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TV shows are a huge part of our lives: we relate to the characters, grow with them, and sometimes, they feel like a part of our family. Whether it be a wonderful period piece or the newest comedy we keep seeing commercials for, we’re always finding amazing shows to add to our streaming queues. But the ones we have a soft spot for? Amid a sea of television exploring the angst of one’s teen years or the depths of mediocre men’s psyches, the shows we love most of all put the spotlight on older women of the world — AKA those women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond who have been conspicuously absent on screen for so long.
Everyone has at least one story about watching The Golden Girls and everyone knows people lost it over the premiere of Hot in Cleveland — and for good reason. It’s witty, relatable, and no matter how old you are, you love seeing these women navigate love and life gracefully. And let’s face it, at one point, we’ve all said we want to be Betty White when we grow up. With Sex and the City coming back as And Just Like That, picking up the story of Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte (and no Samantha) with the women in their 50s instead of their 30s, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the shows that explore the world of older women best.
We love that the industry that used to be obsessed with youth is finally putting a spotlight on the older and wiser — and breaking the tired stereotypes of older women we used to see while they’re at it. From Jean Smart in Hacks to Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown, even the Emmys this year had to recognize the TV excellence we’re seeing from women whose high school years are several decades behind them, and it’s about time we saw these stories by the dozens.
Check out some of our favorite TV shows that put a spotlight on older women and their lives below.
A version of this article was originally published in December 2021.