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16 Best Movies & TV Shows About Imperfect, Complicated Women


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Roles for women in Hollywood have come a long way since the advent of storytelling through cinema. We’re no longer damsels in distress, vamps, or any other archetype that barely contains the depth of a teaspoon. Female characters and female-driven stories have totally expanded over the course of the last few decades, and they’re only getting better. While we still have a long way to go, there are several movies and TV shows well worth celebrating, and we’re highlighting some of our favorite stories involving imperfect women on the big and small screen below.

We’re casting a wide net here when we say imperfect. The word has a few different connotations. You can be imperfect in the messy way, like we see in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, or you can be the imperfect heroine — or anti-heroine — like Viola Davis’ Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. But the common thread that binds these characters and stories together is their complexity.

We combed through our favorite TV shows from past, present, and the recently released for the most engaging, impossible-to-look-away-from stories about imperfect women on the screen. When we look at these movies and TV shows, we see versions of ourselves or women we know whose lives don’t look the way society expects them to — but who are all just doing their best along the way. Some are thrilling, others touching, but all feature the kind of content we want more of on our screen. Read on for our round-up of the best movies and TV shows featuring imperfect, complicated women at their center.

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