When Grace and Frankie premiered in 2015, it was a groundbreaking show in modern TV that featured two women in their 70s as the main characters. After seven successful seasons, it is now the longest-running show on Netflix. It has also received several accolades, including Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
The series follows Grace Hanson (Jane Fonda) and Frankie Bergstein (Lily Tomlin), whose marriages collapse after their husbands announce that they are in love with each other. The women have never been friends as they couldn’t be more different. But they are forced to face a new life together and become best friends. Their hilarious, touching, and joyful friendship makes the series a delight to watch. If you’re searching for other strong female friendships on television, give these shows a try.
‘The Bold Type’ (2017 – 2021)
The Bold Type chronicles the lives of three millennial women at a fictional women’s magazine called Scarlet. Jane (Katie Stevens) is pursuing a writing career, Kat (Aisha Dee) is exploring her sexuality, and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) is navigating a secret relationship.
The show is inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan magazine’s former editor-in-chief Joanna Coles who serves as an executive producer. It gives a nuanced portrayal of friendship where all the characters have their flaws and make mistakes, and communicate in a healthy way. The diversity in the characters’ identities and beliefs makes the show feel fresh and relevant. Watch it on Hulu.
‘Sex and the City’ (1998 – 2004)
One of the most popular shows in the 90s is Sex and the City, which follows the lives of four friends in New York City. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a columnist for a weekly newspaper who writes about dating and relationships. Her best friends are the headstrong lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), the idealistic art dealer Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and the sexually adventurous Samantha (Kim Cattrall).
Based on Candace Bushnell’s book of the same name, Sex and the City celebrates the bond of female friendship and shines a light on how women navigate their professional and personal lives. While some episodes might feel outdated now, the show remains a cultural touchstone. Its success led to two movies, a prequel TV show and the sequel series, And Just Like That….Watch it on HBO Max.
‘Good Girls’ (2018 – 2021)
What if Breaking Bad is about three women instead? Good Girls takes on this premise where three suburban mothers are tired of struggling to make ends meet and decide to rob a grocery store. But this heist leads to something more complicated than they could ever imagine.
Beth (Christina Hendricks) is facing financial problems because of her husband’s actions, her sister Annie (Mae Whitman) is in a custody battle with her ex, and their best friend Ruby (Retta) can’t afford medical bills for her daughter. Their moral struggle between committing crimes and being decent citizens is great to watch, especially when they get caught in suspenseful situations. Despite every hurdle, their friendship remains strong and surprisingly moving. Watch it on Netflix.
‘Insecure’ (2016 – 2021)
Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) have been best friends since their college days at Stanford. Issa works at a non-profit and doubts her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, while Molly is a successful lawyer who has trouble with dating.
Drawn from Issa Rae’s personal experience, Insecure is a candid study of two best friends as they face challenges in life, career, and romance. The show also explores the social and race issues encountered by young Black women in Los Angeles. Issa and Molly go through a lot throughout the series’ five seasons, even a messy friendship breakup. Yet they always find their way back to each other. Watch it on HBO.
‘Dead to Me’ (2019 – present)
Jen (Christina Applegate) recently lost her husband in a hit-and-run accident. She goes to a support group and meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), who had lost her fiancé to a heart attack. They bond through their grief, but secrets threaten to ruin their newfound friendship.
Dead to Me is a dark comedy that deals with death and loss but keeps a heartwarming tone. Despite their differences, Jen and Judy manage to find a connection at a time when both of them are suffering. Their friendship is fraught with drama, yet the way they care for each other makes every scene feel special. The previous season ends on a cliffhanger, so let’s hope their friendship survives whatever they’re facing next. Watch it on Netflix.
‘Younger’ (2015 – 2021)
When 40-year-old Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) is mistaken for someone younger, she decides to pass herself as a 20-something to get a job at a publishing company. She is hired as the assistant to the head of marketing Diana Trout (Miriam Shor), and becomes friends with her co-worker Kelsey Peters (Hilary Duff).
Younger shows how a woman must balance her real identity and the image she presents at work. But it’s also about the friendship between women in different stages of their lives. The characters handle conflict thoughtfully, allowing the show to convey a lighthearted, comforting vibe that still feels grounded. Watch it on DirectTV.
Set in Los Angeles in 1985, Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) is a struggling actress cast in a women’s wrestling promotion called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). She discovers that she has to work with her former best friend, retired soap opera star Debbie Eagen (Betty Gilpin).
GLOW portrays the highs and lows of the glittery world of women’s wrestling with a solid female-led cast. The show starts with Ruth and Debbie as enemies, where they must figure out a way to work together to make GLOW successful. Visually stunning and packed with exciting action scenes, the show celebrates the strength of female friendship in a setting not often seen on television. Watch it on Netflix.
‘The Golden Girls’ (1985 – 1992)
Who doesn’t know The Golden Girls? This iconic sitcom features four older women living together in Miami, featuring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. Southern belle Blanche (McClanahan) is joined by the cheerful Rose (White), the sarcastic Dorothy (Arthur), and Dorothy’s witty mother, Sophia (Getty).
The main characters’ differences make for an entertaining clash of personalities, and the series shows how their friendship grows with each episode. With snappy writing and the cast’s excellent comedic chops, it’s no surprise that the show is still popular today. It even has a spinoff series called The Golden Palace. Watch it on Hulu.
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