The Best New Female-Led TV Shows You'll Be Glued To This Year

Does anyone else crave drama? Like, actually crave those 30-60 minute time slots spent unapologetically glued to a TV screen to intently consume a chaotic, almost too close to home story, just me? Okay, hear me out. There’s a time and place for unlikely romances, and lol-ing (in the audible sense) at programmes ambitiously labelled ‘comedy’ is depressingly rare. The best telly is dramatic telly in my mind. And I like mine fronted by the industry's powerhouse women, thanks. Phoebe Waller Bridge, Michaela Coel, Sandra Oh, come on down...
Fortunately, we’ve got plenty to choose from at the moment. We may have wrapped on the second series of The Handmaid’s Tale and yes, I’m still at a loss without Doctor Foster too, but there’s loads of top notch TV fodder to come in the latter half of 2018. Desperate for something to fill the gaping holes in your social calendar? Well, you have come to the right place, friend. Here you'll find what we’re looking forward to so far. Be sure to check back as we'll be updating the list as more shows are confirmed.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC America.

Killing Eve

We’ve been waiting for this one to hit UK screens for what seems like for-EVER. Fleabag star and writer Phoebe Waller Bridge went and created another smash series for our viewing pleasure and it's currently only available in the US. To bring you up to speed, Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer tracking down an assassin known as Villanelle played by Jodie Comer. It’s humorous and dark at the same time and it’s so good that a second season was commissioned before the first had even finished airing in America. We've all been impatient to watch the show on this side of the Atlantic, but you'll be happy to hear that Killing Eve will be on BBC One from Saturday 15th September.

The Widow

Welcome Kate Beckinsale back to the small screen. She’s starring in a brand spanking new series for ITV and Amazon Studios as Georgia Wells - a woman who’s made a go of starting a new life as, you guessed it, a widow, only to then spot her supposedly dead husband on the news. She later winds up in “the depths of the African Congo, where danger and revelation will greet her at every turn” while on a dramatic quest to find out WTF happened in her rather complicated past. It’s been written by the people behind The Missing so you can look forward to some crafty, gripping storytelling. We’re expecting it to land on our screens towards the end of the year.
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Photo courtesy of Channel 4

The Bisexual

There’s been a huge gap in British tv for a while. It only took a sneak peek at the first couple of episodes of The Bisexual to realise what we’ve been missing for far too long. Spawned from the brilliant mind of Desiree Akhavan (her film The Miseducation Of Cameron Post should be on your agenda, too) has delivered a six part comedy-drama for Channel 4. Desiree writes, directs and stars alongside Maxine Peake in the sincere and funny series on the “last taboo” – bisexuality. The air date isn’t until sometime in October but we’re confident it’s worth the wait.

Dr Who

The time is finally upon us. We’ve been given a female Dr Who and, after a long old wait, she’s about to land on our screens. Jodie Whittaker’s Dr Who hits BBC One on Sunday 7th October for a 10-episode run and we couldn’t be more ready for this new era of one of the UK’s most popular shows. Word on the web is that there’s a whole host of new challenges and storylines for our highly anticipated Time Lord.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO..

Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn’s debut novel, Sharp Objects, is great. Fact. Sure, you were probably made aware of Gone Girl before Sharp Objects but, don’t let that cloud your literary judgement. Great books by the same great author can stand together in critically acclaimed harmony, both to be celebrated and blessed with screen adaptations for us to get sucked into. Consider this your evidence.
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Despite it’s American origins it's available to watch in the UK. It requires a NOW TV subscription but, BUT, it’s worth it. Amy Adams stars as investigative journalist Camille Preaker who is adjusting to life (and a distressing murder case she’s working on) back in her hometown after spending time in a psychiatric facility. The series has just started so settle yourself in for an afternoon of catch up and then watch every Monday night at 9pm on the NOW TV livestream.

Vanity Fair

I've got news for you, kids. It's impossible to have too many period dramas. And the TV adaptations of classic novels keep a comin'. Just when you thought the powers that be had exhausted all options (Little Women, Love And Friendship to name a couple of recent favourites), ITV announced that Vanity Fair is in the works. If you're not already familiar with the William Makepeace Thackeray novel, it's about Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley, and their lives in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. Becky (played by rising star Olivia Cooke) has a storyline full of “villainy, crime, merriment, lovemaking, jilting, laughing, cheating, fighting and dancing.” Relatable, no? The series airs on Sunday nights from 2nd September.
Photo courtesy of BBC One

The Cry

Another psychological thriller. The Cry has been adapted from the Helen FitzGerald novel of the same name and (hopefully) will be hitting BBC One sometime soon. It’s a four-part drama that “explores the myths and truths of motherhood.” Yep, it sounds like it’s taking a poignantly female focus and with Jenna Coleman (Victoria and Doctor Who) leading the series as the young woman whose marriage crumbles when their baby is abducted on a family visit to Australia. There’s a lump in my throat already. And they’ll stay there until the 2018 release date is announced…
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Wanderlust

Toni Collette is wonderful, isn’t she? I’m glad you agree because she’s set to star in a new Manchester-based relationship drama coming to a screen near you. It’s a six-part series about sex, love and lust that also manages to question the whole monogamy thing. How do you keep love alive? Are we thinking about sex in the right way? What does a happy relationship even look like these days? You know, those little questions… Don’t worry, it going to be funny though. Zawe Ashton (Fresh Meat) is also on the line up so be sure to remember this one. Make a note in your diary because the first episode will be aired on 4th September at 9pm on BBC1.
Photo courtesy of BBC One

Black Earth Rising

Well, what d’ya know? The BBC and Netflix have joined forces to bring Chewing Gum actress Michaela Coel back to our screens [insert prayer hands emoji here]. She plays Kate Ashby, a woman now in her twenties who was rescued during the Rwandan genocide as a child and was subsequently adopted by big shot prosecutor Eve Ashby, played by Harriet Walter from The Crown. It’s all about the prosecution of international war crimes. Yes, it sounds heavy, but these two actresses are joined by Noma Dunezweni (you’ll recognise her from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child if you managed to get tickets) and we’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be great. The series kicks off on BBC Two on Monday 10 September. In the meantime, you can watch the trailer on YouTube.

Women On The Verge

If the series title sounds familiar, it might be because you've stumbled upon Lorna Martin's memoir of the same name. It's a new addition to the W channel's line up of original content and co-written by Martin so, if you've read the book, you already know you're in for a treat. Consider it an ode to all of the women who haven't nailed those bullshit age milestones either. Women On The Verge follows three friends in their thirties - Laura, Katie and Alison - muddling through being sidelined at work, getting back with ex husbands, competing with your daughter's new step mum and keeping afloat when life turns out to be a god-awful shipwreck. Sound familiar? We're with you. Keep an eye out, because this one is due to be on the telly in October.
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