Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer filming in an NYC subway for Broad City.

Art

12.6.2016

2K16 Female TV Protagonists Who Have Something to Say

Newsflash: starring in Comedy Central’s latest hit, or launching a successful show via YouTube, and being woke as hell don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Slapstick humor with a hint of feminism? No problem. Dirty jokes paired with solid commentary on the female gaze? Done and done. Take a note from each of these four shows, and their respective players: they’re stepping out from under the umbrella of generic television and making a statement that’s in some ways untrue to form—in the best way possible.

Bottom line: they’ve got the world’s—or at least, this generation’s—attention, so tune in.

Insecurenew york magazineIssa Rae brings the dreams, fears, and yes—insecurities— of every woman in her late twenties to life as HBO’s new comedy darling in Insecure. The mask of false TV reality is shed, and she’s nothing if not painfully real—a refreshing substitute for the typically glossed over female leads that are most often present in television and film. No stone is left unturned, and she, along with partner in crime Molly, covers it all (via dry quips and honest rants, no less): shoe choice problems, boyfriend shit, and work drama included. Something tells us this actress (and her character) is just getting started.

Broad Citybroad cityIlana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson dropped into the mainstream comedy sphere quite suddenly after none other than Amy Poehler gave their Web series a home at Comedy Central. Flash forward two years later, and the pair hasn’t put down the mic—if anything, their lines laced with political and social commentary have only gotten louder and more clear-cut with time. With Broad City, it’s all about the delivery—how can the duo put what’s most important into a context that sticks? If you ask us, they’re doing a pretty damn good job so far.

Sweet/Vicioussweet:viciousJules and Ophelia are two girls that never quite fit in, and stopped trying to. Sound familiar? The best part of this show, though, is their alternate version of cool: instead of trying to climb the social ladder, these two move to take back justice on their college campus by fighting abuse…as superheroes. Yep—we’re talking full on heroines, decked out in all black, fighting against the male patriarchy one villain at a time. If that’s not a statement grounded in fourth-wave feminism, we’re not sure what is.

Girlsthe independentGirls is about to wrap up its reign over HBO with its final season starting this February. Cue the tears. But seriously, many a millennial woman (and man) have grown up (read: survived post-college meltdowns) with Hannah Horvath and her four Brooklyn babes, and it’ll be tough to find a worthy replacement. They taught us all the basics—let’s just say, it was feminism 101–and we’ll be eagerly waiting to see what Lena Dunham does next.

Images via HBO, Comedy Central, and MTV

Stay tuned to Milk for more from the front lines of feminism. 

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