5 min read
By Clare Reynders, MEDIAGIRLS Editorial Volunteer
Nowadays, with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and so many cable shows, it’s almost impossible to keep up with the viewing options, much less choose them. Luckily, MEDIAGIRLS is here to help. We’ve sorted through the new season’s shows on TV and streaming platforms to find the best, most empowering shows for elementary to middle-school girls. Although we give age recommendations, know it’s a flexible guide and depends on girls’ tastes and maturity levels. Without further ado, check out our selections, choose one or two to try with your girl, ask for her critique before chiming in, and enjoy!
Season 2 Premieres October 27th
This is an ideal show for girls in middle-school (although skewed a little younger), with the same writing team as Lizzie Maguire, a favorite that many older kids might remember. It follows a young girl who learns that her older sister is actually her mother. The gripping plot is mixed with everyday middle school problems, and Andi is a relatable yet super inspiring protagonist. It’s a super fun show that teaches a lot of important lessons about growing up, and new episodes premiere on Disney Channel.
Girl-power quote from the show: “Vampires aren’t the only thing this Buffy is slaying.” (Buffy)
Just Add Magic
Season 1 & 2 Available on Amazon
This show, geared to younger audiences, follow three girls who find a magical cookbook. Through making the recipes together, they navigate life, school, family troubles, and friends. It’s a perfect pick for younger girls, shows female friendship at its best, and many girls will enjoy the whimsical, magical themes. Find new episodes on Amazon Prime.
Girl-power quote: “If you treat everyone with kindness, you will get where you want to go.”
Season 3 premieres October 9th at 8pm
This show is a must-see for any young girl; it’s well written, fun, gripping, and so empowering! Supergirl is an inspirational, and surprisingly relatable, protagonist, showing girls everywhere how strong they can be. Catch up on old episodes through the CW app, then get ready for new episodes on the CW!
Girl-power quote: “When people are scared or hurt, or in danger, they think of Superman. But it’s ok to think of her too! And not just as some consolation prize. She is every bit the hero he is. She just needs the chance to prove it!”
Season 3 premiered this summer
In Zendaya’s Disney Channel show, she and her family are undercover superspies. We love how funny and action-packed this show is, and it teaches great lessons about family, friends, dating, school, and growing up in general. Plus, the spy intrigue is irresistible. Catch new episodes on Disney.
Girl-power quote: “Smart girls make strong women; they are the key to the success of any nation.”
Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c
This old favorite is always ideal when you crave a jolt of inspiration; there’s so much vocal talent out there! This season will be especially fun to watch because Jennifer Hudson has been added as a coach. Miley and Jennifer are sure to show young girls that they can follow their dreams, speak their minds, and have loads of fun along the way. The new season on NBC has just begun.
Girl-power quotes: “I feel like I’m one of the biggest feminists in the world because I tell women not to be afraid of anything” – Miley Cyrus
“Don’t let doubt stop you from getting where you want to be!” -Jennifer Hudson
The Bold Type
Season 1 is available online
This show, definitely for older girls, follows three best friends as they navigate their first jobs at a fashion magazine. It does a strong job showcasing some awesome female friendships, letting girls know how important hard work is, and tackling social issues. Plus, you have to appreciate the incredible outfits. You can find every episode of this new show on Freeform’s website.
Girl-power quote: “I expect you to unleash holy hell on anyone who tries to hold you back.”
Jane the Virgin
Season 4 Premieres Friday, October 13th at 9pm
Bask in the glory of Gina Rodriguez when “Jane the Virgin” returns to the CW this fall! This show, geared to older girls, plays on the tropes of telenovelas while at the same time being extremely heartfelt, thoughtful, and hilarious. Jane is navigating her complicated family, new relationships, and being a mom this season, and she’s hands-down one of the most capable role models on TV today. New episodes premiere on the CW this fall.
Girl-power quote: “Life is full of tough moments, you have to fight for what you want.”
Crazy Ex Girlfriend
Season 3 premieres October 13th at 8 PM
What does Rebecca do when she runs into her childhood flame for the first time in years? Moves across the country to be with him. It doesn’t sound like a premise for girl power, but this musical comedy is much more than it seems on the surface. Rebecca is a complex, funny, smart woman, and songs often comment on feminist issues. Rebecca may be a bit over the top, to say the least, but it’s joyful watching a woman say exactly what she thinks. Catch new episodes on the CW this fall.
Girl-power quote: (in reference to the show’s title) “That’s a sexist term!”
The Mindy Project
Final season now streaming, new episodes premiere Tuesdays on Hulu
Mindy Kaling’s modern take on the romantic comedy is a must-watch. The final season is about to premiere, and it promises to be a good one. Mindy plays a doctor navigating her love life in NYC, and she is also a head writer and the creator of the show! She’s an inspiring creative powerhouse, and it totally shows on “The Mindy Project.” This last season will premiere on Hulu this fall.
Girl-power quote: “It’s so weird being my own role model.”
A quick note that the very controversial TV show “13 Reasons Why” has a second season, premiering on Netflix in October. If you or your girl is interested, we recommend you read our blog post on the subject. Although it’s popular, it can be intense and provokes quite a bit of anxiety for parents and educators in addition to many kids.
Clare Reynders is a junior at Vassar College majoring in Media Studies with a minor in Women’s studies. She loves singing in her a cappella group, reading books, and, of course, empowering young women.
This piece was originally published on MEDIAGIRLS.ORG and is republished with permission. Michelle Cove is the Executive Director of MEDIAGIRLS®, a nonprofit organization that teaches girls how to critique the way girls and women are portrayed in pop culture with an emphasis on creating empowering content.
She is also an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and author whose projects have been featured on numerous national platforms including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie,” “The Today Show,” The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Visit www.mediagirls.org to learn more.