TV Shows, Pop Culture

7 woke television shows we’d do anything to get back

From Sweet Vicious to Firefly, these shows are sorely missed

There are some tv shows that we will always miss, no matter how many new ones emerge. These shows made us feel seen, offered representation and woke points of views that weren’t always shown on tv at that time. Many of them were often tragically canceled and only lasted for a season or two. Here for your pleasure are 7 woke tv shows that we would do anything to get back.

1. Agent Carter

Actress Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in the show Agent Carter. She wears a blue and black striped suit, has bright red lipstick on, and is pointing a gun. She stands in a wood-paneled room with taxidermied antlers handing on the wall
[Image Description: Actress Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter in the show Agent Carter. She wears a blue and black striped suit, has bright red lipstick on, and is pointing a gun. She stands in a wood-paneled room with taxidermied antlers handing on the wall] Photo via IMDB

Marvel’s Peggy Carter first appeared in the Captain America movies and then Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D before she got her own show, Agent Carter. Though the show sadly only lasted two seasons, the show took the classic double spy narrative and turned it on its head. Despite being a strong, intelligent woman, Carter is relegated to a job as a secretary for Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). However, at the same time, she is secretly working to clear scientist Howard Stark’s name. Besides working undercover missions, Carter also fights sexism in 1940s America with her superpowers – dedication and determination. You can watch Agent Carter on Hulu or Netflix.

Agent Carter took the classic double spy narrative and turned it on its head. Click To Tweet

2. Sweet/Vicious

Actresses Eliza Bennett and Taylor Dearden as the characters Jules and Ophelia in the show Sweet/Vicious. Both wear wool hats, zipped up jackets, and have tough expressions on their faces. They stand in front of a wall with the names of boys crossed out and the text We Believe You
[Image Description: Actresses Eliza Bennett and Taylor Dearden as the characters Jules and Ophelia in the show Sweet/Vicious. Both wear wool hats, zipped up jackets, and have tough expressions on their faces. They stand in front of a wall with the names of boys crossed out and the text We Believe You] Photo via Screenertv.

Sweet/Vicious was a show that wasn’t afraid to hold back. Jules and Ophelia are college students by day, but by night they become vigilantes taking revenge on sexual assailants. It was violent, hilarious, empowering and bad-ass. While MTV only aired 10 episodes, the series is experiencing a comeback in comic book form! Partially inspired by the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, series creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is teaming up with Black Mask Studios to release the comic book sometime in early 2019. While it’s not quite the same, it’s satisfying to know that Jules and Ophelia live on to fight the patriarchy one more time. Find this show on MTV.Ca or Amazon. 

3. Daria

Drawing of the character Daria clinking glasses with her friend Jane on the porch of a house. Daria has long brown hair, bangs, wears big round glasses, a green jacket, and pleated skirt. Her friend Jane has multiple ear piercings, short black hair, and wears a red jacket, grey shorts, tights, and boots
[Image Description: Drawing of the character Daria clinking glasses with her friend Jane on the porch of a house. Daria has long brown hair, bangs, wears big round glasses, a green jacket, and pleated skirt. Her friend Jane has multiple ear piercings, short black hair, and wears a red jacket, grey shorts, tights, and boots] Photo via Wikia.

Daria first appeared as a recurring character on Beavis and Butthead before getting her own show on MTV. There were not many shows like Daria at the time that offered a female character who so wholly content with being herself while offering a take-no-shit feminist commentary on the suburban life, wrapped up in her classic monotone voice and dry sense of humor. The show was a perfect depiction of 90s teenage angst. Definitely worth binging, the show lasted for five seasons. The entire series is available to watch on MTV’s website and on Hulu. 

There were not many shows like Daria at the time that offered a female character who so wholly content with being herself while offering a take-no-shit feminist commentary on the suburban life Click To Tweet

4. The Proud Family

Image of Penny Proud standing on stage with her arms stretched in front of her dancing. She has long black hair pulled into two ponytails and wears a pink tank top and black jeans. Behind her, three girls also dance
[Image Description: Image of Penny Proud standing on stage with her arms stretched in front of her dancing. She has long black hair pulled into two ponytails and wears a pink tank top and black jeans. Behind her, three girls also dance] Photo via Disney Wikia.

The Proud Family told the story of fourteen-year-old Penny Proud as she struggles to gain independence but what makes the show special is its depiction of the Proud family and the topics the show covered. The Proud Family was offered an empowering representation of a  middle-class African-American family that didn’t give into (too many) stereotypes or tropes. In the episode “She’s Got Game” Penny struggles with sexism as she tries to join the all-male football team. In a Black History Month-themed episode, Penny is knocked unconscious and travels back in time to 1955, where she experiences life during the civil rights movement. Top that off with the fact that the theme song is sung by Destiny’s Child, featuring Solange! Disney Now has two seasons of the show or you can watch the whole series on Amazon Prime.

5. The Fresh Prince of Bel-air

Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Belair sits on the top of a chair, with his feet, in socks and sandals, on the seat of the chair. He wears a blue and yellow baseball hat, a long t-shirt with an abstract print and looks amused. On his left is his uncle and on his right his aunt, looking at him with a mixture of love and annoyance. They are both dressed fancy
[Image Description: Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Belair sits on the top of a chair, with his feet, in socks and sandals, on the seat of the chair. He wears a blue and yellow baseball hat, a long t-shirt with an abstract print and looks amused. On his left is his uncle and on his right his aunt, looking at him with a mixture of love and annoyance. They are both dressed fancy] Via IMDB.

What’s not to love about The Fresh Prince of Bel-air? Will Smith is sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle after struggling in his West Philadelphia neighborhood. The show had a lot of positive representation and examined race, class, and racial history. The female characters had a lot of personality, thoughts, and values. While Will often objectified women, he learned to respect them. We could use more shows like this one. Find the show on Amazon Prime or Itunes. 

6. My So-Called Life

Angela, Rickie, and Rayanne from My So-Called Life stand against a wall, laughing and talking. Angela points at Rayanne. She has red hair and wears a sweater with a blue and yellow pattern. Rickie looks off in the distance, half-smiling. He wears one earring, a yellow and black abstract shirt, and a mustard-colored sweater. Rayanne is mid-laugh. She wears a white knit hat
[Image Description: Angela, Rickie, and Rayanne from My So-Called Life stand against a wall, laughing and talking. Angela points at Rayanne. She has red hair and wears a sweater with a blue and yellow pattern. Rickie looks off in the distance, half-smiling. He wears one earring, a yellow and black abstract shirt, and a mustard-colored sweater. Rayanne is mid-laugh. She wears a white knit hat] Photo via Digital Spy.

Ok, I personally did not get the love for Jordan Catalano. But overall, My So-Called Life was a solid look into teenage angst and pondering. It also offered a diverse range of characters, from the main character Angela, who is figuring out her identity, her wild bold friend Rayanne, and effeminate fashionable Rickie. The show also dived into topics like teen sex, riot grrrls, and teen drug use. Let’s face it, we all wanted Angela’s red hair. Binge watch this one on ABC’s website, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

Let’s face it, we all wanted Angela’s red hair. Click To Tweet

7. Firefly

Photo of Jayne, Mal, and Zoe from Firefly. They each pointing guns straight ahead of them. They look serious and are wearing earthy colors
[Image Description: Photo of Jayne, Mal, and Zoe from Firefly. They each pointing guns straight ahead of them. They look serious and are wearing earthy colors] Photo via Mental Floss.

A sci-fi western television show set in the year 2517 doesn’t sound like it would work but somehow Firefly pulls it off. After losing a civil war, a nine-person crew lives aboard the spaceship Serenity, taking odd jobs. When it first aired, the show didn’t do very well, for many reasons, including the fact that Fox decided to show the episodes out of order. Only after Fox decided to drop the show even before the first season was over, did Firefly develop a cult following. Though the female characters were problematic, the show did feature them as powerful, smart women like Kaylee, the quirky mechanic, and Zoe, a war veteran and the strongest fighter on the ship who’s in an interracial marriage. The followup movie Serenity did offer a conclusion but fans often lament how promotion of the show was handled. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can watch it on Hulu or Amazon Prime. Serenity is also on Netflix (as of now).

Though the female characters were problematic, the show did feature them as powerful, smart women like Kaylee, the quirky mechanic, and Zoe, a war veteran and the strongest fighter on the ship who’s in an interracial marriage. Click To Tweet

Though many of these shows definitely didn’t last long enough, we will forever hold them in our hearts as favorites and will always keep coming back to them. But for, now it’s time to begin to make room in our lives for some new woke shows.