform/Hulu)
Behind the scenes at women’s magazine “Scarlet.” It’s the best version of this genre.
Movies not to miss
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”(Netflix)
Starring Lana Condor, directed by Susan Johnson and written by Sofia Alvarez, this charming teen romance based on Jenny Han’s novel shows what can go wrong (and right) when you write love letters that are never meant to be seen. The 2018 release was a hit, and the sequel, “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You,” dropped on Valentine’s Day.
“Brittany Runs a Marathon” (Amazon Prime)
Jillian Bell plays a woman who’s avoiding her demons and somehow decides to run the New York City Marathon. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you said exactly what you were feeling to the people closest to you, see it here. Michaela Watkins and Utkarsh Ambudkar are wonderful.
“Hustlers” (Amazon Prime)
Starring Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez, directed by Lorene Scafaria, and based on Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine story, “The Hustlers at Scores: The Ex-Strippers Who Stole From (Mostly) Rich Men and Gave to, Well, Themselves,” this is the film that put thongs and poles into the heist genre. The movie also stars Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo and Cardi B.
“Sense and Sensibility” (Showtime)
The 1995 version, written by and starring Emma Thompson, is the standard-bearer for a reason.
“Bridesmaids” (HBO, HBO Go)
It’s almost wedding season. Brace your stomachs.
You can’t travel now, but you can watch these foreign-language films
The utterly beguiling story of a fashion house set in a Madrid department store in the late 1950s. There’s a central upstairs-downstairs love affair, desperate escapades for money, beautiful clothes and gorgeous sets. But the center of this feel-good drama is the friendships between the women who work in the store (and the men who love them). There’s a Barcelona-based spinoff called “Velvet Colección (Velvet Collection)” and the finale to close out both series just dropped. It also addresses homosexuality in the Franco era.
“Chicas de Cables (Cable Girls)” (Netflix)
Another drama focused on the friendship between four women — this time phone operators in 1920s Spain. There are romances that cross class and gender lines, drug traffic and politics about workers’ rights.
“Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent)” (Netflix)
This look at a French talent agency features superb acting and writing about the center of Hollywood. The humor hits across the ladder of comedy and the acting is sublime. The facial expressions narrate so well that subtitles aren’t always necessary.
“Plan Coeur (The Hook Up Plan)” (Netflix)
Elsa, a Parisian bureaucrat, wallows in being “that girl” after breaking up with a co-worker. Her girlfriends hire a prostitute to help her out of her funk. Real feelings follow.
“Made in Heaven” (Amazon Prime)
A procedural set against the gorgeous spectacle of Indian weddings with a nuptial-per-week. The title comes from the name of the wedding planning agency, run by two entrepreneurs with hidden pasts. This is not your parents’ Bollywood.
“Secret Sunshine” (Amazon Prime /Google Play/YouTube/iTunes rental)
Jeon Do-yeon stars in this Korean drama about the depths of a woman’s grief in the face of tragedy and uncontrollable circumstances.
“In the Mood for Love” (The Criterion Channel)
Wong Kar-wai’s gorgeous masterpiece about two Hong Kong neighbors who suspect their spouses are cheating with each other was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes and garnered Tony Leung a win. Current filming on its spiritual sequel, “Blossoms,” is reportedly stalled due to the coronavirus.
The comedy specials we need right now
Tiffany Haddish’s “Black Mitzvah” (Netflix)
Say no more. When you’re done with that, check out “Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready” (Netflix) a showcase of six stand-ups Haddish is throwing her weight behind to pay it forward.
Wanda Sykes’s “Not Normal” (Netflix)
The comedian takes on politics, race and her family.
Ali Wong’s “Hard Knock Wife” (Netflix)
If you loved “Baby Cobra,” we expect you’ll love this.
Leslie Jones’s “Time Machine” (Netflix)
If you missed her on “Saturday Night Live,” or her “Game of Thrones” recaps on Twitter, you can sit down for 66 minutes of Jones talking about being 52, directed by the GOT showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Amy Schumer’s “Live at the Apollo” (HBO Go)
2015 seems like a long time ago. That doesn’t mean it’s not nice to visit.
“Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” (Amazon Prime)
It’s 1929 in Australia and Phryne Fisher is a lady with a title, a haunting past and fabulous flapper clothes. She’s sworn off marriage, takes lovers of other races, talks freely about birth control, races cars, flies her own plane and never met a murder she didn’t like. The series was so popular it launched a spinoff, “Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries,” and the upcoming film, “Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears” crowdfunded $250,000 in 48 hours.
“Gilmore Girls” (Netflix)
A trip to Stars Hollow makes everything better. It’s nice to know there’s always someone drinking more coffee and ingesting way more snacks than you.
“Parks and Recreation” (Amazon Prime, Netflix)
You may have to wait for a season to let it all click, but then you can watch a show about a dysfunctional government that is funny.
“Suits” (Amazon Prime)
The USA legal drama that will be preserved heretofore in British history books. Meghan Markle probably still gets a cut of the royalties, so watching is kind of an act of resistance to the British tabloids.
“Three Days of the Condor” (Amazon Prime)
Faye Dunaway says things to Robert Redford’s CIA researcher you could only dream of saying, while living in the Brooklyn Heights apartment you did not know you wanted. Redford’s love interest is Asian actress Tina Chen — in 1975! RIP Max von Sydow.
“The Thomas Crown Affair” (Amazon Prime)
Sometimes we just want to see beautiful people in beautiful clothes lead aspirational lives. Watch the original with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway to catch groovy 1968 glam. Then watch the 1999 remake (HBO/HBO GO) with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo to watch two impossibly gorgeous 45-year olds be steamy. It’s comforting to know even the uber wealthy get bored.
“The Sound of Music” (Disney Plus)
Julie Andrews seduces as a singing nun, and Christopher Plummer rips a Nazi flag. It never gets old.