I'm currently undergoing something similar when it comes to television and movies. Even in the 21st century, have you noticed how much of our entertainment culture still centers on the common theme of a male hero with his female sidekick and/or love interest? Certainly there are exceptions, but the default lives on.
A few months ago I gave up subscribing to television and am now dependent on Netflix for home entertainment. In my search for interesting things to watch, I've run across some gems that break the mold. I thought I'd share a few of them with you.
At the top of my list would be the BBC series Prime Suspect staring the amazing Helen Mirren. The cops in this series tackle some difficult social issues - which makes it worth watching. But Mirren's character is strong, smart, and perhaps even more importantly - a flawed human.
Speaking of flawed human beings - along comes Glenn Close in the series Damages. This one is so well-written and acted, you wind up rooting for Close's character - even though she is cast as "the evil one."
Set in post-WWII England, the BBC series Bletchley Circle finds four women who secretly worked as code-breakers during the war setting out to use their skills to track down a serial killer.
The characters is the BBC series Call the Midwife are a bit softer than the ones I've mentioned up until now. But given the fact that they are tending to the needs of (mostly) women in the East End of London during the 1950's, the stories are pretty gritty and real.
I'm not normally into sci-fi, but I love the CBC series Continuum partly because the main character played by Rachel Nichols is a bad-ass cop from 2077 with very human emotions and limitations. But its also fascinating because the time travel back to 2012 provides all kinds of interesting morality questions about the choices we're making today.
At first, the storyline of Last Tango in Halifax is just sweet. Its about two 80 year-olds who were sweethearts as children and find each other again after their grandchildren get them signed up on Facebook. But the acting and plot gets much deeper as it also tells the story of their two adult daughters.
Sarah Lancashire (who is becoming one of my favorite actresses) plays a cop in the BBC series Happy Valley. She's also a 50-something divorcee who is raising her grandson after her daughter committed suicide.
The Assets tells the story of Soviet spy Aldrich Ames from the point of view of the two female CIA officers who were primarily responsible for tracking down the mole in their midst.
All of the above are series that are available for streaming on Netflix. I could do a whole other list of movies and series that you can watch on DVD. But for now I'll suffice it to say that - on the latter - I've watched one season of Borgen so far and it is fantastic. And I'll just mention one AMAZING movie you can stream.
Cloudburst is the story of two 80 year-old lesbians. Olympia Dukakis' performance as a totally butched-out dyke will blow your mind! You'll laugh and you'll cry as she fights to save her partner from confinement to a nursing home. Oh, and the scenery in Maine and Nova Scotia is spectacular.
That's some of the best in women's tales that I've been watching. I'm always looking for more, so please tell me whatchu got :-)