Wilderness is a six-episode series about some very intricate emotions surrounding the woman who was cheated on by her husband. While it is intensely engaging, it takes time to understand why Liv, Will, and Cara acted the way they did. There are layers to this drama, with the extramarital affair and the murder or accident that follows, which all tie together with the protagonist’s childhood trauma. It can be taken as the story of the complexity of the affair, but mostly, it is a look at the social imbalances in society regarding gendered roles that enable situations like this. Despite the subject, Wilderness keeps a cleverly subtle hand with the execution. The list we have compiled here addresses different facets of the narrative, and you can pick and choose which one you would like to see next and for which quality.
1. Kevin can f**k himself
Kevin is another husband, like Will, who loves to take his wife for granted while she strives to provide the best in the world for him. Not to give away spoilers, but this series proves that one doesn’t need to have an affair for a wife to want to get rid of her husband. Unlike Will, Kevin is pretty unambitious and can’t even clean up after himself. No one would say that he is a great catch, but somehow, the blame for the unhappiness of the marriage is still his wife’s burden to carry. It is interesting to see how, no matter what the man may be like, the woman is expected to be the same: perfect and happy with a tolerant smile that accommodates everyone. Annie Murphy, in the role of Allison McRoberts, is a delight, and we are beginning to think that we don’t get to see her as much as she deserves.
2. The Power
This show certainly requires a lot of finesse, but it introduces a very important question for everyone to consider: what if women were the stronger gender? Would men accept them asserting themselves, the way they expect women to accept men since they have more muscle? Or would they finally understand what women have been saying all along? When watching Wilderness, one of the things that feels especially infuriating is how Will demanded sacrifices from Liv and then took them for granted or said that she never had to do it because he didn’t ‘verbally’ ask for it. He was able to get away with that gaslighting because of the existing social structures that favored him, to begin with. What would he have done in the world of The Power? That makes this a show to watch.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale
This is a story that lets you know what would happen if patriarchy actually won. It shows just how far men’s entitlement can go and why feminists cannot afford to get tired and give up because once they do, we enter the Dark Ages from which there is no coming out. Spanning five seasons, there is something about the story that just doesn’t let go of you. It is a feminist show because it shows the true extent of the desire of men to have the world centered around them. If you remember how Will in Wilderness treated Liv and Cara and why he wanted to have a baby with his wife, the narrative of The Handmaid’s Tale will seem all the more horrific to you because it is people like Will, and worse, getting a legal sanction to be their unabashed selfish selves. This is a mandatory show to watch, and we would also recommend reading the book it is based on by Margaret Atwood.
4. The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
Another limited series about how men’s cruelty operates on women and ends up pushing them over the edge, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, is a story of how that trauma can last through generations. In the interest of honesty, we need to point out that the series is irregularly paced. But if you don’t mind that, then this is a story that should be known. Also, it is a good idea to read the book it is based on, by Holly Ringland. In the series, Sigourney Weaver as June Hart is the show-stealer, and in fact, it is the study of her character, June Hart, that gives you all the lessons. There are parts of the show that are difficult to sit through, but they also tell you why women’s wrongs are so different from those of men, which makes this a compulsory watch.
5. The Wheel of Time
This fantasy series looks odd on this list, but the reason we have recommended it is because of one of the central characters, Moiraine. While the story is about a man, Rand, and his fight against the Dark One, another man, it is she who runs the show throughout. Played by the always-perfect Rosamund Pike, you can see why this show would be lost without her. While the first season is barely average, it is the second season that has you hooked. The production value has gone up, the plots are better, and the actors are bringing in a lot more than they did before. This should be on your list, if only for its pop culture value.
6. Sister Act
We all know that there is something very healing about sisterhood. When Cara and Liv in Wilderness are able to look past each other’s relationship to a man, they find a friend in the other person. This actually took the sting out of the situation for them. While Cara stopped seeing Liv as someone she didn’t care about whether she hurt or not, Liv saw that Cara was just as human and flawed as anybody else. Similarly, in Sister Act, Deloris Wilson is a complete fish out of water in her new surroundings, but she is still accepted and loved eventually because of the basic kindness, decency, and healing empathy that are so unique to women. It absolutely helps that this movie is a laugh riot and so watchable even after three decades of its release. This film, along with its sequels, should not be ignored by anyone.