1) Chewing Gum: At 24, Tracey Gordon (played by British actor Michaela Coel), has been in a relationship with a guy for seven years. Yet, what bothers her most is that they haven’t as much as kissed, let alone had sex. Caught in an abusive, sexless relationship, and dealing with a devout Catholic mother at home, throughout the series, Gordon tries to find her sexual freedom. The comedy is relatable — confusion regarding all things intimate, Gordon’s misadventures of hooking up with an immature neighbour, and dealing with snide insults by her sexually hyperactive best friend. What makes the series ground breaking, however, is its normalisation of women as sexual creatures. Coel’s character is unapologetic about wanting physical intimacy, and is willing to stop at nothing to get it.
Available on: netflix.com
2) Girliyapa’s Why Girls Get Brozoned?: For decades, men have complained of being friend-zoned — an act that sees a woman considering a man her friend, instead of a potential boyfriend. This video, by The Viral Fever’s all-women’s creative brigade, Girliyapa, looks at the concept from a woman’s perspective — a female who becomes a bro (code for friend) because she doesn’t fit any parameter on the ‘feminine’ checklist. Think lipstick, short dresses, an occasional traditional outfit, and giggling. The sketch calls out Bollywood giants such as Yash Raj Productions and Karan Johar for propagating fixed categories of women — the tomboy, the desi damsel and the arm candy. More importantly, with use of straight-faced, heavy sarcasm, it shuns the concept of the brozone, and supports free-flowing definitions of gender norms and relationships.
Available on: youtube.com
3) Z: The Beginning of Everything: Much has been written and presented in popular media about the literary giant, F Scott Fitzgerald (think The Great Gatsby). But what makes this 10-part series interesting, is that it provides an alternative perspective to the story of the Fitzgeralds — Scott and Zelda. Based on a novel by the same name, the period drama looks into the life of Zelda as a wronged author, backed into a corner by the patriarchy. Each episode packs in melodrama, and alcohol-induced glamour, and successfully transports you to the ’20s. Actors Christina Ricci and David Hoflin are convincing in their portrayal of the couple, and appear mercurially in love. Be warned: you might be tempted to ace the flapper look, splurge on that set of pearls, get the famous pixie, and invest in some bling.
Available on: hotstar.com