We talked feminist TV shows just three months ago, but the networks are throwing new shows at us so fast these days, that we’ve got some new mentions (as well as old favorites) currently making our Top 5:
1. Body of Proof: In ABC’s new straight-up procedural, Dana Delany plays a neurosurgeon-turned-medical-examiner who helps solve murders. But, look at that, this time a woman gets to be the freakishly brilliant, quirkily abrasive one at the center of a broadcast network show solving the crimes! (Thanks, TNT and other cable channels, for pioneering that mind-blowing idea with the likes of The Closer.) Extra points for employing the always-brilliant Delany and giving her character a very real mommy complex: She’s estranged from her preteen daughter after years of dedicating herself to neurosurgery, and awkwardly trying to rebuild that relationship.
2. Game of Thrones: HBO’s is by far the best of the upcoming epic swords-and-sandals series you’ve undoubtedly seen advertised everywhere (along with Starz’ Camelot and Showtime’s The Borgias). I’m not normally into this kind of thing — it’s based on George R. R. Martin’s elaborate fantasy book series filled with about 3 trillion characters, mythical lands, mythical creatures, people with names like Eddard, and a big old war for the crown. (I didn’t even like Lord of the Rings. Sorry.) But the beauty of Game is in the layers — the multi-dimensional characters (no one’s 100-percent good or evil, though some come close on the evil side), the soapy machinations, the tons of sex. It’s also, surprisingly, in the female characters. Martin’s world is, alas, as sexist as medieval England (it matches the costumes), but these ladies are fighting it at every turn, from the conniving Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) to the bent-on-revenge Lady Catelynn Stark (Michelle Fairley).
3. Degrassi: This immortal teen favorite (just renewed for season 11 on TeenNick) has always tackled complex issues, from school shootings to teen pregnancy, like no American show dares. The current run is no different: For proof, see [SPOILER ALERT] the two-parter in which Fiona (Annie Clark) gets sober, testifies against her abusive ex-boyfriend, and discovers she’s a lesbian while making out with transgender classmate Adam (Jordon Todosey). Top that, 90210.
4. Grey’s Anatomy: Yes, we’re still grooving on our favorite post-feminist utopia as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) struggles with fertility issues, the coolest lesbian couple ever (Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw) prepare for baby (provided they survive that accident), and Miranda (the incomparable Chandra Wilson) parses out power issues with her nurse boyfriend.
5. 30 Rock: This one pretty much always gets an honorary spot. Also, we’re as excited for Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants (out next week!), as we once were for a new New Kids on the Block album.