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Four female-led TV shows that are good for a laugh


STREAMING: While there’s no word on when the fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale will land, streaming services have dropped a number of much more uplifting female-centric shows that will make you want say: “Praise be!”

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Six-part series Shrill – an adaptation of The New York Times columnist Lindy West’s memoir Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman – created a stir when it aired in the US earlier this year for its unapologetic use of the word “fat” and its treatment of abortion.

The pilot episode sets up the series, introducing audiences to the reality of the life of heroine Annie (played by Aidy Bryant, also the series creator), who is accosted by a personal trainer who claims: “There is a small person inside of you dying to get out.”

While Annie manages to laugh off the comment, throughout the course of the season she begins to celebrate her body and realise that she’s not the one who needs to change.

The half-hour-long episodes, available on SBS On Demand, are filled with moments of empowerment as Annie grows more assertive, embracing difficult conversations with her pseudo boyfriend, parents and hipster editor (John Cameron Mitchell), who calls her a “millennial dumpling”. It’s heartening to watch Annie find her voice, but also frustrating when she slips into selfish behaviour.

There are moments when Shrill feels like it might become clichéd, but the dry, self-aware humour and clever acting makes it well worth a watch.

Workin’ Moms

Netflix sitcom Workin’ Moms is a raw depiction of motherhood. Directed by Canadian actress Catherine Reitman, who also stars as protagonist Kate, it sees a group of women try to juggle their careers and personal lives as new mums.

In the third and most recent series, now streaming, Kate leans on her fellow mothers as she tries to be a good single parent, daughter and career woman while getting her new business off the ground.

Based on Reitman’s own experiences as a new mother, it’s the kind of gritty comedy that’s ideal for binge-watching.

Sarah’s Channel

One of ABC’s original web series’, Sarah’s Channel follows social media influencer and brand ambassador Sarah as she offers beauty tips on a post-apocalyptic earth.

Sydney-born comedian Claudia O’Doherty plays Sarah, a vlogger who’s just trying to keep her followers subscribing despite constant interruptions from the creatures who inhabit the world in which she’s living.

There are only six episodes, each running at less than five minutes, but in every instalment we learn a little more about this fictional world.

O’Doherty (who has appeared in Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and the Judd Apatow series Love) makes Sarah’s Channel very watchable, bringing her light-hearted energy and infectious grin to this quirky, clever take on life as an influencer. 

They Ready

According to Vulture, when comedian Tiffany Haddish began her career she was living out of her car until actor and producer Kevin Hart gave her a loan and she was able to get an apartment. Now Haddish is trying to provide opportunities for other comedians struggling to break into the mainstream. Hence the title: They Ready.

Streaming on Netflix, the six episodes feature Chaunte Wayans, April Macie, Tracey Ashley, Aida Rodriguez, Flame Monroe and Marlo Williams. Each performs their own mini stand-up special, covering material about identity, marriage and childhood.

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