If you grew up watching shows like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, then we can guess that you had a pretty cool childhood. But we’re willing to hazard another guess: you’ve probably had a lot of trouble finding any shows to stream that had a female lead nearly as kick-ass as Buffy Summers. If you’re ready for some Sunnydale-esque streaming, here is our breakdown of the best action series on Netflix with female leads.
We’ll be the first to admit that it got a bit exhausting trying to keep up with all the different CW superhero shows…we usually ended up catching up on Netflix after a season has wrapped.
Having binge-watched many tights and flights this way, we’re confident in telling you that Supergirl was the best of the lot. The show managed to successfully avoid the gritty drama of Arrow and the maudlin melodrama of The Flash to deliver a show every bit as bright and optimistic as the hero’s costume. And episodes consistently left us grinning from ear to ear.
When catching up on the end of this series via Netflix, we were struck by the fact that the show succeeds where other superhero shows fail because it understands the assignment of being a goofy, campy romp.
Some critics hate it for the fact that this show sometimes feels like it has very few stakes, but to us, it always felt like we were watching a live-action adaptation of a great Golden Age comic.
Supergirl is full of many Easter Eggs related to the entire Superman mythos and beyond, making it one of the best shows to watch for heartfelt name-dropping of really obscure characters.
Alice in Borderland
It’s an open secret that live-action anime can be very hit or miss, but Alice in Borderland (a Netflix show that adapts the manga of the same name) is one of the best we’ve ever seen.
That has a lot to do with its plot: in a weird cross between The Last of Us and Squid Game, the show is about two contestants who are forced to compete in brutal games in the desolate remains of Tokyo.
Winning games helps them extend their “visas,” but if those visas ever expire, the player will be instantly annihilated.
If that sounds a bit too much like what you’ve seen before, you should know this Netflix show throws in some wild cards in the mix, quite literally: playing cards determine both the kinds of games contestants must play and how difficult those tasks will be.
But the real reason to binge-watch this show ASAP is the character of Yuzuha Usagi, who instantly feels like a breath of fresh air in a genre that is mostly played out. She is charged with carrying most of the emotional weight of this bleak series, and she does so in a sublime manner that doesn’t make her any less of a badass.
Queen of the South
What would happen if you mixed the vibes of Breaking Bad with Narcos and just a dash of Weeds? In that case, you’d get Queen of the South, a Netflix show about a young woman named Teresa Mendoza who has to flee Mexico after falling in love with a member of a drug cartel.
In a wild twist of fate, she ends up in America and working for the wife of the cartel boss targeting, which means she must constantly risk exposing her secrets and using her knowledge to show the hardcore criminals around her a better way of doing things.
Don’t worry: “A better way” doesn’t mean that she is trying to redeem anybody…instead, this Netflix show chronicles our character’s descent into the dark underbelly of this criminal world. Like Walter White, she discovers that she is very good at her growing criminal enterprise.
But she faces similar struggles in that her successes put the ones she loves at risk, forcing her to make moral compromise after moral compromise.
Fortunately for audiences, she never compromises her own inner drive or sense of self, giving us one of the most complex and compelling female protagonists in the history of action television.