• (L - R) 'On The Ropes', 'Reprisal', 'Why Women Kill', 'Shrill'. (SBS)Source: SBS
Our picks for the 10 series that feature complex and diverse female characters who defy expectations. Now streaming at SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Guide

31 Jul 2020 - 4:07 PM  UPDATED 31 Jul 2020 - 4:01 PM

Why Women Kill

This dark comedy from Marc Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives is led by Ginnifer Goodwin, Lucy Liu and Kirby Howell-Baptiste. They play three women across three different decades, who all live in the same house in Pasadena California and who (as the title would suggest) commit murder. We meet Beth Ann Stanton (Ginnifer Goodwin) in 1963, Simone Grove (Lucy Liu), onto her third marriage in 1984, and Taylor Harding (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), who’s in an open marriage in 2019. Each era is represented with exceptional colour and style, there are twists and turns aplenty and wonderful performances from the cast. But the main question is, do they get away with murder? 

Read more about 'Why Women Kill'
Love, obsession and murder: 'Why Women Kill' is drama to die for
One house. Three women. Three murders. Why wouldn't you watch 'Why Women Kill'?

Why Women Kill is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Shrill

Based on her memoir, Lindy West created Shrill with Alexandra Rushfield and Aidy Bryant, who also plays the lead, Annie. Annie wants to change her life – but not her body. She is trying to push her career as a journalist and writer forward all while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, internet trolls and a perfectionist boss. Along the way Annie, with help from her best friend Fran (Lolly Adefope), figures out who she is and what she wants from her life. Does Annie have flaws? Yes. Is she relatable? Absolutely, and that's what makes this superbly written comedy a must-see.

Read more about 'Shrill'
Everything you need to know about your new favourite comedy, 'Shrill'
It’s been one of the breakout hits of the US comedy scene and now seas ‘Shrill’ is available on SBS Viceland and at SBS on Demand. Here’s everything you need to get up to speed.

Shrill seasons 1 & 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Back To Life

Back To Life is a dark British comedy drama created by Laura Solon and Daisy Haggard who also stars as the lead Miri Matteson. Miri has just returned to her home town after 18 years in prison. Trying to nudge her way back into society, Miri is the ultimate Adult Beginner: a funny, endearing, awkward woman, determined to move on from her violent past. But life post-prison makes even the simplest tasks challenging, like getting a licence, a job and trying to make sure the terrible truth doesn't resurface. But in a small town, nothing is going to be easy.

Read more about 'Back to Life'
If you’re still crying over the end of ‘Fleabag’, ‘Back To Life’ is the binge-watch to heal your heartbreak
This comedic drama from the producers of ‘Fleabag’ hits your screen right when you feared you’d never find a replacement for it. Rest assured ‘Back To Life’ is a worthy contender for cult favourite.

Back To Life is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Reprisal

From the producer of The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo comes the action-packed revenge thriller Reprisal starring Abigail Spencer. After her brother and his crew left her for dead, Doris (Abigail Spencer) has re-emerged many years later and many miles away into a new, seemingly quaint life in Detroit.

Armed with the expected inheritance from the impending death of her husband, Doris embarks on a vengeful mission to destroy the same gang that tried to kill her. But when her plans are thrown off course by a mobster who threatens to take the inheritance intended to fund her rescue mission, Doris ruthlessly takes matters into her own hands. She sets out with a plan to infiltrate her brother's crew and take it down from the inside. Full of strong performances, rockabilly style and pulpy goodness, Reprisal is a thrilling watch.

Read more about 'Reprisal'
Prepare to get hooked on the pulpy intrigue of revenge-thriller ‘Reprisal’
Vengeance and violence, formidable women who defy expectations, references to a gone-too-soon Hollywood heartthrob – this new rockabilly noir series has it all.

Reprisal is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Bad Banks

The addictive German series Bad Banks looks at the male-dominated banking world from a female's perspective, and who knew this world could be so fast-paced and thrilling to watch? Jana (Paula Beer) is a talented investment banker, wrongly fired from Crédit International in Luxembourg, but offered a job at the prestigious Deutsche Invest in Frankfurt. Leaving her family behind she impresses with her talent and ambition, but is also unknowingly being manipulated by her old boss. Full of drama, greed, lies and cocaine (of course, this is high finance) this series asks how far would you go to succeed?

Read more about 'Bad Banks'
Bad Banks is the female-led Billions we’ve been waiting for
Looking for a series about high finance that isn’t all just middle-aged men in suits? Then Germany’s Bad Banks is for you!

Bad Banks seasons 1 & 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Homecoming Queens

Created and co-written by Michelle Law and real-life bestie Chloë Reeson, Homecoming Queens is inspired by their own friendship and health experiences, with a little creative licence. Michelle Low (a fictionalised version of Law), is a children’s television presenter who returns to her hometown of Brisbane after an alopecia diagnosis shatters the façade of her perfect life. Michelle’s high school best friend, Chloë Easton (Liv Hewson) is recovering from breast cancer and determined to make up for lost time with a reverse bucket list. This funny, female-driven and heart-warming series is about upended expectations and asking what happens when you return to places, relationships, even your own body, and find nothing is quite the way you remember it.

Read more about 'Homecoming Queens'
Sex, Drugs and… chronic illness? Meet the Homecoming Queens
SBS On Demand original drama Homecoming Queens was inspired by a real-life friendship.

Homecoming Queens is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

An Ordinary Woman

Blending family drama, crime and dark comedy, this Russian series tells the story of Marina Lavrova (Anna Mikhalkova), a complex, flawed and resilient woman. She is married to a surgeon (Artyom), has two daughters (Katya and Tanya) and owns a florist. But scratch the surface of this seemingly perfect life and the real drama is unveiled. Artyom is unfaithful, Katya is a drug dealer, Tanya is a sociopath and the florist does not make enough money. To make ends meet Marina has been secretly running a sex worker network via a WhatsApp group – a secret she has managed to keep from her family. But when one of her workers is murdered, her secret life might not be so easily concealed. Female character stereotypes are challenged, but the series does not judge Marina and stops short of trying to fix or save her.

An Ordinary Woman was also the first Russian TV series to have women leads.

Read more about 'An Ordinary Woman'
‘An Ordinary Woman’ is an extraordinary blend of ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Happy Valley’
Russia joins Belgium, Germany, France, Poland and of course, all of Scandinavia, in the binge-worthy TV drama series business.

An Ordinary Woman is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Home Ground

This Norwegian drama looks at the issues of gender equality and inclusion in sport. After leading her team to sensational results in European women’s football, coach Helena Mikkelsen (Ane Dahl Torp) finds her achievements ridiculed by the male experts of the footballing world. She is offered the role of assistant coach for the Norwegian Premier League men’s team, Varg IL. Not satisfied with being an assistant, Helena is able to expose the club’s weaknesses and convince the club director that the club is in bigger trouble than they realise and lands herself the historic job of head coach. But even though she is qualified it doesn't mean everyone will agree with or accept the decision. It's not going to be an easy ride.

Read more about 'Home Ground'
'Home Ground' tackles football and feminism, Scandi style
The excitement of battles on and off the field along with the friendship and futures at stake make 'Home Ground' about so much more than football.

Home Ground is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

On The Ropes

On The Ropes is a sexy, gritty drama that is fast-paced and full of heart. It follows aspiring Iraqi-Australian boxing trainer Amirah Al-Amir (Nicole Chamoun) who has idolised her world champion father Sami (Igal Naor) her entire life. While working in the family gym in Sydney’s west alongside her two brothers, Amirah negotiates a professional debut match for her hard-nosed fighter Jess O'Connor (Keisha Castle-Hughes) with Sami's long-time promoter. Furious that she has done this behind his back, her father threatens to cut her off. Desperate to chase her dream of transforming women's boxing, Amirah must choose between her fighter and her family.

The critics are loving On The Ropes
The verdict is in: On The Ropes is a knockout.

On The Ropes is now streaming at SBS On Demand (also available with Simplified Chinese and Arabic subtitles).

 

Naked

This Brazilian drama, created by Carolina Jabor and Anne Pinheiro Guimarães, aims to explore and deconstruct female sexuality. It is an anthology series consisting of nine independent short stories, each one focusing on a different woman's sexual fantasy. Portraying women of different ages, tastes and social status – from a motel housekeeper to a wealthy socialite – each woman's fantasies and desires are brought to vivid life. The final episode is a 'making of' which highlights the majority female crew that made the series. This is the female gaze amplified.

Naked is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Browse the full Unapologetic Women Collection at SBS On Demand.

 

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