A definitive ranking of the 20 unforgettable TV shows that defined the decade for women.

This decade may have sucked in so many ways, but at least it’s been great for TV. And so many of the best shows of the past decade have been about women, made by women, and popular with both women and men.

A quick poll of the Mamamia office came up with a definitive list of the 20 best TV shows of the 2010s for women. Here they are.

20. Workin’ Moms


Catherine Reitman drew on her own experiences to create this Canadian sitcom about four friends who are all struggling with being working mothers. There’s sex, drugs and lots of breastmilk.

19. The Mindy Project


Mindy Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, a successful obstetrician/gynaecologist with a not-so-successful personal life. With Kaling having created the series – her mum was an ob/gyn – it’s all very much in her own funny, loveable voice.

18. Love Child


This drama tells the previously untold stories of young Australian women in the late 1960s/early 1970s, who were forced to give up their babies for adoption. The wonderful cast is headed by Jessica Marais and Miranda Tapsell.

17. The Bold Type


Inspired by the life of former Cosmo editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, this series follows three young women – played by Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee and Meghann Fahy – working at the fictional magazine Scarlet. It’s about everything from trolling to white privilege, but mostly friendship.

16. The Letdown


More than any other show on TV, this Aussie comedy captures what those early years of motherhood are really like. Alison Bell, who stars as Audrey and co-created the show, has mums everywhere breathing a sigh of relief as they realise they’re not alone.

15. Veep


As vice-president, Selina Meyer is a truly terrible person: shallow, self-obsessed and petty. But as a comedy character, Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes her one of the best.

14. Wentworth


A reimagining of groundbreaking Aussie drama Prisoner, Wentworth features an incredible ensemble cast, including Nicole da Silva, Celia Ireland and Katrina Milosevic, all in teal trackies. Brutal and terrifying, Wentworth pulls out shock after shock by regularly killing off its major characters.

13. Girls


Creator Lena Dunham stars as aspiring writer Hannah, who, along with her three friends, is stumbling through her twenties in New York City. As messy and meaningful as real life, it’s a show by a Millennial for Millennials.

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12. Offspring


Asher Keddie is obstetrician Nina Proudman – and, somehow, all of us – with her cute scarves, her crushes and her daydreams. It’s the show that gave us Dr Patrick Reid (Matthew Le Nevez) – and then so cruelly snatched him away, leaving us bawling like babies.


11. The Crown


The series that’s managed to make us obsessed with the senior Royals, The Crown follows Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy and Olivia Colman) from 1947 onwards. It’s not just about the stunning outfits, it’s about seeing history from the inside.

10. Derry Girls


The Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1990s form the backdrop for this comedy about Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson) and her teenage misfit friends at Our Lady Immaculate College. Loved in Northern Ireland and everywhere else.

9. Grey’s Anatomy

greys anatomy

Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and other beautiful surgeons fall in and out of love while saving lives. We all love a hospital drama, and creator Shonda Rhimes is one of the all-time great storytellers.

8. Younger


Based on a novel by Pamela Redmond Satran, Younger centres on newly single 40-year-old mum Liza (Sutton Foster) who passes herself off as 26 to get a job in publishing. It’s about life in your twenties, at any age.

7. Dead To Me


Christina Applegate plays Jen, whose husband was killed in a hit-and-run accident, while Linda Cardellini plays Judy, the woman she bonds with at a grief support group. There are big twists and some very black humour.

6. Unbelievable


Telling the true story of Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), Unbelievable shows how a rape victim can also become a victim of the justice system. An incredibly powerful and important series.

5. Big Little Lies


An adaptation of a Liane Moriarty novel, this drama centres on a group of school mums bonded together by a murder. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley... five reasons it’s unmissable.

4. Killing Eve


Sandra Oh stars as Eve, a British MI5 agent who becomes obsessed with a female assassin, Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer. Their relationship is wonderfully unpredictable, with the genius of Waller-Bridge shining through in the writing.

3. Orange Is The New Black


Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir about being a middle-class white woman doing time in jail, this is both darkly funny and deeply tragic. Its diverse cast, including Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba and Danielle Brooks, shows us what we’ve been missing on our screens.

2. The Handmaid’s Tale


This chilling series, adapted from the Margaret Atwood novel, is set in a dystopian future world where fertile women like June (Elisabeth Moss) are men’s slaves. It’s particularly chilling because recent debates over a woman’s right to choose make it feel not all that futuristic.

1. Fleabag


Created by and starring the massively talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag is about a woman who runs a guinea-pig-themed cafe in London, who shouldn’t be likeable but is. She makes some awful life decisions, but every time she gives the camera that knowing look, we understand exactly where she’s coming from. Pure brilliance.

Feature Image: Instagram/@handmaidsonhulu @killingeve @bbcfleabag.

What's your favourite TV show of the decade? Let us know in the comments below.