Best of Netflix: Not-so-lonely-hearts club edition

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and a lot of people are brooding at not having someone to spend it with. But, with a brilliant matchmaker like Netflix, who needs a date? Something to look out for are shows with strong female leads who don’t need a valentine and find self-worth in defying expectations and redefining women’s roles in television.

An intriguing story about just that, “Revenge” focuses on Emily Thorne, played by Emily Van Camp (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), a woman who exacts payback on certain Hamptonite elite for their involvement in framing her father for funneling money to a terrorist organization. With an intelligent hacker as a sidekick, she infuses herself into her enemies’ lives as a young socialite who courts the son of her worst and most powerful adversaries in order to bring them down.

Jon Bokenkamp’s “The Blacklist” pulls off the FBI working with a criminal dynamic very well. Raymond “Red” Reddington, (James Spader, “Lincoln”) is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, and agrees to exchange information on some of the world’s worst criminals, but only on the request that he works with Elizabeth Keen ( Megan Boone, “Robot Chicken”)

It’s Keen and Red’s relationship that steal the show. She’s a rookie agent barely out of Quantico, with a good heart and he’s a mastermind criminal with a calm demeanor and willingness to kill. She’s fearless and vulnerable all the same but she doesn’t back down.

As powerhouse lawyer, Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington (“Django Unchained”), brings the White House and those surrounding it to its knees, each episode in “Scandal” revolves around Pope and Associates cleaning up somebody’s scandalous behavior, whether it’s a murder or a sex tape. On top of all that, Pope is having an affair with the President of the United States all the while struggling to keep her feelings separate from her work as politicians keep trying to hire her.

Something that these shows do really well is they have strong female leads with agency who can be sexy and devious; flirtatious and intelligent. They are all strong-minded and independent women who don’t need, but enjoy the company, of men, and could reduce the President into a whiny, love-sick mess.

These women are what we secretly wish we could be. We can live vicariously through on lonely Valentine’s Days or just days when we want to take charge.

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