International Women's Day isn't just a day celebrating womanhood but also a day to pause and reflect on how to make things better as allies, on championing the women you know, and on the importance of having solid, powerful, relatable representations that matter. On that note, here's a look at some delightful, soothing and empowering watches – all available to stream on Amazon Prime Video – that may serve to be an apt revisit on this day.
Relatable, funny, flawed and heart-breaking at the same time, Fleabag is Phoebe Waller-Bridge's genius coming to life. Fleabag is as much about sisterhood as it is about the coming-of-age of the central character. It's a poignant but sparkling love story too – between the sisters, the protagonist and her own self, and between Waller-Bridge and the fourth wall – us. (Can we also talk about the most accurate – and creative – depiction of the onset of the menstrual cycle? That scene is one for the books).
Imagine finding the courage to break free of the shackles of societal expectations and patriarchal conditioning. Now imagine doing so through comedy – in the conservative '50s. Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) does it all by nurturing her budding talent in stand-up comedy. It was always her true calling before it became her husband's. The gags, the humour came naturally to her, but there was no one around to push her enough to try making her own career out of it – until one night of drunken magic that gave her a shot at changing her life, while bringing along Susie (Alex Borstein) to her posse.
The tickling but sparkling 10-episode series by Tracy Oliver revolves around four best friends from college who now live in Harlem – a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan in New York. Now in their 30s, the women – an emerging star, a tech entrepreneur, a singer and a fashion designer – aspire to take the next step in their lives, romances and careers.
Marina (Daniela Vega) is a talented trans woman who juggles between singing and bartending to make her ends meet. She finds love in a much-older Orlando (Francisco Reyes Morande), only to lose him to an unexpected tragedy. Circumstances lead to her coming face-to-face with Orlando's friends and family, who refuse to acknowledge their relationship and leave no stone unturned to other her. Seeking closure to a relationship that mattered to her and unwilling to take the unwarranted ill-treatment of the society, she bravely decides to fight back.
Representing young, modern women navigating a career alongside their daily lives, friendships and romances in the big city of New York, the dramedy is a simmering, witty look at millennial equations, friendships and ambitions. Based on the life and career of the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Joanna Coles, the five-season series revolves around three best friends and their path to building a woman's magazine that not only gives today's women a voice, but helps them find theirs too.
Who doesn't like the idea of a film completely dedicated to a literal superwoman? Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, is humorous, powerful and feminist in its core. The protagonist, Diana, is a rebel – she knows her worth and is well-aware of the meaning of her existence. She wants to learn to become a warrior and help humankind. At the same time, she doesn't let any man dictate her existence. In a world that either looks at her with protectiveness or lust, she makes sure of establishing her boundaries, needing none of the aforementioned.
28-year-old Brittany (Jillian Bell) loves to party. On one hand, she is perennially broke and on the other, she can't stop partying. One doctor's check-up later, she gets a reality check that forces herself to get healthier. Her journey thereon is relatable, vulnerable and empowering at the same time, as bit by bit, she succeeds, fails and succeeds again in her journey to fitness. There are many slips, perhaps more misses than hits, but she keeps going, even when she's worried about tumbling again. The genuineness of the effort makes the film relatable and closer to how difficult one's fitness route can be like.
In a mystical world of magic and power, seldom would you see women being the most powerful beings. The Wheel Of Time subverts that stereotype, centering the story upon Aes Sedai, a select but supremely powerful organization of women who could channel the One Power – a divine, supreme magic. When the news of the Dragon reincarnation spreads – the one who can make or break the universe – Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) takes it upon herself to find them in an attempt to save their world from destruction.
Essentially a tender story of a mother and daughter from a marginalized community, the Sean Baker film oozes empathy and warmth. In a beautiful display of human resilience, the characters seek – and find – joy and friendships in the most heartbreaking situations, amidst the almost ironic shadows of the Walt Disney World – a hotspot of bustling, happy people.
The modern-day Cinderella (Camila Cabello) makes her own decisions. She knows exactly what she wants, and never gets bogged down, irrespective of the number of hindrances that come her way. Her focus, confidence and determination takes her to a place where her story isn't limited to falling in love or finding a prince. Her story is about finding her true calling and coming into her own.
The women of Minari tell a different, poignant story of their own. On one hand, there's Monica (Han Ye-Ri), who holds her own in a patriarchal world where her husband is the essential decision-maker. She has her apprehensions of being away from their roots in a far more isolated world, her own set of worries for her children. She isn't nodding at every decision her husband makes. Rather, she has opinions of her own that she wants to be heard. On the other hand, there's Soon-ja (Youn Yuh‑jung), Monica's mother, who's 'not your typical grandmother' – she doesn't bake either, as young David points out. But she is warm and wise, marred by the past and yet open to the newness of the future – further bringing about a sense of familiarity to the immigrant family's unfamiliar, new territory.
What happens when what seems like a life-altering event is actually a social experiment in hiding? When a group of teenage women from different backgrounds are left stranded on a deserted island post a horrific plane crash, they're justifiably petrified, lost and are each other's only support. Jumping between their past, present and not-so-distant future, the women fight for everyday survival, learning about one another and forming bonds strong enough that would eventually make them closer to their own selves.
If you get a comedy series celebrating the departed years of the pandemic, you sit up and take notice. In hilarious yet cathartic stand-ups by incredibly talented women in comedy, the specials were hosted by Phoebe Robinson (2020) and Yvonne Orji (2021), and comprised a fierce ensemble featuring Rachel Brosnahan, Tiffany Haddish and Patti Harrison in the first edition, and Jane Fonda, Aparna Nancherla and Chelsea Peretti in the second.
Recommendations in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video