Girl Power on Netflix: Three Things to Watch
I’ve mentioned before my constant desire to justify my Netflix Instant subscription (I can’t possibly be the only subscriber who sees the $7.99 charge on their bank statement every month and wonders is it worth it?). This is why I’m always on a hunt for good Netflix suggestions.
Netflix has gotten a lot of praise for its original series, Orange is the New Black, especially when it comes to the diversity of the characters and the fact that the vast majority of them are women (it is set in a female prison, after all). During my tweens and teens in the 90s, I was a full blown girl power devotee and a I-don’t-care-what-boys-think-and-I-can-run-just-as-fast-as-them-anyway type of tomboy. (I wore a t-shirt until it dissolved into rags that said “Girls Can’t Run” on the front and on the back “Yea, and Boys Don’t Cry” – burn!).
I still love a good ole’ girl power book, movie, or TV show and was happy to find three really good examples on Netflix recently.
Add these to your Netflix list!
1) Maidentrip: I’m still shocked that a 14-year-old would ever come up with the goal of being the youngest person to sail the world alone (who dreams like that?), but that was Laura’s dream. Despite the Dutch government’s best efforts to stop her (really, Holland? Let the girl sail), she sets out on her journey in a cute red sailboat named Guppy. This is girl power on steroids. I was worried that the movie itself would be a snooze since Laura filmed most of it herself at sea, but the filmmaker and illustrator do a great job of weaving in bits of history, gorgeous animated maps, and Laura’s time on land (she makes several stops throughout the voyage) to keep it engaging and not just endless selfies with waves in the background. Yes, sometimes Laura’s teenage musings can be rather asinine, but who would honestly want a recorded version of all the ridiculous things you said (to yourself!) at 15 and 16? It’s not the most enlightened age of our lives. This girl is determined and fiercely independent – and watching the movie is like going on a worldwide nautical adventure with your teenaged BFF. It’s not to be missed.
2) The Paradise: The Brits must have some magic sauce when it comes to creating period TV drama, because just like Downtown Abbey, they’ve done it again. This story is simple – a small town girl moves to the big city and gets a job. But the show centers around one big cultural phenomenon of the late 19th and early 20th century – the department store. I know, I know. The idea of Macy’s is rather droll to us in 2014, but back then it was a sign of things to come. It was the kickoff of mass communication and mass consumption (if you’re totally with me on this, let me recommend the book Land of Desire). So Denise gets a job at the city’s first and only department store and this gets my girl power rating because instead of being a quiet submissive shop girl as expected, Denise brims with big ideas to make the store better. She has the owner’s ear much of the time and many of her ideas get implemented.
3) Haute Cuisine: The drool-inducing and artfully designed food in this based-on-real-life film should be enough to get you to watch, but (Bonus!), it’s also got all kinds of girl power. A chef, who is a woman, gets a job offer to be the personal, private chef to the president of France. She accepts and spends most days wading through the misogyny of the other male kitchen staff and cranking out the most decadent meals – fit for a king (or president). We joked that in some instances this movie felt like a French-version of Veep, with all the ridiculous beauracracy and feigned pomp of the presidential staff. It’s a funny and beautiful film with a female chef that kicks some serious French butt.
Have you watched any other girl power shows or movies on Netflix? Share it in the comments!