Tag Archives: Australian film

New Shows + Movies by Women — Post-Apocalypses, Bees & Elephants

It’s an interesting week for high-concept series and movies. One of the benefits of writing this is that every week I pick out things I want to see that aren’t advertised very widely. I’d have never heard of them if I weren’t doing this article because series and especially films by women do not get the kind of marketing or awards consideration of films by men.

Earlier this week, I wrote a two part series on “The Films the Oscars Forgot”. While I’m happy that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won and I think the Oscars chose the right film, the wider nominations as a whole leave a lot to be desired. I am a broken record with these stats, but: only four of the last 65 Best Director nominees have been women including zero this year; only one of 10 films up for Best Picture this year was directed by a woman; out of 18 nominees in the two writing categories only two were women; only the third woman was nominated in cinematography in nearly 100 years; and only 20% of Best Editing nominees are women. This dismissal of their work does not reflect the actual output or contribution women filmmakers are making.

If you read me regularly, you’ve probably got sick of me writing this. The one thing I will promise is that you will read me write versions of it so many more times because it is a clear representation of the garbage treatment and double-standards women filmmakers have to endure. That our scope of nominating the best is so narrow is an ethical and artistic failure. It would be a waste of my time as a critic and a waste of yours as a viewer and reader to pretend only half of what’s being made exists. It would be a failure to pretend the newest and most unrepresented perspectives were somehow less worth our time when they’re doing the most to expand what storytelling on screen can be.

If you’re looking for exceptional films that didn’t get the attention they deserved last year, read Part 1 and Part 2 of “The Films the Oscars Forgot”. Seven of the 10 choices are films directed by women. Weekly entries in “New Shows + Movies by Women” go back three years now, and 100% of these selections are showrun or directed by women. I’m not going to pretend this all fixes anything, but hopefully it makes a contribution, hopefully it helps you find things that you love that you might not have known about otherwise. That’s been my own experience researching and writing this feature. It has completely changed and expanded the range of series and films I watch, and made me fall in love with storytelling on film even more than I imagined I could.

New series by women this week come from Australia and the U.S., while new films by women come from Austria, Australia, and the U.S.


Swarm (Amazon Prime)
showrunner Janine Nabers

A young woman becomes obsessed with a pop star. Her path toward the singer involves murder and narrow escapes.

Showrunner Janine Nabers created the show with Donald Glover. Nabers wrote on “UnReal”, produced on “Watchmen”, and wrote and produced on “Atlanta”.

There are a couple names to know on the writers’ staff, including Karen Joseph Adcock, who’s quickly built a phenomenal resume with scripts on “Atlanta”, “The Bear”, and “Yellowjackets”. “Swarm” also sees Malia Obama in her first writers room.

You can watch “Swarm” on Amazon Prime. All 7 episodes are out tomorrow, March 17.

Class of ’07 (Amazon Prime)
showrunner Kacie Anning

Emily Browning stars as Zoe, who attends a class reunion right as an apocalyptic tidal wave turns her high school campus into an island peak. The women left may be one of the few surviving bastions of humanity.

The Australian series is created, written, directed, and showrun by Kacie Anning. The best I can determine, I think the writers room is all women as well.

Anning is an up-and-coming Australian TV director and producer.

You can watch “Class of ’07” on Amazon Prime. All 8 episodes are out tomorrow, March 17.


Rubikon (Hulu)
directed by Magdalena Lauritsch

Earth is covered in a toxic fog. The crew of a self-sufficient space station debates whether to risk going back to the surface to save 300 survivors, or to remain safe where they are.

The English-language Austrian film is directed and co-written by Magdalena Lauritsch. It’s her first time helming a feature. She’s worked more than a decade on camera crews and as a cinematographer.

You can watch “Rubikon” on Hulu starting tomorrow, March 17.

The Magician’s Elephant (Netflix)
directed by Wendy Rogers

An orphan encounters a fortune teller, who informs him he’ll find his lost sister with the help of an elephant. To get the elephant, he must complete a list of impossible tasks.

The film is based on the Kate DiCamillo novel. DiCamillo is a two time Newberry Medal winner for “The Tale of Despereaux” and “Flora & Ulysses”. She also wrote “Because of Winn-Dixie”.

Director Wendy Rogers comes from a visual effects background, with some of her earliest work coming on “Natural Born Killers” and “The Frighteners”. As CGI animation became popular, she shifted into effects supervisor roles on films like “Flushed Away” and “Puss in Boots”. This is her first film as director.

You can watch “The Magician’s Elephant” on Netflix starting tomorrow, March 17.

American Cherry (VOD)
directed by Marcella Cytrynowicz

This psychological thriller follows a young man who becomes increasingly violent as he films a documentary about his life.

Writer-director Marcella Cytrynowicz comes from a music video direction background. She’s directed and edited MVs for Snoop Dogg and Valentina.

“American Cherry” can be rented on multiple platforms starting tomorrow, March 17.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — Feb. 10, 2023

As someone viewing in the U.S., this is a time of year when streaming services bring in a lot of series and movies from other countries. Streaming platforms need to keep up the amount of content, so when major U.S. debuts slow down, you’ll see more arrive from elsewhere. It’s an amazing time of year to learn about work that would get otherwise get drowned out by our own media.

The countries with the most popular industries here debut work around the year – India, Japan, and South Korea, for instance. Any time of year is good to find new work arriving from them, but these are the months when you’ll see their less internationally-minded shows as well – there have been a number of Japanese broadcast series (like “MIU404”) arriving on Netflix over the past month.

Countries that have less regular audiences in the U.S. see their filmmakers push through this time of year. Two of my favorite shows from last year were Polish modern dark fantasy “Cracow Monsters” and Turkish time travel mystery “Midnight at the Pera Palace”. They may be different genres, but they represent something interesting about much of the work that gets picked up here. It tends to be rebellious, feminist, and anti-fascist, and represents a conflict between artists and autocratic governments.

Some streaming services are cutting this content. After Warner Bros. Discovery acquired HBO, they not only cut series from Eastern Europe and the Middle East that were already streaming, they closed down their production offices in these countries, eliminating any future co-productions. Both HBO Max and Showtime have adopted a growing trend of making new series disappear just months after they conclude, in the name of tax write-offs and not having to pay residuals.

For all of its other problems, Netflix does remain the best by far in terms of bringing content from outside the U.S. here, both in aggressive licensing of smaller shows that would otherwise never have a chance of being seen by U.S. audiences., and in an increasing number of co-productions in other countries. Hulu and Amazon have also been pretty good at this.

Some of these situations are tough – Amazon is genuinely horrific about labor rights. At the same time, through co-productions, Netflix and Amazon have essentially kept the window open on Indian women filmmakers’ freedom of speech in a brinksmanship situation over strict censorship by the Indian government.

Streaming services are at a dangerous fork in the road. Some are cutting new content if it underperforms expectations they made up because it lets them essentially run the plot of “The Producers” but successfully: making money off of a loss. Others see American viewers’ increasing appetite for series and movies from around the world, as well as the opportunity to create footholds with international audiences via co-productions.

Which way do things go? I don’t really know, but if you want the opportunity to see what the rest of the world is doing and saying, you’ve got to watch their storytelling. Without audiences for them, we will see the approach of HBO Max and Showtime grow, our perspective and what we have access to narrowing once more. But if audiences continue to demonstrate our interest and appetite for the world’s filmmaking, we’ll see what we have access to continue to increase. And we’ll find favorites. We’ll have more to talk about. New ways to enjoy. Seek out what you truly want to see, not just what gets the advertising money here.

New series by women come from Kuwait and the U.S., and new movies from Australia, Spain, and the U.S.


The Exchange (Netflix)
showrunner Nadia Ahmad

Set in 1987, this Kuwaiti series tells the story of two women who became the first traders in the Kuwait Stock Exchange.

Nadia Ahmad writes and showruns the six-episode show.

You can watch “The Exchange” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out immediately.

Freeridge (Netflix)
showrunner Lauren Iungerich
mostly directed by women

A disfunctional group of school friends accidentally release a curse. The sibling rivals at its center need to work together to undo it.

Lauren Iungerich showruns the standalone spin-off to “On My Block”. She previously wrote and directed on “Awkward.” and “Boo, Bitch”. Iungerich and Paula Garces direct 5 of the 8 episodes between them.

You can watch “Freeridge” on Netflix. All episodes released at the same time.

Not Dead Yet (ABC, Hulu)
co-showrunner Casey Johnson

Gina Rodriguez stars as Nell, who’s trying to resume her career as a journalist. She gets stuck writing obituaries, but for better or worse finds the deceased are willing to help her out.

Casey Johnson showruns with David Windsor. Johnson’s produced and wrote on “This Is Us”, “Trophy Wife”, and cult hit “Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23”.

You can watch “Not Dead Yet” on ABC or Hulu. Two episodes just premiered, and a new one lands every Wednesday.


Your Place or Mine (Netflix)
directed by Aline Brosh McKenna

Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher star in a romantic comedy aiming for a Valentine’s Day audience. They play best friends who live across the country, but they swap places for a week and he takes care of her son so she can take a break.

The supporting cast is notable – Shiri Appleby, Rachel Bloom, Zoe Chao, Tig Notaro, and Steve Zahn all co-star.

Writer-director Aline Brosh McKenna co-created “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” with Bloom, and wrote and directed on that series. She also wrote “The Devil Wears Prada”, “We Bought a Zoo”, “27 Dresses”, and “Morning Glory”. Chances are pretty solid you’ve seen something she’s written. She started out writing on 90s Margaret Cho sitcom “All-American Girl”.

You can watch “Your Place or Mine” on Netflix.

True Spirit (Netflix)
directed by Sarah Spillane

Based on real events, this Australian film recounts Jessica Walton becoming the youngest person to sail non-stop around the globe.

Director and co-writer Sarah Spillane started out as an actress in Australian series, but shifted over to crew positions starting with “Rabbit-Proof Fence” in 2002.

You can watch “True Spirit” on Netflix.

Piggy (Hulu)
directed by Carlota Pereda

As an overweight teen, Sara has to deal with bullying and harassment every day. Summer is a special horror, but it turns on a dime when someone begins abducting her tormentors.

The Spanish film is directed by Carlota Pereda, who has helmed a number of series in Spain. She’s talked about how the film has helped her discuss being similarly bullied as a teen.

You can watch “Piggy” on Hulu, or see where you can rent it.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — December 2, 2022

This year, the holidays start with heartwarming movies about love stories, male strippers, and British people having affairs. We’re covering the last two weeks, since last week was a holiday.

I’m going to split off holiday movies into a separate article, since there are so many of them. That’ll make each more manageable, both for me and hopefully for readers.

This week, new series by women come from Canada, Finland, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S., and new films by women from Australia, India, Mexico, the U.K., and the U.S.


First Love (Netflix)
showrun/directed by Kanchiku Yuri

High school students Yae and Harumichi fall in love in the late 90s. Yae goes to college, and Harumichi joins Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. 20 years after a tragic accident, Yae works as a taxi driver and Harumichi is employed by a security company. They live in the same city, dreaming of what their lives could have been like even as they encounter each other once again.

Kanchiku Yuri has written and directed a few Japanese series, including procedural “Keishicho Shissonin Sosaka” and “L et M”.

You can watch “First Love” on Netflix. All 9 episodes are out.

Welcome to Chippendales (Hulu)
showrunner Jenni Konner
half directed by Nisha Ganatra, Gwyneth Horder-Payton

Kumail Nanjiani stars as Somen Banerjee, the entrepreneur who started the Chippendales male stripper business in the 1980s. The series reflects the real-life story, which descended into murder for hire, arson, and racketeering.

Showrunner Jenni Konner has written and produced on “Single Drunk Female” and “Girls”.

Gwyneth Horder-Payton, director on “Pose”, “American Horror Story”, “Pam & Tommy”, and “The Offer” directs two episodes. “Dollface” and “The High Note” director Nisha Ganatra directs another two.

You can watch “Welcome to Chippendales” on Hulu. Three episodes are out, with a new one arriving every Tuesday for a total of 8.

Three Pines (Amazon)
showrunner Emilia di Girolamo

Alfred Molina plays Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (on par in Canada with a Poirot in the UK). He investigates murders in Three Pines, a Quebec village hiding long-buried travesties of its own. This adaptation of the Louise Penny novels gives room to indigenous voices, including a mystery of the disappearance of an indigenous girl, and performances by Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Tantoo Cardinal, and Anna Lambe.

Showrunner and writer Emilia di Girolamo also wrote and produced on “The Tunnel” and “Deceit”. Her background is incredibly interesting, with a PhD in the rehabilitation of offenders using drama based techniques.

You can watch “Three Pines” on Amazon Prime. Two episodes are out, and a new one arrives every Thursday.

Riches (Amazon)
showrunner Abby Ajayi

A patriarch’s stroke leaves his family contending for a cosmetics empire he’s left to two children he abandoned decades ago.

Showrunner Abby Ajayi has previously written and produced on “Inventing Anna” and “The First Lady”.

You can watch “Riches” on Amazon Prime. All 6 episodes are out.

Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Peacock)
showrunner Megan Amram

Adam Devine, Sarah Hyland, and Jameela Jamil star in a spinoff of the “Pitch Perfect” movies. Devine’s character Bumper moves to Germany after one of his songs becomes a hit there.

Showrunner Megan Amram produced and wrote on “The Good Place” and wrote on “Parks and Rec”.

You can watch “Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin” on Peacock. All 6 episodes are out.

The Flatshare (Paramount+)
showrunner Rose Lewenstein
half directed by Chloe Wicks

Two people share an apartment, but even though they share a bed, their careers and lives mean they’ve never met.

Showrunner Rose Lewenstein and director Chloe Wicks (who helms 3 of the 6 episodes) worked together previously on “On the Edge”.

You can watch “The Flatshare” on Paramount+.

Transport (Acorn TV)
showrunner/directed by Auli Mantila

This Finnish crime series finds a reporter tracing a microchip found in baby food. Elsewhere, a bank manager is drawn into an illegal scheme, and a veterinarian goes missing. These leads all tie into the illicit horse trade.

You can watch “Transport” on Acorn TV. All 8 episodes are out.


Qala (Netflix)
directed by Anvitaa Dutt

A singer with a burgeoning career contends with the expectations of those around her, including her controlling mother. Triptii Dimri stars.

A longtime songwriter and screenwriter on Hindi films, Anvitaa Dutt added directing with the 2020 horror mystery “Bulbbul”. Triptii Dimri also starred there in what I thought was one of the most overlooked performances that year. Dutt and Dimri are a must-watch combination in my book.

You can watch “Qala” on Netflix.

The Swimmers (Netflix)
directed by Sally El Hosaini

Two sisters training for the Olympics flee the Syrian civil war in 2015. Yusra and Sarah travel through Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece before their overcrowded boat breaks down and the swimmers tow it to safety. A year later, Yusra competes in the Olympics for the Refugee team.

The story sounds like something that could only be created for film, but those are the real details of Yusra Mardini’s life. She fled Syria with her sister and they were two of four swimmers who towed 16 others to safety.

Director and co-writer Sally El Hosaini also helmed “My Brother the Devil”.

You can watch “The Swimmers” on Netflix.

Mr. Malcolm’s List (Showtime)
directed by Emma Holly Jones

Based on the novel by Suzanne Allain, a young woman named Selina courts a mysterious and much-discussed suitor in 19th century England. Secretly, she’s aiming for revenge on behalf of a friend – a just return for the suitor’s impossible list of preconditions for a future wife. Freida Pinto and Sope Dirisu star.

The novel was self-published by Allain in 2009, and her adapted screenplay floated for nearly a decade until Jones shot a short film of it. The short film’s success – with 2 million views – led to the novel’s traditional publishing in 2020 and the production of the full-length feature.

You can watch “Mr. Malcolm’s List” on Showtime.

Please Baby Please (VOD)
directed by Amanda Kramer

A gang obsesses over Bohemian 1950s newlyweds, thrusting them into a musical exploration of sexual identity. Andrea Riseborough, Harry Melling, and Demi Moore star.

Amanda Kramer is an experimental filmmaker who also directed “Paris Window” and “Ladyworld”.

You can rent “Please Baby Please” on Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, or YouTube.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix)
directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre

Based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence, a woman begins an affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s estate.

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre is known for her impressive visuals in films such as “The Mustang” and episodes of “Mrs. America” and “The Act”. She started out as an actress before shifting full-time as her directing career took off.

You can watch “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” on Netflix.

How to Please a Woman (Hulu, VOD)
directed by Renee Webster

Fed up with her lot in life and freshly laid off, Gina manages an all-male combination cleaning-and-prostitution service in this Australian film.

This is writer-director Renee Webster’s first feature after directing on Australian series such as “The Heights”.

You can watch “How to Please a Woman” on Hulu, or rent it on VOD.

Who’s a Good Boy? (Netflix)
directed by Ihtzi Hurtado

Chema idealizes his crush, and is determined to lose his virginity to her before the school year ends.

Ihtzi Hurtado is a director on Mexican series and films.

You can watch “Who’s a Good Boy” on Netflix.

Alone Together (Hulu)
directed by Katie Holmes

During the pandemic, a pair of strangers in stressful relationships are booked for the same Airbnb in upstate New York. Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess, Derek Luke, and Melissa Leo star in Holmes’s debut as a writer and second film as director.

Holmes is most famous for her roles in films like “Disturbing Behavior”, “Pieces of April”, and the series “Dawson’s Creek”.

You can watch “Alone Together” on Hulu, or rent it on VOD.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you’re reading, subscribe to my Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — September 30, 2022

When I can find the information, I always try to say something about how a filmmaker started. Sometimes, they just appear on IMDB, MyDramaList, or other resources without much information about prior work. Perhaps a number of short films are listed, in which case they probably went the festival route and worked their way up raising finances for a longer film.

Other routes include starting as an actress before shifting over to directing, or starting in a writers room, which provides a well-used but no less difficult path into production, series creation, and showrunning.

These aren’t the only routes, however. Last week, I highlighted “Lou” director Anna Foerster, who started as a visual effects specialist in films like “Independence Day”, and worked as a second unit director and aerial director of photography. This led into series directing and, eventually, film directing.

I’ve written about my favorite cinematographer, Natasha Braier, before. Starting out as an assistant cameraperson and working as a cinematographer on short films eventually led to feature film cinematography and her first directing gig – helming an episode on “American Gigolo”. I’m excited to see if she continues exploring directing.

Anne Fletcher is the director of this week’s “Hocus Pocus 2”. She got her start as a dancer and choreographer. She served as the animation reference in “Casper”, the 90s equivalent of a motion capture actor. Then she danced in films ranging from “Tank Girl” to “Boogie Nights” and “Titanic”, moving into assistant choreography with “Boogie Nights” and lead choreographer on “Bring It On”. You’ve almost certainly seen her work – choreography on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Firefly”, “Step Up”, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”, Academy Award ceremonies – and eventually directing on films like “27 Dresses” and “Hot Pursuit”. We’ve probably seen her work in front of or behind the camera a dozen or more times, but hers isn’t a name we know.

Knowing these routes that people take is important, though. As hard as it is to get to the point of showrunning or directing, it’s even more difficult for women to break through a system that’s built to resist their promotion. We could each name dozens of men who direct, and probably even recount to each other the paths they’ve taken, their humble rags-to-riches personal stories. What do we know about women who direct? What about the two most successful films by women in theaters right now? Can most of us name the director of “The Woman King” offhand? Do we know anything about Gina Prince-Bythewood’s story? What do we know about Olivia Wilde’s work on “Don’t Worry Darling”? All that’s in the news about the film is who she slept with and who might be upset about it.

Men get mythologies and cults of worship. We can trace and analyze how every film they ever glanced at sideways may have influenced their vision. Women get obscurity or publicly shamed. Their vision is treated as spontaneously generated, sparked once as an exception to the rule that there’s nothing to see here, as if whatever we might mistake for vision is a chance occurrence evolved from nothing. We treat men in filmmaking as working and earning their place, worth studying, and women as having tripped and fallen into a position it’s assumed they haven’t earned and can’t repeat, so why bother learning how they got there? We need to bother learning, and this goes for men especially. Know someone’s story. When you watch a film by a woman, learn how they got there and what influenced and shaped their vision the same way we would for almost any man. As viewers, as creators, as critics, there’s so much to learn and appreciate that we’re trained to overlook. What does that do to our visions? How much does that limit what we can draw from? The only way to cure that is to seek it out.

This week, new series by women come from Germany, Japan, and the U.S., and new movies by women come from Australia and the U.S.


The Empress (Netflix)
showrunner Katharina Eyssen
co-directed by Katrin Gebbe

This German historical drama recounts the love affair between Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, the Bavarian princess and sister of the woman Franz must marry.

Showrunner Katharina Eyssen came over to directing from acting. Katrin Gebbe directs with Florian Cossen. Gebbe has directed tense German films like “Pelican Blood” and “Nothing Bad Can Happen”.

You can watch “The Empress” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out now.

Reasonable Doubt (Hulu)
showrunner Raamla Mohamed

Jax is a defense attorney in Los Angeles who goes up against a justice system she perceives as broken and biased. Emayatzy Corinealdi and Michael Ealy star.

Showrunner Raamla Mohamed has written and produced on “Scandal” and “Little Fires Everywhere”.

You can watch “Reasonable Doubt” on Hulu.

I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss (Crunchyroll)
directed by Habara Kumiko

A chronically ill girl finds herself taking on the role of the villainess in one of her favorite games. Knowing how the game ends, she does everything she can to succeed as the villainess and undermine the game’s ending.

Habara Kumiko previously directed “I’m Standing on a Million Lives”.

You can watch “I’m the Villainess, So I’m Taming the Final Boss” on Crunchyroll. The premiere is out now, with a new episode arriving every Saturday morning.


Alice (Starz)
directed by Krystin Ver Linden

Keke Palmer plays Alice, who escapes from the plantation where she’s been enslaved to discovery a shockingly different reality outside of it. Common and Jonny Lee Miller co-star.

This is the first film from writer-director Krystin Ver Linden.

You can watch “Alice” on Starz, or see where to rent it.

Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+)
directed by Anne Fletcher

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as three witches brought to life from the past. As in the 1993 original, they wreak havoc on the modern day Salem.

Director Anne Fletcher has helmed episodes of “This is Us” and “Love, Victor”. She got her start in the industry as a dancer and choreographer.

You can watch “Hocus Pocus 2” on Disney+.

Sissy (Shudder)
co-directed by Hannah Barlow

A decade removed from their best friendship as teenagers, Cecilia and Emma bump into each other. Emma invites Cecilia on her bachelorette weekend, but past wrongs left simmering lead to horror shenanigans.

Hannah Barlow directs the Australian horror with Kane Senes, as well as taking on the role of Emma.

You can watch “Sissy” on Shudder.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — September 23, 2022

We’re catching up on the last two weeks. The focus for this feature is still on what you can access digitally. Obviously, there are films in theaters like Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King”, which came in #1 at the U.S. box office this past weekend, as well as Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”, starting its platformed release in a limited number of theaters this week. These are two of the larger, most-talked about films by women this year.

You can judge whether it’s safe for you to go to the theater where you live. Check out your state’s and county’s COVID information to see where you stand. For the time being, I’m going to maintain the focus on what can be accessed from home.

This is for a few reasons. I have friends with autoimmune issues – the world where we tolerate COVID and accept it as part of life is still one that can easily kill them. The lesser risk I would take is a life-threatening one to them. Even if they remain bubbled and I don’t see them, I just can’t get on board with treating where we’re at as normal when that normal assumes a world where they can’t go outside again. To leave them behind is to treat them as lesser, to treat their humanity as fungible. If my normal is their daily terror, then why would that be my normal?

I also have family living in states that have scrapped COVID tracking and monitoring entirely. I may be comparatively safe going to the theater where I live, but they aren’t where they live. I don’t just write for the people where I live, and I don’t want to normalize going to the theater in states where COVID remains a larger risk. Beyond this, I have readers in other countries. I have no idea where some of them are at in terms of COVID, nor where their laws land.

Is this being too careful? I don’t think so, but if so, so what? I’ve done my fair share of nonsense that risked my health, safety, and even my life once or twice. If I’m too careful in a pandemic, good. We’ve seen what not being careful enough is like.

Please understand that I’ll cover films like “The Woman King” and “Don’t Worry Darling” just like I cover films by men – once they arrive on streaming and can be accessed from home.

It’s not the way I want to cover things; I miss going to the theater and certainly I take a hit by not covering some of the larger films that are currently in theaters. Only you can judge how safe and responsible it is to go to the theater where you live. I’m looking for a time when I can return to covering films in theaters and I hope that’s coming up soon. Until then, the focus on this site and in this feature will remain what can be watched from home. I hope you understand.

New series by women come from Australia, Brazil, Thailand, and the U.S. New films by women come from France, Spain, and the U.S.


Vampire Academy (Peacock)
showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre, Julie Plec

After the death of her parents, Lissa returns to a private academy for vampires. Her best friend can sense all her thoughts, and the two try to keep their friendship intact amid the unpredictable political machinations of both vampires and boarding school.

Showrunners Marguerite MacIntyre and Julie Plec have worked together on various vampire shows, including “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Originals”, and “Legacies”, so this is their wheelhouse.

You can watch “Vampire Academy” on Peacock. The four-episode premiere happened on Sep. 15, with another coming yesterday, so five of the 10 episodes are out already. A new episode arrives every Thursday.

Thai Cave Rescue (Netflix)
co-showrunner Dana Ledoux Miller

This Thai series tells the story of 12 boys and their soccer coach who are stranded within flooded caves in 2018. It’s based on the real rescue attempts.

Dana Ledoux Miller showruns with Michael Russell Gunn. She’s written on “Narcos” and “Kevin Can F**k Himself”.

You can watch “Thai Cave Rescue” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.

Heartbreak High (Netflix)
showrunner Hannah Carroll Chapman
mostly directed by women

Rebooting a classic 90s Australian show, “Heartbreak High” follows the lives of students navigating the social pressures of high school. It’s gotten particular praise for its portrayal of autism, with an autistic role for once played by an autistic actress in Chloe Hayden.

Showrunner and writer Hannah Carroll Chapman has written on some major Australian shows of the past few years, including “Home and Away” and “The Heights”. Directors include Gracie Otto and Jessie Oldfield.

You can watch “Heartbreak High” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are out immediately.

Only for Love (Netflix)
directed by women

Two lovers start a band. At their first success, one is offered a solo career. She pursues it, but as they try to maintain the relationship, the band’s new singer complicates matters.

The Brazilian series is directed by Ana Luiza Azevedo, Gisele Barroco, and Joana Mariani.

You can watch “Only for Love” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.


Gagarine (MUBI)
co-directed by Fanny Liatard

In this French film, young Youri dreams of being an astronaut, but already that dream is threatened as he fights to save his housing project from demolition.

Fanny Liatard directs with Jeremey Trouilh. It is her first feature film.

You can watch “Gagarine” on MUBI.

Do Revenge (Netflix)
directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

A mash-up of “Strangers on a Train” and “Clueless”, “Do Revenge” finds two social outcasts at a private high school agreeing to commit each other’s revenge. As a dark comedy, it skillfully deals with issues of revenge porn, privilege, and performative allyship. I praised it as a big surprise in my review. If I’m honest, the trailer conveys the aesthetic but doesn’t necessarily do the story or its comedy justice.

Director and co-writer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson ought to be a major name before too long. She co-wrote “Thor: Love and Thunder” with Taika Waititi, produced on “Hawkeye”, created and showran “Sweet/Vicious”, and wrote and directed “Someone Great”.

You can watch “Do Revenge” on Netflix.

Lou (Netflix)
directed by Anna Foerster

A girl is kidnapped as a storm rages. Her mother can only turn to the mysterious loner next door for help. Jurnee Smollett stars, with Allison Janney as the badass loner.

Anna Foerster has directed on “Westworld”, “Jessica Jones”, and “Outlander”. Her journey’s an interesting one. She started out as a director of photography for visual effects units in films like “Independence Day”, “Alien: Resurrection”, and “Pitch Black”. This led to jobs as a second unit director and aerial director of photography until she got her first directing break on “Criminal Minds” a decade ago.

You can watch “Lou” on Netflix.

Mighty Flash (MUBI)
directed by Ainhoa Rodriguez

“Mighty Flash”, or “Destello Bravio”, is a surreal Spanish drama that tells the story of a village stuck in time going back generations. Only older people remain, repeating traditions as the town dies.

This is the first film from Ainhoa Rodriguez after directing on Spanish TV series.

You can watch “Mighty Flash” on MUBI.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — August 26, 2022

August can be a slow-down month for new releases, but this opens up windows for films that might not see as much of an audience otherwise. Keep an eye out for arthouse and indie productions. This next month or so has always been the best time of year for low-budget films to sneak through and secure some attention.

Unlike other winter holidays, Christmas season in the media deluges toward an October start. This has displaced Halloween toward late August – the holiday territorial wars continue. Horror season has always started in September – horror movies tend to draw younger audiences, and those audiences coalesce as the school year starts. If you’re a horror fan, keep an eye out for good horror, campy horror, low-budget horror, every kind of horror you can think of. This is our time. There are some intriguing ones this week.

There are new series by women from the U.K. and the U.S., and new movies by women from Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, and the U.S.


Everything I Know About Love (Peacock)
showrunner Dolly Alderton
directed by China Moo-Young, Julia Ford

Dolly Alderton turns her memoir into a U.K. series that tracks the evolution of friendship in the way that other series present romances.

“Call the Midwife” director China Moo-Young and “Silent Witness” director Julia Ford helm the series.

You can watch “Everything I Know About Love” on Peacock. There are 7 episodes, all out now.

Partner Track (Netflix)
showrunner Georgia Lee

Ingrid Yun is a young lawyer trying to balance ethics with ambition as she climbs the partner track at an elite law firm.

Georgia Lee’s short films got her selected as Martin Scorsese’s apprentice on “Gangs of New York”. Since then, she’s directed feature film “Red Doors”, wrote and story edited for “The Expanse”, and produced “The 100”.

You can watch “Partner Track” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are out now.


Watcher (Shudder)
directed by Chloe Okuno

Maika Monroe plays Julia, who moves with her husband to Bucharest. She suspects a local murderer who’s decapitating women may be the stranger from the apartment across the street.

Writer-director Chloe Okuno previously directed a segment on anthology “V/H/S/94”. This is her first feature.

You can watch “Watcher” on Shudder, or see where to rent it.

Wolf (HBO Max)
directed by Nathalie Biancheri

In this Irish film, Jacob thinks he’s a wolf who’s become trapped in a human body. He’s sent to a clinic where the treatments are outlandish and extreme. He roams the center at night with a girl who believes she’s a wildcat.

Writer-director Nathalie Biancheri previously directed “Nocturnal”.

You can watch “Wolf” on HBO Max, or see where to rent it.

Loving Adults (Netflix)
directed by Barbara Topsoe-Rothenborg

Based on the novel by Anna Ekberg, the Danish thriller follows a woman who suspects her husband is having an affair.

Barbara Topsoe-Rothenborg is a director of Danish film and TV.

You can watch “Loving Adults” on Netflix.

So Vam (Shudder)
directed by Alice Maio Mackay

Australia has everything dangerous, including vampires. When aspiring drag queen Kurt is murdered by a vampire, he’s resurrected by a gang of rebel vampires who only feed on bigots and abusers.

Director and co-writer Alice Maio Mackay helmed “So Vam” as her feature debut at 16.

You can watch “So Vam” on Shudder, or see where to rent it.

My Little Sister (MUBI, Kanopy)
directed by Stephanie Chuat, Veronique Reymond

Lisa has given up on being a playwright. She lives in Switzerland, where her husband is enjoying a successful career. Her twin brother falls ill, calling her back to Germany.

Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond have worked as a writer-director team in Germany since 2004 (though this film is Swiss). They’ve alternated between documentary and narrative film.

You can watch “My Little Sister” on MUBI or Kanopy, or see where to rent it.

The Tsugua Diaries (MUBI)
co-directed by Maureen Fazendeiro

During the COVID lockdown in Portugal, Crista, Carloto, and Joao build a greenhouse for butterflies. We see cycles of developing a routine and struggling to adapt as they find ways to fill time at the farmhouse that is their home during lockdown.

French filmmaker Maureen Fazendeiro directs with Miguel Gomes. It is her first film.

You can watch “The Tsugua Diaries” on MUBI, or see where to rent it.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — July 29, 2022

There are many, many new entries this week, covering most major streaming platforms. You really should take your time to browse, so we’re going to skip the preamble and dive straight in:


Paper Girls (Amazon)
directed by women

It’s Halloween night in 1988 and four girls will have to time travel to save the world. “Paper Girls” is based on the Brian K. Vaughn comic book series.

Creator and co-showrunner Stephany Folsom left the show in the middle of principal photography on its first season, but she was involved in its pre-production. Mairzee Almas, Georgi Banks-Davies, Destiny Ekaragha, and Karen Gaviola each direct two episodes.

You can watch “Paper Girls” on Amazon. All 8 episodes are available immediately.

CW for “Surface”: suicide attempt

Surface (Apple TV+)
showrunner Veronica West

Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as Sophie, who tries to piece together the jumble of memories that led up to her alleged suicide attempt.

Veronica West showruns. She also produced on “High Fidelity”.

You can watch “Surface” on Apple TV+. Three episodes are available now, with new ones arriving every Friday.

Keep Breathing (Netflix)
showrunner Maggie Kiley
directed by Maggie Kiley, Rebecca Rodriguez

A woman must survive alone after her plane crashes in the Canadian wilds.

Showrunner Maggie Kiley’s directed episodes of “Riverdale” and “Dirty John”, while Rebecca Rodriguez comes over from “Snowpiercer” and “Doom Patrol”.

You can watch “Keep Breathing” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out on day one.

Another Self (Netflix)
directed by Burcu Alptekin

In this Turkish romance series, three best friends set off on a road trip in an attempt to break monotonous cycles and reshape their futures.

“Another Self” is directed by Burcu Alptekin, who also helmed episodes of popular Turkish series “The Protector” and “The Gift”.

You can watch “Another Self” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are available immediately.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (HBO Max)
directed by women

The fourth series in the “Pretty Little Liars” franchise finds a new set of girls being tormented. This time, the style leans more openly horror.

Lisa Soper, Cierra Glaude, and Maggie Kiley direct. Soper handles five episodes – she’s directed on “Peacemaker” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”.

You can watch “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” on HBO Max. The first three episodes have premiered, and at least two episodes drop every Thursday.

Amber Brown (Apple TV+)
showrunner Bonnie Hunt

A girl navigates her parents’ divorce through art and music.

Bonnie Hunt showruns, based on the novel by Paula Danziger.

You can watch “Amber Brown” on Apple TV+. All 10 episodes are available immediately.

Rebel Cheer Squad – A Get Even Series (Netflix)
showrunner Holly Phillips
half-directed by Claire Tailyour

In the spirit of 2020 UK thriller “Get Even”, “Rebel Cheer Squad” finds a trio of cheerleaders at the same private school revive the original’s club to exposes bullies.

You can watch “Rebel Cheer Squad” on Netflix. All 8 episodes are available now.


Not Okay (Hulu)
directed by Quinn Shephard

A struggling writer accumulates followers by pretending to be in Paris, but her story puts her at the location of bombings. To maintain her newfound fame, she pretends to be a survivor, as the con grows a life of its own. (One of my favorite performances in recent years was Zoey Deutch’s con artist in Tanya Wexler’s “Buffaloed”, and I’m curious to see what she does with a different angle into similar territory.)

This is writer-director Quinn Shephard’s second feature film after “Blame”, a modern adaptation of “The Crucible”.

You can watch “Not Okay” on Hulu.

Honor Society (Paramount Plus)
directed by Oran Zegman

Honor is determined to get into Harvard. She targets three competitors, determined to undermine their chances…until she falls for one. The cast here’s worth noting, with Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin from “Stranger Things”) and Miku Martineau (from last year’s “Kate”) also starring.

This is director Oran Zegman’s first feature film.

You can watch “Honor Society” on Paramount Plus.

Topside (Hulu, Kanopy)
co-directed by Celine Held

A girl and her mother live in a hidden community: the abandoned subway tunnels underneath New York City.

Celine Held writes and directs with Logan George, as well as starring. Held has directed on the series “Servant”.

You can watch “Topside” on Hulu, Kanopy, or see where to rent it.

Paradise Highway (VOD)
directed by Anna Gutto

A truck driver is forced to smuggle to save her brother. She’s chased by the FBI, and soon finds out her cargo is a girl. Juliette Binoche, Morgan Freeman, and Frank Grillo star.

This is Anna Gutto’s first feature as writer or director.

You can rent “Paradise Highway” on Amazon, Google Play, or Vudu.

How to Please a Woman (VOD)
directed by Renee Webster

Fed up with her lot in life and freshly laid off, Gina manages an all-male combination cleaning-and-prostitution service in this Australian film.

This is writer-director Renee Webster’s first feature after directing on Australian series such as “The Heights”.

See where to rent “How to Please a Woman”.

Purple Hearts (Netflix)
directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Cassie is a singer-songwriter whose health care isn’t keeping up with her needs. A marine agrees to marry her so she can share his military benefits, but their separation makes things more and more complex.

Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum directs. She’s previously helmed episodes of “Dead to Me” and “Empire”.

You can watch “Purple Hearts” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — July 22, 2022

This week’s a lighter week, but it has good range over different streaming platforms. On top of this, we’re getting a constant inflow of quality horror movies. This week’s Irish “You Are Not My Mother” and Sandra Oh-starring “Umma”, last week’s generational horrors “She Will” and the South African “Good Madam”, and Laotian time travel horror “The Long Walk” from the week before have meant a steady stream of early summer horror.

That’s not all there is, and this week’s new series arrive from Brazil and the U.S., while new films come from Australia, Ireland, and the U.S.


Rap Sh!t (HBO Max)
showrunner Syreeta Singleton

A rap group composed of women try to find success in Miami’s music industry.

While Issa Rae helped develop the concept, Syreeta Singleton showruns. She’s also written on “Insecure” and “Central Park”.

You can watch “Rap Sh!t” on HBO Max. The first two episodes have premiered, with new ones arriving every Thursday.

All the Same…or Not (Disney+)
co-directed by Suzy Milstein

In this Brazilian coming-of-age series, Carol is navigating both the pressures of high school and the new family her mother’s marriage introduces.

Based on the novel “Na porta ao lado” by Luly Trigo, the series is directed by Suzy Milstein and Marcelo Trotta.

You can watch “All the Same…or Not” on Disney+. All 10 episodes are available immediately.


You Are Not My Mother (Hulu)
directed by Kate Dolan

Char’s mother goes missing from their housing estate. She returns seeming…different. Char begins investigating around North Dublin for an answer, coming across family secrets that were long hidden away.

Writer-director Kate Dolan started out in art direction and set dressing before shifting into writing and directing.

You can watch “You Are Not My Mother” on Hulu, or see where to rent it.

Umma (Netflix)
directed by Iris K. Shim

Sandra Oh plays Amanda, who works a farm with her daughter. When the remains of her estranged mother arrive, Amanda fears she’s turning into her.

The horror film is written and directed by Iris K. Shim, an accomplished documentary filmmaker and editor.

You can watch “Umma” on Netflix, or see where to rent it.

Love and Penguins (Tubi)
directed by Christine Luby

Tilly works in animal sanctuary management, and lands a project to rehabilitate a resource-starved penguin sanctuary in Australia. There she meets their zoologist Fletcher, and sparks fly.

“Love and Penguins” is directed by Christine Luby, who got her start as a production manager and assistant director in Australian film.

You can watch “Love and Penguins” on Tubi.

Alone Together (VOD)
directed by Katie Holmes

During the pandemic, a pair of strangers in stressful relationships are booked for the same Airbnb in upstate New York. Katie Holmes, Jim Sturgess, Derek Luke, and Melissa Leo star in Holmes’s debut as a writer and second film as director.

Holmes is most famous for her roles in films like “Disturbing Behavior”, “Pieces of April”, and the series “Dawson’s Creek”.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — June 3, 2022

The most exciting thing this week is a new collection of documentaries on athletes by ESPN. All the athletes covered are women and a monthlong series of premieres kicked off with five short films. They’re calling the series “Fifty/50”.

Later in the month, they’ll be premiering “Dream On” (June 15), which chronicles the foundation of the WNBA. On June 18, eight more short documentaries will arrive. June 21 and 28 will see “37 Words”, a four-part documentary on Title IX, which legally codified equal rights for women in education and athletics.

College networks will also see new documentary debuts. June 23 sees “Catch98”, chronicling the career of basketball player Tamika Catchings on SEC Network. “Hidden Dynasty”covers North Carolina’s women’s soccer team, which won 22 national championships. It arrives June 23 on ACC Network.

A range of accompanying digital pieces, reporting, interviews, and podcasts are also part of the effort. ESPNU is also making 75% of their programming this month feature women’s athletics. All of this put together is a lot to choose from, and more than I can cover here, so take a look at the full list.

You can also find past documentaries on women athletes as part of their “30 for 30” and “Nine for IX” series. You need ESPN+ to watch them, but this comes bundled with Disney+, and can be bundled with Hulu. It’s also included in certain cable/satellite subscription plans. These are some of the best documentaries on TV. The “Fifty/50” shorts should also arrive on that page soon.

Let’s get into the new narrative series and films by women this week:


Surviving Summer (Netflix)
co-showrunner Joanna Werner
half-directed by Sian Davies, Charlotte George

Summer is a Brooklyn kid who acts out. She’s expelled from school and punished by her family to go live in Australia (I should have acted out more). Once there, she falls in love with surfing.

Joanna Werner showruns with Stuart Menzies. She’s produced on other Australian series such as “The Newsreader” and “Clickbait”.

You can watch “Surviving Summer” on Netflix. All 10 episodes are available immediately.

Tom Swift (CW)
co-showrunners Noga Landau, Melinda Hsu Taylor

“Tom Swift” spins off from the CW’s “Nancy Drew”, folowing a billionaire inventor who delves into a world of sci-fi conspiracies in search of his missing father.

“Nancy Drew” showrunners Noga Landau and Melinda Hsu Taylor are joined by “Empire” writer Cameron Johnson.

You can watch “Tom Swift” on the CW. The premiere is available, with a new episode arriving every Tuesday.


Hollywood Stargirl (Disney+)
directed by Julia Hart

The sequel to 2020 film “Stargirl” (not to be confused with the 2020 superhero series “Stargirl”) finds the free-spirited musician striking out on her own in Los Angeles. Grace VanderWaal reprises the lead role, with Judy Greer and Uma Thurman also starring.

Writer-director Julia Hart returns. Aside from the YA-oriented “Stargirl” films, she’s helmed some incredibly different movies at the start of her career. This includes a take on superheroes in “Fast Color” and one of my favorite films of 2020, the 70s crime drama “I’m Your Woman”.

You can watch “Hollywood Stargirl” on Disney+.

Nudo Mixteco (HBO Max)
directed by Angeles Cruz

As the Festival of San Mateo unfolds, three indigenous women navigate the restrictions of custom, religion, and tradition when it comes to their sexuality.

The Mexican film is the first feature from writer-director Angeles Cruz.

You can watch “Nudo Mixteco” on HBO Max.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.

New Shows + Movies by Women — March 18, 2022

I have a lot to say about the first series and its creator’s history. It’s important for me to share as much as I can find, but when something intersects with racism, that’s also important to highlight. A big part of the way I write this feature is to highlight the names of women behind these shows and movies, but when one of these names has a history with a racist project, I find myself not always knowing what to do. I also find myself nervous about the specific kind of racism. If I talk about someone being racist toward Black or Asian people, I’m not Black or Asian. I don’t feel doubtful for saying something’s racist because there’s no internal monologue telling me I shouldn’t. There are Black or Asian voices I can point to; I can follow their lead.

When a creator has been racist toward Mexican people in their work, that is something I’ve endured. It is something that has targeted me. It’s a pain I know and have inhabited. Discussing it opens up vulnerability and trauma I’ve experienced. Because I’ve so often been told by the people applying that racism that I’m overreacting or that it doesn’t exist, even bringing it up makes me terrified that no one will take it seriously. I can’t follow someone else’s lead because it’s my lead. My work as a Latino writer isn’t just in reckoning with it, it’s in proving to others that it exists, proving to others that my voice is legitimate to talk about its existence. I have to prove to all that vulnerability and trauma stacked up in me that I’m able to do it even as that ingrained self-doubt tells me in countless ways I can’t possibly do it right. I’m supposed to be one of those voices. If I don’t speak, I know I’m repeating the marginalization that expects me as a Latino to be too exhausted and afraid to do so. If I do speak, I have to wade through all that marginalization I’ve internalized to just get to the first word.

It’s like this with all marginalizations; this moment it’s just my turn. But whoever’s ‘turn’ it is, realize they’re terrified to be taking it. It’s unfair that the work of proving it – whether for Black, Asian, Latine, indigenous, women, disabled, LGBTQ+ writers, the list goes on – that the burden of all that work is on the shoulders of whoever is facing the bigotry aimed at them in that moment. It is an unfair critical structure that our culture assumes as its default. To speak is needed, and the burden of that is it demands repeating the internal experience of violence. To not speak may avoid that direct pressure point, but asks the quieted to live inside and legitimize their marginalization. Men need to understand that for women. White people need to understand that for people of color. Enabled people need to understand that for disabled people. Cis het people need to understand that for LGBTQ+ people.

The purpose of this feature is to highlight work by women and to help make the women doing that work better known. I don’t always know how to call something out when the history of that person’s work itself platforms racism, misogyny, ableism, or other forms of bigotry. I’ve cut things before because they’re blatantly, explicitly hateful. I won’t platform bigotry, but there’s a lot that rides the line, or that comes from someone who featured bigotry in one project…but perhaps not this one.

I’m sure there are some things I don’t see – especially with not being able to watch everything that’s featured here. I specifically want to make this article series as informational as possible because that helps me mitigate potential forms of implicit bias I may not recognize I hold. When a creator has made racist work before, I hope readers realize bringing it up is about the racism, and that does have a place being discussed when that work is featured for another reason. I hope to see the creator I’m about to highlight surpass that racism, to isolate it to a prior point in her career, but without seeing some kind of reckoning with that prior work, the only other option is to talk about the nature of it and the impact it has.


Minx (HBO Max)
showrunner Ellen Rapoport

“Minx” follows Joyce as she creates the first erotic magazine for women in the U.S. “Minx” takes its inspiration from a number of similar magazines that started publishing in the 70s. Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson star.

Ellen Rapoport previously wrote and produced on “Three Moons Over Milford”. She got her start as a writer on “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”.

I’m trying to figure out the right way to say this because the moment I looked at Rapoport’s project history my heart sank. She wrote a film called “Desperados” which was incredibly racist toward Mexicans in an era when that racism is even more dangerous than usual. When a creator has done that before, I can’t feature something from them without noting it.

Like I said, I strive to keep this feature informational, but that is information to me because that kind of racism is dangerous in general and it’s specifically dangerous to me and my family. What makes us safer is other people realizing that is information as well, and not some kneejerk or emotional interpretation. When someone is racist, the fact that they are racist and have done something racist is information we need other people to understand instead of dismiss. The kind of things Rapoport wrote in “Desperados” are the kind of things that make people feel legitimized in dehumanizing or threatening Latine people. I wrestled with whether I should even feature this project or not, but there’s nothing that immediately points to “Minx” sharing that racism. That doesn’t make me feel immediately safer because “Desperados” didn’t look racist from its press releases and trailer either.

This isn’t a case of me harping on something minor; “Desperados” was repetitively racist and dehumanizing. To share another project from the same creator without talking about that would be to participate in my own dehumanization and marginalization. I’m hoping it was isolated to that one project because I’m genuinely interested in “Minx”, but I know from experience that hope is not often sustained.

You can watch “Minx” on HBO Max. Two new episodes arrive every Thursday, for a total of 10.

Standing Up (Netflix)
showrunner Fanny Herrero

In this French comedy, four young Parisians juggle stressful lives and jobs while trying to make it as stand up comedians.

Showrunner Fanny Herrero also created French comedy “Call My Agent!”.

You can watch “Standing Up” on Netflix.

The Newsreader (Roku)
directed by Emma Freeman

Anna Torv plays a news anchor who takes a reporter under her wing and trains him. They develop a bond as they cover the whirlwind of news the mid-80s brought. The series is set behind-the-scenes at an Australian broadcast news program.

Emma Freeman has directed on “Stateless” and “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”, among other Australian series.

You can watch “The Newsreader” on Roku. All six episodes are available immediately.

Cracow Monsters (Netflix)
showrunner Kasia Adamik

In this Polish fantasy series, a medical student is pulled into a circle of investigators who hunt monsters and gods from Slavic mythology.

Kasia Adamik’s shows regularly contend at the Polish Film Awards, with “Wataha” winning two of its three best series nominations, and “1983” being nominated. For “Pokot”, she was also nominated for Best Film and Best Director alongside her mother and co-director, the great Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland.

You can watch “Cracow Monsters” on Netflix. All eight episodes are available immediately.

The Paradise (Acorn TV)
directed by Marja Pyykko

In this Finnish-Spanish mystery series, a Finnish family is found murdered in Spain’s Costa del Sol. They send an investigator to bridge the Finnish community and Spanish investigators there. The series is told in Finnish, Spanish, and English.

Director Marja Pyykko is a fairly prolific director of Finnish TV.

You can watch “The Paradise” on Acorn TV. All eight episodes are available immediately.

Welcome to Flatch (Fox)
showrunner Jenny Bicks

A U.S. remake of BBC mockumentary series “This Country”, “Welcome to Flatch” sees a documentary crew film the young adults of a small town.

Showrunner Jenny Bicks was a producer on “Sex and the City”, and wrote and produced on “The Big C” and “Men in Trees”.

You can watch “Welcome to Flatch” on Fox. New episodes arrive every Friday.

Lust (HBO Max)
directed by Emma Lemhagen

No English trailer available, but in this Swedish series, Anette takes part in a government study about the sex lives of women in their 40s. This evokes her and her friends to reflect on how the study’s questions play into their lives.

Emma Lemhagen directs. She’s helmed films in Sweden since the 90s.

You can watch “Lust” on HBO Max. All episodes are available now.


Love After Love (MUBI)
directed by Ann Hui

In the 1940s, a girl is sent from Shanghai to Hong Kong so she can continue her education. Instead, she starts working for her aunt to seduce the rich and powerful.

Ann Hui is a legendary Hong Kong director who’s won Best Director at the Golden Horse Awards three times and at the Hong Kong Film Awards six times.

This is the third time Hui has directed an adaptation of Eileen Chang’s writing. Chang was a feminist writer of the 1940s who fled the Communist regime. Another adaptation of her work that might be familiar to Western audiences is Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution”.

You can watch “Love After Love” on MUBI.

Master (Amazon)
directed by Mariama Diallo

Three Black women at a college in New England begin to share strange experiences. Regina Hall and Zoe Renee star.

Writer-director Mariama Diallo wrote and directed on experimental series “Random Acts of Flyness”. This is her first feature film.

You can watch “Master” on Amazon.

Violet (Showtime)
directed by Justine Bateman

Violet suffers anxiety. Knowing she makes her decisions out of fear, she puts herself in fearful situations in order to break the cycle. Olivia Munn stars.

Justine Bateman is best known as an actress going as far back as “Family Ties”. This is her first feature as writer or director.

You can watch “Violet” on Showtime.

Cheaper by the Dozen (Disney+)
directed by Gail Lerner

Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union star in this remake of the 2003 Steve Martin/Bonnie Hunt comedy. It centers on a chaotic family of 12.

Director Gail Lerner has helmed episodes of “Grace and Frankie” and “Black-ish”. This is her first feature.

You can watch “Cheaper by the Dozen” on Disney+.

Rescued by Ruby (Netflix)
directed by Katt Shea

A state trooper partners with a rescued shelter dog in an attempt to get into the K-9 Search and Rescue unit.

Director Katt Shea started out as an actress in the 80s, but was soon directing films for legendary B-movie maker Roger Corman. Her big break came in 1992 with the infamous “Poison Ivy”. After 18 years away (since 2001), she returned with “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” and seems to be focusing on the family genre. (In a weird twist, this also stars Scott Wolf, an actor on Melinda Hsu Taylor’s very different “Nancy Drew” series, which I highly recommend. I look forward to winning a pub quiz with this trivia several years from now.)

You can watch “Rescued by Ruby” on Netflix.

Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.

If you enjoy what you read on this site, subscribe to Gabriel Valdez’s Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.